How to Decorate a Studio Apartment on a Budget

by | Jan 31, 2020

A studio apartment is an all-in-one kind of deal. With one open space to hold your bedroom, your kitchen, and your living room, it’s a home without barriers that’s full of possibilities. 

While the idea of a studio apartment may seem cozy and romantic to some, others see it as a limitation.

Luckily, there are tons of ways that you can decorate your studio apartment, and you can do it on a budget. 

How to Decorate a Studio Apartment on a Budget

If you’re wondering how to decorate a small studio apartment on a budget, the best way to start is by optimizing your space in each area, i.e., the bedroom, the kitchen, the living room, and the bathroom. Because you have little space and limited cash flow, it’s beneficial to stick to these two rules: simple and essential. 

Let’s take on this apartment space by space for some great studio apartment decorating ideas on a budget. 

Bedroom Space

Your studio apartment bedroom shares its space with your living room area as well as your kitchen. Therefore, you’re going to have minimal room to work with. 

The most essential piece of furniture will be your bed. Work with the space you have rather than boxing yourself up. Ask yourself these two questions: Can I afford it, and do I have space for it? 

Keep it simple with your bed. A standard bed frame can take up unnecessary room. Instead, opt for a platform frame or a box frame that sits directly on the floor. 

Placing your bed in the corner of a room can help keep it neatly tucked away from the other areas while also saving space. Get yourself a small and functional nightstand and a lamp for cozy nighttime lighting. 

Make your bedroom area a little more snug and personal by adding some of these finishing touches: 

  • Floor-length mirror
  • Accent color throw blankets 
  • A bench at the end of the bed 
  • Accent color throw pillows 
  • Small area rug 
  • Picture frames 

You can easily keep your bedroom area simple with some of these minimal interior design ideas. Maximize your space even more by using under-bed storage or a bench with storage, too. 

Living Room Area

Sticking to the essentials will help you nail down an inviting living room without breaking the bank. A sofa, a TV stand, and a coffee table are just enough to complete the area when decorating a studio apartment on a budget; it won’t become too crowded or expensive. 

One excellent decorating idea for your living room is to use a sofa bed or a futon. 

A futon is a piece of furniture that transforms from an adorable couch into a flat, comfortable bed. While it may not be ideal to use this piece as your personal bed (think about all the people that might be sitting on it), it’s great if you plan on having guests stay with you. Since you don’t have space for a guest room, you can use a futon to transform your living room into more sleeping space instantly. 

Liven up your living room area with a fun and light coffee table. Go for sleek and slim rather than large and bulky. A lighter color will help brighten up the small space, too, and you can throw fun coffee table books, candles, and plants on it for eye-catching decor. 

Depending on your space, you can bring a functional entertainment center into your living room to tie it all together. The television tends to be a focal point in an area like this, and certain entertainment centers hold not only the TV but have shelving for additional decor and entertainment storage. 

The living room is also another area where you can toss inexpensive throw blankets, pillows, and an area rug. Other pieces like blanket ladders, ottomans, and chairs can also add a nice touch. 


When you chose your apartment, you probably made a big decision concerning your kitchen. Those of us who prefer to cook for ourselves need as much space as we can get, while others who plan on ordering takeout can afford to skimp in this area. 

Studio apartment decorating on a budget can be extra difficult when it comes to kitchens. Built-in appliances are ideal, so try to coordinate your kitchen in a way that uses up as little counter space as possible. This means a microwave over the stove and a fridge flushed with the walls and cabinets. 

You will likely have minimal cabinet space, so use it wisely. Invest in a set of stackable plastic containers – you’ll be glad when you can easily store them in one space. 

Only buy the kitchen tools that you know you will use. We all know someone who has drawers filled with multiples of the same spoons, spatulas, and measuring cups. 

Utilize wall and ceiling space well, too. You can find magnetic strips to hold knives on the wall while hanging your pots and pans will save you cabinet space.

Finally, small extra appliances are the best. If you can’t live without your morning coffee, get yourself a one-cup coffee maker. You’ll not only save space on your counter, but you’ll save money on the maker. 

Bathroom Space

Though your bathroom will be separate from the rest of your apartment, it’s likely to still be very small with limited room. Optimize your space by purchasing shower storage. A caddy that hangs from the showerhead prevents things from piling up under the sink, on the counter, and in the bathtub. 

Organize the area under your sink with cheap plastic bins. You can keep cleaning supplies and additional toiletries underneath.

A minimal shelving unit can also deliver affordable storage space in your bathroom. You can decorate this area with small plants like succulents, decorative soap holders, fun accent color towels, and a unique shower curtain. 

A colorful area rug can really tie the space together, while cute little signs with inspirational quotes add a nice personal touch. 

Budgeting Tips

Budgeting is a crucial tool in all areas of life, but especially when investing in the design and decorating ideas of your small apartment. When decorating your first home on a strict budget, there are a few things you can keep in mind.

Remember what we said earlier – stick to the essentials and keep it simple. At the very least, your studio apartment doesn’t allow you to load up on unnecessary trinkets and nicknacks. Take it as a blessing in disguise that forces you to stick to your budget. 

Don’t write off secondhand items, hand-me-downs, and thrift stores. While we all desire a luxurious space with brand-new furniture and quality decor, it’s just not always possible with monetary restrictions. Thrift stores, yard sales, and online ads can yield great pieces of furniture and decorations for a fraction of the cost in retail stores. 

Do some calculating to establish how much money you have leftover at the end of every month after paying for necessities like rent, utilities, and groceries. Put some of those leftovers towards purchasing your decor little by little. If you have time to save up before moving in, do so. But if not, don’t try to buy everything at once. 

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