Apartment Decor Under $50 That Looks Chic, Not Cheap

I recently heard something about how millennials can’t afford to buy houses because we spend all of our money on avocado toast or something. Fair. But like, in our defense, we also have a harder time getting into colleges, getting a job after college, and are pretty much guaranteed no social security. Cool. So anyway, that being said, most of us twentysomethings aren’t living in houses right now the way our parents already were at our age. Most of us are still living in apartments, and you know what? I’m okay with that. But we’re also not in college anymore, so we don’t have to subject ourselves to below average, frat-house-style living conditions. And, one of the best ways to make a less desirable space more desirable is by elevating it with decor. For example, you shouldn’t have one of those tacky Walmart college-dorm-special desk lamps in your new grown-up apartment. Rather, you should have a more mature and chic lamp, such as a Himalayan salt lamp. So here is some more apartment decor under $50 (wouldn’t want you to sacrifice your avocado toast, I get it) that will elevate your living space, regardless of whatever exactly that is.

1. Himalayan Salt Lamp

Himalayan Salt Lamp, $34

I just alluded to it, but an easy way to make your space more elevated and zen is by getting yourself a Himalayan salt lamp. I actually had one in my room my senior year of college, and everyone gave me sh*t for having a new-agey crystal. Which, when I bought it, I didn’t even realize the health and mood benefits the lamp actually offers. Honestly, I just bought it because I thought it was cute. The soft lighting it creates is pretty much the holistic equivalent of taking a Xanax, and you can easily get one for under $50 at your local Home Goods.

2. Flowers and Fake Plants

Peony Faux Flower Bouquet, $29

If you live somewhere hip like LA, you probs have the luxury of picking up fresh flowers at your weekly farmers market to bring life to your apartment. For the rest of us, fresh flowers may not be that practical or financially responsible to have in our apartment every day. That’s why it’s great to buy some fake plants to mix in and elevate your space during the off-seasons when you don’t have the luxury of real ones. Just the sight of the plant (fake or not) will make your place look a little more boho and natural. Plus, fake plants are a great filler for dead floor or wall space. You could also buy a few different succulents to keep around all year because they last a while and require less maintenance.

3. Coffee Table Books

The Swimming Pool in Photography, $37.40

It may seem like a basic way to decorate but, as basic as coffee table books may be, they are an easy way to up your apartment game. Whether you’re into fashion, architecture, food, or whatever, there are coffee table books that make sense for you. Personally, I love using them to create depth to an otherwise flat space. Meaning, besides just on my coffee table, I use cute books in my bedroom to raise my jewelry dishes, etc. It’s an easy way to make the space more lived-in and create added visual interest. 

4. Rugs

House of Hampton Charlotte Hand-Woven Faux Sheepskin Area Rug, $41.99

It may seem obvious, but adding rugs in your apartment is an easy way to elevate your space by making it seem bigger, while also bringing the room together. Look for rugs with simple patterns or texture details to make your space more homey and overall more chic. I personally am a sucker for a faux fur rug, but you have to be careful not to buy one that looks tacky. The faux fur should feel soft, not rough, and should appropriately match the space.

5. Neon Sign

Love LED Neon Sign, $49

I know neon signs are a very “trendy” thing right now, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they really add a cool vibe to any space. They legit elevate any otherwise boring space by making it feel instantly edgy and gram-worthy. Pro tip: just make sure you only get one. You want your apartment to look adult and glam, not like DayGlow.

Overall, finding apartment decor is a process that shouldn’t be rushed, or else it’s going to look cheesy and inauthentic. You know, like when a natural brunette tries to go platinum blonde overnight. Unless you’re Kim Kardashian, it doesn’t work. Buy things here and there, and slowly build your apartment into a masterpiece that truly embodies you and your tastes. Just like you don’t want to end up with macaroni-and-cheese-colored hair, you also don’t want to end up with an apartment that looks like you built the whole thing on Sims 2.

Images: @daniellajardim / Unsplash; Urban Outfitters (3); Amazon; Wayfair
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Shannon McCormick
Shannon McCormick
Shannon McCormick (previously under the alias of 'Betch Dressed') is a self-proclaimed fashion expert with a sick obsession for all things Bravo. She primarily writes about everything fashion, but also dabbles in other areas because she's a talented overachieving Virgo. Follow her on Insta (@shanmccormick) and comment/DM topics you want to hear her incredible take on next!