Budget-Friendly Interior Design Hacks for NYC Renters

By: ROS Team

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Renting your apartment may prevent you from making major changes or upgrades, but it doesn’t keep you from coming up with a solid design for your place. Neither does a tight budget, even if it feels difficult to put together your dream home when you’re struggling to keep up with an already expensive rent payment. If you’re living in NYC and looking to spruce up your space without draining your savings, there are plenty of tips, tricks, and hacks to help you do it.

Make an Accent Wall

Some renters may balk at the mere suggestion since some landlords don’t allow you to paint the walls without sacrificing your deposit. Accent walls are more than just paint, though. You have other options that offer up the same effect.

1) Fabric Walls

By applying fabric to a wall with an adhesive, such as liquid starch, you’ll be able to easily remove it at the end of your lease. Fabric accent walls give you the chance to play with color, patterns, and styles, all without the commitment (and added fees) of painting.

2) Decals

You can find removable decals everywhere these days. They’ve exploded in popularity due to their easy application and removal. Like fabric, decals give you the chance to branch out from a flat color. You can create a whole scene on your wall if you want or opt for something classic and elegant like a floral design.

Accent walls are an affordable way to add flair and excitement to a room without overwhelming it. It changes the whole look of a space without spending a ton of money. By putting in an accent wall and adding something as simple as a new side table (after you compare furniture prices for the best deal), you’ve elevated your entire home.

Hit the Thrift Stores

NYC is filled with thrift shops and secondhand stores, so there’s a constant influx and rotation of stock. You simply never know what you’ll find, but it often includes a great deal. When people move or update their decor, a lot of furniture and other pieces are donated. That means they’re ripe for the taking. With a bit of time and shopping around, you can assemble an eclectic collection or carefully curate pieces that stick to one design idea.

Support Small Businesses

Supporting small businesses and small-time artists has a double benefit. You’ll be keeping local talent alive and thriving while also getting unique, often handmade pieces for your apartment. Small businesses often don’t have the kind of markups that bigger businesses sneak in, and they may even be willing to negotiate prices if you truly fall in love with a piece.

If you want something one-of-a-kind, you’re more likely to find it with a local artist. You may be one of their first customers, which could translate to lower prices for you, and you’ll be lending your support where it really matters.

Repurpose or Update Old Items

Have you tried shopping at home before opening up a website or heading to the store? If you have old and outdated furniture, try refreshing it instead of buying something new to replace it. A slipcover does wonders for old sofas, and a fresh coat of paint may breathe life into a scratched-up coffee table.

If you’re looking for wall decor but don’t have the money to drop on new prints and paintings, look around at what you already own. Do you have plates with interesting designs? Voila, you’ve found your artwork! Wrapping a patterned curtain or blanket around a canvas is a quick (and inexpensive) way to get wall art, too.

Baskets Are Your Friend

Baskets are one of the most versatile items you can bring home. They’re incredibly functional, and you can use them to store practically anything. They’re decor, too, and you can use them to liven up a corner table, fill in a space, or just give a little extra ‘something’ to an area.

Pick up an inexpensive basket and drape your favorite fluffy blanket over the side for an instantly cozy look. Use a wicker or wooden basket on your coffee table and lay a bouquet of dried flowers inside for something creative and dramatic. The possibilities are endless, and they don’t cost much.

Update the Little Things

If you can’t afford big things, focus on small ones. You can’t replace your sofa, but you can grab new pillows and a throw, and you’ll probably be able to find a new accent rug that doesn’t break the bank. Now, you’ve brightened up your sofa and made it work again.

Changing something as simple as your bathroom mirror or your bedding makes a big impact, too. If you can’t swap out everything in a room (or even many things at all), consider where your own eyes go when you walk in. What do you look at first? Find a way to change that thing, and the whole space is lifted as a result.

Final Thoughts

Renting and decorating on a budget may both seem limiting, but there’s a world of design possibilities still out there. One thing is certain when you’re shopping on a budget – you always want to get the best deal possible. You won’t always get lucky at the thrift store, and Spoken is there for all your other purchases. With Spoken, you’ll see all the retailers offering that coffee table you love or the lamp you can’t live without, so you know where to go for the lowest price.