Whenever I watch decorating shows on HGTV I get great ideas and I really feel like I can pull off a great room design. Then I remember that I don't have any money and I live in an apartment. Then I just glare at the TV while I’m a little bit jealous of people who get to properly decorate their houses. If you want to know how to decorate your room without buying anything here are a few ideas that I have.

Raid Other Rooms In Your House for Decorative Accessories

Try a Simple and Clean Room Design
Credit: FreeRange Stock Photo

You may already have good furniture. Borrow throw pillows and lamps from other rooms and make the bed with crisp white sheets.

Raid Other Rooms In Your House for Decorative Accessories

This is easy if you have a garage full of spray paint or a sewing room full of fabric. However, I live in an apartment so I don't own a lot of these materials. Look for old clothes like sweaters that can be used to recover throw pillows. If you do decide to buy one thing: make it paint. This can be for your walls or your wood furniture.  Even small pieces of fabric like napkins, vintage handkerchiefs or baby clothes can be pieces together to form a window valance.


My favorite designer Nate Berkus even recommends that you move out of your house every few years. Even if you move right back in this gives you a chance to declutter, clean, and reimagine your space. It lets you see what you have in your room to work with. Get rid of any outdated curtains, wallpaper, or rugs. The room often feels larger and fresher without it. Do a good spring cleaning no matter the time of year, including dusting baseboards and shampoo the carpet. Wash the windows and tackle all those tasks you don’t normally attempt because you don’t want to move the furniture.

Clear Out Your Room


This may be what your room is lacking now or it may be what makes your room feel outdated. Base your color scheme off of the big items in your room that you can't change such as the countertops, floor tile, carpet, or walls. Avoid big projects like trying to paint your countertops or vinyl floors as the kits to do this can be quite costly and caustic. Instead, base your color scheme off of these items.

If you have a box of fabric dye you are in luck. I have dyed lots of clothes and even a duvet cover. Note that the colors never come out as dark as you like and sometimes you need so many boxes when buying the dye that it can be as expensive as trying to buy it new.

You'll Need to Do Some DIY Projects to Really Save Money

Get Out Your Sewing Machine
Credit: Freerange Stock Photo

Throw pillows and curtains just require that you be able to sew a straight line. If you already have the machien it may be worth the investment of time.

You'll Need to Do Some DIY Projects to Really Save Money

I tend to do a lot of organization with dollar store bins, but this is an attempt to pull off a totally free room makeover. You can recover boxes or even cans with contact paper or scrapbook paper. You could spray paint the cans as well. Organizing a room lets you add in fun colors and also makes the room feel larger. Your decor may be fine the way it is if you just change the layout a little bit and reuse what you already own.