Cheap boho decor: how I made my tiny apartment into a bohemian sanctuary


cheap bohemian boho decor tiny apartment

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When I first saw my old apartment, my mind was swarming with ideas on how I’d decorate. I’ve always loved bohemian culture, style and decor. So I envisioned earthy colors, mix matched patterns, dried flowers, colorful baskets. Oh, and candles. Lots of candles. Decorating a new space was always the best part for me when it came to moving and if I can save money, all the better. But the apartment I found was unique and decorating it would be a little bit of a challenge.

The apartment was only one bedroom so I’d give my son, Ninja*, the room. The living room was awkward and L shaped but it had a couple of nooks. I’d have to arrange and decorate it like a studio for myself with a place to sleep, sit and read, do yoga and watch TV. The kitchen was unnecessarily huge and had a built in bookshelf where I knew, the moment I saw it, I’d put my desk.

My budget wasn’t high and I didn’t want to spend too much, but I still wanted the apartment to have a peaceful vibe with bohemian elements. Here’s what I did to get it.

cheap bohemian boho decor tiny apartment

1. Thrift Stores.

I'm an avid thrifter and have been all my life (thanks to my father). I’m gonna say at least half of the stuff I used to decorate this apartment was from a thrift store—a lot of my picture frames, vases, artwork, baskets and random nicknacks came from thrifting. Dressers and nightstands, too. I bought curtains with cool patterns to repurpose (see #3) and books to fill my bookshelf. I even found some vintage items like my suitcase (see below) that I freaking LOVE to this day.

cheap bohemian boho decor tiny apartment
cheap bohemian boho decor tiny apartment

2. Department & Discount Stores.

Walmart, Target, Home Goods & Five Below are my favorite stores to go to when I’m trying to save some money, which is almost always, and they have some decent decor—depending on what you get. I got furniture (book selves, love seat, desk), pillows, wall hangings, candles, kitchen towels & oven mitts, etc. at these stores for great prices.
[Tip: Get cash back on purchases from Walmart & Target with Ibotta. Sign up here and get a $10 welcome bonus]

cheap bohemian boho decor tiny apartment
cheap bohemian boho decor tiny apartment
A cupcake stand used as a jewelry holder.

cheap bohemian boho decor tiny apartment
I used a tiny loveseat as a divider to break up my awkward shaped living room into sections.

cheap bohemian boho decor tiny apartment
cheap bohemian boho decor tiny apartment

cheap bohemian boho decor tiny apartment

3. Repurpose.

I used pretty patterned sheets or artsy tablecloths as tapestries (similar to the tablecloth I hung up in my hallway, given to me by my lovely friend). I used an old curtain as a wall divider and another as a headboard. I used bookshelves as a wall divider. I used scarves as wall hangings. Some other repurpose ideas are sewing an old shirt into a pillowcase, using records as wall art. The possibilities are only limited by your creativity so get inspired and think outside the box.

cheap bohemian boho decor tiny apartment kitchencheap bohemian boho decor tiny apartment
cheap bohemian boho decor tiny apartment kitchen
Fairy lights, fairy lights everywhere.

cheap bohemian boho decor tiny apartment kitchen

4. DIY.

This could probably be the most expensive option of the bunch but if you're bargain savvy enough and inspired, you can find ways to create unique and personalized decor for your space at an affordable price. In my apartment, I was missing an over the range microwave that broke so I lined the wall with stick wallpaper I found for $3 at Walmart (see above). Some other ideas include: painting over an old painting, spray painting flower pots you find at a garage sale or thrift store. Or find inexpensive items at department or dollar stores and use them to make whatever your imagination comes up with.

Bcheap bohemian boho decor tiny apartment

Bonus Tip: Garage Sales.

I regularly went garage sale hunting when looking for things for my apartment. I found a couple of abstract paintings but I don’t remember lucking out with anything big during my search. Even so, people sell some of the best things at garage sales and a lot of them aren't trying to make a big profit. They just want it all gone by the end of the day. My best tip is to go towards the end of the sale, because you get more things for lower cost (Recently, I went out with my son around 3pm—a handful of the homeowners let us take whatever was left for free or virtually nothing). However, doing this can also make you miss out on what would have been a really cool find so if you’re looking for something in particular, be an early bird.

cheap bohemian boho decor tiny apartment

I was really happy with the way the apartment came out. I had a meditation/reading nook and a small area by my glass door to do yoga in the morning. My little twin sized bed felt cozy with my impromptu wall dividers. My love seat divided the small living room into a TV/sitting area. My kitchen held my desk, my life’s work. I loved that apartment and even though we only lived there for a year, I will always remember it as the first place I ever lived on my own…with just me and my son.

What are some decor hacks you’ve done lately? Have a thrifting addiction like me? Tell me what you’ve found in the comments! & don’t forget to follow me on Instagram.

* not his real name.

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Hey! I’m Sarah Rose, proud mommy & girlfriend, recovering bulimic and former depressed soul. I’m also the gal who runs Discern, Describe—a personal development & lifestyle blog for girls looking to build confidence, find inner peace and have stronger relationships.

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