Apartment Upgrades: How To Modernize Your Apartment On a Budget

Updated January 24, 2019
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If you’re living in an older apartment, then you know the pains of living in a unit with outdated furniture and decor. For a lot of apartment renters, they view the drab, dull, and dreary unit as something that comes with the territory.

However, you don’t have to settle for these older units as they are. If you plan to stay in your apartment for the long-term, then utilize some of the following tips and tricks to take your apartment from outdated to modern in no time, all while keeping expenses low of course.

Use Renter Friendly Wallpaper

Renter-friendly wallpaper is one of the best and easiest ways to completely overhaul your apartment without breaking the bank. Renter friendly wallpaper allows you to bypass those pesky no wallpaper rules because it is removable and won’t leave a mark on the walls after you take it down (but you should still check with your management office or landlord to make sure it is okay).

There are a lot of great vendors of renter-friendly wallpaper, but one of our favorites is Kate Zaremba Company. They have some excellent modern wallpaper designs that will take your apartment to the next level quickly and cheaply.

renter-friendly wallpaper
Courtesy of Kate Zaremba Company

Paint the Walls

Another option is to paint the walls. Some apartment management companies will allow you to paint your unit, as long as you repaint the walls the original color when you move out. Light grey, caliente red, wolf gray, shark skin, and moonshine are all popular modern colors that you can use in your apartment. Changing your paint color will have a profound effect on the modernity of your unit, and most of the cost will come in the form of your labor. Just make sure you ask management before start painting!

modern paint
Courtesy of Benjamin Moore

Find Cheap, Modern Furniture

Right up there with your walls, the furniture in your apartment will also affect the overall modernity by quite a bit. IKEA is a great source for modern furniture, but there are also a lot of other great, and affordable, modern furniture outlets. APT2B, A+R, CB2, and Capsule Home all offer some beautiful and reasonably priced products.

modern furniture
Courtesy of A+R

Upgrade Your Light Fixtures

If your apartment is outdated, one of the most obvious things that stands out are the light fixtures. Luckily, this is an easy fix, as you can swap out the old fixture for a new one from IKEA, Target, or Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.

You’ll be amazed how a simple swap like this can make your apartment much more modern and livable. Once again, you should still check with your management office or landlord to ensure that it is okay to replace light fixtures.


Plants are especially in right now. You don’t need to go all out with wall mounted plants, or hanging them from the ceiling. A few simple pots with your favorite plants spread throughout the apartment will do. Cacti, ficus trees, peace lilies, bamboo, and Bonzai trees are all very popular, modern choices for plants right now.

modern apartment plants
Courtesy of Apartment Therapy


Use Art, Pictures, and Framed Posters

Nothing says modern like a nice frame and your favorite retro movie poster, art, or pictures of a fond memory or beautiful landscape. Amazon has a wide selection of affordable picture and poster frames, as does Target.

Redbubble has all sorts of posters that you can choose from, whether they are bands, movies, art-themed, or vintage.

how to modernize your apartment
Courtesy of Pinterest

Get Rid of Clutter

One of the newer themes of modern apartments is minimalism. So, get rid of all that excess clutter in your apartment, which includes everything from kitchen appliances you don’t use, to big bulky furniture that no one uses and clothes that you never wear. Not only will this help your place look more modern, but it’ll feel good to get rid of all that junk you no longer need.


If You’re Ready to Move on From Your Current Apartment, Check Out Bigos Management!

At Bigos, we have a selection of all types of apartments, no matter what your lifestyle is and our amenities are created to fit your needs and interests. Whether you want to live somewhere more quiet, or somewhere more busy and trendy, check out our available listings to find the perfect spot for you.


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