Making your apartment bedroom look beautiful on a tight budget is easier than you might think. With a little ingenuity, you can create a pleasant environment on very little money.


Browse thrift shops to find furniture and lamps in relatively good condition. Check the clothing section for nice shawls and scarves. These can be draped over dressers and couches. Your local dollar store is another place to find scarves, vases and other unique but inexpensive touches for your bedroom decor. If you're handy with a sewing machine, you can make seat covers, cushions and even curtains.

The old reliable plastic milk crates are useful for clothing storage as well as book and CD shelves. Besides the lightweight variety sold in discount stores, you can now buy the sturdy genuine article online. Drape more fabric over them, weave broad flat ribbons in and out of the holes, decorate them with acrylic paint or even leave them as is. Use cable ties to fasten them together. Unfinished wood crates, night stands and small chests provide a more natural look. Many types are available in craft stores. Stain them, paint them or leave them plain.

Use mirrors on the walls to make a small bedroom look larger. Light colors are also a key to creating the impression of space. If white appears too stark, use an off-white or cream color. Choose any colors that feel restful to you, without regard to what you are supposed to like. Painting or decorating everything in similar colors creates a feeling of unity. Some people feel more relaxed with an eclectic, jumbled look. For period touches, check antique stores.

Chandeliers are wonderful for apartment decorating. Even the simplest metal chandelier in a classic style can change the entire appearance of a room and give it a more homelike feel. They cast an indirect light that is less glaring and utilitarian than the usual ceiling lamps. Antique shops and some thrift shops may carry used chandeliers for very low prices. They're easy to clean and restore. Use long-lasting LED bulbs. Invest in a few dimmer switches and timers to lower the lights automatically at bedtime.

Minimize clutter. Too much stuff can defeat your bedroom decorating efforts. Keep only necessary possessions and store or donate the rest. Take one day per week to work on this. In your furniture-hunting expeditions, look for ottoman stools that open for storage. Use under-bed boxes, over-door racks and closet organizers. Use available space efficiently.

Clean regularly, including vacuuming and shampooing the carpet if possible. Use vinegar and baking soda to clean rather than harsh chemicals that may leave an unpleasant smell. Boil orange and lemon peel with cinnamon and cloves to make a natural air freshener. Live plants and small table fountains make great mood elevators.

Your mattress and pillows should be comfortable and give adequate support, even if you have to spend a bit more money. A good night's sleep is important to your health.

Avoid having your computer or television in the bedroom. Life is stressful enough as it is. A music system with multiple speakers is a better idea. Play relaxing classical, jazz or soft rock as your evening winds down.

What's your favorite way to create a beautiful bedroom?