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Affordable Simple DIY Apartment Decorating Ideas for Summer

Updated on June 22, 2015
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Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.


Decorating your apartment isn't always as easy as it might seem. As you browse Pinterest or search Google, you may get overwhelmed with ideas that simply aren't suitable for an apartment. Whether you're trying to avoid destructive decor changes (i.e. painting, wall shelving) or you don't want large decor pieces (i.e. oversized furniture, statement artwork), there are lots of small scale decorating ideas that are perfect for modest sized apartments and homes that won't break the bank.

Skinny vases with single stems or small bouquets of flowers are perfect for summer apartment decorating.
Skinny vases with single stems or small bouquets of flowers are perfect for summer apartment decorating. | Source


For just a few dollars, a floral bouquet can instantly transform an entire room. From sprucing up a living room to adding just the right pop of color for a dinner party, flowers are a great option. If you want fresh flowers, choose seasonal varieties that are readily available at the grocery store or farmer's market. If gardening isn't your thing or you don't like keeping fresh flowers around your pets, purchase silk or artificial flowers that you can switch up for different seasons. Check out Lushome's ideas for summer decorating with flowers and candles.


Banner or wreath

A banner or wreath is a great way to add a seasonal touch to a front door, doorway, or mantel. As banners and wreaths are both all the rage right now, you'll have no problem finding ready made pieces in stores as well as online tutorials. You're sure to come up with something that fits your decor style. For example, if you live right near the ocean and you have a nautical themed living room, think about making a beach garland.

Take care to select or craft banners and wreaths that are appropriate for the scale of your apartment. You want your decor to enhance the aesthetic of a room, not draw attention to its small size.


Outdoor lighting

Do you have a private porch or patio? Outdoor lighting makes the space more inviting for evening gatherings with family and friends. Installing outdoor lighting can be as simple as hanging a couple strands of white Christmas lights to as complex as making tin can lanterns or luminaries with spray painted tin cans. Grab a tutorial for lanterns or luminaries from Apartment Therapy. If you're looking for other outdoor lighting ideas, think about picking up a set of small solar lights.



New artwork allows you to change the feel of the room without investing in an expensive piece of furniture or even a new rug or lamp. Keep your eye out for modestly sized wall art that you can switch up for different seasons. Over time, you'll build a collection that you can rotate as needed to keep your apartment looking fresh. Make sure that you have adequate storage space in your apartment to house your rotating art collection.

Do you have kids? Think about involving them in the process of making some summer artwork. Check out squirt gun painting at Fire Flies and Mud Pies, splatter painting at Angela Anderson Art, and tissue paper "painting" at Fiskars. Alisa Burke also has a ton of great tips for creating with kids.


Throw pillows

A throw pillow or blanket makes a sofa, chair, or blanket feel more inviting for a particular season. For example, you may want rich earthy tones to complement white furniture in the fall and winter while you would prefer pastels to brighten up the white in the spring and summer. Watch for sales on throw pillows at your favorite big box stores and home stores. If you're looking to save space in an apartment, opt for pillow covers that you can swap out on the same pillow forms.

Of course if you're crafty, you can also make your own throw pillows. Domestically Speaking shares beachy burlap pillows, Hometalk contributor Cami explains watercolor fabric painting, and Polka Dot Chair has a DIY "You are my sunshine" summer pillow sleeve.

DIY Room Decor: How to Make a Cute Flower Pillow

The bright colors on these wall shelves are ideal for summer.
The bright colors on these wall shelves are ideal for summer. | Source

Small tabletop displays

If you choose smaller knick knacks, vases, and other table top items, you'll be able to build a little collection and rotate pieces throughout the year, just as you do with your artwork. Consider picture frames, subway art, mason jars, other glass vessels, candles, and ceramic animals. Are you planning to make some of your own tabletop wares? Whip up a batch of drinking straw starbursts in fun summer shades or twine wrapped milk bottles with hanging shells.

Pick up a set of mason jars on Amazon today for your new summer decor.

DIY: Easy Summer Room Decor | LaurDIY

© 2015 Rose Clearfield


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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Love these easy ideas of yours, Rose. I might give it a try this summer. Voted up for useful!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      When it isn't sweltering the porch is a good place to hang out. Thanks for the Ida's on how to make it a private oasis.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      These are wonderful suggestions!

      I like it simple but refreshing decor ideas. Flowers do this very effectively.

      Thanks for sharing your beautiful and helpful ideas! Voted up as useful!