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Cheap Decorating Ideas for a Small Apartment Living Room's Walls

Updated on October 18, 2014

Decorating Walls on a Budget

A living room's walls play an important part in the overall emotion and personality of the room. It's often the first thing seen when a guest walks in. The wall design also can create harmony among the entire living room through colors and wall décor.

Setting up your wall design doesn't need to be very expensive. You can make it extravagant without spending a penny. It is because nothing can compare a man's creativity to any amount of money. Remember, being creative means spending less money.

Designing Cheap but Not Flavorless

Designing for small spaces is tough. What's tougher, however, is designing on a budget. The only silver lining is that you have less space to design so you spend less money.

Luckily, there are some low cost ways to decorate your small apartment. Unlike other places, I'm going to give you tips on a real budget. Other places seem to claim $500 is cheap. Yeah, right! They must not have ever fallen on tough times or paid their way through college. All of the ideas in this article will cost less than $100 and usually a lot less.

Creating a unique living room doesn't have to be expensive. Often times, you even have the resources at home needed to create a fantastic design. All you need is to find the materials and create the design according to your preference. Do you know that from your old CD cases and CDs, photographs, sponges and a little bit of handyman work you can construct a unique but cheap small living room design?

You will be amazed of your great home makeover.

A wise man spends less but thinks in a deeper sense and with creativity.

A small living room with black and white photos on the wall.
A small living room with black and white photos on the wall.

Using Enlarged Photographs in Black and White Adds Visual Delight

Black and white goes well with a large variety of different colors, most especially when it comes to walls in homes. They add a sophisticated appearance to any home, regardless of the portraits contents. Whatever your photographs, be it of your child, your grandparents, or the beach, the reflection or the concept of your wall design matters.


  • Your baby
  • Your grandparents
  • Your favorite vacation spot
  • Your wedding

How to do it

Grab your favorite photo from your computer and bring it up in Photoshop or GIMP. Edit it to black and white, save it. Then head to your local Walgreens or department store and print it in 8x10 (or bigger, if you can!)

Be sure to grab a nice black frame to go along with it.

Photo source: Richard Cawood @ Flickr

Old CD case wall design
Old CD case wall design

Whose CD Will You Put On the Wall?

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An Old CD Cases Design Delivers a New Home Makeover

Did you think you would never use your old CD cases again? Because now you can. Using products you already own, and look good, are an easy way to save money. You can create a simple design using your old cases and some mounting tape (less than $3).

How to do it

Place the cases side-by-side. I suggest five or six cases for two or three rows. You can also make your own design or put them inside large picture frames.


1. Do you still have both the case booklet and the actual disc? You can put them side-by-side inside a frame. This works fantastic if the disc has art on it.

2. You can print your own booklet sized photograph and put it inside the case for some added artistic appeal.

Photo source: benclark @Flickr

Old CD wall design
Old CD wall design

Old CD Design Becomes New and Exciting

If you don't have the old cases anymore, you can use the old CDs instead.

For practicality, you don't need to go to the department store and buy the wall designs for your home. It is because the wall designs that you need are easy to reach. They are just found in your home. All you need is creativity on how to arrange the CDs on the wall.

How to do it

Place the CDs according to your preference and taste that fits and blends with the color of your wall to create an illusion like rainbows or sun rays.

Use mounting tape to place the CDs along your design.

Alternative Suggestion

If you have plain color CDs, you can put them inside a black frame with bright neon paper behind them. If you use only the CD, you can even still use the case in another designing endeavor.

You can even arrange the CDs as animals like a monkey.

Photo source: BlakJakDavy @ Flickr

Sponge painted horses on a wall
Sponge painted horses on a wall

What Sponge Wall Design Do You Prefer?

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Sponge Wall Designs Are a Work of Art

Want a fresh look for your walls? Grab a sponge. No, I'm not joking. A sponge can easily be shaped into whatever you want, dipped in paint, and then spread onto the wall. If you ever messed with the paint brushes in PhotoShop, you know that you can do some amazing things with different shapes.

How to do it

Grab an old sponge and cut it into a shape. I suggest a flower petal, triangle, star, heart or even your favorite animal.

Dip it into the paint and then gently and carefully press it against the wall. Continue by creating a geometric pattern or any design you wish. Finish it off by grabbing a small brush and adding any additional color it may need.


This is great not only for an overall design but also as a design alternative to wall lining paper. If you want something a little different, sponge paint your designs across the top of all of your room's wall.

Wall Shelves Keep It Floating

Wall shelves don't have to be expensive and they don't have to look bad or even take up too much space. Buy some cheap floating shelves or create your own if you are a handyman (or handywoman). You can pick up some fantastic floating shelves for around $25.

Of course, since we are talking about unique shelves. Try going for something other than the traditional plank design. Choose something asymmetrical or geometrical for an added appeal. The best part is that they are easy to make yourself.

How to do it

Buy or create your own floating wall shelf and place it on one of the non-focal point walls. Only one or two shelves is plenty and will allow you to add a few trinkets for extra flavor.

Opposite colored living room walls
Opposite colored living room walls

Painting Your Walls Opposite Colors Adds Dimensions

Instead of painting all of your walls the same, go ahead and mix it up. Choose two separate paints that are opposite of each other (consult a color wheel if you have to). Using two paints will make your living room pop and add some additional needed appeal to any living room.

How to do it

Paint two walls the bolder color and the other two walls the opposite color. I suggest the brighter color to be used on the wall which will be the focal point of the room. If you wish, you can do three walls bolder and one wall brighter.

If you want a more traditional style, use dull colors like white and dull yellow.

Photo source: summitdesignremodeling @ Flickr


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    • lindacee profile image

      Linda Chechar 

      4 years ago from Arizona

      Love your wall décor ideas for small apartments! My favorite is adding dimension by using complementary wall paint colors. Makes a huge impact in a small space. Great advice and fun DIY projects!

    • Arco Hess Designs profile imageAUTHOR

      Arco Hess 

      4 years ago from Kansas City, Kansas

      @Medicadavline The wall is not the focal point all the time and is only the focal point on rare occasions depending on the purpose of the room. The color doesn't have to be eye-catching. It can, but it doesn't have to be. It all depends on the purpose of the room, the type of design you want, and the style along with the rest of the décor used.

    • Medicadavline profile image

      Medica Ery Davline 

      4 years ago from United States

      Hai... I love the living room wall. Even though the color is not eye-catching..but I don't know why I see that the wall is the focal point...:) Great hub..thanks

    • Arco Hess Designs profile imageAUTHOR

      Arco Hess 

      4 years ago from Kansas City, Kansas

      Thanks, Freaky V. There's a million things you can do with CDs for wall décor!

    • FreakyV profile image


      4 years ago from Canada

      I love the CD's framed like the image you have here. I will definitely need to try that. Great hub!


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