If you want to makeover your apartment on a small budget with a tight turnaround, it helps to know a few expert tricks.

Thérèse is the Home Stylist at our Palo Alto store. When an apartment complex wanted their well-worn model unit updated to feel sophisticated + fresh in just one weekend, Thérèse took on the challenge.

Her solution? A fresh coat of paint and these 4 interior design hacks that anyone can use to renovate quickly on a budget.

Read on to see Thérèse’s apartment transformation and get her pro tips for saving time + money.

Bed & Headboard - 4 Interior Design Hacks To Transform Your Apartment FAST

Bed & Headboard - 4 Interior Design Hacks To Transform Your Apartment FAST

1. In The Bedroom: Keep Your Bed + Update Your Headboard.
“In the bedroom, we re-used the existing metal bed frame and mattress to cut down on costs. We updated the bed by attaching our Nailhead Upholstered Headboard and added a tailored linen bedskirt. Since the bed is the room’s focal point, we invested most of the bedroom budget into bedding – creating luxe layers by mixing and matching subtle prints and textures.”

4 Interior Design Hacks To Transform Your Apartment FAST

4 Interior Design Hacks To Transform Your Apartment FAST

2. In The Living Room: Raise Your Curtains
“First we took down the apartment’s old blinds and added contemporary window curtains. The real trick here is that we hung the new curatins well above the actual top of the window, which created the illusion of height inside the living room.”

4 Interior Design Hacks To Transform Your Apartment FAST

Dining Set - 4 Interior Design Hacks To Transform Your Apartment FAST

3. In The Dining Room: Maximize Space w/ A Round Table
“The dining area is a small space in the entryway with an awkward nook. To maximize the small footprint we made two major changes. We swapped-out 2 old chairs and created a dining banquette with the Elton Settee. Then we replaced the apartent’s old dining table with a round Arc Base Pedestal Table. The result was more walking space, and a more unique + cozy feel.”

Dinnerware - 4 Interior Design Hacks To Transform Your Apartment FAST

4. All Over: Keep Your Old Decor
“We kept many of the apartment’s existing decorative pieces. Just by pairing them with new accessories, they felt like they had been updated. Not only does this save money and time, but the mix of new + old accessories gives the space a more timeless aesthetic.”

4 Interior Design Hacks To Transform Your Apartment FAST

Want FREE interior design help? Schedule an appointment with our free Home Stylist service at your local store!

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September 15, 2014

I love the makeover–well done–but I hardly think that replacing nearly all of the furniture in an apartment can be considered a “small budget” for most people.

Jake Lemkowitz

September 15, 2014

Thanks Elizabeth! That’s true we wouldn’t call this a small budget makeover, but we do think these 4 tips apply to anyone who wants to stay on a tight budget when they renovate.


September 16, 2014

This is such a beautiful transformation! May I ask what the paint color on the accent wall of the bedroom is? I think that is my favorite room transformation of the four (if I HAD to choose one)

Jen Diamond

September 16, 2014

Where are those beautiful candlesticks from? I was hoping they were on the west elm website, but I don’t see them!


September 16, 2014

Everything looks lovely. I agree with Elizabeth, it would have been nice to see some of the furniture repurposed. The living room is beautifully done, although I am a bit tired of seeing the oversized mirrors against the wall. Dressing the windows transformed them and created such a warm cozy feel. Great styling!! Love West Elm!!!


September 16, 2014

This is beautiful, but you should probably remove the line that you “kept many of the apartments existing decorative pieces.” Everything is brand new West Elm items, I know because I covet all of them. Also, most apartments don’t let you remove blinds or paint. Beautiful space, just not practical tips for a real renter.

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October 3, 2014

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October 17, 2014

Wow, what a difference! Would love to know the blue paint colors from 1, 2, and 4. Thanks!

Mark Michaels

October 23, 2014

I’d like to know the name of fabric for the Elton Settee in the dining room and the name of the dining chair as well.



December 23, 2014

Which mirror is on the Parson’s desk in picture #2? Thank you.

Jake Lemkowitz

December 24, 2014

Hey Jordan, that’s the Antique Tiled Wall Mirror: https://www.westelm.com/products/antique-tiled-mirror-w456/


May 26, 2015

Where can I find the furniture that you used for the living room.

Maxwell Tielman

June 8, 2015

Hi, Renee! You can find much of the furniture featured in the “After” photos right here at West Elm! (Links in post.)


August 29, 2015

Need some help ! I’m hopeless 😉

Ambrosha F.

October 31, 2015

It says this is a model unit- noneof my apts have ever looked like the model unit 🙂 but it just shows what the right decor can do for a space and I need to learn it!


December 29, 2015

where is the tv stand from? ox

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