So, you've just moved into your new apartment, and you want to make it a home for however long you're going to stay. If you're in it for a year or more, it'll be important to decorate it without breaking the bank.Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to spend a ton to make your place look top-notch. But remember to give it a personal touch rather than making it look like you took a page out of the Pottery Barn catalog and copied it. The benefits of doing so include providing a great atmosphere you want to come home to and relax in, as well as the ability to entertain family and friends. There are smart ways to dress up your apartment without going overboard. Here are five brilliant ways to make your new apartment feel more like a home than a rental.


Buy a Statement Piece

It's easy to spend a lot of money on a bunch of things that have no impact or meaning, and they'll probably end up getting thrown out when you move again. It makes a lot more sense to budget one large item that's both high quality and has a special place in your new apartment. Whether it's a great leather sofa, a bold rug, or a framed piece of artwork, both you and your guests will take notice of it immediately because it will set the tone for the rest of your apartment. Figure out what you can afford before you buy it and also take into account the rest of your decor, and make sure those additional items complement your big purchase.


Buy Attractive Indoor Plants

Plants are a great way to decorate for less, and you will simultaneously improve your apartment's indoor air quality. Keep in mind that if you choose wisely, you can add a plant (or two) to each room of your apartment without costing too much. Plants also add a homey quality to your place by virtue of their natural aesthetic. Whether it's a small tree for the living room or a bonsai for the kitchen, a plant can make the difference between austere and welcoming. Just make sure the plants you choose don't require too much maintenance and that they can thrive in indoor conditions. Pay attention to the amount of natural light they require, as well as to the amount of watering and pruning needed. Who knows, you just might develop your own green thumb in the process of decorating your new place.


Lighten Up the Place

When it comes to decor, people tend to spend too much time and money on trinkets and other needless items that just create clutter in the long run. Instead, buy lighting that illuminates your apartment with both light and style. The brighter, the better, and that means you should use bigger and brighter lights in larger spaces and studies and more intimate lighting in bedrooms. While you may not be able to replace the existing overhead lighting in the kitchen, bathroom, and dining room, you can definitely do so in the living room and bedrooms. A decorative floor lamp could even be your statement piece. Just make sure the style from room to room is relatively consistent, and make sure the lighting you choose can accommodate the brightness you require for that room.


Stock Your Bathroom Like a Hotel

No, this doesn't mean you should load an armada of toilet paper, slippers, and robes into your bathroom. It means providing good bathroom amenities that will make you feel like you're in a nice hotel. Get a nice bathroom curtain that's not plastic and purchased from the Dollar Store. Get a space-saving rack that also looks nice. Don't overstock your bathroom with every cheap toiletry item you use. Instead, get some affordable but attractive lucite containers for cotton balls and cotton swabs, stainless steel refillable soap dispensers, plush towels, and a nice bath mat. It can make all the difference when it comes to making your apartment look fancy rather than run-down. Just don't overdecorate because people actually have to be able to move around in there.


Accessorize Well

This last one we can't emphasize enough. We've been in too many apartments where decor is overdone. Too many tchotchkes, trinkets, ugly photo frames, and meaningless items get strewn about, and they end up making your apartment look cheap and cluttered. Rather than buying something that tickles your fancy, plan how you want your apartment to look. Are you into architecture? Buy some items that showcase that love, but keep it to just a few. Are you a fan of travel? Get your favorite map framed. Do you love blown glass? Choose a handful of beautiful pieces. Just don't think that more is more. Plan each room carefully, and make sure that your decor choices don't crowd your place while you try to enhance the look and feel of your apartment.