Apartment Decorating: Achieve a Penthouse Look For Less Than $500

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Apartment Decorating: Achieve Penhouse Look | View of Couch and Skyline From Apartment | www.phillyaptrentals.com

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Looking to decorate your apartment on a budget?

How about a beautiful penthouse look for just $500. *

Old-Process-interior-Design | Couple Speaking With Designer | www.phillyaptrentals.com

We will explain how you can get this done, but in the meantime…

Here is an example of the potential…


Penthouse-Like Look For Less Than $500 | www.phillyaptrentals.com


Penthouse-Like Look For Less Than $500 | www.phillyaptrentals.com
Before and After photos provided by Nickson Living.

How to do it?

You can use an online interior design service — that can help you find and buy exactly what you need on a budget.

Online Interior Designer Workstation | www.phillyaptrentals.com

How Does It Work?

Each company has its own process, but generally:

  1. You sign up and pay a fee.
  2. You fill out a style quiz, or some type of in-take form.
  3. You message/chat/talk a few times.
  4. You get the final delivery – usually the final design, floor plan, and shopping list.

How Long Does it Take?

Generally, it can take 2 to 3 weeks. Some can do it sooner.

Do They Pick Out Exact Furniture?

Yes, most online interior design services pick out all the furniture.

Are There Different Types of Companies That Do This?

Apartment Interior Designer at Desk | www.phillyaptrentals.com

Yes, generally, there are two types of online interior design companies:

Online Virtual Services  these are more technology-based services. They include larger companies that have a network of designers. Examples include Modsy and Havenly

Individual Designers  with these services, you work directly with an individual designer who has a tech-based platform and process. Search for individual online interior designers or something similar to identify options.

Both can satisfy your needs.

What are Some of the Pros and Cons?


  • Cheaper (save money)
  • Virtual (convenient)
  • Options (several design options for final selection usually)
  • Organized (many are process-driven technology companies)


  • Hard To Ensure You Share The Same Vision  It may be difficult to communicate your vision. Anais from Design by Anais agrees. “The designer won’t come to see your space, but it is not a problem if your designer knows how to handle it (video of space, video call to chat about the project, etc.)
  • Inability to Use all Your Senses  Being remote has its challenges. As Sara from Sara Mosele Interiors explains “the client cannot touch, feel or see materials and products in person.  On the positive side, [the pros of] “affordability, less time consuming, clients can work from the comfort of their sofa” can be great.

What are the Costs?

Prices generally are about $150 to $299 per room, depending on the provider.

What is the Cost of Furniture Itself?

Just like you can buy a car for $10,000 or $100,000, the same is true of furniture. It depends.

Apartment Decorating

According to Cameron Johnson of Nickson, the complete cost of outfitting a one-bedroom if one were to shop at retailers such as IKEA, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Best Buy, etc. is roughly $6,500.

We have estimated a one bedroom can be furnished for approximately $4,000.

It certainly depends on the type of furniture selected and from where you are purchasing. Others estimate the cost to be more like $15,000 depending on the brands selected. Johnson points out though that one should also take into account the estimated number of hours to find, source, shop, and assemble.

The cost of [your] time should then be added to the average cost of all the actual furniture items and home goods, adds Johnson.

Why Use an Online Interior Design Service?

Given affordability, there is little reason to not give it a try, especially if you are on a budget.

If you have specific tastes or are concerned about measurements, you may want to hire someone to double-check measurements.

Apartment Decorating | Person Measuring Window | www.phillyaptrentals.com

Like everything else, there are better companies than others so do your research.

Tips for Success

Online interior design services can provide a great option for giving you personal, customized apartment decorating ideas and making your apartment home look amazing.

It can save a lot of time and money compared to traditional professional design services.

Be a smart consumer. Research and ask questions:

  1. Price  how much do they charge?
  2. Revisions  how many revisions do you get?
  3. Shopping List  Will they provide links to direct products you can purchase?
  4. Measurements  Will they provide designs to match your floor plan? What systems are in place to ensure all the furniture fits?
  5. Furniture Budget Do they take into account your furniture budget?
  6. Turn-Around Time How long does it take them to turn a design around?
  7. Reputation  Research reviews and references and any other diligence.
  8. Brands  Which furniture brands do you use?
  9. Satisfaction  Is it ever possible to get my money back if not happy?
  10. Sample Work Do you have sample work?

To better prepare yourself:

  1. Get floor plan ready
  2. Take pictures of the apartment
  3. Check out a few vendors, and compare
  4. List furniture you already have

Good luck! Now go on and make that apartment look like a fabulous penthouse!

*plus the cost of furniture


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