You get to a certain point in life where it’s no longer okay to be using a beer crate as a chair and a decade-old Eminem poster as decoration. You’re a (reluctant) adult, and you finally have an apartment, so it’s time to make the place look a bit less dingy. Let’s face it, though: most of us aren’t millionaires with endless cash to splurge on home decor.

To help you come up with some ideas for renovating your apartment without spending too much of the money you don’t have, we spoke to Ning Li, co-founder and CEO of MADE furniture.

Ning was born in Foshan, China, a city known for its furniture manufacturers, and left to study in France when he was 15. After graduating from Hautes Etudes Commeciales, one of France’s leading universities, he worked as an analyst in Investment Banking.

When he was planning the interior of his own apartment in Paris, he remembered his contacts from back home. That way he was able to purchase the furniture directly from the manufacturers, and, with the help of his university friend Julian Callède, MADE was born.

Tim Suen

The company’s ethos involves helping people to buy beautifully-designed, high-quality furniture at affordable prices. Here are some room-by-room tips for incorporating smart home decor into your life, and your apartment:


Use colored tiles as a splash-back. This is a simple and effective way to make a design statement without breaking the bank.


Dining Room

Buy a multi-purpose table which works for both a cosy dinner for two and larger dinner parties. Partly folding tables can be a good way to save space if it’s at a premium, so keep your eyes peeled for classic yet affordable pieces.

Update your dining space with a statement pendant light to hang above the table – again, a light won’t break the bank, but it can have a large impact on how the room looks.

Living Room


Buy a timeless sofa and use textiles like blankets and cushion covers to bring a classic design to life. This is cheaper than investing in a whole new sofa, especially because the trends will change, but it allows you to keep on top of them by changing the fabric on the sofa, adding texture and color at a small cost.


Make good use of paint in the area where you are trying to concentrate. Research shows that the color blue can aid concentration and brain function, so that’s a strong place to start for a study.

A bookcase can be your own personal museum. Bookshelves displaying interesting reads and photos all tell a story about your life, and are a cost-effective way to inject some personality into the room, while also saving space.


Bed Bath & Beyond

Adopting the same strategy as for the living room, invest in a collection of interesting, colored bedlinen. Different linens can change a room without the need to redecorate, in the same way that cushions can.

Adding an accent chair for a pop of color can compliment your style and make a great addition to your bedroom, for a fraction of the cost of an expensive piece of art or new bed. It’s practical, too.



If you want to spruce up your bathroom but don’t have the funds for a full makeover, simply change the taps. A set of brass or copper taps can completely change the style of your bathroom and you won’t need to fork out for a new sink.

Finally, invest in a good set of Egyptian cotton towels in dark grays and blues to add depth and texture to your bathroom.

Soon you might even be able to renovate with a robotic furniture system. Check it out here

  • Lead image: Shutterstock
Words by Contributor
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