18 Budget-Friendly Decor Hacks For Small Spaces

·6-min read

Ugly carpets, curtains not even your nan would appreciate and blank walls that you can’t drill a hole into without a tedious email to your landlord (and all for a sizeable chunk of your monthly paycheque). We are, of course, talking about the joys of renting and that age-old question: how on earth do you make your new space feel like yours, on a budget, when everything seems set up to stop you? 

For those in the know — and those who spend far too much time online — there’s only one solution: eBay’s Home and Garden Outlet. It's a mecca of budget-friendly, pre-loved, expertly refurbished or discounted designer furniture and decor. Here you can shop your exact interior aesthetic (retro-futurism anyone?), get up to 30% off viral-fave brands like MADE.com and Sass and Belle, or discover fresh new interior trends, all in one place. It's the dream for deal-lovers and lazy shoppers alike. New to the renting game? eBay's Essentials range has everything you could ever need for setting up home, from bedding to your first kettle.

Having just moved into my own white box of a new home and not wanting to eat Pot Noodles for months while I kit the place out, I tasked myself with finding the best deals (and the best small space, rental living hacks) eBay has to offer. Read on for my top 18 picks.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by us. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy or click on something we link to on our site, we may earn a commission.

<h2>Space-saving furniture</h2><br>A <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/small-space-decorating-mistakes#slide-1" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:common misconception" class="link ">common misconception</a> when it comes to <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/cheap-small-space-furniture" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:small space furniture" class="link ">small space furniture</a> is that you need to buy the smallest pieces with the narrowest dimensions possible. This isn’t true. It’s all about finding pieces that work the hardest for your space, fulfilling multiple purposes at once. For example: a mirror that doubles up as a vanity table, or clever alternatives to the traditional coffee table.

Space-saving furniture


A common misconception when it comes to small space furniture is that you need to buy the smallest pieces with the narrowest dimensions possible. This isn’t true. It’s all about finding pieces that work the hardest for your space, fulfilling multiple purposes at once. For example: a mirror that doubles up as a vanity table, or clever alternatives to the traditional coffee table.
No space for one large coffee table? No problem. This elegant trio is perfect for communal living (you and your housemates each have your own surface space that can be moved around the room) and for when you have guests over. They slot away easily when not in use and the circular shape is another great way to soften the harshness of a blank room.<br><br><strong>Digitronics UK Limited</strong> Set of 3 Round Vintage Nesting Coffee Tables, $, available at <a href="https://ebay.us/GTLNSM" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:eBay" class="link ">eBay</a>
No space for one large coffee table? No problem. This elegant trio is perfect for communal living (you and your housemates each have your own surface space that can be moved around the room) and for when you have guests over. They slot away easily when not in use and the circular shape is another great way to soften the harshness of a blank room.

Digitronics UK Limited Set of 3 Round Vintage Nesting Coffee Tables, $, available at eBay
It looks like a mirror but this clever design hides a cabinet for all your treasures.<br><br><strong>Luke Henley</strong> Floor Standing Jewellery Cabinet With Mirror, $, available at <a href="https://ebay.us/vz1MN2" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:eBay" class="link ">eBay</a>
It looks like a mirror but this clever design hides a cabinet for all your treasures.

Luke Henley Floor Standing Jewellery Cabinet With Mirror, $, available at eBay
Rented sofas are never quite right. They're either too old and sagging in the middle, covered with mysterious stains or too small to fit more than one person – the Goldilocks of the furniture world, if you will. But who can reasonably afford or justify a new sofa in a temporary home? Comfy beanbag chairs like this are far cheaper, can be moved around the room and offer extra seating at parties.<br><br><strong>Loft 25</strong> Velvet Highback Bean Bag Chair Set, $, available at <a href="https://ebay.us/nYLAj2" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:eBay" class="link ">eBay</a>
Rented sofas are never quite right. They're either too old and sagging in the middle, covered with mysterious stains or too small to fit more than one person – the Goldilocks of the furniture world, if you will. But who can reasonably afford or justify a new sofa in a temporary home? Comfy beanbag chairs like this are far cheaper, can be moved around the room and offer extra seating at parties.

Loft 25 Velvet Highback Bean Bag Chair Set, $, available at eBay
<h2>Cosy mood lighting</h2><br>You would be surprised just how much lighting factors into your decor vibe. Many rental flats are fitted with harsh, overhead lights and with limited floor space, standing lamps are out of the question. No stress — there are plenty of space-saving alternatives like trendy mushroom lamps, rattan lanterns and minimal, exposed-bulb designs.

Cosy mood lighting


You would be surprised just how much lighting factors into your decor vibe. Many rental flats are fitted with harsh, overhead lights and with limited floor space, standing lamps are out of the question. No stress — there are plenty of space-saving alternatives like trendy mushroom lamps, rattan lanterns and minimal, exposed-bulb designs.
A <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/murano-mushroom-lamp-where-to-buy" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Murano-esque mushroom lamp" class="link ">Murano-esque mushroom lamp</a> for less than £30? We're sold.<br><br><strong>Excellentsale2</strong> Mushroom Pattern USB Charged Table Lamp, $, available at <a href="https://ebay.us/YXN8Vh" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:eBay" class="link ">eBay</a>
A Murano-esque mushroom lamp for less than £30? We're sold.

Excellentsale2 Mushroom Pattern USB Charged Table Lamp, $, available at eBay
Mood lighting doesn't need to equate to chintzy, kitsch lamps cluttering your space. Minimalists will love this exposed-bulb style with fluted ceramic base.<br><br><strong>John Lewis</strong> Ceramic Bulbholder Table Lamp, Pink, $, available at <a href="https://ebay.us/fRdUPQ" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:eBay" class="link ">eBay</a>
Mood lighting doesn't need to equate to chintzy, kitsch lamps cluttering your space. Minimalists will love this exposed-bulb style with fluted ceramic base.

John Lewis Ceramic Bulbholder Table Lamp, Pink, $, available at eBay
Add texture and an extra cosy feel to your home with this boho lamp.<br><br><strong>George Home</strong> Rattan Table Lamp, $, available at <a href="https://ebay.us/B8QyAj" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:eBay" class="link ">eBay</a>
Add texture and an extra cosy feel to your home with this boho lamp.

George Home Rattan Table Lamp, $, available at eBay
<h2>Wall art you don’t have to make holes for</h2><br>Every home has space for wall art. Either stick yours to the wall with <a href="https://ebay.us/7Px07W" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:white tack" class="link ">white tack</a> (which leaves less noticeable marks than Blu-Tack and can easily be covered with a dab of fresh paint) or get them framed and prop them up on a sideboard or shelves.

Wall art you don’t have to make holes for


Every home has space for wall art. Either stick yours to the wall with white tack (which leaves less noticeable marks than Blu-Tack and can easily be covered with a dab of fresh paint) or get them framed and prop them up on a sideboard or shelves.
Adding colour to your blank walls with art prints is one of the easiest renter hacks out there. Even better, you can curate your own <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/best-print-shops-gallery-wall" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:gallery wall" class="link ">gallery wall</a>.<br><br><strong>Designs in Mind</strong> A3 Art Print, $, available at <a href="https://ebay.us/tv74NM" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:eBay" class="link ">eBay</a>
Adding colour to your blank walls with art prints is one of the easiest renter hacks out there. Even better, you can curate your own gallery wall.

Designs in Mind A3 Art Print, $, available at eBay
If you're decorating a communal space, neutral tones are often the safest bet for picky housemates.<br><br><strong>Cai & Jo</strong> End Of Summer Leopard Wall Art Print, $, available at <a href="https://ebay.us/vZu4N3" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:eBay" class="link ">eBay</a>
If you're decorating a communal space, neutral tones are often the safest bet for picky housemates.

Cai & Jo End Of Summer Leopard Wall Art Print, $, available at eBay
For minimalists, opt for one large art print for maximum impact. <br><br><strong>JK Print</strong> Matisse Exhibition Poster Wall Art, $, available at <a href="https://ebay.us/1p0Iik" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:eBay" class="link ">eBay</a>
For minimalists, opt for one large art print for maximum impact.

JK Print Matisse Exhibition Poster Wall Art, $, available at eBay
<h2>Big rugs (to cover up ugly rental carpet)</h2><br>Many rental properties haven't seen new flooring for several years and often landlords will only replace carpets if there is a major issue underfoot, like rising damp. Instead of shelling out on a carpet cleaner, invest in a cosy rug which you can roll up and take with you to your next home.

Big rugs (to cover up ugly rental carpet)


Many rental properties haven't seen new flooring for several years and often landlords will only replace carpets if there is a major issue underfoot, like rising damp. Instead of shelling out on a carpet cleaner, invest in a cosy rug which you can roll up and take with you to your next home.
A fluffy rug adds extra cosiness to any space.<br><br><strong>RugSmart Ltd</strong> Soft, Shaggy Rug, $, available at <a href="https://ebay.us/HTH6u4" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:eBay" class="link ">eBay</a>
A fluffy rug adds extra cosiness to any space.

RugSmart Ltd Soft, Shaggy Rug, $, available at eBay
Can't decide which colour to go for? Choose them all!<br><br><strong>Vibrant India Ltd</strong> Chindi Rag Rug, $, available at <a href="https://ebay.us/yxw3vL" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:eBay" class="link ">eBay</a>
Can't decide which colour to go for? Choose them all!

Vibrant India Ltd Chindi Rag Rug, $, available at eBay
You can't go wrong with a medallion rug — these are guaranteed to always be on trend.<br><br><strong>The Rug House</strong> Terracotta Medallion Rug, 200x280cm, $, available at <a href="https://ebay.us/dlcevW" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:eBay" class="link ">eBay</a>
You can't go wrong with a medallion rug — these are guaranteed to always be on trend.

The Rug House Terracotta Medallion Rug, 200x280cm, $, available at eBay
<h2>Storage solutions you don’t mind being on show<br></h2><br>Keep the little space you have clutter-free with these smart, aesthetically pleasing storage ideas.<br><br>

Storage solutions you don’t mind being on show


Keep the little space you have clutter-free with these smart, aesthetically pleasing storage ideas.

Use for dirty laundry, books that don't fit on your bookcase, towels or to cover up an ugly plastic plant pot.<br><br><strong>Outdoor Value</strong> Woodside Seagrass Woven Wicker Basket, Pack of 2, $, available at <a href="https://ebay.us/lpw1tx" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:eBay" class="link ">eBay</a>
Use for dirty laundry, books that don't fit on your bookcase, towels or to cover up an ugly plastic plant pot.

Outdoor Value Woodside Seagrass Woven Wicker Basket, Pack of 2, $, available at eBay
An extra seat, extra footrest and extra storage that looks as great as it is functional. What more could you want?<br><br><strong>TS Domestics LTD</strong> Rattan & Velvet Pink Storage Foot Stool, $, available at <a href="https://ebay.us/rDkmJ9" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:eBay" class="link ">eBay</a>
An extra seat, extra footrest and extra storage that looks as great as it is functional. What more could you want?

TS Domestics LTD Rattan & Velvet Pink Storage Foot Stool, $, available at eBay
No space for a coffee table? Slide your coffee table books and magazines into one of these.<br><br><strong>B&M</strong> Magazine Rack, Rattan Effect, $, available at <a href="https://ebay.us/Ge2Xlx" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:eBay" class="link ">eBay</a>
No space for a coffee table? Slide your coffee table books and magazines into one of these.

B&M Magazine Rack, Rattan Effect, $, available at eBay
<h2>Cover up the sad floors and peeling paint jobs</h2><br>To keep their decorating costs down, many landlords opt for the cheapest stuff. Namely, plywood kitchen cabinets and linoleum flooring. These are easily covered up with some peel 'n' stick vinyl and tiles (if you're working with a non-textured cabinet door).

Cover up the sad floors and peeling paint jobs


To keep their decorating costs down, many landlords opt for the cheapest stuff. Namely, plywood kitchen cabinets and linoleum flooring. These are easily covered up with some peel 'n' stick vinyl and tiles (if you're working with a non-textured cabinet door).
Dream tiled floors for a fraction of the price.<br><br><strong>Kitchen Wraps</strong> Large Stars Peel & Stick Vinyl Floor Tiles, $, available at <a href="https://ebay.us/5wC4QM" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:eBay" class="link ">eBay</a>
Dream tiled floors for a fraction of the price.

Kitchen Wraps Large Stars Peel & Stick Vinyl Floor Tiles, $, available at eBay
A simple but easy change for tired kitchen counters.<br><br><strong>Dangeos Decor</strong> 67.5cm Wide D C Fix Matte Grey Vinyl Film Wrap, $, available at <a href="https://ebay.us/qN7Iwq" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:eBay" class="link ">eBay</a>
A simple but easy change for tired kitchen counters.

Dangeos Decor 67.5cm Wide D C Fix Matte Grey Vinyl Film Wrap, $, available at eBay
Goodbye, ugly kitchen worktops. Hello, cool terrazzo surfaces. <br><br><strong>Kitchen Wraps</strong> Terrazzo Grey DC Fix Self-Adhesive Vinyl Kitchen Wrap, $, available at <a href="https://ebay.us/CRG6Fn" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:eBay" class="link ">eBay</a>
Goodbye, ugly kitchen worktops. Hello, cool terrazzo surfaces.

Kitchen Wraps Terrazzo Grey DC Fix Self-Adhesive Vinyl Kitchen Wrap, $, available at eBay

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