TIP #1: GO FOR BIG IMPACT...
1. Paint. Do not underestimate the power of paint. Whether you paint one wall or your entire apartment, color can change everything. One of my favorite ideas is chalkboard/magnetic paint. Not only can you draw on your wall, but you can also hang photos, posters or anything your heart desires with magnets. The following image is from Canadian House and Home.
2. Wall Decals. They are an inexpensive way to add character to your space. There are thousands of options out there, so you can be sure you'll find something that fits your taste. I love this headboard decal from Blik.
3. Get your workspace in order. My friend Lizzie Garrett over at Design Watcher made a giant pegboard wall that I absolutely adore. Check out her project by clicking here.
TIP #2: DO IT YOURSELF...
There are an endless number of DIY projects out on the web. Some of my favorites I've found on Design*Sponge (Wallpaper File Cabinet), Apartment Therapy (Bubble Chandelier), and CasaSugar (Reupholstered Chair).
Tip #3: IKEA...
You're probably thinking this is the worst tip ever because either: A. It seems obvious or B. You hate walking into a home and being able to immediately identify Ikea furniture. But, luckily, there are solutions to both of these points.
1. Ikea Hacker. This is a blog dedicated to using Ikea in a creative way. Some of the postings on the site are irrelevant, but you'll find some great ideas if you spend time going through it. Here is a fun idea for a small apartment that I found on the site.
2. Don't be a clone. Paintable wood Ikea furniture is a great solution. Apartment Therapy put together this great image with a roundup of options. Also, check out what Aubrey + Lindsay did with an Ikea Rast chest of drawers.