While decorating an apartment can be challenging, it’s not impossible. Apartments are typically considered temporary, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put in the effort to make it a place you’re proud to call home. Whether you’re new to apartment living, or a pro, here are 10 helpful tips to make decorating your apartment easier and enjoyable.
1. Paint! This is often a tough one for apartment dwellers. In most cases, landlords frown upon putting paint on the wall–many even threatening to keep your security deposit. While you may hate to lose the money, painting is a risk worth taking. Paint is an easy way to breathe life into the space, all the while expressing your personality and style. If your landlord is forgiving, perhaps he or she could give you a quart of the original paint so you can return it to how it was before you move out.
If you aren’t willing to take the risk, consider creating a feature wall with fabric. Fabric on walls is just as easy to put up as it is to take down (it’s the less-stress version of wallpaper). If that’s still too much for you, create some oversized fabric panels to hang side-by-side.
2. Hang proper window treatments. Skip the cheap panels and opt for something a bit more sophisticated and grown up. Simply hanging nice window treatments can make a world of difference. If possible, invest in something that you’ll be able to take with you if you move.
3. Add trim for details. While it may seem like a small thing, decorative trim can really make a big impact. Not only is it pleasing to the eye, it also adds a touch of character to plain pieces. It doesn’t matter if you sew it on or opt for patterned tape trim, a little detail goes a long way.
4. Keep it neutral. To some, a neutral palette may seem boring, but it’s anything but! A neutral color palette sets the stage for pops of color to really shine. Plus, it makes it easy to change colorful accents out on a whim. If you prefer monochromatic all around, mix up your neutrals by focusing on a variety of patterns and textures to keep it from looking stale.
5. Add style underfoot. Area rugs add a layer of style to your place as well as a layer of protection to your floors. They are also great at helping to define a space, which is something you generally need to do in open apartment floorplans.
6. Reupholster something. Don’t pitch those hand-me-down chairs just yet! Instead, give them new life with some new fabric and stuffing. Reupholstering a piece of furniture is certainly an investment, but one that’s well worth it.
7. Avoid bare walls. Hanging wall art doesn’t require much effort, so be sure to give them some focus. Blow up personal photos for framing, find some cool prints and paintings from estate sales and thrift stores, or get creative and make your own. Just don’t neglect your walls.
8. Bring in curves. Adding in round tables or sofas with curved arms can help soften that strong, boxy look most apartments have.
9. Update the lighting. You may not be able to do this in your apartment, but if the landlord lets you, by all means, go for it. Simply changing the light fixture over the dining table or in the bathroom can easily transform the area.
10. Invest in good linens. After a long, hard day of work, the bedroom should serve as a relaxing retreat. Skimp in other areas (if you must) to make sure you a good mattress and nice linens to come home to–both, will make all the difference in the world.