Living in an apartment can feel less like a home and more like sleeping in a cheap hotel. After personally living in an apartment for the last 12 years I realize the struggles and restrictions you may have when decorating your place. When considering how to decorate an apartment you may be restricted floor space, rules on what your allowed to do, and the fact that you probably won’t be living there for the next 10 years.
Your apartment should be your sanctuary. A place to relax and let go of the daily stresses we all endure. Lend these simple decorating techniques and ideas to help you have the home you want and deserve.
Apartment Decorating Tips
Start with the Simple Things
Put up some curtains to cover those standard venetian blinds. Curtains can give a room some character. The standard venetian blinds in an apartment do a poor job of blocking out the sun. If you’re anything like me you will want it dark when you sleep or the ability to block out that annoying parking lot lamp. You may also want to consider putting up a curtain on a wall without a window. It can create the sense of depth. Wanna get real crazy? Put a mirror behind that curtain that is directly across from a window in your place.
Mirrors can create depth and space in a tiny place. Usually we can’t paint the walls in our apartment which can help create depth and a spacious feel. The next best thing is the strategic placement of some mirrors. You should try and place a mirror where it will reflect a doorway or a window. This help create the false allusion of another room or view of the outside giving a more open feeling.
Lighting can lift your spirit. Ever notice how you tend to be in a better mood on a sunny day? You can experience the same effect in an apartment with lighting. Buy some lamps to provide ample lighting in your place so it doesn’t feel like a dungeon.
Add a bowl of fresh fruit and some live plants. Plants and fruit add color to a room not to mention help keep a small apartment smelling good.
Throw some painting ups and picture frames. I always enjoy having lots of picture frames in my place. When I don’t see my family that often, it’s nice to have things that remind me of them. A family makes a home.
A dressing screen isn’t just for changing. Dressing screens are great for breaking up rooms especially in a studio. Add some personal character of your own. Purchase a dressing screen with some plain canvas on it and paint the canvas. If your not the artist of the family, you can find a lot of nice preprinted or designed screens.
Put out some books and magazines. One thing that makes an apartment feel more like a home are some signs that someone actually lives there. Put out some books or magazines on your coffee table.
Throw down a rug. Rugs not only can warm up an apartment with wood or tile flooring, but they can create depth. Rugs with long lines or designs create visual depth. You can find some reasonable prices online for rugs.
Tips When Purchasing Furniture
Furniture should be functional and fit your space. Odds are that you won’t be entertaining huge parties at your apartment so purchase furniture that is functional and fits the room. Most apartments are very square and boxy. Adding some furniture with curves can help to break up the box feeling. Purchase a round coffee table, rug, or dining table to help.
A lovesac is as good as it sounds. If you aren’t familiar with the lovesac furniture line you should check out their website. There a huge step up from your traditional bean bag. They’re oversized and stuffed with memory foam. Simply put, they are the most comfortable pieces of furniture I have ever sat on. If you have any pets you may have to fight them for the space.
Use glass tables to keep a room feeling open. The more things you cram into an apartment will make it feel like the walls are closing in. Glass dinner tables or coffee tables are great. They serve there functional purpose and also help create a more spacious feeling.
Purchase a bed frame or a headboard. Most of the time people simply use the metal frame under the bed when apartment living. Purchasing a simple headboard, even if it’s a cheap one like you see in a hotel, can create an appealing look.
Where to Shop When Decorating an Apartment
Shopping to decorate apartment is different than for a house. Our stay in an apartment is usually temporary, no more than a few years. As a result you want things that are less expensive and can be moved easily. If you move apartments every year you don’t want to have to carry a $10,000 dining hutch from place to place. Consider some of the following stores when decorating an apartment.
World Market is my favorite. You could virtually outfit an entire apartment at a World Market store. They have everything ranging from furniture to plants, paintings, and other accents to give your place some character. A lot of the products in the store have a rustic farmhouse feeling which can help a lot in a modern apartment. They also have dressing screens that we discussed earlier.
Target is great for the simple things. Although I think the quality of Target products aren’t always the best quality it beats Ikea. I usually pick up the simple items like bedding, picture frames, dishes, and garbage cans at Target. You can also find some very reasonable mirrors and lamps at Target.
Craigslist has everything. I purchased a $5,000 sectional couch that was a year old off Craigslist for $600. The trick is to search the wealthier neighborhoods on Craigslist. Lots of the time you will find people who are simply redecorating a room and want to get rid of furniture that was barely used.
Flea markets can have some hidden decorating gems. When most people think of a flea market they think of junk, but one mans junk is another mans treasure. You would be surprised about the unique accent pieces you can find at a flea market for decorating. If your shopping on a budget, flea markets are great.
Follow these decorating tips when moving into your new apartment and you will create a personal sanctuary that your happy to call home. Implementing just a few of these decorating ideas will make a huge difference. Feel free to share any ideas or stores that you enjoy.