You dreaded moving all of your stuff into that small apartment, and you thought once it was unpacked, all would be well in the world. The problems really arose when you tried to find a way to decorate. Between school, work and all of the other adult things you have to take care of, finding time to decorate somehow ended up at the bottom of your priority list.
If you’re constantly on the go and can’t seem to keep your place organized yet alone looking suave enough to have friends over, here are some home décor tips you can implement this week.
Arrange First, Buy Second
From hand-me-downs from family members to the random pieces you picked up in college, you probably have some furniture pieces already that will come in handy for your apartment. It can be hard when you’re flipping through Pinterest and see all of those amazing apartments, only wishing your wallet were three inches thicker.
Before you go out and splurge on trendy furniture, think about rearranging the furniture you have. Just by moving your bed against a different wall or positioning your desk in better lighting, you can alter the look and feel of your room dramatically.
Try these tips to maximize your room space:
• Tug furniture out from the wall a few inches. It seems counterintuitive, but it gives the illusion of a bigger space.
• Think outside the box. Instead of one bulky coffee table, try two smaller round tables. They can serve dual purposes as side tables when separated or a coffee table when together.
• Hang your curtains higher. It’s a simple change, but will make your room look much larger.
• Mount your TV to the wall to save space by not having an over-sized entertainment console.
Function First, Decoration Second
You know you need some new furniture for your apartment, and that $150 hand-stitched leather ottoman you’ve been coveting for the last month finally went on a 30% off sale. Cha-ching!... Yeah, let’s hold up right there.
Can you store your shoes or blankets in it?
If not, think twice about that purchase and any other one you’re making solely on the look of a piece. In a small apartment, you have to always be conscious of how you’re utilizing the space, including your furniture space. Purchase a sofa high enough that you can slide items under it, or a cabinet where you can stow away your wine and coffee collection.
When you find a piece with functionality and good looks, then you can swipe your card.
Paint Conquers All
Being on a budget isn’t a bad thing – think of it as an exercise in creativity. If you own a nice bookshelf of headboard made of wood, but aren’t a fan of the stain or color, an affordable can of paint can transform the look of your space by painting your furniture!
For a great score, visit your local home improvement store and check out the Oops Paint (paint that wasn’t exactly the right color) they have available. Make sure you buy enough to cover the project you’re doing because you probably won’t be able to get it to match exactly in the future!
The Vertical Challenge
In your apartment, you’re limited on floor space, but what about wall space? When you’re struggling to get in everything you need and want for decoration, start analyzing your walls to see what you can add to give your room personality.
Shelving units, framed posters and photographs, and stylish wall hooks can give your space a pop of color without taking up much room. If you need storage, look for stackable cubby units or a tall and narrow hutch you can upcycle.
Master of Illusion
There’s an ultimate truth to living in a small space you’ll have to accept: nothing you do, save for knocking out walls, will truly make your living space any bigger. But there are some magic tricks you can use to make your space feel like that dreamy penthouse you one day aspire to own:
• Paint the walls with light, neutral tones
• Throw a light-colored rug on the floor if your floor is dark
• Use mirrors to reflect light and create the feel of an open room
• Hang shelves close to the ceiling to pull the eye upward
• Throw a vertical striped accent wall up to elongate the headspace
• Create separate spaces in a room just by using different throw rugs
Simplicity is Superior
The best advice for decorating is to pick a theme and keep it simple. Whether you’re into a certain color combination or a pattern, don’t go overboard. Having too many knickknacks or colorful items in one room can be distracting. Pick one or two furniture pieces you love to pair with decorative items and limit yourself.
As you live in your space longer, you’ll figure out where the bland spots are. You can always add more in later if needed!Take some time to list out what you want your space to look and feel like. Once you have a game plan, prepare to get into work mode. If possible, enlist the help of some of your friends to assist you in creating your dream apartment!