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8 Tips for Decorating Any Apartment

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Nov 8, 2020 • 3 min read

There are a lot of apartment decorating ideas out there, but how you design your living space depends on the space itself. Is this a small apartment you’re trying to open up? Or a larger room that needs more natural light? If you’re a renter, you probably won’t be able to make any major renovations but your home decor doesn’t have to be a big, permanent change. Everything from the table lamps, to the window treatments, to the wall art can affect how the space feels overall, and how you feel when you’re living in it.

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8 Apartment Decorating Tips

When it comes to designing your apartment, it’s important to know which elements work best together and will have the greatest effect on your living space. If you’re looking to enhance where you live, find some of the apartment design tips below:

  1. Make small spaces feel larger. If you live in a small apartment, consider designing with furniture pieces that have decorative, substantial, or eye-catching legs. Legs allow the eye to continue beyond the furniture’s body instead of coming to a halt at its base, which tends to happen with low-to-the ground pieces. Glass or mirrored tables can keep furniture from feeling too heavy in smaller spaces. When choosing a bed, go for one that has shorter legs or even sits on the ground to make the ceiling feel higher. Beds that are propped up on high legs can cut the room in half. While painting white walls or using other light colors can also help make a room feel larger, painting a dark color on one accent wall can have a receding effect, which can give the appearance of more depth, and in turn, make something like a small studio apartment feel bigger.
  2. Choose colors and patterns carefully. Create cohesion by sticking with similar shades or themes of colors and patterns you can trace throughout each room. For instance, the silver threading on a throw pillow works with the slate shower curtain in the bathroom, or the wood grain of your nightstand is in the same theme as the coffee table in the living room. Little patches of cohesion can make your apartment feel connected and whole, creating a cozy, relaxing space.
  3. Pick a statement piece. Having a focal point in your apartment, like a splashy area rug or sharply painted bookshelf, will draw the eye towards that area and away from any problematic ones (like an big dresser that’s bolted to the wall). Your statement piece can also be an accent wall—a bold wall color painted only on one side to focus the eye’s attention.
  4. Use smart storage. Get creative with how you utilize your storage space. Collapsible furniture, stackable or hidden storage, shelving, and pegboards can all help you keep your things out of sight and organized in a neat and aesthetically pleasing way. By diminishing the amount of clutter in your space, you can optimize your use of it and focus more on your apartment decor.
  5. Make a gallery wall. Hanging up your photos, paintings, puzzles, or other kinds of art on an empty wall can give a room interest and depth, even if there’s not a lot of space to spare. A gallery wall keeps things out of the way and on display, filling your space with color and character.
  6. Use mirrors. A good apartment interior design trick is to use mirrors. Mirrors reflect light and can open up the size of a space. Hang a mirror near a window in a dining room or small bathroom to make those rooms feel larger and brighter. Tall mirrors can make a ceiling feel higher, as well as bringing illumination to dimmer parts of the room.
  7. Modify built-ins. You may not be able to remodel certain fixtures in your apartment, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with the way they look. Use accessories or DIY coverings to hide plumbing or unsightly cables. For instance, an ornate grate can disguise an old wall heater, or a decorative framed photo can hide a defunct outlet.
  8. Use an area rug to divide the space. If you live in a small apartment with an open floor plan, use an area rug to define the separate spaces of your room. The rug by your couch is the area where social activity takes place—or the rug by your bed designates the boundaries of your bedroom. You can set up dividers if you want more clearly delineated spaces, however, an area rug is a simpler way to define your spaces.

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