You don’t need to be a professional to set up your apartment in a pleasing and comfortable way. But there is a bit more to design than just unpacking your boxes and getting a couch. Follow these basic interior design tips to create a space that says you.
Work with it, not against it
Your apartment may not be the dream digs you imagined you’d be living in, but don’t fight the place, work with it. Strategically hide parts you don’t like with screens, curtains or art, while playing up things you do – big windows or an open floor plan. Don’t underestimate the effect a few bright new pieces can bring to a room. If the tile in your bathroom leaves much to be desired new rugs and towels will go a long way to freshening it up. If you are looking to books and magazines for inspiration, remember to be realistic about that fabulous bed or chair—what’s it going to look like in your space? Before going shopping, draw a plan of your rooms, including measurements. This ensures you will only buy pieces that fit in your space and you can maintain proper flow throughout the apartment.
Consider your coloring
Color is very important in any space, setting the mood as well as your decorating plan. Your apartment most likely has white walls, but that doesn’t mean you are stuck with no color. From curtains to couches, pillows and rugs, there’s plenty of ways to insert colors into every room. Have your color palate in mind when shopping so you choose coordinating hues that communicate the vibe you are seeking in each room. For example, greens and blues are soothing and relaxing, while reds and yellows give off a more energetic feeling. The color you choose combined with your choice of furnishings will not only dictate the look of the room but also the feel.
Dress it up
Work with what you already own – especially when it comes to decorating. Accessories are the key to pulling a room together and putting your own personal stamp on it. Use photos, mementoes from travels and collections throughout your rooms to give it a personalized look. Plus, you already have these items—no budget needed. Be sure not to clutter though; small spaces can easily get overwhelmed with stuff and you want to accessorize the room, not overcome it with needless chaos. Plants are an inexpensive way to bring life to your rooms and the pots offer the opportunity for a little creative color injection.
Know your budget going into your decorating and the items that are really important to you. Splurge on those, while economizing on things that aren’t so important. When investing in important pieces, go for quality items that will last a long time. Be wary of going too trendy when it comes to furniture or other big budget items; you’ll probably want to hang on to those pieces for a while and don’t want to be stuck with something no longer to your tastes. And finally, don’t rush it. Have fun and take your time, looking for the perfect furnishings, lighting, colors and fabrics to make your apartment a home.