Let’s say you just moved into your first apartment…it’s not quite everything you hoped it would be, huh? Unfortunately we can’t all have the fat paycheck to support the fabulous apartments we see on The Hills, but with these easy and inexpensive tips you’re a step closer to a transforming your apartment!
Don’t be afraid of color! Too many people stick with a neutral palette of tans, blacks and whites and even accessorize with those bland colors in mind. Be bold! While you should keep to a neutral palette with wall colors and furniture, don’t shy away from vivid accessories. Strong shades of blue, like aqua or turquoise, as well as bright red, work especially well in small spaces. The pop of color can come from vases, frames, rugs, lamps, pillows and throws. If you’re feeling extra bold, bring in an eye-catching piece of furniture, like a chandelier, coffee table or chair that brings the room together in terms of using color. The best source of vibrant color, though, is a bouquet of fresh flowers. You can mix and match your favorite flowers for a natural burst of color.
Dress up the couch! This is the easiest update you can do to transform your apartment from drab to fab. Everyone who comes to your apartment sees the living area, so you have to play it up. Sticking with your fun color scheme, shop for decorative throw pillows to layer on the couch. To create a unique vibe, you should choose ones with varying patterns and textures. Using different textures doesn’t have to be too wild– it can simply mean one pillow has stripes, one has a zigzag pattern and another has a tribal pattern. You can also create variety by using different fabrics, like cotton, linen, silk, etc. These three-dimensional pillows are great layering tools. You can really show off your personality with this update because there are millions of colors and patterns to choose from in a throw pillow. Don’t forget to find a blanket that fits the look you are going for. Fur throws are very popular and can be displayed over the arm of the couch or on the corner of the ottoman. Take the same idea into account when accessorizing your bed!
Create a unique collage! Another way to create a much more personalized feel to your apartment is to create an art or photo collage. You can choose canvas paintings of all shapes, sizes and colors and piece them together like a puzzle. You can do the same thing with photographs, by either buying them from a store or doing it yourself. Black and whites photos look best because they create uniformity, which is necessary if you want to go outside the box and mix and match fun frames. Don’t worry–you don’t have to be super creative or artistic! DIY by taking photos of things you encounter in your life and travels. Frame and hang them, and you’ll have a personal account of things you love for family and friends to see. This idea can draw positive focus to a once blank wall, so make sure to situate the collage behind a couch or desk–somewhere that needs a little burst of excitement. This pairing of furniture and collage will compliment each other and will make your space feel less dull.
Refurnish old furniture! Whether your in college or just got your first post-college apartment, many of us get stuck with used and sometimes outdated furniture. Luckily you have a choice to revive your old pieces. If you have an old beat up couch or armchair, all you have to do is buy a slipcover! On the same note, wooden chairs look updated simply by adding seat cushions. Now comes the DIY work. That end table that you shoved in the corner and that dresser that you can’t bear to look at anymore can be painted to look brand new. Spray paint works fine on most pieces and comes in tons of colors from the standard black and white, to brights and metallics. Metallic silver or gold would look great on smaller pieces that need some serious attention. Although this takes a chunk of time, you will be so glad to have done it. Plus the price tag on refurnishing is much smaller than purchasing a brand new piece!
Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! This is probably one of the most fun parts about decorating, although it can be time consuming. Just like the idea behind creating a photo collage, you can really bring in your own personality and elements into your apartment with accessories. Start by buying a few accessories that you love to keep your apartment from looking empty. Then, in your travels, whether just shopping around or traveling the world, pick up some pieces that catch your eye, so you can slowly build a collection that represents you and your style. Key accessories that can take your apartment from dull to totally fashionable are giant mirrors, chandeliers, candles and vases. Giant mirrors add instant glam, especially with a vintage metallic frame. Draw attention above your bed or dining table with an ornate chandelier. If you aren’t into the sparkly chandeliers, a shiny, black one will definitely make a statement. Place groups of candles and vases throughout the apartment to add a touch of décor. Decorative storage bins can be used not only as an accessory, but as one with purpose. The colorful, fabric covered boxes can store away extra clutter like DVD’s and magazines, to keep the design flowing through your room.