Read this when you feel like you can't decorate your apartment


Something  I get asked frequently or told  is "I can't really decorate right now I'm living in an apartment."  But I say so what?

An apartment is still a home. Right? Yes, I get it - you don't really own the building. But you do actually live there. So it's still your home no matter if it's the forever home you dream of or the temporary apartment.

No matter what the building - the environment we live in effects how we feel. Therefore, no matter how long or short our time we live in the location our time in it needs to make us happy. For the home to make us happy it needs to be pretty and function well even if it's an apartment. 

 I'm going to say to you, so what, so what if you're stuck with whatever it is they gave you to work with. If you bought a new house, and you're on a budget, and you can't necessarily replace everything, and you're kind of in the same boat.
Sometimes we just have to work with what we have. This can create a bit of a challenge for many of us. So what I say to you is - say, challenge accepted, and then make it your own! I want you to think about how you can decorate your apartment with intention. What do I mean exactly that? When we talk about intention, it means, basically, to create a plan.

Be intentional when you decorate your apartment

If we don't make a plan, if we don't have ideas organized where we are intentionally going out and purchasing, and we're randomly trying to put things in the room, well, then we can end up with a bunch of stuff. And that stuff sometimes can just turn to clutter. And the clutter is what's going to make us unhappy. What we don't want is a house full of unintentional clutter that's causing us stress.

This way with prior planning, when you're out shopping, you to do it with more intention, and more of a plan. A plan that really works! No matter what kind of room you're decorating.

What can happen without a plan is we buy,  buy, buy,  and then we end up buying products that just don't work in our space? This causes us to end up on the buying and returning roller coaster where we're buying stuff only to have to say, Oh, well, that doesn't look as good at home as I thought I did in the store. Now I have to take it back and get my money back.
You've wasted time, and you've wasted your money because of the buying and returning and you're still not happy with your space.

Things to consider before you shop:

  • What do you like

  • What you don't like

  • What is your decor style

  • What pieces are your must-haves

I even do this, because even I can get easily distracted by all the pretty things. But if I have done my homework I know what I see and if it will even fit my house. I can ask myself. Does fit my style it. I like it. It's pretty, but is it me? Does it fit my home decor? If not I know just to turn around and walk away and keep looking. Because whatever it is this got my attention and distracted me is not what I need for my house. 

When you know your decor style, and you're out shopping for these things, you know exactly what you're looking for. And when you see these things you can kind of look over in your head and go, is this really something that's going to work for me? Or do I just need to pass this item by?

Space plan when you decorate your apartment

 I want you to think about making a plan before you decorate your apartment in advance. This is important when you're living in an apartment because apartment spaces can sometimes be smaller. Measure out your space, you have to work within.

If you're going out shopping for furniture, you may have to think small because apartments don't necessarily fit the oversized, big fluffy, overstuffed furniture, you're going to have to think a little smaller. Consider your needs for each room with the intention of how does this room need to work for me?

Ask yourself:
What do I need?
What are my necessities?
What are the pieces that will get the most use?

Items such as your sofas, beds, and chairs,  will take up more of the budget but you can save on items like accessories and window treatments. 

When I say shop with the intention. I don't want you to think okay, I'm shopping with intention, because I'm moving into this house. And I'm going to live here now. And then who knows how long I'll be here. I'll just move to another apartment, you know, and a couple of years. So I don't know whether what I'm going to buy is going to work in the next place that I'll move to or not. When you fall into this category, I want you to stop and think about keeping those big, major pieces of furniture more neutral in color. This way these pieces are not just temporary.

They can be used in new spaces you move into.  If you are worried about if the color will work use colors that are more versatile such as using your grays, khakis, taupe, creams, it can be black or brown as they are still neutral colors. These neutral colors are typically going to work about anywhere with whatever you put them with as far as a wall color. If you move in two or three years and you're in a different apartment, then you're going to want to work something that's going to work with what you have. Yeah, you may have to change a few things when you get there. But it's much easier and affordable to change out throw pillows on a sofa, then it needs to replace the whole entire sofa and have to start all over from scratch.

If you plan to purchase a new home, consider it when you buy the sofa, is this sofa, something I will be able to use in a future home, not just in the here and the now. Make sure you get your needs fulfilled as far as considering what the room actually needs. You know, if you need a reading area, you definitely want to make sure you're getting everything you need for it and not leaving out if you're a person who likes to read. 

Don't' forget you can also choose a statement piece. Now, what exactly do I mean by that? Yes, this could be like a piece of artwork, but it also could be a piece of furniture, it could be a finish.

You may be stuck with the basics as far as stuck with whatever apartment finishes you've moved into a new place, and maybe you're not crazy about the finishes there, you may be stuck with that stuff. But you don't have to be stuck with furniture, just any old thing. I mean, the walls may make your skin crawl, but you don't have to have furniture that makes you feel this way your furniture can still be fabulous. 

Decorate your apartment with flooring

The other thing you may feel stuck with is flooring. And if you know me then you know I also sale flooring and I see this often.  Homeowners who are renting homes and apartmenst replace a lot of of flooring frequently. So they don't put a lot of money into it. Don't feel bummed out because you have moved into the home with the neutral beige carpeting, and it's not beautiful, no wow factor there.

But the good news is a  lot of these homeowners and apartment complexes are now going with better flooring options such as LVT and LVP that are going to give you a better look and easier to care for.
An option to make it better is to use an area rug. Area rugs can come in all kinds of sizes. Most of your local floor coverings stores will actually make you a rug. If you're thinking I don't really want to spend a ton of money on this, I just want to cover it up to make it look a little bit better.

I would recommend you check with your local floor coverings store and ask them if they can use a remnant piece of carpet and bind the edges for you and use it as an area rug (this typically costs less than most area rugs).  Adding an area rug with a pop of color is always going to help the space it will help you add more color and more pizzazz to the room and more solid personality. And when we add the color when we have the pattern. We're also adding in a little bit of ourselves, we're adding in our own style. This is also something you would be able to take with you if you ever decided to move.

Rugs also make the room a little cozier, when you layer them you might even get a get a sophisticated look when you try layering up your rugs.

Dress up your windows when you decorate your apartment

Most apartments have blinds and I know you can't necessarily drill holes into your walls for window treatments. At least not if you ever want your security deposit back. You don't want to do that. I would encourage you to get creative with what you can do with your window treatments. There are a lot of retention rods you can use to DIY, homemade window treatments you can use.

I did a show house one time. Where there was almost no budget and the house was going to be torn down when we finished with the project. And we had to use DIY fabric that was donated. We didn't have a sewing machine. We literally stapled the curtains and thousands of people came through the showcase house had no clue there were staples in those window treatments. They looked absolutely beautiful. So there are all kinds of ways that you can create some DIY that way.

Decorate your apartment with color

I know you can't necessarily paint your walls, you're stuck with whatever a lot of times in an apartment that you know, you're just stuck with what you have. So if you don't get that pleasure, then you may want to paint your furniture, you may want to consider adding color to the furniture since you can't necessarily paint the walls.

Another thing you can do if you get the opportunity to do that uses those same colors and repeat those over onto your accessories and then over onto your linens for your bed. Because that way, you're going to kind of just pull everything together. That way when your colors.

Expand the space when you decorate

If you find yourself in a small apartment, or you have a bedroom that's small I would encourage you to add mirrors, mirrors are going to add more light reflection. And they're going to open this space up and it's going to make it feel bigger and better. And anytime that we're in a bigger, more airy feeling room, we're typically going to feel a little bit more comfortable.

Personalize when you decorate your apartment

And lastly, we definitely want to personalize it as much as possible when you decorate your apartment. Again, I know when you're in an apartment, it can be hard because you can't necessarily change everything there. However, you can bring the things you and your family love into the house. Think about your hobbies, think about the things that you love to do and enjoy doing.

Because no matter how long you're going to be there in that situation or in that apartment or in that rental, this is something that you can take with you to your next home. I love to use it use things like I have pictures from my honeymoon in my bedroom. I have charactures of my kids in the hallway from a trip. I have accessories around the house about my doodles, my dogs. Anything that personalizes your space, it could be your faith, it could be your favorite football team or hobby. It could be something that your kids like and enjoy or do. The more you can personalize your space, the more it's going to feel like you and the more you feel like you and you're surrounded by the things that make you happy and the happier you're going to be.

If you are in need of help decorating your apartment and chosing pieces that will be with you for the next move I have services that can help. Go here to see which service would work best for you and your home.