Every room in your apartment is thoughtfully decorated—except for one. The bathroom! However, you shouldn’t let overcomplicated craft projects and DIY paint jobs keep you from sprucing up your WC. Instead, turn to these easy tips for decorating a small apartment bathroom—including some cheap and simple decor ideas. Read the rest of this entry »
Are you a Neutral Nora? An Off-White Oscar? A Beige Benjamin? Life can be drab for folks who are afraid of adding color to their décor. If your living room’s look makes you glum, don’t worry. Use these six ideas to brighten up your apartment life, lose that muted palette, and conquer your fear of color.
More on the Floor
Adding a colorful rug to a room can instantly brighten the space. Plus, if your room has wood floors that cause everything to echo, a rug can help diffuse the noise. If you’re not ready for a big rug in the center of a room, opt for a small one under a coffee table or accent chair. And remember, rugs-on-rugs are okay, so don’t let your wall-to-wall carpeting stop you from adding more to your floor.
Nix the Mellow Pillows
Cushy color? Why not? Adding vibrant throw pillows to sofas, armchairs, and beds is a great way to put a dash of plush color in your apartment. If you’re feeling really inspired, pick a pillow with a pattern.
Shine a Little Light(ing)
You need light in your apartment anyway… why not make it colorful? Accent lamps on end tables or nightstands are a small way to add personality to a room. Whether you opt for a bold base or a colorful lampshade is entirely up to you.
Be brave, dear decorator, and add audacious art to your walls! Find a favorite poster or photo that features a pop of color, and hang it up. If it’s a smaller frame, prop it up on a coffee table or bookshelf.
If you have open kitchen shelving or glass-front cabinets, make a point of showcasing your colorful kitchenware. Whether you have patterned salad bowls, a couple of bright teapots, unusual mugs, or colored glassware, put them front and center so you can admire them.
Bring May Flowers
If you don’t want to commit to colorful furniture or accents, liven up your living with a little foliage. Place some potted plants around your apartment for some green or floral décor that you can change out as frequently or infrequently as you like. Just make sure your plants get enough sunlight and water to thrive.
- Did the 60s call and ask for your shag carpeting back?
- Are your walls so white your living room looks like an artless gallery?
- Are you sitting on the oldest couch known to man, courtesy of a college dumpster diving mission?
- Is your furniture collection so sparse it looks like you’ve been robbed?
- Have your friends taken to calling your lamp-less living room “The Batcave”?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you may have fallen victim to It Doesn’t Matter I’ll Be Moving Out Eventually Anyway Syndrome. Many renters have succumbed to this unfortunate plight, feeling that since an apartment is only temporary, personalizing the whole place just isn’t worth the effort. But there is a cure. There are plenty of ways you can improve apartment life without the help of an interior designer or an expensive trip through a Swedish “furniture” maze. Roll up your sleeves and start with these guidelines, and you’ll be on your way to an updated apartment for half the price.
First things first: a DIY apartment requires a budget. Set a décor budget limit and decide which projects you want to tackle based on that number. Evaluate the things you most want to change about your apartment before beginning. Are you tired of your bare walls? Want to get rid of the old coffee table? Wish you had more color in the kitchen? Now it’s time to start getting creative. Think about where you can shop to save. Hit up local garage sales and flea markets, give rental furniture a try, and check out consignment stores to start.
If you’re not into doing a total overhaul just yet, focus on changing the little things in your apartment. Adding a dash of color here, a patterned throw pillow there, some framed art, new lighting, a couple of houseplants, or even a coat of paint on one wall can make a big difference in the way a room looks. You could start by getting a throw rug to cover up that shag carpet.
Work with What You Already Have
If you truly don’t want to go out and buy décor, spend a fraction of the cost to change the décor you already have. Get creative by thinking about what you can change with the application of just a few bucks and a little elbow grease. Start with these ideas:
- Update your worn-out dresser with a new color or a classier finish by using a little sandpaper, primer, and a coat of paint or stain.
- Put a slipcover over an unsightly couch.
- Re-upholster an old chair yourself.
- Get a new duvet cover for an instant bedroom update.
- Rearrange your furniture.
- Frame and hang posters or old records.
Use Free DIY Resources
The Internet is your best friend when it comes to DIY apartment décor. There are hundreds of sites (including, of course, the ApartmentSearch.com Apartment Life blog) that can help you take your apartment from “eh” to “excellent” with a little, bitty budget. Try these to get started:
- DIYnetwork.com – This site is home to thousands of projects for the home. The DIY Network is a channel dedicated to home improvement and landscaping, so you’ll find everything from painting tips to full-on remodeling advice here.
- Instructables.com – You can find everything from cookie recipes to cabinet remodeling on Instructables. All projects are user-submitted, and new stuff is being added all the time.
- Design*Sponge DIY Projects – Design*Sponge is a popular interior design blog that can offer apartment decorators great DIY ideas. Find lighting ideas, accent projects, and even upholstery tutorials here.
- The Design Confidential – The Design Confidential provides guides for construction projects, DIY design, décor inspiration, and more.
- ApartmentSearch Blog: Apartment Decorating – In the “apartment decorating” category of our blog, you’ll find tips for everything from living room feng shui to kitchen downsizing to patio décor.
Share Your DIY Apartment Decorating Tips
Save with Rental Furniture
There’s a lot to think about and square away when you rent an apartment: setting up utilities, changing your address and deciding just how you’re going to furnish the place. That last part can either be really fun or really stressful — if you already have furniture and decor, you’re set, but what if you don’t? Consider getting rental furniture.
You might be wondering, why wouldn’t I just buy furniture for my new place? Well, depending on your situation, getting rental furniture might just be the easiest, most convenient and most cost-effective decision.
The cost of furnishing an entire home can add up quickly. Buying a new bed, a couch and couple of chairs could set you back more than $1,000. With having to pay a deposit and first month’s rent — and possibly last month’s rent as well — up front, you may be strapped for cash once you get to the point of furnishing your home.
If You’re Temporary, Consider Renting
Another reason to consider rental furniture is if you’re not going to be staying in the apartment for very long. Whether you’re working in another country, just in town for a corporate relocation assignment or you are living somewhere temporarily for some other reason, it might not be ideal to purchase furniture to use only for a short amount of time.
Rental furniture is all about convenience. Typically, the rental furniture company will deliver your stuff, taking the hassle out of you having to rent a truck and do it yourself. This is especially convenient when you’re busy with getting your new apartment set up. Plus, it could help you save on moving expenses.
The bottom line is that rental furniture is worth checking out. Convenient, flexible and easy, it might just be the perfect way to furnish your home.