If you’ve completed Rent.com’s “What Is Your Apartment Decorating Style?” quiz, you’ll know you’re style personality: Sleek Chic, Perfectly Posh, Eclectic Edge or American Classic. Here are my tips on how to translate your personal style into your apartment decor:
Minimalist apartment decor doesn’t have to be sterile or cold. Choose a single neutral palette (e.g. white, gray, taupe) to unify your entire apartment. This will also make the entire space feel more expansive. Then, using accessories, add a single color accent to each room. In the kitchen, pile bright lemons in a sleek bowl, and invest in a modern yellow espresso machine for your countertop (check out FrancisFrancis and DeLonghi). Add pop to your living room with fresh-cut red Gerbera daisies on an end table or bookcase and a red lacquer tray accent on the coffee table. Tones of tranquility work wonders in the bedroom: toss a lush teal mohair throw (Serena & Lily has the yummiest options) on your bed and opt for aqua-hued lamps or an abstract ocean-inspired print on the wall. In the bathroom, consider white towels with orange edging and a white lacquer toothbrush holder finished with a single orange toothbrush.
Channel your inherent love of all things fashionable to create easy-yet-elegant artwork. Visit a used bookstore or the sale stacks and hunt for a fashion-themed coffee table book with full-page images you love. I suggest Avedon Fashion: 1944–2000, W: The First 40 Years, and Kate Moss by Mario Testino. Choose at least 4–6 of your favorite images with a similar theme, color or style. Carefully cut the pages out of the book using an X-Acto knife (no tearing!) and place in matching frames with large mats to create a luxe, gallery-like look. Hang in a uniform grid pattern to instantly create striking wall art. This bold style statement will look like an upscale art installation and will reflect your affinity for the finer things in life.
Work your quirk while making your small space look and feel more open and airy by incorporating clear furniture. I have used this trick in nearly every NYC apartment I’ve rented. An acrylic console table won’t overpower your entryway. A glass-top coffee table or side table gives your living room the illusion of being bigger. Clear barstools or dining chairs won’t weigh down the corner or hallway that you call your “dining room.” Plus, clear goes with everything from a Persian rug to an ikat bedspread to a vintage Eames couch.
Scour vintage, thrift, craft, Army-Navy stores or flea markets for classic red and navy blue bandanas and/or worn-in blue jeans. The goal: patchwork pillow covers with a Ralph Lauren-inspired Americana madras effect. Cut fabric into squares and sew together if you’re crafty, or simply take to a local tailor to create the covers. You can also use cotton duck canvas or denim as backing for the pillow. Use as accents on your couch, bed or chair.
Do you have any favorite apartment decor tips? Share them with me in the comments!