Personalizing your apartment and making it feel like home can be difficult, since there is typically limited space in an apartment, and because landlords usually don’t permit alterations to the structure of the space. It can be tough for a stylish tenant to create a trendy look and add apartment decor when they don’t have the ability to paint, install their own fixtures, or alter the look of the property.
If you are a style addict living in a plain Jane apartment, take heart and know that there are plenty of creative tactics that will allow you to personalize your space. You’ll need to get creative, but if you want style to be alive and well in your dwelling, the following guide can help you take your apartment from tiny to trendy, in no time at all.
Whimsical Window Treatments
Even though the apartment may be tiny, most apartments have a few windows in each room. Take advantage of the natural light and create window treatments that let the sun shine in. Natural light has the powerful ability to calm the mind and senses. It also brightens a room, so keep the lights off and save extra on the light bill!
For a majestic look, place the curtain rod a few inches above the actual window. Hang long, draping curtains that gather and sweep the floor. The length of the fabric makes a room appear taller for a really cool floor-to-ceiling look.
Another fun idea would be to use a curved shower curtain rod in place of the standard curtain rod. Hang beautiful curtains and create a balloon drapery. If you want to add an extra element of style, find drapes and throw pillows in matching patterns or coordinating colors, to bring the whole room together.
Go Color Crazy
If the landlord doesn’t allow paint on the wall, have no fear! There are ways around that. One of the best ways to make a statement is with bold furniture hues. As long as it is personal property, it is fair game.
For those who are looking to keep some extra dollars in the pocket, visit the local thrift store and score large pieces of vintage used furniture at a fraction of normal retail price. Whether you find a dresser, vanity, entertainment center, or coffee table, you can quickly turn it into a stylish piece by reupholstering or adding with a splash of color.
If the furniture is made out of wood, be sure to sand it down with an electric sander. Once smoothed down, add a good coat of primer and get ready to paint. Because it is a personal statement piece, go big with bright or bold colors. A cool shade of mint green or a sassy pop of cobalt blue will add an edge to any area of the apartment.
After painting, add a coat of high gloss to give the furniture a look that is both finished and polished. Head to the local home decor store and pick up a few ornate handles or knobs for the dresser. This will surely be a piece that adds a “wow factor” to any room.
Accentuate with Accessories
Although you can’t remodel the kitchen, tear down walls, or paint the cabinets, you can add plenty of personality around the apartment with ornate details. If the couch is a simple, plain couch, add a few throw pillows in bold colors to liven up the room a bit.
With your landlord’s permission, remove the switch plates for the lights in each room. Replace them with decorative ones from any vintage home or specialty store. Picture frames dipped in gold glitter can add a pop of glamour to a boring hallway.
Although these are tiny details, these are often the only areas where you have control over look and feel of your apartment. Take advantage of your freedom, and add accent colors, ornate accessories, and unique wall pieces that will inject some serious style into your tiny space.
When dealing with a small apartment, it is important to have items that serve dual purposes. In the living room, include ottomans or poufs that can also double as storage. Coffee tables that can convert into tray tables and/or storage are also popular.
For those who love bookshelves, consider opting for floating shelves. Floating shelves are stylish and take up much less space since they are attached to the walls. When a renter is trying to create more space, the key is to think vertical. Stack things as high as possible, but still allow items to still be comfortably accessible when they are needed.
Storage is necessary in a small apartment, but no one ever said that you’re restricted to using clear plastic bins. Find stylish boxes, repaint an old filing cabinet, or use stylish mason jars for bathroom storage. Get creative with your storage solutions, and they will double as stylish apartment décor.
In addition to applying fun paint colors, a great way to liven up the walls is through hanging artwork and pictures. When most people think of artwork, they immediately assume big bucks are part of the equation. It’s actually quite the opposite. Almost anything looks good in a frame.
Picture frames can be easily found for really great prices at most thrift and dollar stores. If the frame is in good condition, but looks a little drab, throw on a nice coat of paint.
When deciding what kind of art to put in the frame, the sky is the limit. Collect maps, old newspapers or magazines and create collages. Find different quotes online to blow up and print at the local print shop. Pick a color scheme, purchase paints and create some abstract art to frame on the walls.
A nice gallery wall will not only create a point of interest in the home, but it will serve as a major display of personality. Plus, the gallery can be taken down when you move, so your landlord won’t have an issue with it.
Bold prints and patterns are always exciting, and instantly project a sense of style in any room. Large area rugs can be found at many different stores at a variety of different price points. Persian rugs are a popular classic to add to a den, office space or living room.
Small absorbent rugs in furry fabrics are great for any bathroom. Additionally, large cushion rugs are great for standing over the stove to cook or while washing dishes at the sink. When a renter is looking for a solid way to pull a room together, a rug is an instant solution to a boring décor issue.
If you feel like your style and personality are being stifled by the boring layout of your apartment, try some of the tactics above, and let freedom ring! By choosing accent colors for window treatments and DIY painted furniture, you can overpower the plain walls in your apartment.
With unique wall hangings, stylish storage, and chic rugs, you can personalize the area without changing the original structure of the space. Try any of these ideas, and watch as your apartment transforms from tiny and boring, to trendy and customized– and enjoy coming home to a seriously stylish abode every day.
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Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves to write for fashion, women’s interests, and the home niches. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. Dixie got advice for this article from professionals at The Store, who offer unique apartment and home décor items online.