Moving into a new place can be a bit stressful, but it’s also exciting! It’s an excuse to buy some new furniture. It’s a chance to organize and arrange your belongings exactly how you like. It’s a way to express yourself in your own style and manner.

There are lots of design styles to choose from. There are also some rules to keep in mind that can make apartment decorating a whole lot easier.

Whether you’re a minimalist, a traditionalist, or want a rustic farmhouse vibe, specific decorating truths still hold. Here are five crucial tips to mind when decorating a new apartment.

1. Make Smart Color Choices

If you’ve ever walked down the paint aisle at Lowe’s, you’ve seen the endless array of color swatches and paint chips in every shade imaginable. The options are overwhelming, but there are a few ways to home in on a color palette without driving yourself insane. Once you’ve chosen your paint, you just need to hire a Surrey painting service or similar service in your area to get the job done.

Keep It Minimal

If your apartment decorating goal is to create a minimalist, modern, or Scandinavian look, stick with neutral tones. Shades of white, gray, brown, and beige never go out of style. Plus, they allow you the flexibility to pop in other colors when and how you see fit.

Go Dark

Want to give your apartment a dramatic, elegant, moody look? Darker paint colors, such as dark grays and dark blues, can create some serious ambiance. You must ensure you have the proper lighting first, so your home doesn’t look like a cave.

Get Playful

Looking for ways to make your apartment bright, cheerful, or playful? Bold and bright colors can turn any room into a lively living space, but it’s best to use them sparingly. Bright tones can make a room look juvenile if they’re overused.

No Paint, No Problem

Many renters in many apartment buildings don’t have the option to paint. If your landlord doesn’t let you paint, you can add color to your walls with tapestries or peelable wallpaper instead.

2. Create A Lighting Concept

When designing and decorating an apartment, pay special attention to lighting. Every room should have two different light sources so that you can create two different moods.

Use table lamps and wall sconces to provide dim light when you’re looking to set a soft, ambient mood. Pull back your curtains and use natural lighting to make your place feel open, airy, more spacious, and more stimulating.

If your apartment is small, opt for uplighting, such as floor lamps or wall fixtures that point upward. This is a simple trick that designers use to make a small place feel larger.

Want your apartment to have a warmer, cozier feel? Table lamps that illuminate downward are the perfect way to make a room feel warm and comfy.

3. Pay Attention To The Floors

Whether you have wall-to-wall carpeting or gorgeous hardwood floors, make sure you give them the attention they deserve.

Add area rugs in key spots throughout your apartment. This includes beneath your coffee table, beneath your dining table, under your bed, and in your entryway.

Area rugs are a superb way to add color, pattern, and texture to a room. Just be sure to buy the right size rug for each room. A generously-sized rug can actually make a small room look bigger, while a smaller rug can break up the floor space and make a room feel more petite in size and scope.

4. Be Conscious Of How Much Space You Have

Be realistic about how much space you have to work with. You’ll want to maximize space in a small rental and use design tricks to make your place look more extensive. In an ample room, you’ll want to play up the fact that it’s big by opting for larger pieces.

Cozy Spaces

If your apartment is on the tiny side, make use of vertical space as much as possible. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and floating wall shelves will draw the eye upward and make a room feel bigger.

Choose double-duty furniture, such as end tables or ottomans that offer hidden storage compartments, to maximize space.

The smaller your apartment is, the more critical it is to declutter regularly. The less “stuff” you keep, the more organized your apartment will be and the bigger it will look and feel.

Larger Areas

When decorating a large space, make sure you buy furniture that’s sized appropriately. An oversized couch, a massive accent chair in the corner, or a huge piece of art on the wall can help to make a big room look even larger.

5. Add Personal Touches

Apartments don’t allow for a ton of customization, so it’s crucial to add personal touches wherever you can.

Do so by:

  • Adding fun artwork to the walls.
  • Throwing in colorful rugs, textured curtains, and throw pillows.
  • Changing out cabinet knobs and light fixtures.

There are many ways to customize even the most standard items in your rental unit. The switch plates on your light switches and the towel bars in your bathroom are just two of the many small things you can tweak.

Just be sure to keep the original items and change them back when you move out to get your security deposit back.

Most importantly, don’t allow yourself to feel restricted or limited to design styles because of the look or layout of your apartment. You can make even a stark white studio apartment look rustic or modern. It’s all about how you style it!


When decorating a new apartment, pay special attention to the colors you choose. Be thoughtful when buying lighting fixtures and area rugs for your floors. Play up the size of a large room with large items or make a smaller space look bigger using vertical space.

And, no matter what your style is, add personal touches wherever you can!

With these design tips in mind, you can make your apartment look like a unique space, even if it’s precisely the same as every other unit in the building.

Author Bio

Adam MarshallAdam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Grove Slippery Rock to help them with their online marketing.

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