Decorating a New Apartment

Moving into a new apartment is exciting. You get to start fresh, buy new furniture, and create your own space.

However, the same thrill that drives you to the stores and search engines can also be your downfall. After all, it’s easy to fill your apartment with clutter out of excitement.

But if you keep a solid head on your shoulders, you can avoid being sucked into the black hole of apartment shopping. Follow these decorating tips to avoid creating a mess that you’ll only have to clean up later.

1. Make a Budget and Stick to it

The biggest mistake you can make is to go into debt decorating your new place.

You may want everything on your list right now, but you should only buy what you can afford to pay for in cash.

Don’t go into debt furnishing an apartment that you might move out of in a year. Who knows if that expensive furniture will even fit through the door in your next place?

Determine your apartment decorating budget from the jump and stick to it.

And don’t waste your budget on an abundance of cheap items. Instead, invest in a few good pieces that you’ll be able to take everywhere you go. Accent chairs, end tables, and high-quality lamps can make your place look more upscale and assimilate with any color scheme.

Plus, you won’t have a bunch of clutter lying around.

2. Learn How to Use Size and Scale to Decorate

Your furnishings should correlate with the size of the area. The larger the room, the larger your furniture should be, and vice versa.

It’s important to consider size and scale if you want to use your space efficiently. Keeping the space in mind helps you to avoid having a cluttered, overwhelming apartment.

Unless it’s a piece you absolutely love and don’t mind sacrificing space for, avoid large furniture in a place with limited square footage.

You don’t have to skimp on quality to reduce the size, though. Just forego the big couch and get a comparable loveseat or two large accent chairs instead.

3. Add Some Rugs

Area rugs can make a big difference in any room. They can add color, texture, and personality to your home.

When it comes to carpeting, the size and scale rule goes out the window. Your rug has to be slightly bigger than the furniture it’s going under, especially in a small room.

If your apartment has hardwood floors, rugs will make it a bit cozier underfoot. They also serve the added bonus of protecting your floor from scratches so you’ll have a better chance of getting your security deposit back.

Most apartments come with neutral-colored floors. This can make for a bland environment. While you can’t change the beige carpet or basic tiles, an area rug throws pops of color and texture in an otherwise blah room.

Add a rug beneath your kitchen table and in the entranceway for some extra panache!

4. Color on the Walls

If you know you’re going to be living there for a while, why not make the place yours?

You don’t have to add color to every wall, but if you want to, go for it! Putting your favorite hues on the wall is a great way to turn a cookie-cutter unit into your own space.

How do you do this in a home you don’t own? Well, that depends on the rules of your lease.

If you’re allowed to paint, paint! There’s nothing quite as soothing as the up-and-down strokes of a paintbrush on a smooth surface. Of course, if your DIY skills need some work, you might want to hire this job out instead of making a mess that can’t easily be fixed.

If painting isn’t an option, never fear! There’s another way to put color on the walls:

Removable wallpaper.

This new trend comes in all hues, textures, and designs. Surround yourself with a relaxing floral print, an exotic jungle scene, or anything in between.

5. Add Some Ambient Lighting

Natural lighting is often limited in an apartment. Unless you have skylights and large windows, you may need to add ambient lighting.

The brighter a room is, the bigger it looks. It’s an illusion, but it’s a trick interior designers swear by.

However, you should avoid harsh overhead lighting. You can have an open, airy room even with warmer, eco-friendly bulbs.

If blinds are pre-installed, open them up to let sunlight in or ask your landlord if you can swap them out for curtains.

Do what you have to do to let the sunshine in!

6. Throw in the Personal Touch

Anyone can have a place to live, but a home is where the heart is.

By adding personal touches, you’ll create a refuge from the outside world. Think about what you enjoy and bring those items into your home.

This might mean that you hang your favorite artwork, add a few unique accent pieces, and stack your favorite books on your shelves.

You can even make changes to the existing hardware. So if the kitchen cabinet handles or bathroom towel racks irritate you, switch them out for something better!

7. Keep It Organized

When it’s all said and done, the best apartment is an organized one. You can have the nicest furniture and most interesting decor, but your place is cluttered, it won’t look good.

While you’re shopping for furniture, make sure to pick up some shelving units to situate your stuff. Vertical shelving works wonders, especially in a small bedroom or living room.

Look for double-duty furniture, too. Your coffee table should have drawers, for example. That way, you’ll save space and you won’t have to buy as much furniture.

Organizing once isn’t enough to keep your home clean. In order for it to stay clean, you must create a cleaning checklist, stick to a schedule, and declutter on a regular basis.


Whichever decor scheme you decide on, you can’t go wrong. As long as your apartment feels like it’s yours, it’s perfect.

But, these decorating tips can help you make your place a little bit cozier.

This new chapter is full of excitement and change. With this guide, you turn your apartment into your dream home.

Author Bio:

Working with Broadstone Market Station, Angus Flynn has more than five years of experience in the multifamily housing industry. In his free time, you will find him enjoying life on the Lake and spending time with friends.