Moving to a new apartment can be quite stressful if you previously lived in a house of your own. Not only is there less space than what you’re used to, but your interior design options are also limited by the rules set by your lease contract and landlord.
While getting the most out of your new apartment and sprucing up the space without breaking your landlord’s trust may seem daunting, the truth is that it is not impossible.
You can easily create a refreshing look as well as a homier feel in your new apartment using the practical interior design hacks and tips listed below:
1. Pick a Focal Furniture Piece for Making a Statement
Although the available living space you have is smaller than that of a regular house, you should remember that you can still make it look like something out of a real estate magazine without breaking the bank. The key is to pick a piece of furniture that will serve as the focal point of your apartment.
To do this, you can start by bringing a stunning modern dining table with matching chairs or a lovely plush sofa into your apartment. These are great for sprucing up your dining and living room. For your bedroom, choose a bed frame that will not only serve its purpose, but also showcase your personality while diverting attention from the less appealing parts of the room.
2. Layer Colors and Textures
If you have plain walls, you can add life to the room by layering it with different colors and textures. To use that sea of beige to your advantage, throw in some furniture, upholstery, or fixtures with stark contrasting colors. Also, use printed and woven fabrics to add texture to any room.
Of course, you have to make sure that you stick to a color scheme so your apartment won’t look like a bowl of candy treats. The rule of thumb is to choose one or two pieces that are colored differently and place them in strategic areas of the room to allow the eye to travel around the space. For the rest of your pieces, stick to neutral tones close to your walls’ hue.
3. Use Reflective Surfaces to Make the Space Look Bigger
Feeling a bit claustrophobic within your small apartment space? Try adding mirrors and other reflective surfaces to make it look bigger and more open.
Mirrors are known to create the illusion of a larger space. Simply pick a focal point in a room. Place a mirror and angle it towards this area to lend it depth.
Reflective surfaces are also great for spreading both artificial and natural light in a room all day. This is why many interior designers incorporate mirrored surfaces in the kitchen, on the walls, and tabletops. Mirrors placed near windows and doors are also great for bringing the outdoors inside.
4. Breathe New Life to Old Furniture
When you rent an apartment, there is a good chance that you’ll also get to use some of the old furniture that come with the space. Instead of putting them in storage and buying new ones, you can save on costs by breathing new life to these neglected pieces.
First, ask your landlord and check your lease contract to determine if you can make changes to these pieces. Once you’ve confirmed that you can do anything with them, you can start planning what you can do.
- Paint them anew
A new coat of paint can make those old bed frames and dressers look fabulous once again.
To do this, start by removing all the hardware and give the piece a good wipe to ensure that there isn’t any dirt or dust on the surface. After that, buff out the remaining paint or lacquer using sandpaper to remove the glossy finish and start painting it with one or two layers before setting aside to dry.
Once it’s dry, finish it off with a coat of polyurethane, water-based lacquer, or thin clear paste wax. This will ensure that the new finish lasts longer.
- Switch up the hardware
Changing up the hardware in furniture is another great way of reinventing old furniture. Simply replace the existing door knobs and handles with fancy-looking ones to make even a second-rate piece look elegant.
Tired of old polished nickel furniture hardware? Try replacing them with brass or porcelain ones for a more authentic, classy vibe.
5. Use Storage Wisely to Prevent Clutter
Clutter is one reason why apartments and even regular houses feel a lot smaller than they actually are. So you must get rid of your excess belongings or store them neatly within the property. This is where clever storage spaces come in.
Invest in multipurpose furnishings like storage ottomans and beds with built-in drawers. You can also stack up chests and old suitcases to create a nifty and useful center table for your living room that doubles as storage for your old books and magazines.
You can also try placing chairs, tables, and dressers at an angle to create a hidden spot in a room for tucking away other items that fit the space.
6. Spice Up the Walls
Another excellent way to spruce up your apartment is to spice up the walls. When picking a wallpaper design for your apartment, make sure to think about what the room is used for and what existing pieces you have in it.
For example, if your living room comes with neutral and plain furniture, you can opt for a patterned wallpaper to bring life to the space. For rooms that seem too small or too big, choose wallpapers with a pattern scale that is opposite the size of the room. Picking a theme or style for your room will also help you decide which design works best.
Enhance Your Space
Living in an apartment can be as comfortable as living in a regular house as long as you know how to make it your own. Use this article as a guide to creating a beautiful, comfy space for you to live in and make fond memories during the entirety of your stay.
James Prathap is the General Manager at NGC Nafees, top importers and exporters of wallpapers, flooring and fabric in the Middle East. Formed three decades ago, the business also offers high-quality panoramics, coordinated fabrics, and creative stickers for residential and commercial projects.