Have you just moved into your first apartment, and are wondering how to begin setting up your home decor? Depending on where you live, space can be very limited, and frequently condos and apartments lack character along with space.
The tips below will give you a place to start by adding storage and a bit of character. Once you have the “outline” of your room, you can begin filling in with art and knick-knacks and special lighting—all the special touches that reflect you.
Start With a Focal Piece
Rather than choosing your furnishings first and then trying to find accessories to match, start with a patterned area rug or a favorite piece or artwork in your main living space and build your room around that focal piece. Select a solid sofa in a color that complements your rug or art work, and make the sofa “pop” by adding contrasting pillows.
If your main living space has room for more, a couple chairs with a muted pattern–like stripes or dots—will add not only more seating, but more interest as well.
Measure, Measure Measure!
Before shopping for furniture, be sure to measure your space–twice! One of the most common mistake people make when decorating is buying furniture that’s way too big for the space it’s in, making rooms feel small and cluttered. A sofa that looks diminutive in a massive showroom looks quite different in your living room or den.
If your sofa is going to be placed against a window or a row of windows, be sure to measure the window height as well, and choose a sofa that rises to the level of the window sill. A taller sofa will not only block light but also appear to cut the room in half.
Many lofts, condos and apartments come with window blinds already installed. To make your room warmer and more personal, consider adding curtain panels that complement—not contrast with— your color scheme. A popular style is grommet curtain panels, using two per window. Be sure the panels reach all the way to the floor; shorter curtain panels will cut the room in half, making it feel smaller.
If you’re lacking enough closet or cabinet space, consider buying some free- standing cabinets for the kitchen and bathroom and a side board for the living/dining area. There are many different sizes, colors and styles available, and this bit of extra storage will go a long way toward making your place look clean, stylish and uncluttered.