How to Make the Most of Your Apartment (Because You Spend All Day in It)

If you’re in a part of the world that’s experiencing a lockdown, chances are you’ve spent a lot of time looking at the same four walls.

Are you ready for a décor change? From getting ideas to making small changes on a budget, we’ve broken down the best ways to make the most of your apartment below.

Do Your Research

The first place to start when you’re thinking about interior design is other people’s houses. We’re serious – take a look at some decorating magazines or head to Instagram. Why? It’ll help you get a feel for what types of design you like and how interior designers ‘create’ a room.

It can also be a great source of design inspiration if you’re on a budget – you may not be able to afford the beautiful pink velvet sofa that costs $25,000, but you can use the photos as a way to see your belongings in a new way. We’ve outlined our favorite places to get started:

  • Magazines:
    • House Beautiful: the home of all things classy and classic, House Beautiful is a great place to look for inspiration. They also do a Small Space issue every year, so check out past issues for some apartment inspiration.
    • Elle Décor: like House Beautiful, but for a more neutral palette. A great place to start if you’re thinking of incorporating wallpaper into your interior design.
  • Interior Designers:
    • Apartment Therapy: an excellent starting point if you’re not sure what you want to do, Apartment Therapy’s Instagram has all sorts of inspiration for working in small spaces.
    • Beata Human: is your interior design vibe more boho-chic, full of bright colors and fresh designs? If so, check out interior designer Beata Human’s Instagram for plenty of inspiration.
    • Betsey Brown: the queen of neutrals, this Alabama-based designer is for you if you’re all about creating drama with space and light instead of color. Take a look at her Instagram for inspiration.

While you may be struggling to pull the whole vision together, there are plenty of things that you can do right now to make your space feel bright and new. We’ve included our favorite options below:

Add Removable Wallpaper

Wallpaper can really transform a room – and these removable options from Etsy are perfect if you’re renting or don’t want to spend a fortune on reimagining your space.

Try New Art

For the decorating experts at Carpe Daily, changing around the art in your apartment can make all the difference. They suggest inexpensive prints in various sizes or framing some of your very own photographs for an original twist.

Try a Statement Lamp

A new lamp can really brighten up your space – no pun intended. The Spruce has some fantastic options if you’re looking for a funky table lamp.

Buy a Houseplant

Houseplants can really bring a room together. If you’re a first-time houseplant owner, don’t worry – Elle Décor has outlined the best plants for first timers below:

  • Spider plant: a great plant for a first timer because they’re easy to grow and almost impossible to kill. While they prefer bright light, they’ll thrive in anything from semi-shade to partial direct sunlight.
  • Lavender: the perfect pop of color (and smell) for an apartment that needs some freshening up. Place in bright light for best results.
  • Fiddle leaf fig: perfect if you want to make a statement, fiddle-leaf figs are great for first-time plant owners – though make sure not to overwater it. They are happiest in areas with medium to bright light.

Add a Mirror

Are you feeling crowded in your apartment? Mirrors can really open up your apartment and make it feel lighter and brighter. Choose a large mirror for a touch of drama and hang mirrors high for best results.

Reorganize the Space

Sometimes all you need to make your apartment feel different is to clean and reorganize. We recommend cleaning first and then taking a hard look at how your furniture is arranged. Could anything be moved around? Don’t be afraid to try something new – you can always put your furniture back to the way it was before, and cleaning things out may make you discover some cool trinkets or artwork that you could put up.

No matter what you choose, changing up your style will keep your apartment feeling brighter during these dark winter months. Happy decorating!