I’ve been trolling the internet lately and I’ve seen the same issue arise – how do I decorate my apartment when I can’t paint the walls? Excellent question. Even though I no longer live in apartment, for me it was still hard. Luckily the walls were painted (a light mocha color), but that was the color of all the walls and I couldn’t paint them any other color.
Doniree Walker, who writes for Flower Mound, TX apartments-finder and relocation company, UMoveFree.com, suggests, “There are many other ways to brighten and spruce up an apartment, even if you can’t make changes like painting the walls. I’ve found that adding interesting corner pieces like houseplants and decorative lamps is a great way to add color and style.”
I had to come up with ways to decorate my apartment without touching the walls. I needed to accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. Here are some tips that helped me make my living space pop when I had limited resources.
1. Furniture arrangement It might not seem like a big deal to most, but the placement of your furniture is a must. If you live in a small or large space, this will help make the apartment look streamlined. You still need to be careful – if your pieces are too clumped together it will look cluttered and uneven. Carefully think of where you want your furniture to go. Does the sun shine in to your living room? This also helps… sunshine makes everything look much better and brighter! Strategic placement is key!
2. Pictures, pictures, pictures. Most apartments will allow you to hang photos or art on the wall as long as you patch them up when you move out. Pictures and art will make your place look lived in and so pretty. You can also think outside the box when it comes to photos. It doesn’t have to be family photos, just put photos up that you like! I saved the photo pages in old calendars and had those up as art. They ranged from Texas flowers, picturesque scenes from different parts of the U.S., etc. I also asked my young family members to make me art. It’s a free and easy way to color up your spaces! It also adds a personal touch to your space and visitors will always want to know who came up with such an interesting print!
3. Pick a feature wall and go with it. In addition to the point above, you need to pick a feature wall to decorate and go with it. Your feature wall could be above your sofa (if your sofa is against a wall), the wall around the entertainment centre, the wall around your headboard, etc. My feature walls were the walls next to the balcony doors. My pretty picture frames framed the sliding glass doors perfectly. In my home, my feature wall is the wall surrounding my headboard in the bedroom. Once the wall is painted a light purple-grey color, I will add some photos and art to make it look even better. I had a friend who turned a spare bedroom in to a movie theatre inspired room. Her big screen television was placed along the longest wall in the room with the necessary electronic equipment. She purchased a cute comfy sectional for people to sit on and added some simple throws to keep her guests toasty on chilly nights. She chose the wall behind the sofa to place framed movie posters to give it that extra movie theatre feel!
4. It’s the little things that can make a room look great Decorative lamps, fleece throws and even a small stack of magazines can make a room look fantastic. I purchased a few different colored fleece throws from Ikea and picked a red one to throw over the back of the sofa. The deep color of red really paired well with the light mocha colored walls. Who knew? The coffee table was small, square and black… A simple small white table lamp and a stack of fashion magazines made the corner of that room look fabulous! Decorative pillows are also a nice touch. You can find various patterns at different stores or why not hit up the local fabric store and make your own? White scented candles in pretty votives can liven up a room if they’re correctly placed.
5. Sometimes you need to think outside the apartment box If you are lucky like I was so have a balcony right off the living room, I was able to spruce up that area to make the living room look bright and cheery. Come spring time I purchased balcony boxes and the most colorful blooms that I could find. The entire balcony rail was lined with boxes upon boxes of pretty flowers and when you looked outside it made you feel cheery! Keep the blinds open all day and the flowers make it even better! Spruce up the outside to make the inside look beautiful. You can also do this with patio furniture. If your balcony/patio space is limited, a small bistro table with two chairs is a perfect addition! When you’re shopping for flowers talk to the garden center to see what flowers will attract birds and butterflies. Lupines (or Texas Blue Bonnets) are perfect for attracting monarch butterflies. It’s a must have a flower for my boxes!
The great thing about decorating is you don’t have to go all out to make it a spectacular space. Correct furniture placement, feature walls, small items and even the outdoors can make your space look great when you can’t add a splash of paint to your walls. Don’t forget to look-within your apartment to see what you already have and utilize that to make a space shine. Use your imagination and you’ll be surprised with what you can come up with!