33 Sleeper kitchen

October 19, 2021 3 minute read

A guide for decorating your apartment

Every apartment is a blank canvas. Renters may be eager to add their unique style but are wary of doing too much, overly cautious of an accident that may damage the space. We know the importance of personal touch, it’s what makes your apartment stand out from others. Whether you’re looking for a way to bring your studio to life or you’re trying to give each room in your three-bedroom unit a different feel, follow this guide for decorating your apartment.

Color is key

Colors can give each section and room of your apartment a distinct identity. Try attention-grabbing bold hues in common areas to make a lasting first impression when you first walk in. Choose a palette of colors that complement one another to create a sense of cohesion throughout the space. Use accent items like pillows, throws, towels, floor lamps, and planters to incorporate different shades into the layout. These smaller items can easily be updated and switched out over time to keep current so your space will never go out of style.

Texture and pattern create interest

Colorful spaces can feel energetic and uplifting, but sometimes fall flat without the right balance of light and shadow. Adding a variety of textures and patterns throughout creates focal points with depth and dimension when done sparingly. Choose statement pieces with a glossy wood grain or a matte three-dimensional surface. Select area rugs, pillow shams, and comforters that have a mixture of fluffy, bumpy, rough, or velvety textures to invite warmth and coziness. Play with patterned fabrics and artwork to bring a more eccentric, graphical quality to your space.

Use what you have

While newer construction apartments may be the most popular among renters, older construction buildings include a timeless craftsman-like architecture that’s hard to imitate. Custom built-in bookcases, buffets, and benches often have their own unique aesthetic. You can use these for their intended purposes without having to take a trip to Pottery Barn or Ikea to buy more storage (although we’ll never say no to an Ikea meatball!).

Scale as needed

When it comes to smaller apartments, you’ll want to make sure you leave enough space to move around comfortably. This isn’t to say you can’t have large items, but you should consider only one or two to keep some breathingroom. To get the most out of your furniture, look for flexible, multi-functional pieces with integrated storage. Although larger apartments can reasonably fit more, try not to overdo it. Start with the usual suspects: seating, a TV and media storage (or a bookcase if you prefer), a center table or ottoman for the living room, and beds and dressers for the bedrooms. From there, fill in the gaps!

Hang up a mirror or two

We all know the mirror trick, but do we all know the mirror trick? Hanging a mirror next to or opposite a window will reflect more light and make smaller spaces feel larger and brighter. They can also serve as a central point to reflect and highlight interesting architectural features. Tall mirrors can make ceilings feel higher and also bring more light into a room. Try placing these in different spots around your apartment to figure out where you can best maximize natural light.

Upgrade lighting

Speaking of lighting, how are those light fixtures looking? If you’re anything like me, you’re not a fan of the dim yellow fluorescent lights sometimes found in apartments that can weaken all of your decorating efforts. Consider switching out existing bulbs for white LED bulbs—but always check with your landlord first! Alternately, opt for unique table and floor lamps that offer style and function. Include softer lighting to graciously present your apartment or use dimmable color-changing smart bulbs to add a pop of color to reflect your personality and switch up the mood on your own terms.

And the seventh and most important rule? Start decorating! You should be able to unwind in a place where you feel the most comfortable. Many renters are under the impression they can’t make changes to the space during their lease period, but you’d be surprised at the exceptions a landlord is willing to make. Working with a Realtor® like myself means working with a skilled negotiator, including on matters of decorating. All you have to do is ask. If you’re interested in moving soon, contact me at [email protected] or 617.958.1750 to learn more about my services and how I can help you.

Krista Farmer


Krista Farmer is an Associate on the Residential team at Senné. She specializes in buyer and seller representation and leasing services throughout Greater Boston, Winthrop, and Revere. She uses her understanding of building standards and design to help her clients visualize personal spaces that reflect their unique style.

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