When you moved into your cozy (small) New York apartment, you probably just brought along whatever furniture you had. Now, a year later, you’re beginning to feel like the walls are closing in on you. Was your apartment always so dark? Were your windows always so dirty? Why did you buy that TV stand?
It’s not uncommon to want to re-design your space. As trends change and as social media grows, we’re constantly bombarded with new and different design ideas that make us question our own tastes. I personally can’t go a single day without saving a new photo from Instagram of an apartment aesthetic I’m dying to copy. So how can you revitalize your space without breaking the bank? Read on for some great ideas!
When was the last time you threw out everything you own?
Totally kidding…sort of. De-cluttering your space can make a huge difference! If your living room is full of photos from 2011, knick-knacks picked up from various bars (hello plastic alligator from Brother Jimmy’s) and seven candles from Anthropologie, it’s probably time for you to take a hard look at your decorations and think about what you really want to showcase.
Ideally, you want a couple of great pieces that you’re proud to look at every day, not for your television stand to double as a memory book for every bar you visited last year. Focus on some great statement pieces and a couple of photos that really stand out, then get rid of the rest.
Throw in an accent wall
It can be a huge pain to paint your apartment. Especially if you’re renting, most landlords are going to insist that you paint it back to white before you move. But removable wallpaper is a great way to add some personality to your space with minimal effort. If you constantly see artfully arranged photos on walls throughout the Internet but you don’t think you have the artistic vision to create that yourself, wallpaper on the wall behind your couch can be a great way to make a statement.
Buy a plant. It’s not hard. Having some greenery in your apartment a)makes you seem more adult and b)makes your space looks better and more complete. As an added bonus it’s great for your mindset if you live in a concrete jungle to be able to come home and see something resembling nature at the end of the day.
Pick up one large plant for the corner of your living room and possibly one or two small ones for your living room. Bonus points if you can pick up something like mint or basil which will look great and also help you elevate your cooking.
Don’t change your furniture – change the accessories
I love to tell people to invest in a high-quality neutral colored couch – I personally own grey. But every six months I change out my throw pillows and the blanket that rests over my chaise. This summer I wanted something floral. Last year I wanted royal blues and purples. You can get great throw pillows on places like Target without breaking the bank, and these small changes allow you to feel like your space is being reimagined.
This is also a great way to make your space brighter during times of the year when there is less natural sunlight coming in. When the sun doesn’t set until 7:30 pm, you might not care about having bright throw pillows as much, but in the winter when it starts to get dark at 4:00 pm, coming home to a splash of yellow has the power to instantly brighten your mood.
But know when to say goodbye
Sometimes that giant sectional you bought just isn’t made for your new 600-square-foot home. Know when a piece just isn’t going to work – and when you’re replacing it, think about buying something that can fit into your current space, but also potential future spaces. If you buy a smaller couch, you can always get a loveseat or chairs when you move into a new space, but if you buy something that’s too large from the get-go, your space will always look like it’s bursting at the seams and make you feel like the walls are closing in.