The parts of your city’s personality which you choose to bring indoors can give your apartment a look unlike any other. Find aspects of your new city or a favorite city to inspire your décor, whether it involves culture, history, climate or geography. Pulling together the details that stand out to you will make you feel closer to the places you cherish and pay homage to.
Identify local high points
Consider for a moment: what is the essence of where you live? Is your town defined by its location near the ocean, mountains or desert? Or maybe your city has an urban personality all its own, something like San Francisco’s bohemianism, Los Angeles’ luxury, Miami’s modernism or Charleston’s history.
Perhaps your district defines how you feel about living in your apartment. From Chinatown to the French Quarter, most cities offer a number of different atmospheres, depending on the part of town you’re in. To immerse yourself in those vibes, pick out what you feel are the most essential aspects of your hometown.
Your apartment as a stage
Now for the fun! Once you’ve chosen your city inspiration, it’s time to begin collecting your décor items. Here’s where your personal style and imagination can shine as you set the scene. Consider:
• Framed maps of favorite cities or neighborhoods
• Wall art that captures an iconic scene from the city
• Wall maps of the entire city
• Personal souvenirs, like metro tickets, menus, museum brochures or photographs
• Small statues, travel posters or whatever brings the city vibe into your apartment
You can be as original as your creativity allows. Collect fishing nets for your Maine apartment or theater posters for your Broadway bailiwick. The little details can go a long way to create your ideal city atmosphere.
Color your city
One dramatic way to underscore your city vibe is with color. Blue and white create the nautical atmosphere of Capri as easily as Catalina. Vivid reds and yellows can recall a European bistro, and black and white on chrome help create your ‘any city’ — a powerful backdrop to whatever town you’d like to emphasize with your unique décor items.
Pieces of your place
Gathering key furniture pieces that share city inspiration can give substance to your décor plan. Whether you find some Adirondack chairs for your Catskills-style retreat, remnants from an old textile mill for your Burlington apartment, or a sleek drafting table for your Silicon Valley digs, look for furniture items that represent your city’s past or present.
Embrace the exotic
Maybe your favorite city isn’t the one you live in, but, rather, a place you’ve lived before or that simply inspires you. Do you yearn for Budapest, Boston or Barcelona? Bring a piece of those places home. By collecting materials that harken to your favorite spot, you can create the atmosphere you love, though you may be thousands of miles away.
Apartment decorating with city inspiration can create a chic and appealing atmosphere. Conjuring a sense of specific place in your apartment adds to the sense that, when you are there, you are truly home.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Mikhail Zahranichny