9 Easy Ways to Decorate Your Apartment with Fairy Lights

The mantle is a prime place to display fairy lights.

Fairy lights evoke many things for many people. Whether it’s illuminating a Christmas tree or adding light to a wedding reception, they can be the perfect way to create a magical atmosphere in just about any space. They also happen to be cheap and easy to transport, making them the perfect addition to the decor in any apartment.

If you’re struggling to add light to a space, fairy lights can really help to brighten up a dark corner or room. Here are nine creative ways to use fairy lights in decorating an apartment.

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Home Lighting Tips to Brighten Your Rental

You have the perfect rental, replete with large windows that allow in plenty of natural light. As days grow naturally shorter, however, even the largest bay windows can’t keep your rental bright, and it’s up to you to come up with home lighting solutions.

Whether you add a few additional lamps or get creative with hanging lights, plenty of ways exist to keep your rental bright throughout the winter. We’ve gathered a few of the best tips for brightening your rental space through the use of lighting.

Keep Shades Light

Since you probably want to avoid drilling into the ceiling of your rental, much of your lighting is bound to be in the form of floor lamps or end table lamps. The good news is that lamp shades offer an opportunity to really show off your style, so you can handle the whole daylight savings time issue with grandeur.

Home Lighting Tips - Floor Lamps

To keep your apartment as bright as possible, stick to light-colored lamps shades. Think white, cream, light gray, or similar hues when selecting a lamp shade. Darker lamp shades will filter out a considerable amount of light and may leave you sitting in the dark.

String Additional Lighting

If you still need more light once you have lamps set up, consider buying string lights, also known as fairy lights. While you may associate this type of lighting with the twinkle lights around a Christmas tree, there are other options available.

Home Lighting Tips - String Lights

Designers now offer string lights with large bulbs, black or silver string, and a sleek modern look. Buy a decorative wooden ladder and string lights around it; set up your pyramid shelves in the corner and adorn the piece with string lights; or simply string them around a window.

Accessorize with Wireless Lights

Some rentals have a limited number of electrical outlets, and rewiring your home is not an option as a renter. Turn to wireless lighting that operates on battery power and is extremely mobile. Wireless LED candles, for instance, offer ambiance and go on with the flip of a switch.

Home Lighting Tips - LED Candles

Best of all, faux candles don’t pose the same fire hazard as an actual candle. Tap lights are also wireless and a good way to illuminate shelves or other small spaces. These lights are typically small and round, activated when you apply a small amount of pressure to the top of the light.

Use Mirrors to Maximize Lighting

Add a few mirrors to your rental space if you don’t have a lot of room or money for new lighting. Mirrors propped up against your walls won’t damage the drywall, and can reflect light from your lamps and other home lighting.

Home Lighting Tips - Mirror

Mirrors create the illusion of more lighting sources, and doubles the amount of light that bounces around your apartment. Place larger mirrors next to a floor lamp and small wall mirrors adjacent to end tables with a lighting fixture.

Space Out Your Lighting

Now that your space is outfitted with several floor lamps, a few strands of string lights, and a handful of large mirrors–take a moment to consider the placement of each piece. Don’t put all the lighting in your living room, for instance, while neglecting to consider your dining nook.

Home Lighting Tips for Your Apartment

Instead, space out your lighting fixtures. Put at least one light source near each corner of larger rooms. Place your mirrors within a few feet of a lighting fixture; this allows them to better reflect the light out into the rest of your space.

Lighting your new apartment should be at the top of your daylight savings to-do list. If you neglect to properly light your apartment, you will soon realize that it’s not possible to enjoy all of your lovely decor in the dark.

Want to show off your ingenious apartment lighting solutions? We always love to see how renters solve their lighting issues. Tweet us your ideas for home lighting.

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Home Lighting Tips to Brighten Your Rental

Photo Credit: cassandra lavalle, Jaymie Koroluk, Andrea Williams, Lucas Fox Barcelona, Urbane Apartments

Let There Be Light! Create a Bright Apartment Space

Upper East Side Apartments in Dallas, TX

Upper East Side Apartments in Dallas, TX

‘Throwing light on the subject’ does more than just reveal the truth of something.

When it comes to your apartment, the right light can illuminate your good taste and create the mood of the space you want to live in.

Read on for ways to banish shadowy recesses and squinty spaces with the best lighting choices for your apartment home.

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Mix and Match: Modern and Vintage Decor

modern and vintage decor

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Clean lines dominate in modern decor, as we learned with these modern decorating tips, and vintage decor incorporates old pieces that are repurposed.

But what happens if you combine the two? You have a mix of old and new, with sleek furniture and neutral colors representing modern decor, and rustic lights and wood pallet art representing vintage decor.

Click on the infographic above to learn how to pair items and create the perfect combination of modern and vintage in your apartment.

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Don’t Forget These Five Essentials in Your Apartment

Sewing kit

Don’t forget a sewing kit when you move into your first place.

As you prepare to move out of the house or dorm and into your first real apartment, you will have a long list of items you need to buy, borrow or steal. For starters, there is the furniture: a bed frame and mattress, dressers or drawers, a couch and other seating and a table. Then you’ll need staples like dishes and cookware and cleaning supplies.

In the midst of all this shopping and packing, a few things are bound to slip your mind. So before you move, make sure you have these five essential items often left out of a first apartment.

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Create a Double-Duty Dining Room

Colonial Grande at Bellevue Apartments in Nashville, TN

Colonial Grande at Bellevue Apartments in Nashville, TN

In the age of on-the-go meals, TV dinners and takeout, the dining room can be an under-appreciated space. Show a little love to this often underutilized room by making it pull double duty. By adding simple elements to glam up your space, you can easily transition this room from daily dining to sophisticated dinner party. Here are a few dining room decor ideas to get your space into tip-top shape in no time.

1. For lighting, dial up the drama by creating a grand cluster of humble lanterns. The key to transitioning from everyday to glam is making the most of your ambiance. Use existing lighting and add 10-12 Chinese paper lanterns to create a conversation piece that diffuses the light and makes a grand statement. The lanterns come in three sizes and are around $10, while you can find packs of 10 lanterns from retailers such as Oriental Trading. Hang each lantern from a brightly colored ribbon attached to your existing chandelier. Cluster the lanterns loosely – it doesn’t have to be perfect to make a bold statement of visual art and give an element of the unexpected. Have some fun with it, and play with color palettes to match your theme, like bright pinks if you’re planning for a spring fling party. Just be sure that the lanterns do not come into contact with a bare light bulb.

2. Turn wine bottles, cake stands and candles into stunning centerpieces. By using everyday items, you don’t have to break the bank to create a homemade candelabra with major visual impact. Oftentimes in decorating, the most humble of things can transcend the sum of its parts when you gather and cluster. If you’re anything like me, you might have a few empty bottles of wine lying around the house. So instead of tossing them out, soak 15-20 empty bottles of wine in soapy water so you can easily remove the labels. Keep the bottles all green hues or all white, or get creative and mix and match. Use tapered candles in each bottle and cluster the bottles together in the middle of the table. For an unexpected candelabra that tricks the eye, use one tall and two shorter cake stands, and cluster votive candles on top, playing with different heights and levels. You don’t have to do anything else to make an impact; it’s that simple.

3. Freshen things up with flower arrangements. Use greenery and other elements of nature to create something that is more special than the everyday. It’s important to be mindful of the freedom of conversation, so keep floral arrangements low so guests feel comfortable conversing with table mates. Carnations are often the redheaded stepchildren of the floral world, but they are an inexpensive, accessible option that can make a big impact when clustered tightly in teacups or low bowls – just make sure to show the fluffy heads of the flowers, no leaves. Use your own backyard for inspiration, picking up branches, fallen leaves and flowers to create the power of presentation.

This article was written by TV host and design expert Kim Myles, who partnered with Apartment Guide for the 2012 “Your Picks. Your Place.” sweepstakes. Kim Myles won the HGTV reality series “Design Star 2” and hosts HGTV’s “Myles of Style.”

How to Do Floral Decor Without Overdoing It

Avoid flower shock by keeping in mind these tips and tricks for doing floral decor.

With temperatures rising all across the nation, it couldn’t be any clearer that spring is officially here. Warmer weather means longer days and the chance to get outside for the first time after a cold, lengthy winter. If you’re on top of your game, you’ve most likely done your spring cleaning already, which means that your home might be ready for a makeover. You might find yourself wanting to commemorate the coming of spring in your interior décor, too.

Decorating with florals is a hot new trend, but it’s tricky to master the art of floral décor without overdoing it. Luckily, with a few tips and tricks and keeping in mind some things to avoid, you’ll be able to seamlessly integrate florals into your room’s existing décor.

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Ways to Brighten Up Your Apartment in Winter

The Arbors Apartments in Winston Salem, NC

The Arbors Apartments in Winston Salem, NC

In the winter, things can just seem a little… dull. Freezing temperatures, shorter days and draining winter nights can bring even the most cheerful of people down into a winter-induced depression.

But the good news is that even though you can’t change the dreary weather outside, you can change your indoor environment into something warm, cozy and bright in a move that can directly affect your mood and happiness. By following a few simple tips, it will be springtime (at least in your apartment) before you know it.

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Improve Your Apartment Feng Shui

Lofts at Willow Creek Apartments in Beavercreek, OH

Lofts at Willow Creek Apartments in Beavercreek, OH

Maybe you’re familiar with feng shui, or maybe you’ve just heard the term and are wondering what it means. An ancient Chinese practice involving the aesthetics, shape and symmetry of objects, rooms and buildings, feng shui is used to promote harmony and balance in everyday life.

No matter how small your apartment in, you can make just a few small, inexpensive changes to improve the feng shui in your apartment without spending a lot of time. Read on to find out more.

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