Do you look at design magazines and sigh longingly? Is your Pinterest board filled with beautiful rooms you don't know how to emulate? If so, you've probably been bitten by the apartment decorating bug but lack the knowledge for recreating the looks you love.
Fortunately, updating your place can be easier than you thought, especially if you have a guide to follow.
Picking an interior design style then using it to help you pick furniture and decor gives you direction. Take a look at popular design movements and use their defining features to make your apartment the beautiful space you know (and want) it to be. Here's how:
This design movement became popular post World War II and is commonly referred to as "mod." If you don't recognize it off hand, you've probably seen mod decor in shows like "Mad Men."
When it comes to decorating your apartment following mid-century modern looks, make sure to first take note of these features that define the movement:
With that in mind, you can start looking for apartment decor that has these mid-century modern features. For instance, you can start by defining a color palette. You might decide to use all neutral tones with a few bright red accents.
As far as geometric patterns, you don't have to use wallpaper— your landlord may frown on pasting paper on the walls. Instead, get throw pillows, rugs or wall art that display typically mod patterns.
Where to get furniture: Although mid-century modern design was popularized more than half a century ago, you can still find furniture that has the distinct mod look. For instance, Target has a set that features angled legs, clean lines and is made of wood. Also, once you have a good understanding of what the furniture looks like, you can scour resale stores to find what you like.
What's more, rustic doesn't have a very defined list of attributes, but here are some qualities your apartment decorating may feature:
If you want to go rustic in your apartment design, remember to think about what you like first. Really, you should feel comfortable and at home in your space. For this reason, you may ask to have family heirlooms to use as decoration– a blanket your grandma knitted certainly fits the rustic bill while also holding sentimental value.
Where to get furniture: Mid-century modern furniture has a very distinct look, which is why it can be difficult to find. Rustic, on the other hand, is a broad category. You can find furniture that a worn or distressed look. Or, repaint items you have to look rustic.
Do you like a more ornate interior look? Then baroque design is perfect for your apartment decorating needs. This movement, which also refers to a period in architecture, is all about embellishments.
Think chandeliers, sculpted columns, art hanging on the walls, and plush furniture. It's like the darker, heavier version of the the Beast's castle in "Beauty and the Beast." Here are some features you can look for when shopping for your decor:
Many baroque interiors have lots of finishes completed with carvings and frescos on the ceilings and walls. You can't really put that in an apartment unless you plan to forfeit your security deposit, but you can add elements of baroque style.
Hang mirrors that have heavily carved frames. Use strong colors in your furniture. Select heavy fabrics for your drapes. More importantly, think grand and opulent.
Where to get furniture: You're not going to find baroque pieces at Ikea, but you might find something at a resale store. Most likely, you'll have to check out a dedicated furniture store or go to an antique shop.
We've only shown you a few design movements and how to emulate them, but you can apply the tips to any decorating style you like. Remember, look for the defining features of the movement and make sure the furniture, art, rugs, etc., you buy have those features. Once you're done shopping and decorating, your apartment should mirror the look of your favorite movement.