When it comes to apartment style, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel (or even the color wheel!)[find-an-apartment]
Spend a little time thinking about the decor categories and approaches described here. The periods or patterns you prefer will guide your pursuit of the perfect apartment design style to complement your lifestyle.
One approach to interior decorating is to seek inspiration from favorite periods in history. A few recently-popular period styles include Contemporary and Retro decor.
A trip through Tumblr can score some ideas about Contemporary Scandinavian Style – think sleek lines, light colors, and natural-looking woods. The key to going Contemporary is using neutral colors, geometric patterns and artistic lighting to evoke a cool, comfortable setting.
Another period decorating trend revolves around retro furnishings. Bright colors like pink, green, turquoise and yellow inform the Retro style, which gets its design inspiration from the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Furniture and accessories take on abstract and futuristic shapes. If you can imagine living like The Jetsons, then you’ve nailed the sense of it, reaching back to the recent past’s idea of the future.
Check out style guides that will educate you on the basics of different periods and perhaps guide you toward the right pieces to shop for.
Location? Location. Location!
Often apartment decorating ideas emerge from a specific place, instead of a period of time. If you like to travel (or dream of traveling), then pattern your apartment after one of your favorite locales. Watch the Travel Channel or read travel magazines and blogs. Decorating around the world is an adventure where you search for tidbits from trips and immerse yourself in import shops for inspiration.
Remember that your location-inspired decorating can focus on a specific part of the world or represent a thematic style used in many areas. For example, Spanish style evokes the feel of that country with colorful tiles, earth tones and carved wood. On the flip side, a more general theme like Rustic can include influences from many locations, like the mountains of Montana and deserts of New Mexico. The secret to Rustic chic is using natural elements, found objects and warm colors.
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Picture your lifestyle
Another way to look at your interior decorating is to evaluate your lifestyle. Are you relaxed and easy going? A little more conservative and buttoned up? Decorating is personal and should suit your unique lifestyle choices.
Laid-back, carefree decorators should take a look at Cottage style. This approach is more about attitude than accessories. The goal is to create a welcoming vibe that celebrates the ordinary and imperfect. Think thrift-store finds, slip-covered furniture and funky family heirlooms on display.
For those who appreciate structure, the Traditional style might represent you well. Traditional apartment decorating might include furniture that looks like it’s straight out of the 19th Century, though undoubtedly more comfortable. Floral patterns, symmetrical arrangements, and elegant window treatments show off the warmth of classic tastes.
If you are unsure about your decorating style, there are great online quizzes to help you decide which direction to take your apartment decorating. Or just take a chance and start decorating – you’ll have figured out your own eclectic style by the time you’re done!
Photo credits: Apartment Guide and Shutterstock / Danil Nevsky