Steve Harper

If apartment decorating doesn't come naturally to you, don’t worry: you can still create great-looking apartment decor by modeling your interior after a popular decorating style.


Here is an overview of common apartment decorating styles to use as a guide.

A modern or contemporary look has sleek lines, minimal frills and neutral colors with a few vibrant accents. Open spaces are characteristic of this style, as well as furniture made of very light or very dark wood. The contemporary look is all about contrast and a clean, airy feeling. Think Scandinavian decor and Ikea. Those are prime examples of this decorating style that may inspire you.

If you like a cozy feel, then the cottage style might be the way to go. It’s a very warm and personal decorating style that draws inspiration from seaside beach cottages and quaint country homes. Cottage style is a welcoming, lived-in look that reminds you of your grandmother’s house. Traditional cottage colors are green, blue, yellow and white. Think vintage quilts, wicker furniture and great flea market finds.

Transport yourself to another hemisphere with a hot, seductive Mediterranean décor. This style is based on traditional Spanish and Italian decorating. The color palette features red, orange and yellow tones. Add texture with ironwork, terra cotta pottery, and mosaics. Imagine the aged, Old World feel of a courtyard in Barcelona.

Maybe hot and sunny isn’t your thing and you’d prefer a more traditional look pulled from classic French and English styles. The Traditional style is quite romantic with soft tones, floral and patterned fabrics, and intricate architectural details. It is often a very formal and balanced decor, filled with elegant antiques that mirror the look of an English manor house.

Outdoorsy apartment dwellers will love the rustic decorating style. It centers on bringing nature into your home by incorporating elements of the outdoors. This decor uses natural woods, stone and earth tones. It’s as if you turned your apartment into a rustic log cabin. Trek to some online cabin rental sites for a peek into this deep woods decorating style.

The retro style is one of the most playful, because anything goes. Pick a favorite era or decade and load up your apartment with decorative items from that time period. One of the most recently popular retro styles is 1950s Mid-Century Modern. When a period style gets hot again, home décor companies will start to create new items in that style, so it may be easy to find items that fit today’s retro trend without spending a lot of time at flea market and antique stores.

Did one of these styles stand out for you? Do a little online research to see photos of apartments and homes decorated in that style. Take a look at those examples for ideas that you can reproduce — or use them to fuel your creativity and design your own stylish apartment.




About The Author

Steve Harper enjoys seeking out and writing about topics that matter to renters for the Apartment Guide Blog. He hails from Atlanta, Georgia. Find Steve on Google.