+ Tips on How To Decorate Your Space
I just hit my one-year mark in my downtown Portland loft and realized I’ve never shared my apartment decor on my blog! So I thought I would finally do an apartment tour in case any of you need some home decor inspiration and tips on how to decorate your space on a budget.
Here’s a rough sketch of my apartment layout. Besides the kitchen and bathroom, my place is basically just a big open room, with one randomly placed historic pillar that adds some industrial charm to the space (that’s the random circle you see below). My entire apartment is 780 sq ft, plenty of space for one human. When I moved, most of the furniture from my previous apartment came with me, but I did buy a few new items and pieces of furniture to help divide the room and create the best living space possible.
Let’s begin the tour in the bathroom. My bathroom is in the front of my apartment, the first door on the right when you enter. Gold and green are my bathroom accent colors to match the palm leaf shower curtain, which all coordinate well with the dark brown cabinet and black tile floor to give a jungly vibe. I hung wall shelves behind the door to hold my towels and installed a hook to hang my bathrobe. I found matching gold soap dispenser / tooth brush containers and displayed a few decorative hand towels, but I kept my bathroom decor fairly simple. The NYC towel and framed picture kind of go with the jungle theme since NYC is a concrete jungle. Can you spy my poop-emoji plunger?
Pro Tip: A great way to spruce up a bathroom is by finding a fun shower curtain. You can then coordinate your bathroom decor and towels to match to colors in your curtain, should you desire. Also, always keep a candle or scented spray in the bathroom for those moments when you have guests over.
These days, most apartment kitchens are built along one wall to save space. I am lucky enough to have found an apartment where my kitchen feels separate from my living room/bedroom. My kitchen space is kind of cluttered, since it’s fairly small and I don’t have very much counter space. I keep all my dog’s supplies and food above my fridge to save space. To add a little ambiance to the kitchen space I put fancy bottles of wine and alcohol above my cabinets. If my kitchen space got more natural light I’d also have kitchen plants, but unfortunately no windows near my kitchen. The kitchen is more functional than visually appealing, but I thought I’d add pics of it just to show you what I’m working with.
My apartment doesn’t have a ton of space for a designated dining area, so I chose to utilize the space across from my kitchen as best as possible for a dining table. If you live alone in a smaller apartment, pushing your dining table up against a wall is a great way to save space while still providing your guests with a real place to eat (not just on your couch). I rarely actually sit at this table to eat my meals unless I have guests over, but everyone needs a bold, sturdy table in their home. I found this gorgeous black glass table on Offer-Up and my fabulous leopard print dining chairs from Overstock are sold out, but found some similar options below. The three-tier chandelier lamp is from Wayfair, linked below. I absolutely love this lamp, it’s very glamorous and has three different lighting toggle options.
Pro Tip: Make your dining table more aesthetically pleasing by putting a plant in the center or using place mats or a table runner to add some pizazz. You could also put a fruit bowl or a bowl of candy in the middle.
SHOP DINING ROOM
I love to host, therefore I wanted to create a bar area in my apartment to display wine and spirits. I also find that adding a bar to your home makes the space feel sophisticated. During a social gathering, everyone gravitates towards either the kitchen or the bar area, so if you’re planning on adding this to your home make sure you put it in a space that is open where you don’t mind lots of foot traffic. I used a simple thin black table for my bar, but a cabinet or credenza is also great use for a bar area, as it provides lower storage for glassware and mixing utensils. Eventually I will get some fancy decanters to display classy liquors, but I’m not quite on that level yet.
Also, I know you’re thinking it… where did I find this FABULOUS mirror? I bought it off Craigslist for $50 from the sweetest elderly man who lived on a house boat. So unfortunately, it’s not available. But keep reading, I’ve linked some of my favorite mirrors below.
SHOP BAR ITEMS
As you saw in my rough diagram above my apartment is just one big open room so I knew I somehow wanted to create a divider between my living area and my bedroom. The Kallax unit from Ikea was a perfect option for a room divider – it provides tons of storage and space to display aesthetic decor. I bought the 5×5 version to really get the feel of a wall, as it stands over 6ft tall. And just look at how much stuff you can put on it!
If you haven’t already noticed, I love animal print. My living space is very eclectic – I mix and match natural prints and earth tones with pops of bold colors for a very energetic feel. Some would say I have too much animal print, but in my eyes you can never have enough.
Most everything in my living room I previously owned except this gorgeous blue velvet chair I found on Amazon for only $250 (linked below!) You may think that blue was a strange choice, but I love how the royal color truly pops against all other elements of my living space. I also bought the red and gold rug, which nicely coordinates with the decor and some of my throw pillows. I’ve linked more affordable living room picks (some similar to mine) below.
Pro Tip: Double an ottoman as a coffee table by finding a fashionable tray to hold cups and other coffee table items! I found this gold one at West Elm.
SHOP LIVING ROOM
My bedroom area is on the opposite side of the living space and is organized by three sections – vanity space, sleeping space, and wardrobe.
In the vanity space, I have a vanity dresser and a make-up desk against my window, which is great source of natural light when I’m putting on my face in the morning. I put a studded velvet ottoman up against my immobile heater for aesthetic appeal and extra storage, and continued with the animal theme by tying everything together with a neutral abstract snake print rug (exact rug here).
My sleeping space is obviously my bed. A bed can truly make or break your space – a well-styled bed can transform your bedroom from a prison cell to a heavenly sanctuary. A tip for the guys: nice bedding is a huge turn on for the ladies. When styling a bed, pick two or three primary colors for all bedding elements – pillows, sheets, comforter, etc. I chose blue, gold and black. If you have a printed comforter, match your pillows and sheets to colors in the print. Add a cozy blanket for extra comfort.
Pro Tip: If you live in small apartment, save floor space by positioning your bed in a corner. You can use pillows to line the sides that are against the wall to feel cozy and nestled.
Finally, we get to the wardrobe area and my most favorite part of my apartment – my shoe wall. I installed these wall shelves next to my closet to save floor space and display my shoe collection. I clearly could have used a few more shelves! This is a great apartment hack to save space, especially if you have a tiny closet, and it looks really posh.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have a lot of extra money to spend on home decor and knick knacks, utilize your favorite shoes and purses and use those as decor! A beautiful pair of shoes is just as pleasing on a shelf as a pretty vase (if not more so!) I even have a few pairs on my kallax unit!
Items to Make your Apartment Homey, Cozy and Uncluttered
THROW PILLOWS. You can literally THROW them anywhere -on the bed, couches, chairs, even the floor! They spruce up an otherwise boring space with pops of color or patterns and add useful comfort too.
ACCENT LIGHTING. You don’t always want bright, harsh overhead lighting to be your only source of light in your apartment. Get some string lights or accent lighting to play up the brightness in your space. Also mood lighting is important for sexy time moments.
PLANTS. Not only are house plants good for your health, but they add so much visual beauty to your home. I currently have 8 house plants, ranging from tiny succulents to large snake plants. If you aren’t the best at keeping house plants alive, I strongly recommend getting a snake plant. They’re very hard to kill and barely need any water to thrive.
RUGS. Especially if your home has hardwood or concrete floors. They make your space feel warmer and cozier and can add a pop of color to an otherwise neutral space.
WALL ART. I cringe when I walk into a space and the walls are completely blank! No matter what your taste is, there is art out there for you to display in your home. A few ideas? Abstract paintings with colors that go along with your palette, canvases of your favorite animal or a framed map of the world. Yes, art can be spendy. Pro Tip: make the art yourself! What a fun activity for a rainy weekend.
MIRRORS. They especially help to make a very small apartment feel larger. And every girls NEEDS a full-length mirror in her home. I’ve found a few that are similar to my elaborate baroque mirror, linked below.
WALL SHELVES. Not only do they help provide extra storage space, but they also can display your favorite books or decor. And you can literally put them anywhere! I use wall shelves as a way to organize/display my shoes, above my bed to display photo collages and even in my bathroom to hold my towels.
ACCENT WALL. If you live in an apartment complex that allows you to paint (I could but my ceilings are sooo tall that I didn’t want to bother), I recommend doing so, especially if you plan on living in that apartment for several years. A colored accent wall brings excitement to your space and can help liven up a boring room. In my old apartment I had a deep red accent wall, which was a bold choice but I loved it.
INVEST IN STORAGE. As I mentioned above, the Kallax unit I used to separate my living space from my bedroom area was a perfect option as it provided TONS of extra storage space (which I needed). I highly recommend investing in a little extra storage to keep your space uncluttered, especially if you live in a small apartment with minimal closet space. With a cube shelving unit, you can also get inexpensive baskets to fit each opening to organize your stuff. I have baskets for craft supplies, board games, fabric, tools, etc.
Here’s a few of my favorite affordable picks!
And there you have it! My complete apartment tour and tips on how to decorate yours. I hope you found this walk through helpful and inspiring!
And as always, thank you for reading. XOXO