One of the biggest differences that you can make to a space is by adding artwork.
Here’s how my place used to look before I hung up the different pieces of artwork I collected through the years. It looked cold, bare, and with a severe lack of personality:
Now, look at the difference with everything up:
Granted, what I like in my artwork may not be the same as yours, but you can see just how much more interesting the space looks with it. And the best part? You can switch them out whenever you get a bit bored with how it looks.
Wallpaper is a great weekend project to spruce up your home, as you don’t typically need to use specialised tools to apply them, and there are many colours, textures, and patterns available these days. You don’t even have to cover the room’s entire wall, as you can always just choose to have an accent wall.
An accent wall can add a pop of colour to any space, especially if you go with bold patterns and colours that complement your existing decor.
You can also create a statement wall behind your bed, sofa, or dining table, or as a backdrop for your shelves or cabinets, adding an extra layer of interest to your space.
If you are certain about using wallpaper, do invest in a high-quality one as lousy wallpaper would peel quite quickly, particularly in our humid environment (there’s a reason why wallpapers are not recommended for places with lots of moisture like the bathroom).
2. Multiple lamps
I must admit, I do have a huge weakness when it comes to lamps. There are just too many interesting ones, and I would love to have enough space to be able to display them all.
Here’s my current favourite, this classy one from Marset.
If you feel like the standard track lights are not enough for you, then you can use multiple lamps to create layered lighting. Layered lighting is a popular design technique that involves using multiple light sources to create a variety of lighting options in any space.
One of the most obvious ways to accomplish this is with the use of different types of lamps. For instance, you might use a floor lamp for general lighting, a table lamp for task lighting, and a wall sconce for accent lighting.
As you might have already observed, the varying height of the lamps is what creates a layered effect in any space. A tall floor lamp next to a low table lamp can effectively create visual interest and depth in a room. Aside from different heights, mixing and matching styles can also add more layers.
This variety doesn’t end with the style of the lamps but also with the lighting it generates. Consider using dimmer switches on your lamps so you can have better control over the ambiance of your space.
You could also use a translucent lampshade to create a soft, diffused light (just like this ferm Living Vuelta lamp) or a coloured lampshade to add a pop of colour to your space.
3. Add plants
If you want to bring life and energy into any space, plants are arguably the most affordable and straightforward way to go. Not only do they add a pop of colour and texture, but they also have numerous health benefits, such as improving air quality and reducing stress levels.
When selecting plants for your apartment decor, remember to take into account the lighting and humidity levels in your space. Some plants thrive in low-light conditions, while others need more direct sunlight.
Additionally, some plants require more frequent watering, while others can go longer periods without watering. You will definitely have to do some research on different types of plants and choose the ones that will thrive in your specific environment.
Remember, placing a plant in the corner or on a table or shelf is not the only way to add it to any room. You can also create a plant wall by hanging planters using a hook or using a mounted shelf to create a living piece of art.
Large plants or unique planters can be also great statement pieces in your apartment decor. Use a large floor plant in the corner of a room or a sculptural planter on a coffee table to create a bold and eye-catching feature.
As always, don’t be afraid to mix and match different types of plants and planters to create a unique and personalised look.
You will have to dedicate more time and effort to this in the long run though, as unlike the rest of the ideas here, it isn’t just a case of setting it there, admiring it, and leaving it. You will actually have to care for the plant in order for it to thrive.
4. Unique hardware
Here’s another simple and affordable way to add a touch of personality and style to your space. With unique hardware, you can add style to what seem to be overlooked items in a home. You can choose to upgrade your door handles, add unique cabinet knobs, use unique lighting fixtures, or incorporate unique hooks.
Buster + Punch is an excellent example of a hardware brand that offers unique and stylish options for door handles, cabinet knobs, and other fixtures.
They offer a range of door handles in various finishes, including brushed steel, brass, and black, that can add a modern and industrial feel to your space.
In case you’re set on changing out cabinet knobs, the same brand also offers a range of cabinet knobs in various finishes and styles, such as the signature diamond-cut knurling design, that can add a touch of luxury and sophistication to your space.
Even using unique hooks can add a subtle stylish difference, such as a heavy metal hook with a diamond-cut knurling design, effectively adding a bold and edgy touch to your space.
5. Ikea furniture hacks
With Ikea furniture almost in every home these days, it’s not surprising that what used to be a unique style has become a common household decor. However, it’s equally hard to move away from Ikea because their furniture is stylish, affordable, and easily attainable.
That said, if you want to stand out from the pack, the good thing is that the Ikea community is so big that many enterprising individuals have come up with creative hacks to personalise their Ikea furniture.
Ikea’s storage solutions, such as the Kallax shelf unit or the Brimnes wardrobe, are a great starting point for customising your apartment storage. You can use adhesive wallpaper or contact paper to add a pop of colour or pattern to the exterior or install custom knobs or handles for a unique look.
If you have old Ikea furniture, you can upgrade it with new upholstery to create a completely custom look. For instance, you can recover a basic Ikea sofa or chair with new fabric or add a custom slipcover to update the look and feel of your furniture. For those interested, Bemz offers a ton of interesting fabric options for the most popular Ikea sofa models.
6. Mix and match textures
By mixing and matching textures in your apartment decor, you can create a visually stimulating space that feels cosy and inviting.
Layer rugs are one great example to accomplish this. Try layering a plush, shaggy rug on top of a flat-weave rug for a cosy, bohemian look. You can also mix and match patterns and colours for a more eclectic feel.
Here’s what I did with my home when I was experimenting with different rugs and textures:
You can also use the same approach with pillows and throws by mixing and matching different textured fabrics, such as velvet, faux fur, and linen. Here are some of my favourite pieces from ferm Living, with their unique 3D effect.
Mixing metallic finishes, such as brass, copper, and silver can add depth and texture to your decor. Try mixing and matching metallic accents, such as picture frames, candle holders, and vases, for a glamorous, sophisticated look.
These textures are not for manufactured objects only, as you can also use the same approach when incorporating natural elements. As an example, try incorporating a wooden coffee table or a stone side table to add texture and warmth to your space.
7. Bold tiles
From the kitchen to the bathroom, bold tiles can help add a pop of colour and personality to these spaces. One way to do this is with a statement wall. You can easily create a bold tile accent wall with colourful patterned tiles in your kitchen or bathroom for a focal point that draws the eye.
Another way is to mix and match different tile patterns and colours for a playful and eclectic look. Try pairing a bold, patterned tile with a solid-coloured tile to create a dynamic contrast, or you can also mimic the look of a rug or carpet with your tile designs.
Most bathroom styles can be considered neutral spaces, so using a geometric or patterned tile can make it more interesting. If your kitchen or bathroom is small, using oversized tiles in a bright colour or pattern can make a big impact, especially in the entryway.
8. Add a statement piece
Want to transform your space so that it encourages conversations? Adding a statement piece is one of the best ways to do this.
An oversized piece of art is one way to implement this, making a bold statement in any room. Choose a piece with vibrant colours or an interesting design. You can also go with wallpaper with a large-scale pattern or bold colours.
Statement lightings, such as a chandelier or a unique floor lamp, can also create a focal point in your space. If you’re going to implement this, be sure to look for fixtures with interesting designs or materials to add visual interest. Sculptural decors like a large vase or a unique and interesting sculpture are also great conversation starters, enlivening the space in your apartment.
Another great way to add a statement piece that’s not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional is with the use of unique furniture, such as a sculptural chair or a vintage side table.
ALSO READ: DIY condo renovation: How a creative couple self-designed their home (and furniture)
This article was first published in Stackedhomes.
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