10 Easy Apartment Decorating Ideas

A small space doesn’t mean you have to skimp on style. Get the home of your dreams with these apartment-decorating ideas

Nena Farrell
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Layer Rugs for a Fun Vibe

There are so many reasons to add rugs to your apartment’s decor--to hide your landlord’s questionable flooring choices, to protect your flooring (and your security deposit), and to instantly personalize the space. Layering a few rugs not only adds more character, but can help define different spaces within a studio or one-bedroom apartment.
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Jute Rug

  • ; from $79

A jute rug makes for a perfect base to layer additional rugs. It can also stand alone as a neutral backdrop for your decor.

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Sheepskin Rug

  • ; from $25

Everyone loves a good sheepskin rug, whether it’s for layering over a jute rug, tucking under a chair, or even throwing over the couch as a decorative piece.

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Printed Rug

  • ; from $29

This rug adds a fun print to a living space, but it’s neutral enough to give you flexibility with your color palette.

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Add Some Pillows

Accent pillows can dress up (and cover up) those somewhat worn hand-me-down couches in your first apartment. Go with a color theme to unify the look without being too matchy-matchy. Or have a few neutral pillows with one bright one to add a pop of color to your living space.

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Watercolor Pillow

  • ; $50

This colorful pillow is great to pair with other blue or pink pillows, or as an accent on a blue couch.

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Faux Fur Pillow

  • ; from $16.99

Add some texture to your couch with a neutral (or colorful) faux fur throw pillow.

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Velvet Pillow

  • ; $49

Get that single pop of color with one of these velvet throw pillows.

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Throw Blanket Magic

Apartments are often filled with inexpensive furniture and Craigslist finds, but they don’t have to look like it. A a cozy faux-fur blanket or boldly printed throw can take turn a beaten-up chair or simple bed into a luxe focal point.

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Faux Fur Throw

  • ; $30

Looking to warm up a room? Toss this faux-fur blanket onto your sofa for soft texture.

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Knitted Throw

  • ; $18

Add some visual interest to your couch or bedroom with this herringbone printed throw.

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Printed Throw

  • ; $199

Dress up a neutral space with this show-stopping print.

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Instant Seating

Have more friends than room on the couch? Pick up a few floor pillows or poufs that you can easily stash in a corner or use as a side table when you aren’t hosting company. They easily transform into stylish seating on movie night.

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Leather Pouf

  • ; $299

This sleek pouf can tuck under a coffee table, act as a footrest, and be a beautiful piece of decor when it’s not acting as an extra seat.

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Pastel Pillows

  • ; $40

Add a soft touch of pastel with these comfy, colorblock floor pillows.

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Elevate Your Art

Even if the only art you own is a poster or a motivational phrase printed in large font, framing it takes it from college dorm room to apartment-worthy. Frame a series of your favorite photos or phrases to form a gallery wall, or hang one larger statement piece.

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Birch Frame

  • ; starting at $59

Add an earthy touch with this natural frame.

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Minimalist Frame

  • ; $12.95

If you’ve got a strict budget or are building a gallery wall, try these affordable but classic frames.

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Brass Frame

  • ; from $29

Looking for a touch of metallic for your wall? Try these gallery frames.

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Eye-Level Texture

Not a fan of frames, or looking for something different to dress up your walls? Try a textile wall hanging as an affordable (or DIY-able) art piece that elevates the entire room.

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Macrame Hanging

  • ; $79

Over the bed, the couch, or even in your entryway, the options for this piece are endless.

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Color Block Hanging

  • ; $79.99

Or, go for a geometric look and extra texture with this black, white, and indigo design.

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Metallic Hanging

  • ; $29.00

Embrace a celestial vibe with this hanging piece--the small size makes it perfect for a narrow wall.

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Make A Statement (Wall)

Looking to create a statement wall that you won’t regret when it’s time to move out? Try removeable wallpaper to turn walls into a beautiful backdrop without lifting a hammer (or even a thumbtack). Or go with removeable decals for an even lower-maintenance version.

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Wall Decals

  • ; $12.00

These little triangle stickers make for a fun yet minimal look that could go on a single wall or an entire room.

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Removable Wallpaper

  • ; $59.00

This soft print comes in removable panels, making it easy to create (and take down) a statement wall.

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Replace Hardware

You’ve heard it before: Replace your cabinet or drawer hardware and you’ll completely change the look of the cabinetry. It’s oft-cited because it’s true. Think of hardware as the style signal: A faceted gold bin-pull sends up a flare that says "sophisticated" and "luxurious," no matter your cabinet style. Using upcycled metal parts as drawer pulls sends an artsy-industrial signal. As you browse for new hardware, limit your search to hardware that is installed using the same screw position as the ones you have (single knobs versus bin-pulls versus wide-set drawer-pulls, for example), unless you’re prepared to use wood filler and paint to touch up any holes. And in the case of cabinets, don’t forget hinges! If they’re visible, match them to the new hardware for a pro finish.

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Printed Switch

  • ; from $22.00

Make a statement in your kitchen with this patterned light switch cover.

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Floral Outlet

  • ; from $22.00

Make plugging in a hair dryer or curling iron a beautiful experience by adding this outlet cover to the bathroom.

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Retro Switch

  • ; from $22.00

Feel like the Great Gatsby when you turn on the chandelier with this retro-design switch plate.

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Upgrade Your Shower Curtain

Lackluster rental bath? Swapping out the shower curtain can make it feel like a new space instantly. Embrace neutrals for a spa-like feel, or add some color to brighten up a drab space. Plus, some rentals don’t come with a curtain at all, so you’ll want to be prepared.

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Cactus Shower Curtain

  • ; $59

Bring the outdoors into the bathroom with this colorful curtain.

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Linen Shower Curtain

  • ; $39.99

Go for a softer shade for your shower with this bordered linen curtain.

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Coral Shower Curtain

  • ; $29.99

Just because the room is small doesn’t mean you need to shy away from bold prints. Just keep the rest of your decor simple to balance the room.

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Paint the Furniture

Do all your friends have that same IKEA table? Give it a fresh coat of paint to make it your own. This affordable DIY can also update salvage furniture, Craigslist finds, or pieces that you’ve grown bored of but are still in good shape.