25 Low-Lift Apartment Decorating Ideas That Look Chic

March 30, 2022 by Martyna Stachowiak in Home Decor


Stuck on apartment decorating ideas? If you’re looking for easy solutions that are high on style and low on stress, you’re in the right place. Ahead, we rounded up 25 no-fail apartment upgrades that work for just any space.

Redecorating your apartment doesn’t require all new furniture and accessories. You can revamp your space with some DIY painting work or upcycling items you already own. So don’t wait a year to get on a contractor’s schedule! These fool-proof decorating tips will completely change your space — right now.

Keep on reading to learn how to magically grow your windows, give your bathroom an instant facelift, and make your living room bigger without tearing down walls. And for more apartment decorating ideas, check out these 25 Apartment Balcony Ideas to Transform Your Outdoor Space . Here we go!

Decorate with Mirrors

It’s the oldest designer trick in the book: a strategically placed mirror can make a small space feel bigger. Hang a large mirror in a small living room or a cramped bedroom across from a window, so it’s in a prime position to bounce natural light back into the room.

Create a Focal Point

The focal point of a room attracts the eye and helps pull a design together. If your space lacks a natural attention-grabber, such as a fireplace or a bay window, create one. This could be a stand-out ornament, a theatrical light fixture, or an arresting artwork.

Lean Wall Art

Leaning wall art in unexpected places provides an interesting, casual look and eliminates holes in walls. So if you find yourself with a lease that’s strict on decoration updates, you can always prop your artwork against a wall to make that rental feel more like your own home.

Hang Curtains Higher

If your home wasn’t blessed with super tall ceilings, you’re not alone. The good news? You can fake high interiors by hanging your curtains higher than the windows. With this sneaky hack, your eye will be immediately drawn upward, making the entire space feel larger.

Display Your Collectibles

Grouping objects with a common theme always creates impact. If you’ve been collecting something for a long time and aren’t sure where to put your prized items, cluster them together on a shelf, a fireplace mantel, or an entryway console table so that every time you pass by, they spark joy.

Go Big with Wall Art

When in doubt, go big! Select a large-format canvas, like in this bold space from @mindy_schroor, a large tapestry, or an oversized artwork to make a powerful statement and visually open up a room. That’s right! Large wall art is a surprisingly good way to optimize small spaces.

Incorporate Plants

Decorating with plants is an evergreen choice, no matter the style of your apartment. Tailor the size and form of your green display to the setting. It can be anything from a feature plant (above) to a line of single stems in identical containers along a windowsill or a bowl of succulents on a coffee table.

Fill Your Fireplace

Just because you have a fake fireplace doesn’t mean it can’t be a centerpiece of your living room! Spruce up the inner opening with an eye-catching filler. @reserve_home used books from her home library and lined the inside of her faux fixture with a beautiful stacked arrangement.

Color Block Your Walls

Instead of painting your whole wall one color, why not split it up? Color blocking is a fun and exciting way to make your apartment feel fresh and vibrant on a tight budget. On a practical note, it can help section off a part of the space to create a breakfast nook or a study corner.

Give Your Ceiling a Makeover

Rather than painting walls in a feature color, flip the look and choose a bold shade for your ceiling. Just remember that choosing a darker color will make the ceiling feel closer than it really is. Small apartment dwellers, consider yourselves warned.

Upgrade Your Shelving

Open shelves provide plenty of functional storage, but there’s no reason why they can’t have a decorative value as well. Here, arched alcoves with built-in shelves add instant architectural punch to this modern living space from @britdotdesign.

Wallpaper a Small Space

Rather than trying to make your narrow powder room or tiny bathroom feel bigger,  lean into the small space and give it lots of personality with a bold print like @indigoleopardhome did. Her bathroom is the perfect example that small spaces can pull off busy wallpaper and that sometimes more is more.

Swap out Shower Curtain

If you’re not comfortable with wallpapering your bathroom but still want to add a dash of color and pattern into the space, liven things up with a shower curtain! And don’t be afraid of adding other colorful accents to the mix with the help of bathroom accessories (like a small vase of flowers.)

Rethink your Lighting

Consider where your light is shining from. You may see a world of difference if you combine one overhead light with table lamps, floor lamps, sconces, and pendants. Using multiple light sources also helps break up large rooms, as demonstrated by @restyleart above.

Get That Gallery Wall

A gallery wall is a no-fail addition to any space, from a boho living room to an aesthetic bedroom. It can be made up of photos, prints, postcards, and even things like wicker baskets. If you’re worried about nailing into walls, try magnet-mounted metal posters that won’t damage the paint!

Eliminate the Uppers

If your kitchen feels a little dark, try removing some of the upper cabinets, especially those that might be blocking the flow of natural light. You can also ditch your bulky uppers altogether and replace them with floating shelves to open up the space and bring more light into the room.

Introduce Contrasting Colors

@maties_house used high-contrast colors to create a bold space that feels both inviting and dramatic. For that striking, pulled-together look, consider choosing two shades on opposite ends of the color wheel and using one for the walls and the other for textiles, furniture, and accessories.

Turn Cookware into Art

Using walls to display your prettiest kitchen utensils will free up extra counter space and make your kitchen look more stylish. Mount a pot rack with your favorite copperware in place of a backsplash, or install open shelves to show off those kitchen appliances and save space.

Repaint Your Furniture

Repainting furniture is a great way to give your dated pieces a much-needed lift. Just look at the splashy makeover from @thecrazydaisycottage above! While not a quick fix, we can bet that you’ll fall in love with your freshly repainted desk, coffee table, or even bed frame all over again.

Mix and Match Textures

Incorporating multiple mixed materials and finishes can add visual weight and interest to any space. Assess your apartment and look for contrasting textures. Take your cue from @eastdallas_yogi_abode and combine different fabrics, wood furnishings, leather pieces, and plants.

Frame Your Headboard

The space behind your bed is the perfect place to make a statement. This stunning bedroom from @timlabenda features a Gucci crane wallpaper (yes, Gucci makes wallpaper, and yes, it’s fabulous, and yes, it’s extortionate). And look at those pendant lights against that print. So dreamy!

Soften with Textiles

Give your decor a relaxing look and feel with the use of textiles. Toss some throw pillows on the sofa or cover your couch in faux fur. If you have the budget, invest in living room furniture that you can sink into. Put down a couple of rugs and watch as even floor spaces become snuggly spots to get cozy.

Change up Your Paint Job

We all know that a lick of paint can do wonders to your home. So wave goodbye to those plain white walls and go crazy with bold colors! For a playful, whimsical touch, you can try creating decorative shapes with tape or paint — just remember to stick with hues from the same color family.

Add Seasonal Decor

Seasonal decorating is a clever way to change the look of your apartment and keep it fresh. Don’t be afraid to send some of your everyday decorative objects on a short vacation! Replace the mirror over the mantel with a holiday wreath, or add a few festive touches to your coffee table vignette.

Style Awkward Spaces

Whether it’s a small space under the stairs or an awkward corner in the living room, these tricky areas are great for flexing your decorative muscles. With the right furniture, accessories, and vision, you can turn them into anything from sneaky storage to cozy reading nooks!

It’s a Wrap!

If you’re thinking about doing a little renovating, you may run into times when you feel overwhelmed or short on inspiration. How do you make your 600-square-foot apartment look its best while reflecting your personal sense of style? As you can see, most of our design tips are easy to execute, but they will have an instant visual impact on your space. With only a few tweaks, you will have a place that feels like home and is inviting for guests.

Are there any apartment decorating ideas we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below.

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