What’s your style? Not quite sure what your interior design aesthetic is yet? If you’re new to the whole decorating your own apartment thing, there are several styles to choose from. The best way to go would just be to pick interior pieces that you like and represent your personal taste. While you’re exploring your options and finding the best fit for you, consider the industrial look, one of our favorite design styles. If you’re not sure what that is, below are the elements that fall under that category for your consideration.
Metal furniture – One feature of an industrial décor is metal furniture. This could be anything from metal standing shelves or file cabinets. What may have been considered too basic or not of high quality before has now become cool and chic, like reclaimed lockers and office furniture.
Accessories – If you like fixing up found objects that could possibly be found in a junk yard or are bygone products that aren’t operational anymore, like a typewriter, this may be a sign that you have an industrial aesthetic. Think differently about discarded materials and how you could incorporate them into your interior apartment design.
Colors – A major characteristic of the industrial décor style is the color palette, which includes a lot of steel blues and grays, and black and white. This might seem drab too some, but the use of these colors contributes to the interesting and unique industrial look, and really creates a warm vibe when contrasted with wood flooring or tones.
Distressed material – Another way to create industrial touches in your home is displaying distressed materials. Exposed brick and piping is a big industrial component, as well as distressed furniture. An easy way to create a distressed look is to sand painted pieces of furniture.
Edison bulbs – Edison light bulbs are a common detail used in industrial décor. For a bigger industrial effect, let them hang bare without a cover.
One home essential that makes the difference between being able to cook, clean and find things easily and efficiently is the lighting situation in your apartment. When you move in to your apartment, you will most likely need to bring in your own light sources in addition the fixtures that already come with your apartment. Check out these tips for making your apartment lighter and brighter that are rental and property manager-friendly!
Task Lamps – If you need more light in your kitchen, bathroom, closet, or pretty much any room in your apartment, the easiest solution is to set up a task lamp. These flexible and portable lamps are convenient and can be plugged in a safe spot to add some more light where you need it in common work areas or go-to places to find household items you need.
Stick on lights – “Stick and click” LED lights are so convenient. These stick-on lights are battery operated, so no cords or plugs necessary, and they are inexpensive. Put them wherever you need more light in your apartment, including pantries, cabinets, closets or any dark corner in any room.
Under cabinet lights – Especially useful for smaller kitchens, overhead lights can be placed under cabinets which create dim areas in common food prep locations. Consider LED “tape lighting” which is an affordable strip of LED lighting which can be adhered to surfaces for extra light where you need it. These lights can range from as cheap as $15 and go up to $30 – $40 with enhanced quality.
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Have you moved in to a new apartment and are stuck on how to decorate and personalize it? A good way to start is by choosing a color palette. One of the great things about color is you can change the motif from room to room depending on what works best in your apartment. Here are the interior design color combinations that are trending this year. Consider incorporating them into your apartment’s aesthetic for a hip, current and striking interior design that will be a delight to be surrounded by, both for you and guests!
According to interior design blogs and magazines, the hot colors this year are purple hues, blue hues and neutral hues. If you need new or updated furniture or apartment accessories, this is a great opportunity to make your purchases with these colors in mind.
Purple and blue hues will make a great complement to white or beige colored walls, making those accent pieces pop in your apartment. Try purchasing rugs, throw pillows, blankets, ottomons or chairs in these rich colors that would work in any room of your apartment. For a fun project, you can also paint dining room chairs, trunks or a chest of drawers in these colors to customize the furniture you already have.
For neutral hues, use the white walls in your apartment to your advantage by using statement pieces, bold prints and wooden furniture that will be offset by the white tones for a balance of natural and bright qualities. Indoor plants will also add that pop of color to a neutral toned room.
Choosing a color scheme to decorate your home isn’t as simple as black and white; elements such as hue, saturation, and tint each contribute to the overall look of a color. Mood is a consideration, too – many psychologists believe certain hues encourage feelings like happiness, excitement, or tranquility.
Though the majority of renters are not permitted to make permanent changes to their living space such as painting a room*, changing the mood of a certain space can be as simple as accenting with objects d’art of a particular palette. If you’re unsure of the hue that would be best for you, read through the rainbow sampling below for ideas on how to splash some color into your home and mood.
Seeing red isn’t always a bad thing. PhD Psychologist Sally Augustin writes that energy level goes up as color saturation increases. “Brighter, more saturated colors improve our mood,” she explains in her book Place Advantage. Hues like red, for example, ramp up the pituitary gland leading to increased energy. As such, red accent pieces can add vitality to a room without overpowering the space with too much color.
Blue, one of the coolest colors in terms of temperature, has long been associated with the feeling of tranquility. Yet in overabundance, cool blues can give a home an appearance of aloofness or unfriendliness writes color consultant Leatrice Eiseman in Colors for Your Every Mood. The author suggests light pastel blues for those seeking to create a “delicate, detached, ethereal ambiance.”
In The New Home Color Book by Anna Kasabian, yellow is suggested as the new neutral color. Yellow, according to the book, is “warmer and more sumptuous than white, it works well as a backdrop for dark or black furnishings, and heightens the honey tones in polished wood floors.” Under the Clinton administration, much of the White House was decorated in yellow or gold as the Clintons enjoyed sunny hues. To add such warmth to your own home, try sprucing up rooms with cheerful yellow throw pillows or window treatments.
* A Word to the Wise for Renters *
As a New Orleans apartment management firm, we would be remiss if we didn’t add a note for renters. Decorating with color doesn’t always mean painting. But if you are so inclined, be sure to contact your apartment manager or landlord for rules on painting rental property – no amount of color will make up for the green that you could lose if your terms are not followed out (translation, Goodbye Deposit).
Making your own home-improvement projects yourself instead of hiring someone or purchasing expensive furniture and housewares not only saves on cost, but is fun and instills a sense of gratification from your own accomplishments. Here are some ideas for at-home DIY projects to spruce up your apartment.
Use rugs – Does it feel like something is missing in your apartment? Is there a room that just seems too bland that needs something extra to spice it up and pull it together? The answer might be as easy as a floor rug, and they come in many different shapes, sizes and patterns for virtually every room in your apartment. Check out these ways to use rugs in your apartment for that finishing touch.
Felt and fabric coasters – Instead of buying overpriced clunky coasters, enjoy the accomplishment of making them your own with soft fabrics! You can buy new fabric or use leftover scraps you may have in storage. What you’ll need to make six coasters is ¼ yard of patterned fabric, one 18”x18” square of white wool felt and one 18”x18” square of gray woof felt, or whatever contrast color you would like. Use these tips from Apartment Therapy on how to construct your fabric coasters.
Painted pillow cases – Tired of your boring, solid color pillow cases or can’t ever find a design or pattern that you love? Create your own by simply creating designs on one of your old pillowcases or a new one by applying paint with a sponge in whatever shape you like. Get creative – you could make crescent moon, heart or star shapes or just abstract shapes.
Milk paint – If you have an old piece of wooden furniture that maybe you found at a yard sale that needs a makeover, consider making your own milk paint for a low-cost solution with charming rustic results. If you’re not sure what milk paint is, it’s a very easy wood finish you can make using a powder found at a hardware or home improvement store, mixed with equal parts warm water. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, then apply to your piece of sanded wood and let sit for at least one hour. To experiment with a weathered look, sand again once the paint is dry, and reapply another coat if necessary, until you’re happy with the look.
If you enjoy having company over to your apartment and hosting dinner parties, chances are you get really into decorating for guests. Impress your friends and family at your next occasion with these creative table settings for a dinner party to remember!
Flowers and natural elements – Incorporating flowers into your tablescape always adds a fresh and attractive touch. Depending on the occasion, customize the color scheme to fit the theme. If it’s Mardi Gras, pick out purple and yellow flowers with nice green stems, if it’s Easter, pastel colors are a classic choice. If it’s for a friend’s birthday, choose flowers in their favorite color. Other natural elements can add a fun, unexpected touch, like pinecones or fall leaves scattered around the centerpiece.
Crafts – For a celebration, decorations that can be found at a crafts store are a festive addition. Tying a pretty ribbon around a wine glass, sprinkling confetti between place settings and using a big white sheet of paper with colorful stamps can add that extra special touch.
Candles – For a more grown-up or intimate occasion with friends or loved ones, add some glass-encased votive candles to your table setting for some understated elegance.
Place setting accessories – To make your table setting pop, add some colorful elements that will stand out and bring your dinner party to life. Some ideas are placing brightly colored napkins in between white dinner and salad plates, or personalizing your place settings with handmade name cards and place mats.
Fruit – Fruit is not only delicious to eat, but a pretty natural addition to your table setting. Get creative by poking holes in citrus fruit with straws that have name tags attached, place pineapples around your centerpiece, or make a fruit cornucopia centerpiece.