Never leave your walls painted standard white– it’s the easiest way to create a feeling of ownership in your new environment. Choose your own specific colors in each room. Do not feel like you are forced to go bold– even a variety of neutral shades will make a huge difference. Most paint companies have over 30 shades of off-white– there is no excuse to not experiment!
2. Paint Application
Rather than just painting the walls, mix it up by painting either your floor, one statement wall, or even your ceiling. Stripes— painted horizontally or vertically– are a great way to get creative in your space and add an interesting twist that your guests would never expect.
Dont shy away from layering different styles from different eras. It is all about creating your own style through curating the individual pieces you love. If you have an ethnic carpet that you adore, refresh the look by layering it on top of a larger, solid carpet. Have your vintage side chairs reupholstered to match your new sofa– you’ll have a great set that works together. The possibilities are endless.
Keep your bedroom serene by choosing white sheets rather than colored ones– it will freshen up the entire look. Simple accent colors are great– chose a simple piping or border, rather than all-over pattern.
The easiest way to make a small space feel large is by creating multiple seating areas. Push yourself to find a layout that includes more then the standard sofa and pair of lounge chairs huddled around a coffee table. Find that empty corner or space by the window, and– with the use of smaller side chairs and a cocktail table– that formerly unused area could become your new favorite perch.
Keep the focus on the design, not the technology. Choose a hiding spot for those enormous cable boxes, DVD players, and remotes. Try a closed cabinet console or fabric-covered boxes. Your apartment also shouldnt be covered with extension cords and chargers– keep them all located in one area and neatly bundled. Just a little effort and thoughtfulness will make a world of difference.
Pay special attention to the lighting throughout your home– and allow for an array of lighting options. This can be achieved by buying a variety of table and floor lamps– and keep the bulb wattage low enough so no lights overwhelm the room. Dimmers are a great way to allow for flexibility in your space– you can always take your lamp to an electrician to get this feature installed. Remove all fluorescent lights and instead opt for incandescent white light.
8. Window Treatments
Something that’s often overlooked, but is incredibly important to any space are window treatments. Although functional in terms of blocking out light or peeping toms– window treatments also create a surface that allows the eye to travel from wall to wall without interruption. Simple roman shades are a great look for a tailored room.
With all of the incredible artwork out there, there should be no reason to ever leave a blank wall. There are now sites that offer inexpensive options– I personally love either Etsy or 20X200. Purchase a few pieces in a color range or theme to create a beautiful and interesting picture wall.
One of the simplest, least expensive things you can do to really make a difference in your home is to pay special attention to the clutter in your life. Clean off surfaces, purchase simple, single colored fabric boxes, and keep all loose items neatly stored away. Purchase a stylish magazine rack and keep your reading materials together in one space. Spend a little time organizing your bookshelf and maybe even color code the book bindings for a beautiful, new library.
Nina Freudenberger attended Rhode Island School of Design, graduating in 2003 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts and a Bachelors of Architecture. She moved to New York City to accept a position at the prestigious interior design firm, Kondylis Design. After four years working as a senior designer, Freudenberger ventured out on her own and founded Haus Interior, an interior design firm specializing in the decoration of private residences, model homes, and commercial spaces. In June of 2009, she opened the flagship home accessories boutique for Haus Interior in Nolita, New York City. Nina also provides interior decorating tips on her personal blog, The Cultivated Home.