How To Style an Apartment: 16 Stylish Tips for Small Spaces

Styling a small apartment can be challenging, but it isn’t impossible. Space constraints often force us to prioritize, yet with the right tweaks and creativity—like choosing bold colors or adding creative wall art—your apartment can look both stylish and comfortable without feeling cramped. 1 Our guide offers 16 actionable tips designed to maximize your space efficiently.

Leveraging my background in interior design, I’ll share insights on maximizing style and comfort in tight quarters. You’ll learn how to use items like removable wallpaper, floating shelves, area rugs, and more to enhance your living spaces. 3 Dive into these expert tips!

Key Takeaways

Use Bold Colors and Creative Wall Art: Choose vibrant paints like navy blue or deep green to give depth to your rooms. Hang art in grid patterns or mix large and small pieces for a gallery effect—great sources include Etsy and Redbubble.

Incorporate Multifunctional Furniture: Utilize pieces with dual purposes, such as daybeds that function as both seating and sleeping areas, fold-away tables, or couches with hidden storage compartments.

Enhance Space Perception Using Mirrors: Strategically place mirrors near windows to reflect natural light and create the illusion of a bigger space. Large wall mirrors can make tight quarters feel more open.

Add Removable Decor Items: Use peel-and-stick wallpapers, static cling films on windows, or tension rods for curtains to easily change your apartment’s look without causing damage—ideal for renters wanting flexibility in decor changes.

Optimize Vertical Storage Solutions: Install high shelves for maximum use of vertical space in kitchens, bathrooms, or living rooms. Consider bifold doors to save floor space while giving an elegant touch to room dividers.

Fundamentals of Apartment Design

How To Style an Apartment 2

Think about the colors you want to use in your apartment. Pick art that makes the walls come alive.

Choosing Bold Colors and Paints

Testing paint samples on all four walls of a room is recommended. 1 It helps to see how the color looks in different lighting conditions throughout the day. Apply with a roller for an accurate representation.

Prime new walls before adding the final color.

YouTube player

Bold colors can make your apartment look expensive and stylish. Use shades like navy blue or deep green to add depth to your living room or bedroom. Choose paints that stand out but match your decor, like geometric patterns or minimalistic designs. 2

A splash of bold paint transforms any space.

Use clear and precise verbs—avoid fluff—for effectiveness.

Ideas for Creative Wall Art

Get creative with wall art by using repetition and balance. Hang frames in a grid pattern for a sleek look, or mix large and small pieces for a dynamic gallery wall. Simple hooks can hang art without drilling holes—perfect if you rent your apartment. 3

Find unique prints on Etsy, Society6, and Redbubble. Choose artworks that reflect your style. Try big posters or canvases to make bold statements. With the right arrangement, even small living rooms can feel like galleries. 4

Enhancing Style and Comfort in Your Apartment

How To Style an Apartment 3

Add colorful throw pillows and cozy textiles to your apartment. Removable wallpaper can change the look without a big commitment….

Decorative Throw Pillows and Textiles

Decorative throw pillows and textiles can transform your apartment. They add style, color, and comfort to any room. 5 Choose high-quality fabrics like cotton for durability. Mix different textures, patterns, and colors to create a layered look.

YouTube player

Throw blankets on the couch or sofa bring warmth. 6Incorporate area rugs for added texture. Use them under coffee tables or by the bed. These small touches make a big difference in how cozy your space feels. “A well-placed pillow can change everything,” says interior designer John Smith.

Keep symmetry in mind when arranging pillows or placing rugs to enhance visual appeal and balance.

Options for Removable Wallpaper and Window Treatments

Options for removable wallpaper and window treatments can enhance your apartment style with ease. They are renter-friendly and simple to install.

  1. Peel and Stick Wallpaper: This type of wallpaper is perfect for renters and easy to apply. Brands like Spoonflower offer many designs. Mallory Wackerman has had positive experiences with these wallpapers. 7
  2. Temporary Window Shades: These shades can be taken down quickly. They don’t damage windows, making them ideal for any bachelor pad.
  3. Static Cling Film: This film adds privacy to your space without blocking natural light. It’s simple to put on and remove from windows.
  4. Tension Rods for Curtains: Use tension rods for hanging curtains in any new city apartment. They require no drilling, keeping walls intact.
  5. Magnetic Blinds: These blinds attach easily to metal window frames and are adjustable—great for managing light levels.
  6. Decorative Wall Decals: Wall decals add personality without paint or nails. Opt for designs that resonate with your style.
  7. Adjustable Roller Blinds: Ideal for minimalism, they fit various window sizes and provide a sleek look.
  8. Translucent Film Panels: Suitable for open-plan spaces, these panels create divisions while letting light through. 8

Using these options makes changing the decor easy whenever you want without worrying about permanent changes or damages in rented spaces.

Tips for Lighting and Large Art Frames

Good lighting can transform a small apartment. 10 Large art frames add style and personality.

  • Invest in lamps for end tables, nightstands, and occasional tables. Choose stylish designs to match your décor.
  • Install plug-in undercabinet lighting in the kitchen. This makes cooking and cleaning easier.
  • Hang plug-in sconces in hallways or above sofas. These don’t require hardwiring and save space.
  • Use chandeliers or statement lights for the dining area. They bring elegance and brighten the room.
  • Place large art frames on focal walls. Go bold with colors that pop against neutral backgrounds. 9
  • Mix different sizes of art frames to create visual interest. This adds depth to flat walls.

Enhancing your apartment’s style involves thoughtful choices of throw pillows, removable wallpaper, and window treatments…

Add Greenery and Decorative Books

Plants can make your apartment feel lively and fresh. Place small potted plants on bookshelves or dressers. Use vertical gardening for balconies to save space and add greenery. Easy-to-care-for options like succulents or snake plants work great. 5

Decorative books not only look stylish, but are also functional. Stack coffee table books on an ottoman or inside cabinets to create warmth and a sense of style. Highlight favorite books by displaying them on open shelving units in the living room. 11

Books are uniquely portable magic. – Stephen King

Strategies for Maximizing Apartment Space

How To Style an Apartment 4

Use multi-functional furniture to save room… Add shelves that go up, not out… Use a table that folds away when you don’t need it.

Utilize Multipurpose Furniture

A couch with hidden storage can save space and keep things tidy. 12 Sofa beds are great for guests without needing an extra room. A coffee table with compartments holds books, remotes, or games inside.

YouTube player

Kitchen tables that double as desks work well in small apartments. Compact appliances fit better than large ones. Use pull-out pantry shelves to store food neatly. Think about adding a bookshelf near the armchairs for quick access to your favorite reads…

Onward to solutions for integrated storage! 13

Solutions for Integrated Storage

Multipurpose furniture saves space, but integrated storage makes it even better. Think about a coffee table with hidden compartments. It keeps your remotes and magazines out of sight. 14 Under-bed storage is perfect for extra linens or clothes.

Use hooks in the kitchen to hang pots and pans, saving cabinet space. Pull-out pantry shelves let you store more while keeping everything easy to find. 14 Vertical shelving works great in kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms—stack up instead of spreading out.

Storage isn’t just about hiding clutter; it’s about making your apartment functional.

Cabinetry maximizes vertical spaces well too. 15 Tall bookcases add style while offering room for books and decor. Don’t forget doors with built-in racks—they’re ideal for additional pantry items or cleaning supplies.

Incorporate Bifold Doors for Space Efficiency

Bifold doors save space and look great in small apartments. They create a smooth, open feel between rooms. Bifold doors fold neatly against the wall, taking up less space than regular doors.

These doors can be customized for size, material, and color to match your style. 16

Using bifold doors also makes rooms seem bigger by letting more light in. Regular maintenance keeps them working well for years. It’s best to have bi-fold doors from leading suppliers of high-quality and reasonably priced UPVC windows, doors, roofline products, and kitchens in Northern Ireland.

This choice will make your living area both practical and stylish without breaking the bank! 17

Optimize with Space-Saving Shelving and Kitchen Islands

Use vertical shelving to maximize space. Install shelves high up on walls, using the entire height of your room. 19 Add a cart on wheels or a stand-alone kitchen island for extra counter space and storage.

Thrift small shelf racks if room allows. 18

Kitchen islands with built-in storage keep items hidden but handy. These can store pots, pans, or even cookbooks. Bifold doors help hide clutter while saving floor space.

Blend Aesthetics with Functionality in Apartment Decor

How To Style an Apartment 5

Blend aesthetics and functionality to make your apartment shine. Use clever tricks to make spaces work smarter, not harder….

Creating gallery walls and adding floating shelves can transform your apartment. These tips will help you stylishly display your photos and art.

  1. Choose a Theme
    • Pick a cohesive theme for your gallery wall. 20
    • Mix different-sized photos and frames.
    • Add personal touches with meaningful pieces.
  2. Plan the Layout
    • Arrange frames on the floor to decide their placement.
    • Use painter’s tape to mark positions on the wall. 21
  3. Use Quality Frames
    • Select sturdy frames that match your decor.
    • Opt for a mix of wooden, metal, or colored frames.
  4. Highlight Significant Pieces
    • Make important artwork stand out by using larger frames or bold colors.
    • Keep fewer items in the cluster to avoid clutter.
  5. Install Floating Shelves Properly
    • Use a level to ensure shelves are straight.
    • Secure shelves with appropriate anchors and screws.
  6. Balance Decor on Shelves
    • Place decorative books, small plants, or collectibles.
    • Avoid overcrowding to maintain a clean look.
  7. Combine Gallery Walls and Shelves
    • Integrate shelves into your gallery wall layout.
    • Display items like picture frames, vases, or sculptures alongside hanging artprints.
  8. Adjust for Lighting
    • Ensure good lighting highlights your gallery wall and shelves.
    • Install sconces or use floor lamps for added effect.
  9. Personalize Your Space
    • Mix-and-match styles that reflect your personality.
    • Incorporate items from your travels or hobbies.
  10. Refresh Seasonally – Change artwork, pictures, and shelf displays with seasons or trends.

Use Dual-Purpose Daybeds and Faux Built-Ins

Dual-purpose daybeds and faux built-ins boost apartment style. These solutions are great for small spaces.

  1. Transform Daybeds: A daybed can switch from a twin to a king-size bed. It offers both seating and sleeping options, perfect when friends visit. 22
  2. IKEA Hacks: Faux built-ins using IKEA hacks save space and add storage. Shelves and cabinets blend in smoothly with walls, giving the room a neat look. 23
  3. Seating Solutions: Use daybeds in the living room to sit during the day and sleep at night. This saves having a separate sofa or bed.
  4. Extra Storage: Add storage drawers under your daybed for keeping clothes, shoes, or bedding out of sight but within reach.
  5. Bedroom Design: A faux built-in around your bedframe uses vertical space efficiently—great for holding books, clocks, or personal items.
  6. Maximize Closets: Floating desks in closets create hidden workspaces that you can tuck away easily when not needed.

Dual-purpose furniture helps make the most of every inch in an apartment, especially if you’ve moved to a new city and need to maximize space efficiently.

Employ Mirrors to Expand Light and Space Perception

Using dual-purpose daybeds and faux built-ins saves space. Adding mirrors can do even more to help expand light and room perception. Place mirrors near windows; they reflect natural light, making the room appear larger. 24 Use big wall mirrors in small spaces to create an open feeling.

Decorate with mirrors in dressing areas for added function. Position them opposite attractive features like a fireplace or artwork to double their impact visually. You can also arrange several smaller mirrors together to make a stylish gallery wall, creating symmetry and balance in your apartment design. 25 This simple tip adds both beauty and utility effortlessly!

Personalizing Your Apartment Space

How To Style an Apartment 6

Choose bright accent colors and mix different rugs…

Select Unique Accent Colors

Accent colors can turn a plain room into something special. Add bright pillows on your couch or a colorful rug on the floor. Choose shades that stand out against neutral walls. Try red, blue, or green for bold pops of color. 10

Using different textiles makes rooms lively and interesting. Pairing accent colors with varied textures gives depth to your space. A mustard yellow throw blanket, teal curtains, and patterned area rugs add warmth and coziness instantly. 5

Combine Layered Area Rugs with Textured Wall Art

Unique accent colors make a room pop. Combining layered area rugs with textured wall art enhances the space’s depth and warmth. Layering different rug textures, such as a neutral base with a patterned top rug, adds dimension even on existing flooring. 26

Hang textured wall art above to create visual interest. The top rug should cover two-thirds of the bottom rug for balance. This setup brings comfort and style into your apartment while maximizing small spaces efficiently. 27

Customize Your Entryways and Dining Nooks

Your entryway creates the first impression. Add a console table for storage. Use it to keep keys, mail, or decor items like a vase or small lamp. Hang a mirror above it to open up the space and add light. 28

Create dining nooks with built-in seating options. Install benches with hidden storage underneath them for extra functionality. Decorate the area with cushions and throws to make it cozy and inviting. 29

People Also Ask

How can I make my small apartment look bigger?

Use light colors, mirrors, and multi-functional furniture to create the illusion of more space.

What type of furniture works best in a small apartment?

Choose compact, multi-purpose furniture that fits well and serves multiple functions.

How can I add storage without taking up too much room?

Use vertical space with shelves and wall-mounted cabinets to keep things organized.

What are some easy ways to decorate a small apartment on a budget?

Shop for second-hand items, DIY decor projects, and use plants for an affordable touch.

Can I style my small apartment without making it feel cluttered?

Yes—keep it simple by choosing minimal decor and storing away unnecessary items.

  1. ^
  2. ^ (2021-03-16)
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ (2023-12-11)
  6. ^ (2021-03-22)
  7. ^ (2020-10-28)
  8. ^ (2024-03-20)
  9. ^
  10. ^ (2024-03-12)
  11. ^ (2020-05-24)
  12. ^ (2020-12-20)
  13. ^ (2024-05-13)
  14. ^
  15. ^ (2023-04-18)
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ (2022-09-19)
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ (2017-09-12)
  28. ^
  29. ^ (2023-10-27)



    Home Decor

    Photo of author


    Chad is the co-founder of Unfinished Man, a leading men's lifestyle site. He provides straightforward advice on fashion, tech, and relationships based on his own experiences and product tests. Chad's relaxed flair makes him the site's accessible expert for savvy young professionals seeking trustworthy recommendations on living well.

    Leave a Comment