One of the most exciting parts of moving into your own apartment is that you get to decide how to decorate your space. But that positive experience can turn sour all too easily, and an apartment can wind up looking like a poorly-decorated nightmare if you’re not careful.

Bad decorating examples can include everything from clashing color schemes to unintentionally making your space seem cluttered. Space is precious in apartments, and that makes your decorating decisions all the more important. Figuring out how to decorate your apartment doesn’t have to cause a headache, as long as you’re aware of a few common apartment decorating faux pas.

Bringing the Dorm to the Apartment

If you’re renting an apartment straight out of college, or you’ve managed to hang on to some of your dorm furniture over the years, it can be tempting to slide that lofted bed and cheaply-made lamp straight into your new place. But before you recreate your freshman year dorm room, take a step back and think about how you want to present your new space, both to yourself and any visitors. Are your guests going to feel like they’ve stepped back in time to a land of fraternity parties and late night study sessions?

If you’d rather not feel like you’re back in school, the solution is simple: leave the dorm-style furniture behind, and upgrade to furnishings suitable for an apartment. This could mean trading a ratty futon for a loveseat, substituting an armchair in place of a folding bucket seat, or setting your television on an actual stand instead of a stack of egg crates.

Destructive Decorations

It’s always nice to get your security deposit back when leaving your old apartment. Money can be tight, and some renters rely on that deposit to help them move into their next home. It’s essential to make sure you’re not decorating your new place in a way that will cause you to lose your deposit later on. That means reading your lease carefully to find out what your landlord will consider enough damage to withhold your deposit.

A few nails in the drywall may pass inspection, but drilling into the wall to install custom shelves or wallpapering an entire room might not go over so well. There are a lot of temporary decorating options and hacks created for apartments, from using removable hooks to changing out your curtains. Whatever you’re planning, ensure that you can undo it when it comes time to move out.

Overcrowding

It’s easy to get carried away by gorgeous displays in furniture stores. Each piece is selected to look perfect beside the next one, and you might quickly find things getting out of hand. Suddenly, you’re walking out of the store with the whole set! But what looks good on a showroom floor might not look as nice when the pieces are crammed inside your apartment.

Sure, those lamps should look great on the end table next to the coordinating sofa set alongside the armchairs squeezed in next to the bar cart, but sometimes, less really is more. It’s important to be conscious of your available square footage and recognize how much furniture you can fit into your apartment without overcrowding your space. Otherwise, you could end up with less of a cozy nest and more of a straight-up mess.

Too Much (or too Little) Color

Hot pink is a lovely color. It may even be your favorite color. But that doesn’t mean your entire apartment must be hot pink. Too much of a bright color easily overwhelms a room. On the other hand, not enough color can make your apartment seem drab. Neutrals are a great way to make your apartment decorating scheme consistent, but things can get boring if everything is a different shade of beige or gray.

Instead of winding up at one extreme or another, consider sprinkling coordinating colors throughout your apartment. A brightly colored pillow on a neutral couch, or a chair in a complementary color can tie an entire room together without overwhelming your space with too much of that color.

Find Your Next Apartment with Elevate Living

Decorating the space in which you live should be fun, or at least not stressful, just like finding a new apartment should be. Deciding how to decorate your apartment gives you the chance to express yourself visually. Starting the decorating process without a plan is a surefire way to end up with an apartment that isn’t cohesive in the slightest. If you go out and buy whatever appeals to you at the moment, your apartment may look less like a cohesive unit and more like a hodgepodge collection of patterns, colors, and styles.

A formal blueprint might be a little much, but a general idea of a theme you want to follow can’t hurt. You don’t have to be an interior designer to pick out a few colors that go together. If you approach decorating with even the vaguest of plans, you’ll likely emerge with a more put-together apartment. And with Elevate Living, you’re bound to have a beautiful apartment inside and out.