The struggle of styling your apartment is real. We all know it. We all go through it. How much do I want to spend on decor? How long am I going to stay for? Should I buy this furniture piece, risking it may not fit in my next place? This is literally the monolog I have on a regular basis.

In my case I sort of go with the flow and I think it’s important to feel good and at home (rented or owned). So I don’t like to restrict myself and like to navigate within the possible and the temporary.

To start things, figure out a master plan and dedicate a budget towards this project, whether you just invest a big chunk of money right away or if you want to dedicate a certain amount per month and splurge on accessories and furniture as you go. The important thing to keep in mind is to make sure to invest in temporary and versatile pieces that won’t ruin any surface in your apartment. Simply, things you can take with you when you move out.

I have created a list of ways on how to effectively style your apartment.

Let’s jump right into it!


Temporary Wallpaper

Wallpapers are a great way to add character to your home. They are complicated to install, especially, if you are working with patterns or large murals, that needs to be aligned to be perceived as one collective image. The glue is meant to last, which means, taking it off would be quite a project. Thank god for temporary wallpapers! These are just as fancy and a breeze to remove. They definitely are statement pieces that have a great impact in your interior. Essentially it’s like having large unframed artwork.

Tip: Self adhesive vinyl wallpaper is perfect for apartment use. You can actually reuse them by putting it back onto the adhesive backing it came with (it’s hard but doable! It just takes patience, time and at least 2 people!) and reapply it to the walls in your next place.

Gallery Wall

Gallery walls are a great way to add artwork and photos. I also love how it also adds some sort of texture on the wall, depending on the pattern and material used for the frames. You can go for a more serene look by aligning same sized and finished frames in a grid. Or you can go for a more eclectic feel, by using differently sized and textured frames and hang them in a system that makes the ensemble work collectively. You can even bring it up a notch by adding other decorative elements, such as artful 3-dimensional shapes. Again it can be easily be removed, without any major damages.

Tip: In order to figure out how you would like to lay it out and sort of get a preview, I recommend to get a large piece of paper, place it on the floor and lay out the frames. Play around and explore different scenarios and constellations and take it from there. Once you have finalized the layout, outline the frames, which serves as a blueprint, of where you would like place them on the wall.

Oversized Artwork

Oversized artwork is awesome to create little momentums in your space. It sort of does the same job as wallpaper, just on a smaller scale. You can also pair it with an accent chair or a bench underneath to frame and accentuate the piece. Basically, a vignette that is artfully put together, and is scale wise in balance. Unfortunately, oversized pieces come with a big price tag, but it is definitely worth the investment since you can take it to your next place, without damaging any walls.

Light Fixtures

Pendants, table lamps, and floor lamps are oftentimes not given enough credit. They are the underdog in the decor world. They amazingly merge into any environment, offer verticality and of course most importantly, light! Depending on the finish, it can add major texture and further it’s a good piece to frame, section and/ or pull a room together. Especially, if you are working with multiple metallics.

Tip: The human being feels comfortable in a room that has at least 2 light sources. Preferably from the sides, which usually casts a soft shadow and therefore is more flattering. So make sure your rooms have enough sources.


Layer Baby, Layer!

Layering textures in a room, follow the same rules as layering clothes. The more, the merrier! The more texture, the richer the result. In both cases, we are working with textiles, which exude softness and comfort. By contrasting textures, they all stand out on their, versus competing against each other, hence the richness. It also translates into a place that looks lived in and most and foremost cozy.

Accessorize (The Power of Clusters)

Layering textures is literally an art in itself! Accessories are actually what really pulls a room together! And again, the more the better.

An efficient way to stage is to cluster them. For instance group them in preferably odd numbers and make sure to incorporate different heights and textures as well. There are different ways to approach a display (in a centered, triangular, symmetric and asymmetric way…). Whichever way you choose don’t forget to edit it down and make it look balanced. Make sure it’s not overcrowded, but yet give the eye a little bit of a challenge by mixing the textures.

Tip: It takes trial and error to get the look you envisioned. You also need to let loose and arrange and rearrange new things and you´d be surprised what beautiful compositions it would result in. Most importantly – Trust your gut feeling. `Cuz at the end of the day you want your space to reflect your style!

Go Green (Urban Bush Vibes)

Plants are very intriguing. They come in such vast variety, that there is a plant for almost every taste and lifestyle. It is sort of an accessory in disguise – It adds the organic touch to a room. Another advantage point I love is the fact that you can propagate plants and multiply them quite easily. That means you get more bang for your buck! These objects can move with you with ease.

The Entry

As mentioned in my post (Racks & Such), the entryway is receiving a lot of love right about now. It’s the room that welcomes you home, once you arrive from your quest to conquer the world.

Oftentimes this area gets neglected and therefore underestimated. But in my opinion, it is essential to create a homey feel in this space as well. Besides housing the functionality of providing garment hooks and surfaces to put all your things down. You want to visually create the feel of a sanctuary, that translates the idea of being able to escape from the reality outside your 4 walls.

You can achieve so by layering textiles, adding a mirror in the immediate perimeter of a console table, perhaps some baskets to house some of your winter gear, a bench to possibly have a bench or stool when putting and taking off shoes. Add some artwork and layer those as well. Have fun with it and you can thank me later!


Temporary Accent Wall

Instead of painting your walls, paint one or multiple large scale MDF plates and go wild with it! You can create a feature wall or just an accent color wall to define the space.
Feeling super bold? Why not adding a pattern on it and layer the individual MDF’s to create more depth and texture.
Good news: You can just pack up and take these to your new domicile.

Flea Market Bliss

Flea markets are full of surprises. From well-maintained typewriters to antique perfume bottles, to old school vinyl, prints, unique hardware, vintage garments, and accessories. It’s a playground of infinite possibilities.
In my opinion, the flea is a great source for decor that exudes that traveled collector’s look for your space. Whether you lean more towards the whimsical or industrial side, you will always find a piece that fits either your personality or could be a representation of your influences, basically a way to tell your story visually.

Flea decor is usually full of character, make sure you edit the vignette by pairing it with more neutral and perhaps contemporary accessories to create a balanced look.

I hope this inspired you to think outside the box and to feel encouraged to style up your apartment and create your own sanctuary, even if you don’t own it.

Please, feel free to share your ideas on how to decorate an apartment efficiently! What are your staple pieces? I would love to know!

XO – Márcia

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