Moving into your first apartment is so exciting, isn’t it? You’re going to be on your own for the first time in your life. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want to do it. And best of all, you can decorate the place to suit your own tastes, not mom and dad’s. But before you start shopping, let me give you a few basic decorating tips that will help you save some money.
Don’t buy a single thing for your new apartment until you measure.
Measure windows – Obviously you’ll need to know the length and width of each window. And if you’re planning on only using valances for a touch of color, determine the length of the valance you want, too.
Measure floors – All rugs always look bigger in the store. Area rugs and runners come in a variety of sizes and throw rugs are never big enough. If you’re planning on putting a rug down somewhere, measure first, buy once.
Measure wall space – Whether you’re planning on hanging pictures on the wall or mirrors on the door, measure first. Again, pictures and wall décor always look bigger when they’re on display at the store because a designer arranged them that way.
Measure the room – That overstuffed sofa and recliner may look nice in the show room but just try and get them into your living room. Diagram your usable floor space and mark doors and windows so you’ll know how much room you actually have for furniture.
Look at your layout – Sure you might have room in your bedroom for a king-size bed, but is it possible to get it up the stairs and through the door without taking out a wall?
Kitchen appliances – You want a microwave and a toaster oven and a coffee pot. And maybe a countertop mixer and a toaster and a blender. And don’t forget about a canister set and something to hold your new cooking utensils. Measure your countertop first and then check your storage space, too.
Adding personality to your new apartment
Choosing colors – When you look in the magazines, even an all white apartment has splashes of color. Choose three, your main color and two accent colors. Any more than that and you’ll give yourself and your visitors a headache, any less and your apartment will just look boring and dull.
Choosing patterns – It’s perfectly fine to mix plaids, stripes and florals all in the same room as long as you use complementary colors and patterns. Be careful you don’t overdo it though, and toss in plenty of solid colors to break up and accent your pretty designs.
Adding warmth – Some decorators believe that to add warmth to a room you need a combination of four things: glass, wood, lighting and plants. And one of the most popular decorating tips is to use candles to add a warm glow anywhere in your home. A soft lamp in the corner, a potted plant in the entryway, a candle in the bathroom; the choice is yours and anything you can do to make an ordinary apartment feel warm and inviting is a step in the right direction.
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