Moving into a new apartment is exciting! A new place brings new moments to share with friends and family. It also gives you the chance to make a new space your own. 

But if you don’t know where to start, apartment decor can feel a little overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to help. 

Six Must-Have Items for Your Quick Apartment Decorating Shopping List

Sometimes, we don’t have the time we need to find all our apartment decor. Moving is a time-consuming process. Add in your normal responsibilities, and you might find yourself keeping the open floor plan longer than desired. 

So if you’re in a hurry, here’s a list of the most important apartment decor. 

Purchase the following items for each room to get the basics done.

1. Window Treatments

Whether you choose drapes, curtains, blinds, or a combination of these window treatments, no apartment is complete without them. 

Blinds and curtains can block the sun from raising the temperature inside, while drapes are great choices for a formal aesthetic. 

Want to go for cute apartment decor? You can find a wide range of bright colors to choose from. 

2. Rugs

Every room needs one to two rugs — especially if your apartment has a lot of hardwood floors. 

Like with window treatments, there are a ton of rugs out there! Find a large one to complement your living room, or smaller shapes for your bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom. 

[Related: Best Rugs for Small Apartments]

3. Light Fixtures

Light fixtures can add a stylistic flair to your apartment. 

If you’re going for modern apartment decor, light fixtures are an essential detail. They bring a unique, contemporary touch to any room. However, if you have a budget to stick to, they might best be reserved for your bedroom or living room. 

4. Wall Art

If you want to make a statement, don’t forget to hang up wall art! 

Decorating a new apartment gives you the chance to find a few pieces that speak to you. Browse a local antique store or connect with an artistic friend to bring in that finishing touch. 

Moreover, wall art makes for great points of conversation during your housewarming party! 

5. Shelving

If you have records or books, make sure you pick up shelving. Being able to organize and hold your things is crucial for your apartment decor. 

What’s more, if you have a tendency to collect knick-knacks or have framed photos, shelves are great places to display them.  

6. Plants

Don’t neglect to bring a natural touch to your space. If you have a lot of windows for light, plants are a no-brainer. Snake plants, fiddle leaf figs, and aloe veras are extremely popular (and relatively easy to take care of).

They can liven up a room and bring a bit of the outside in. Depending on the kind of plant you choose, maintenance can also be quite easy! 

[Related: Best Plants for Apartments]

Choose Your Apartment Style

The first step in your apartment decor journey is to choose an interior decor style. 

Even if you don’t want to stick to one style, exploring popular looks can help you find aesthetics that you like. Once you have a baseline, you can always combine different styles and add your unique take. 

Transitional Interior Design 

Living room with transitional decor
Photo via Pixabay | Transitional interior decor incorporates multiple light neutral tones.

A popular choice these days, transitional interior design blends traditional interior design with a modern twist. It brings a subtle but intentional style to a space by emphasizing function and detail. 

You’ll want to use gray, white, cream, or tan colors to set the overall tone. Then choose deep, warmer colors, like blue or red, to accentuate. 

This is the perfect choice for those who love a bit of minimalist design with a dash of panache. 

Modern Interior Design 

Living room with modern decor
Photo via Pixabay | Clean lines are a staple of modern apartment decor.

Not to be confused with contemporary interior design, modern apartment decor consists of sleek furniture, neutral colors (especially more muted grays and whites), and chrome or glass fixtures. 

Although there are several subsets of modern interior design, most choose to keep function as their focus. Clean lines and geometric shapes are a staple of this decor. Simplicity is key! 

Eclectic Interior Design 

Living room with eclectic decor
Image via Pixabay | Eclectic interior design borrows from multiple other design styles.

If you like to mix a bit of everything into one space, the eclectic interior design is the right choice for your apartment decor. 

Teeming with personality and creativity, eclectic style gives you a lot of freedom over your space while also providing you with an overall theme to build from. 

At first, you might think that eclectic means chaotic. In reality, the goal of the eclectic style is to create an orderly look. A good approach is to always start with neutral colors and simple furniture, and expand from there! 

Finding the Right Style for Your Apartment 

If you aren’t sure which style to choose, spend some time looking through examples. Explore different interpretations online and save the ones you love the most. 

After a while, look back through your list and see if you can find similarities between them. What kind of colors are you drawn to? Do you care more about function than style? 

The best way to find something you like is to keep trying new things until you find something that sticks. Remember, your apartment is your space. Build something you’ll love and feel proud of! 

[Related: How to Choose a Design Style for Your Apartment]

Take It One Room at a Time

Ready to begin decorating your apartment? Trying to do everything all at once quickly becomes stressful. Instead, break down the process by focusing on one room at a time.

Make an Entryway Statement

The entryway to your apartment is like a first impression. When people walk through your entryway, they’ll have an immediate sense of the space. 

One of the easiest ways to spruce it up is to include a rug. Or try hanging up a mirror and some pictures. Another great option is a simple shelf or cabinet with a plant on top.

Since small apartments have limited entryway space, use your best judgment of what you want to keep there. Be careful not to overdo it, though. A small space will quickly clutter

Create a Cozy Living Room

Living rooms are the central spaces of any dwelling. It’s likely that you (and your guests) will spend most of your time here, so a little thought and careful planning goes a long way. 

One of the best options for decorating your apartment’s living room is to find the perfect coffee table. Whether you’re looking for additional storage or something simple and small, coffee tables bring a lot to a living room. 

If you have a very small living room, try to keep your clutter down to a minimum. Or try incorporating nesting furniture to maximize precious space. Additionally, hang up shelves or hooks for an instrument or a bike to make the most of a small room. 

[Related: How to Decorate a Small Living Room]

Put Heart into the Kitchen & Dining Room 

Sprucing up a kitchen and dining room is more simple than it sounds. In these spaces, less is often more. So focus on singling out a great centerpiece for a table or breakfast bar. 

Choosing a color scheme to stick with is also a good way to decorate these rooms. If you have the space, think about including a wine rack or small china cabinet. 

Make Your Bedroom Magical 

When it comes to decorating your bedroom, can you think of what’s most important? 

If you guessed the bed, you’re correct. 

Your bed and bed frame set the tone for your room, so you’ll want to consider the best size, sheets, and pillows for your desired look. But don’t neglect comfort, of course! 

If you have a studio, opt for a Murphy-style bed frame. These beds actually fold up into the wall when not in use. That way, you’ll get the most out of your entire space. 

Set Your Office Up for Productivity

If you work from home, setting up an office that helps you get into the flow is essential. Consider a simple desk for your computer or laptop. You could also choose a standing desk if you don’t want to be sitting down all day. 

The goal of a productive office space is to keep it minimal and clean but still inviting to spend time in. So add in a few plants, wall decorations, and some ambient lighting to help your focus. 

Enjoy a Spa-Like Bathroom 

When decorating your bathroom, concentrate on shower curtains, rugs, and towels. 

Matching colors together will bring a bit of pizazz. Or try hanging up art or light fixtures. You want your bathroom to be a calm and relaxing space, so try to avoid any harsh contrast of colors or items. 

[Related: Best Places to Buy Apartment Furniture]

Decorating Tips for Small Spaces

When space is small, you’ll want to focus on being concise. Try to strike a balance between function and style. 

Compensating for storage space with wall shelves is a priority. Additionally, using curtains or other furniture can help you create sections throughout the room. 

One great idea is that if you have high ceilings, consider installing a loft bed. You’ll free up a lot of space by adding a second level to your studio apartment. 

[Related: How to Decorate a Small Studio Apartment]

Final Apartment Decorating Tips

Regardless of your apartment size or decor style, there are several rules or strategies you can practice to always style your pad in the best possible way. 

Identify Problem Areas to Improve

If you notice that a corner of your apartment tends to clutter, try to put a shelf or cabinet there to solve the issue. Or if you realize your current design feels a little cramped, try moving things around to open up the space. 

Identifying problem areas will take a little time. Reassessing your apartment decor every now and then is a great way to build your decorating muscle. 

Make Your Space Functional

When in doubt, always opt for function over style. Flair is nice, but if you don’t have room to move around, work, or simply enjoy being in your apartment, it’s time to reevaluate. In short, get the basics down and go from there! 

Don’t Get Too Carried Away

You can always add more, but once you have a lot of items, it’s harder to keep everything in order. Spend a while in your apartment to get an idea of the space you’re working with. Over time, add more and take away as you see fit! 

[Related: How to Keep Your Apartment Organized: Your Complete Guide]

Ready to Reach Your Apartment Goals?

The most important thing to remember is that decorating your apartment can be a fun process. And making a space your own helps you create a sense of homeyness. 

Happy decorating! 

If you want even more ideas on how to decorate your apartment, follow Apartment Goals on Instagram and Pinterest

Featured image via Pxhere


The Apartment Goals team aims to bring you tips on how to make your small living space purposeful and a place you can come home to recharge and relax.

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