Finding Your Decorating Style

Decorating and styling your first apartment can be overwhelming and confusing. There are so many different styles and fads that sweep through the home & garden industry. Admittedly, it’s also costly to change your mind many times when decorating. However, being able to figure out your style before you start buying will allow you to make better decision, in both decor and finance. Before heading out to the nearest IKEA or big box store,  consider where you are starting from.

What’s Your Lifestyle

What do your days look like? Are you a student? A parent? Do you work from home? All of these factors play huge roles into finding your decor style. Living in a studio on your own allows you to explore all the style you’ve wanted whereas living with many roommates or a partner means you may need to turn down your personal style to accommodate for compromise. If you only use your apartment as a place to relax after work, try neutral, calming tones to create a haven. If you want your home to be a free expression of your tastes, spice it up with color and pattern. If you are keen on hosting parties, shift your decor focuses into the main living spaces like dining and living rooms.

What’s Your Budget

To be honest, a lot of your style will come from what you can afford. If leather couches and chandeliers are your thing, you probably won’t have much left after the living room. Thankfully, most styles can be achieved with a small or moderate budget. However, if you have a tiny decorating budget, think about the eclectic look or DIY style. Would you be okay garage saling? Or refurbishing old furniture? If you’re willing to put in the work, you can create a stunning apartment with very little financial investment.

Do Some Research

Ultimately, finding your unique style requires some research. If you’ve never seen other people’s apartments or picked up a home magazine, it may seem daunting when you walk into the home furnishing stores. Take a browse on Pinterest or check out various decorating magazines for different styles. A good places to start looking at: traditional, rustic, modern, eclectic, European, and coastal. From there you will be able to see what you like and what you don’t. Beyond those few styles there are so many more styles; hybrids between them and older/newer styles. Even if you are furnishing with hand-me-downs and yard sale finds, once you have a specific look in mind, you’ll be able to be more selective.

Don’t be afraid to ask around how your friends decorated or where they got their furniture. Although it can be overwhelming, finding your style is the beginning of your apartment journey!

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Author My First Apartment

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Marisa Rinchiuso is a Design+Production major at Carnegie Mellon with a passion for DIY, budgeting and event management. She's always on the search for a great deal and new projects. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, crafts and travel.

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