Apartment Decoration for the Artistically-Challenged

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Apartment Decoration for the Artistically-Challenged

Staff Writer · Jan 27, 2011

Apartment decoration can be tricky if you don’t have a keen eye for design. It’s much easier to develop visual concepts and color schemes when you’re artistically-minded or trained in art and design. However, that doesn’t mean the average person cannot decorate a interesting and cohesive apartment—the process just might need a little more guidance. If you consider yourself artistically-challenged, consider some of these options and tools as  you begin decorating your apartment.

Design-by-Number

One of the easiest ways to decorate your apartment is to simply take the design cues you see in the store. Most stores more or less sell “rooms in a box,” not literally, of course, but in aisles where all of the elements coordinate. At a store like Ikea, for instance, you can look at furniture displays where everything is pre-coordinated and then go and purchase all of the individual items.

It may seem a little contrived or too “design-by-number,” but it certainly takes the guess work out of trying to put together an entire room on your own. Even if you only get the basic color schemes and key items this way (like furniture, window treatments and floor coverings), you can still make the rest of the room your own by accessorizing the room.

Look to an Idea File

Art and room design can sometimes come off as a bit pretentious, like you have to select the most obscure piece of wall art to display or design a room based on a specific design principle. Truly, the way you put together your room should be based off of choosing things you like. There’s no reason to decorate a room in navy blue simply because it’s the trendy thing or buy a certain kind of lamp because the salesperson in the store told you it’s the most chic one to own.

Instead, you should start looking around and seeing what kinds of things you’re drawn to. You can look to decorating magazines for ideas, but, depending on your budget, those can feature items and ideas out of the price range for most people. However, they’re good for inspiration. Looking through furniture catalogs and at online design websites could lead you to finding things you never would have though you’d like. Once you have a file of ideas, designing your apartment becomes much easier.

Keep It Simple

Looking through design magazines could leave you thinking, “I would have never thought to use those two patterns together!” If contrast and coordination are two things you’re not well-versed in, keeping your overall design simple will be best. Unless you want things to potentially clash, sticking with only a couple of colors and solids mixed with one pattern will leave the best results. Remember, more isn’t always better.

Decorating your apartment, even with limited or no design and art knowledge, doesn’t have to be difficult. If all else fails, you can always enlist a design or artistically-savvy friend to help you out.

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Rachael Weiner: I’m a communications professional for a non-profit, which financially necessitates my status as an apartment dweller. Constantly “on-the-go,” I’ve resided in five different apartments across the United States over the past five years. Roommate issues, budgeting, organizing and handling problem neighbors are my specialty.

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