The Art of Contemporary Decorating for Apartments

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The Art of Contemporary Decorating for Apartments

Staff Writer · Dec 11, 2009

Most modern apartments come without the space and lighting for frills and fluff, and require a thoughtful contemporary decorating strategy to look clean and streamlined, yet stylish. Focus on bold colors, minimal patterns and creative storage to open up the rooms in the apartment and give them a look all their own.

Color Creatively

The majority of apartments come with standard linen white colored walls, making brightening up the room a bit of a challenge. Painting an entire room or several can feel like a waste if you’ll only be in a place a year, so you may have to scale back your plans a bit. Paint one wall in a room a bright or dark color, such as deep red, eggplant purple or teal, to add interest and even depth. Some landlords won’t permit the walls be painted at all, so you’ll need to rely on artwork and fabrics to give the room its color scheme. Purchase or have an artistic friend paint a large canvas modern art piece, with all the colors you typically would have preferred to have painted directly on the wall. Frame it professionally and hang it as a central piece on a wall in your room. If you’re still looking for floor-to-ceiling color on your walls, look to fabric hangings. Tack a striped or carefully patterned tapestry to a wall and offset the color with more neutral tables, pillows and couches.

Pattern Selectively

Overly intricate patterns can add make a small place look busy and cluttered, so shy away from the heavy brocades and paisleys that may have a place in large homes. Bolder, cleaner geometric patterns give a creative, contemporary appeal to a room. If you’re crazy about more involved patterns, confine them to smaller spaces like pillows or throw blankets. You can also add patterned or artsy boxes to store magazines and knick-knacks and stow them away under couches or coffee tables. Temper patterns with neutrals such as tan, chocolate and black. Fabrics with a few thick, colorful stripes also keep things contemporary and interesting without looking overly country or cutesy.

Create Space Where There Is None

Opening up a room for the illusion of space and depth is an essential aspect of contemporary apartment decorating. A large, rectangular, frame-less mirror as a stand-alone piece on a wall is an excellent way to achieve this. The mirror will multiple the size of the room while adding light. Proper furniture placement can also add to the size of a room. Consider positioning two couches or a couch and a love seat in an L-shape rather than simply facing one another, to open up the seating area. Having a few large and brightly colored pillows on the floor for additional seating will accommodate a larger crowd while adding a minimalist, Eastern appeal. Hang a few black or dark brown wood floating shelves to eliminate clutter and carefully display your belongings. Accessorize with glass, colored vases or metal framed black and white photographs to enhance the contemporary feel.

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