When it comes to apartments and renting, it can be difficult to decorate and create a space that really feels like your own—thanks to cookie-cutter layouts, bland finishes, and other design details you often can’t alter. Luckily, we’ve tapped content creator Esther of @estherbschmidt—whose neutral-toned, light-filled apartment we’re obsessed with!—to spill all her top apartment tips to help you nail your design.
“Apartment living doesn’t have to be bland,” Esther says. “You can make an apartment yours by simply adding your style and touches to it through a variety of items and DIYs. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and experience the joys of having a homey apartment.”
Ready for all her words of wisdom? Keep scrolling for her apartment tips!
After years of apartment living, what are your top tips for making a space feel larger and homier?
For myself, my top tip is being cohesive with the space. Choosing good lighting and adding mirrors to your space will help make it feel larger. Shelving is a game-changer because you can always change up what is on the shelf itself without having to add more holes to the wall.
Making an apartment homey is all about adding little details and touches like throw pillows, blankets, and rugs, and adding different textures and colors, decorative books, artwork, and fresh flowers.
What are your tips for organizing and making your space feel curated and uncluttered?
Organizing an apartment can feel daunting. We have over the years learned to keep things that we use and love and then get rid of the excess. However, even with that, we still have a lot of stuff. We have always used moveable shelving in closets and under-the-bed storage to help declutter and organize our extra stuff.
It is also so important to only have furniture and things in your space that you absolutely love. If you do not love it, and it is not serving a purpose, then it is okay to get rid of it.
How have you made your more utilitarian spaces (like the kitchen and bathroom) feel more inviting without doing major renovations?
One of the ways is by changing out knobs for something that feels more like me. This is easy because when you leave, you can take it with you—plus it is super inexpensive.
I also love to personalize these spaces by adding rugs and decor. If the lighting or shades are easy to swap out, then I swap those out as well to add more of a personal touch.
What are a few DIY projects that you’ve done in your apartment that have helped you make the space feel more comfortable and your own?
I did a DIY headboard project that was renter-friendly that used Command Strips to hang the headboard on the wall. The other thing that I did that I would say was pivotal for the space was changing out the kitchen island lamp shades for something that felt more like me.
What are your favorite picks from Rugs USA?
It is so hard to pick my favorite rugs from Rugs USA because I absolutely adore them all. However, if I have to pick my top five, then it would be these:
- Chunky Jute Tasseled rug in off white: You can never go wrong with a good jute rug. I love this because it goes well alone or layered with another beautiful rug. It’s the perfect neutral-colored jute rug if you ask me.
- Stucco Trellis rug: It feels great on the feet but is absolutely gorgeous on its own or layered with the Chunky Jute. I love this because it looks and feels like a million dollars.
- Abstract Jute-Blend Runner: It’s the perfect runner to add to your entryway or kitchen and is hands down one of my favorite runners. It adds so much texture and color to a space without making it feel overwhelming.
- Shaggy Crosshatch rug: An absolute dream. I have loved this rug in our living room area. It is pretty, cozy and comfortable.
- Moroccan Diamond Wool rug: It’s similar to the Stucco Trellis rug—however, I feel like you need both. I love pairing this with a braided rug in our living room or our bedroom. It’s the dream-team combination in my opinion.
What about rugs makes them an especially important addition to apartments? And do you have any rug-specific decorating tips you can share?
Rugs are an essential part and addition to apartment living. The reason I say this is because adding rugs to a space gives you so much freedom to change space up without having to change major things like the wall color or flooring. And if you live in an apartment, you know that sometimes the flooring is less-than-stellar.
One of the tips that I would share with apartment-dwellers is to not be afraid to add a rug on top of carpet. I would also say if you are putting a rug down on hardwood floors, make sure to add a good rug pad to the bottom to prevent it from slipping and sliding around.