Any time I move into a new apartment, I always think of the bare walls and functional furniture as a blank canvas. While it never really starts to feel like home until I’ve livened things up a bit, I love the process of doing so – whether that’s with lovely art pieces, colorful table decorations, or even just some strategically placed knick-knacks. All of this can be great for instantly humanizing a space. Of course, I also really look forward to a good excuse to buy some new art, or to while away a few hours making crafts.
I have a few favorite art prints that have been with me through several moves, but my first priority is usually to find new ones to accompany them and decorate my walls. It’s a nice way to introduce a lot of color and visual texture to my home. Simple, plain cardboard or plastic frames are a cost effective way to show off some detailed prints that won’t distract from the art itself, which is the real star of the show. They’re also lightweight, so won’t require you to make holes in the walls; this is especially useful for rentals, where that’s generally frowned upon.
Choosing a wide variety of different art styles is helpful, but careful placement is the key to avoiding clumsy looking displays. Personally, I have a collection of vintage posters that I find look good together in an even display with different sizes of frame. Their art styles are nicely complementary, and really brighten up even the darkest of rooms. Of course, every print is different, so you should use your best judgement. Usually, though, placing like with like is a good strategy.
Older apartments are usually a little bit more charming than newer ones. They may lack that tankless water heater or fancy recessed lighting, but they have so much personality. If you want a little bit of that in your modern apartment, the right kinds of rustic furniture and decorations can go a long way. I love to browse flea markets and the like for old pieces that most people would ignore. I’ve found a few real treasures – decorations like wall mirrors or antique chairs that need just a little love and care. If you don’t have the time or inclination for that, however, even a simple thing can bring a touch of class. Rather than throwing away old wine bottles, I like to use them as candle holders for dining room or coffee tables. Of course, there’s not much to them at first, but if I let a few candles of different colors melt over the necks of the bottles, that changes. The colorful wax drips down, hardens, and builds up over the bottle in layers to give it a rustic, European charm. This is particularly nice for mood lighting, when the flame of the candle will light up the rivulets of wax in a variety of lovely ways.