When decorating an apartment, there are only so many mirrors you can hang to "open up the space" and multi-purpose furniture you can buy to "maximize functionality". Whether you're moving into a new place or simply want to refresh your own, the process should be creatively cathartic and just straight up fun. For that, you need some design tips that go beyond the norm.
Cue Homepolish designer, Marissa Bero. She was recently tasked with creating a lively space for her client Elizabeth, who recently purchased her first apartment in Brooklyn. "Elizabeth was ready for a complete redesign and to make the space her own," says Bero.
After transforming the entire home into a colorful, Parisian modern oasis (with a mix of mid-century) that makes every square foot look stunning, you're going to want to hear her advice for apartment decorating. Trust us.
Time to purge all of the junk you've collected and brought from apartment to apartment. Especially as a young person, it's important to trade in some of the furniture and decor you've carried with you through college for some higher quality pieces. Plus, you need all the space you can get.
"Elizabeth was living among boxes and furniture that had seen her through grad school. Aside from keeping heirlooms from her grandmother, she was ready to start from scratch, which if I'm honest, is my favorite place to begin," Bero says.
Do you actually eat at your dining room table, or does your breakfast bar get all the use? You need to be practical about what your living habits really are, so you can make the most efficient use of each room.
"First I walk through the space and imagine myself living in it and begin the process of floor planning before I've even considered one piece of furniture," Bero says.
Elizabeth needed a home office, which in a 750-square foot bedroom means Bero had to prioritize desk space over say extra storage or seating.
If you only have a few rooms in your apartment to work with, give each one its own distinct personality. Start with specific color schemes, so when you move from one room to the next, each space feels distinct, from the walls to the decor.
Often inspired by Mexico and modern architecture, Bero isn't afraid of a little color.
"The living room is a bold and saturated primary palette with poppy red, lemon yellow, navy and French blue. It feels modern and playful," she says. "The jewel-toned bedroom is a mix of bold turquoise and sapphire with creamy whites and metallic silver accents. The result is dreamy and glamorous."
"This is where a designer's expertise really comes in handy. Buy furniture that is the right scale for a small space," Bero says. "It requires a lot of measuring, thoughtful space planning and an understanding of how to create optimal flow in a room."
The eat-in kitchen, although petite in size, was transformed into a cozy dining nook by adding a perfectly-sized banquette for some addition seating.
You've heard it time and time again with small space design, invest in pieces that have multiple functions to conserve space. But there are a few ways to do that by working with what you already have.
For example, "Take advantage of vertical space. There is a lot of square footage up there!" says Bero. Whether that means adding shelving, hanging up that painting you don't want to get rid of, and even swapping a standing lamp for wall-mounted lighting. Bonus: it also adds some character to your home.