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Mistakes to Avoid When Decorating Your Apartment

  • Emily Rice

Emily Rice

4 min read
Mistakes to Avoid When Decorating Your Apartment

After being told that you’ve been approved for an apartment, you’re sure to feel a lot of emotions.

Whether or not this is your first time moving out, or if you want to give the new place an uplift, there might be some things to consider before heading over to your nearest furniture store.

In the midst of all the excitement, here are a few things to avoid.

Decorating for Others

Your apartment is yours to call home, not your in-laws, siblings, or friends. Decorate your apartment with your ideas in mind. After all, you will be the one who spends the most time in your apartment, who buys the furniture and the decor - you might as well please yourself first.

The conventional idea may be that you need a coffee table, or two nightstands, or a certain number of pots and pans, but it’s your home. Rather than buying things because you feel like you’re supposed to, buy things that you want and will use.

All at Once

There is no rule that states your apartment has to be established a week after moving in. The point is not too buy too much at one time. Sure, some things you need - a place to sit, eat, and sleep. It's okay to put some other things on hold. Besides, spacing out purchases will lessen the strain on your budget.

Make a list of the major items you need and obtain them in order of importance. Spend some time looking for the right pieces. Decorating is a little like putting together a puzzle - each piece connects but may not be as clear as when you first started.

Before the Move

Waiting to move into your new apartment can feel like a long time. As excited as you are to decorate your new place, don’t purchase things prematurely. A common mistake is when people go out and purchase furniture or décor ahead of time only to realize that the space doesn’t look like what they remember.

All for Too Much

If you’re like the average renter, you will probably move again. Don’t spend a lot of money making this specific apartment look great. Buy items that are versatile or would accommodate to another place, should you move.

Buying Before Measuring

Before stepping a foot into the furniture department, it’s beneficial to you if you measure the space first and bring the measurements with you.

To make your moving-in experience more enjoyable it might be a good idea to measure the doorways and halls, stairwells and elevators that your furniture has to pass through on its way to your apartment. Having to return a couch or table that your heart was set on because it cannot make it into your apartment is not only disappointing, but also expensive.

Cheap Items

There are certainly ways to decorate cheaply, but some things are worth the extra cost. It's important to think about quality, predominantly for the big-ticket items.

When purchasing things that are low-quality it's inevitable that they will need to be replaced at some point. The key is to know what items to splurge on and what items to save on.


Lighting tends to affect one’s mood, productivity, and eyesight. Which is why it’s beneficial not to arrange furniture where it might block the source of light.

Depending on the layout of your floor plan, natural light during the day can save you energy. Simultaneously, lamps and other light sources act as décor while bringing more life into your apartment.

Over Decorating

The space in your apartment is valuable. Especially if you live in a small apartment, you may not have a lot to work with. So, keep the space neat. Don't over decorate.

A way to go about this is to have a focal point in each room with decorative elements that highlight or compliment it.


It can be easy to stick with a color or wood tone and purchase things of that spectrum. Unless you want your apartment to look like a furniture store, there’s no reason that every single thing has to match. Shopping from different stores, garage sales, or even antique shops can give your apartment its own personality.


The last common mistake made by many is rushing to get the place furnished and decorated. Don’t stress too much about having the picture-perfect place right away.

Great interior design doesn’t happen in an instant. Design in definition is, a plan to show how something will eventually look and function. The key word, ‘how’ symbolizes a period of time, end result, or eventually.

Whether you’re an experienced decorator or doing it for the first time, you'll be able to make your apartment look great when you advoid some of these common decorating mistakes.