Over the last few months I’ve been trying to get some new ideas going for my new apartment. No, the apartment has not been rented yet and no I don’t have roommates — so this apartment is essentially a work of fiction. Despite this fact, I am a hardcore planner and love to have a concept in mind ahead of time to keep myself organized.

Use a Mood Board

For this future apartment, I’m going to focus on earth tones, texture, and a major emphasis on relaxation. I want my home to feel cozy, inviting and decluttered as a juxtaposition to my brain, which is cluttered and always moving. I decided I wanted to use a mood board instead of Pinterest for this concept, as Pinterest tends to become a free-for-all and my ideas go all over the place. Using a simple six-eight option mood board really helps pick a visual or theme you want to stick with.

apartment home decor ideas

Selecting a Color Palette

Making sure I select colors that are relaxing and toned-down is important. Rich primary colors like red and yellow can be fun and unique, but these colors take a lot of layers and aren’t the best if you’re trying to destress from the day. I decided on light gray, beige, brown and blue paint as the wall colors I want to use for my apartment. There are plenty of color pickers out there to help you when trying to make your decision:

Textures Can Help Make a Neutral Space Pop

When dealing with a neutral color palette, it’s easy for your space to become boring and bland. Try to incorporate woven materials, wood, metals, or even glass into your home to make various parts of your room come alive a little more. I’d love to get a gold wall mirror, some wooden tables and some woven blankets for around the living room. While certain sites will have deals on these goods, don’t be afraid to check out local flea markets or even craft stores for some of these items.

If you’re unlike me and actually have a physical apartment you rent or are about to pony up the cash for, get your measurements right. As obvious as this concept is, space is still a huge commodity, depending on your location. Getting the right measurements can be the difference between having your dream couch or just settling for the two-seater with the lumpy cushions. Once you have your measurements, get a mockup floor-plan going. You can use Photoshop for this or a few of these free programs:

When All Else Fails, Find an Object That Inspires You

If you loathe mood boards or despise navigating the world of paint samples, try starting out with a single object. Center your room around this object, noting the colors and textures that object itself has and go from there. A friend of mine completely redecorated her living room based off of a vintage clock she’d found. Figuring out the right aesthetic can happen with items that you least expect, so try to keep an open mind.

(Photos from Lindevegen, WellSaidCreations, Ikea, Design Sponge, West Elm)