Apartment Decorating Styles to Avoid

Apartment Decorating Styles to Avoid

Nearly 40 million people in the U.S. live in apartments, so whether you’re moving out on your own for the first time, temporarily in transition, or seeking to settle, there’s a good chance an apartment is in your future. Apartments can be the perfect fit for families, couples, or working professionals of all ages in any city, but making the most of them can take a little creativity.

Apartments come with their own unique decorating challenges, and you may be limited in what changes you can make. Moreover, there may be some changes that you shouldn’t make, even if you’re allowed.

The Challenges and Considerations of Decorating an Apartment

With a home or even a condo, you have the freedom to drill holes in the wall, paint the ceilings any color you want, and make other significant changes. In apartments, you’ll need to think about some of your constraints, like:


Apartments in general are smaller than single-family homes. Because of this, you might not be able to fit that full sectional comfortably in the space you have. Make sure to keep the aspirations for your abode within the confines of the space that you have—and make sure you know what size the door is. The last thing you want is to haul a couch up two flights of stairs only to find out you can’t get it in.


Even if you plan to rent for the rest of your life, you shouldn’t necessarily plan on staying in the exact same apartment. New opportunities might open up, or the complex might even ask you to move to a different unit in the same building. Knowing this, any changes that you make to your apartment shouldn’t be permanent. Hold off on upgrading anything that you can’t take with you unless you don’t mind leaving it behind entirely, as well as anything that could incur a fee from the complex for clean up or restoration after you leave.

What’s Allowed

Most renters don’t own their apartment–the landlord or building owner does. Like any property owner, they probably have some rules about what you are (and aren’t) allowed to do. Some locations will let you paint the walls, others won’t, and still others might as long as you use a brand that they approve of. Before you commit to a particular decorating style, check your contract to make sure everything you plan on doing is permitted.

7 Apartment Decorating Styles to Avoid

Drowning in decorating ideas? It’s easy to do, with a deluge of DIY design experts promising to keep you ahead of the trends. However, when it comes to creating your perfect space, the best advice is to not overthink it. Make it easy and keep it simple by steering clear of these seven apartment decorating styles. Everything else is gravy.

It could be bad for your bod–or your brain.

Home should be a sanctuary, but these three mistakes could get downright scary when it comes to creating the right vibe.

1. Bad lighting

You can’t do much about installed lighting fixtures, but you do have a choice in what you do with supplemental light. Failing to keep your spaces properly illuminated can cause eye strain and headaches, and low or improper lighting during daytime hours has been associated with fatigue, stress, and anxiety. Think about lamps and other options to brighten your space, and optimize natural lighting from windows.

2. The wrong scale

You may have heard design advice emphasizing the importance of keeping your décor varied–if everything's the same size, the aesthetic may become boring–but going to the extreme, like choosing items that are excessively small or excessively big, can be physically impractical. Items that aren’t the right scale for your areas can get in the way and keep you from feeling comfortable. If your TV is improperly sized for the area in which it’s displayed, for instance, you might be straining your eyes and neck while you binge the next season of your show. Using too many different shapes and sizes can also make your apartment look busy and frenetic, clashing with the coziness you’re looking for.

3. Draining colors

Color psychology draws connections between the colors around us and our mental health and suggests that using too much or too little of certain colors may actually impact your mood. Certain shades of blue, for example, can feel cold and disengaging, and may increase feelings of sadness and loneliness. Dark purple and brown can have the same effects. When you’re decorating, think about how colors will look in the spaces you have; use lighter colors in small or darker spaces, and save deeper colors for areas with more natural light.

It may be an epic fail in functionality.

It’s hard to relax in a space that just doesn’t work. Stay cognizant of:

4. Electrical errors

A cozy corner full of string lights or a mobile device charging station sounds great, but think about where you plan to put that–are there enough outlets? The wall for your sweet new smart TV–can you see it from your couch? It’s not sexy, but your decoration style should flow seamlessly with the electrical equipment you have available. Ideally, you should be able to make use of outlets while keeping everything streamlined.

5. Overcrowding

No matter how big the dreams for your apartment are, the reality is you only have so much square footage. And, even if you technically have the space, that doesn’t mean you should fill every inch. Overcrowding and leaving only narrow pathways on which to walk can not only lead to injury but also contribute to feelings of stress and clutter. Be sure to leave enough room to do things like open cabinets or clean easily.

It may be a little…much.

A little imagination can go a long way in avoiding apartment fashion faux pas. Stay away from:

6. Matching furniture

While it’s great to maintain a sense of unity, outfitting your apartment in furniture that’s all the same style, color, and material can get stale. Remember that focal pieces like a leather armchair or classy wooden TV console stand out in a room—and for good reason. Changing up sizes, styles, and color can help optimize the spaces you have and make them feel more open and more you.

7. Unified décor

This is your home–not a hotel. Don’t be afraid of unique shapes that contrast with the rest of your décor. Think more about how to stick to a theme rather than clinging to concepts of size, shape, and color uniformity.

Make a Statement by Making it Yours

Your apartment style says the most when it’s making a statement, and the best statement to make is yours. Sure, there are some arrangements to avoid, but you really can’t go wrong if you stick to what you know. Your apartment will never be basic when you highlight what you have, elevate what you love, and cut out the fuss.

The Presley Apartment: Live in Style That’s Always on Point

Skip the social media trends and settle into sophistication at The Presley Apartments in Oklahoma City. We’ve mastered the art of apartment design with layouts and floor plans that are sleek, simply, and carefully curated to make the most of every inch while making you feel right at home. Whether you’re looking for one bedroom or two, or simply a straight-up studio, you’ll find everything you need–as well as the best of everything–here at The Presley. Discover what it means to live where you love and love where you live. Apply today!