10 Decorative Ways To Give Your Small Apartment A Big Personality

If you are trying to figure out how to decorate your summer dorm room, you’re in the process of making that big transition to off-campus housing or you’ve just graduated and you’re moving to an apartment somewhere entirely new, interior design is going to be on your mind. It can be difficult to keep things neat and organized when you only have a small space to work with, so doing that and making it aesthetically pleasing may seem like a daunting task.

Don’t worry, though! There are plenty of tips and tricks that you can follow in order to make your little apartment look interesting without going overboard and making it look crowded. Here are 10 of my favorites.

Books Are Your Best Friends


Have a bunch of old books that you don’t really read, but also don’t really want to part with? If they’re big enough, you can stack them up and use them as a side table in your living room or bedroom. (The stack might have to be a little shorter than that one, though!)


For something even more creative, check out this “invisible” bookshelf. It’s a shelf made from an old book that you don’t use anymore and if you stack more books on top of it, it’ll look like they’re floating with no support!

Learn how to make one here.

Pianos Aren’t Just For Playing


There’s no need to choose between showing off your appreciation for music and having storage space. Old pianos and keyboards can become bookcases and shelves that are both functional and decorative. They add a unique touch to any apartment that’s looking a little bland.


Decorate With Decals


Wall decals are an excellent way to give your plain walls some character without taking up any space. Just stick them right on and all of a sudden, your wall has gone from solid to exciting. There are all sorts of decals out there: maps, quotes, and flowers are only the beginning.


Buy the paint one above here and the floral one above here.

Chalk It Up


Chalkboard paint allows you to have a space within your home that you can use to jot things down and keep organized. You can use it on an entire wall if you want to have a lot of fun doodling in your spare time and it’s a great way to make sure that your reminders are right in your face.


However, if you don’t own your apartment and can’t paint the walls, never fear: you can always paint a cabinet or a table top with chalkboard paint instead so that your landlords don’t fine you for 8 million dollars.

Feeling creative? Get some here.

Furniture Can Serve Multiple Purposes


When you’re living in a small apartment, one thing that really makes a difference is finding pieces of furniture that can fill more than one of your needs. Find a coffee table that can open up so that your guests have a place to put their drinks and you have a place to keep your miscellaneous items.


Storage ottomans are another great example of this–they provide a place for you to put your feet up and they also give you somewhere to store possessions that you don’t necessarily need to have on display. This storage ottoman is also a Bluetooth speaker. That’s pretty cool if you ask me. Learn more here.

Light Up Your Life


A unique lamp just might brighten up your room–both figuratively and literally. And lamps aren’t the only form of lighting that you should consider; other wall lights can help give your room a certain vibe. It just depends what you’re looking for.


Check out more unique wall lighting here.

Go Green


Bring some plants into the apartment in order to freshen up the place. It can be nice to get in touch with nature, especially if you’re in a big city where things feel very urban.


Pro tip: if you’re afraid that you might kill the plants by accident (we aren’t all responsible adults yet–let’s be real), invest in some cacti or succulent plants, which do not require a lot of upkeep. I have a little succulent at school named Quirrel that sits in the corner of my desk and only needs to be watered once every ten days.

Don’t buy an orchid. Orchids are the attention whores of the plant universe. (R.I.P. Leslie Knope, the purple orchid that I purchased from Whole Foods last December and accidentally killed off within a month or so.)

Customization Is Cool


Honestly, the simplest way to keep your apartment feeling like “you” is to incorporate your own photos into the room. If you’ve got a ton of them, you can go all out and cover an entire wall. If you want to keep it simple, it’s fine to just hang up a couple. Either way, displaying photos of you and photos taken by you will ensure that your apartment doesn’t feel generic in the slightest.


If you’re looking to hang some photos, I highly recommend using the PhotoSquared app. You can order everything straight from your phone and then the company will mail you four or more customized squares. They stick right onto your wall and are super easy to rearrange.

Cover Up The Floor


Putting down a rug with an exciting pattern can liven up your room. Plus, they feel really good under your feet. Fuzzy rugs are the best for walking around barefoot. Or not walking at all, and lying on the floor instead. Whatever works for you.


Throwing Out One More Idea Here…


Throw pillows are super comfy and give your living area a little more variety. An accent pillow in an interesting color can make an average room become amazing.


Your apartment doesn’t have to look boring and these are just some simple tricks and additions that you can make in order to improve the look of that place you call home.

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