How To Find A Style For Your First Apartment
Two years ago I had to furnish our first apartment as a couple and find a style that represents us both. I helped decorating many places since then, some are ours and some for friends and family. The first time was an exciting experience! I love interior design and I’m addicted to Pinterest. But decorating your first apartment can be overwhelming if you don’t organise your thoughts. Buying nice expensive designer pieces doesn’t necessarily make a great decor, you need to make sure pieces go well with each other and revolve around a style. Here are four tips to stay focused when you choose your home decor and furniture:
When I look for decor inspiration on Pinterest I think : functional. A beautiful room or a corner that does not have a function just wastes space and is better going to a museum. I also love to challenge my self and do things on a budget, because I have better use of my money than spending 2000 $ on a chair (it’s a trip to Bali for god sake).
How to define your style?
I like so many different styles, from Scandinavian to bohemian and oriental decor. I just make sure to pick one before starting picking pieces. Sometimes I can mix two or three styles for an eclectic vibe but I am very careful not crossing the line between eclectic and just messy. We ended up with a mix of vintage and Scandinavian. (Pictures at the bottom of the article). If you are clueless about current interior styles, use Pinterest. Photograph magazine pages: AD Magazine, Apartment therapy, Elle Decor, Vogue Living, House Beautiful… Search on Bloglovin, search hashtags on Instagram and Pin everything into a Pinterest board. (If you use Chrome navigator, install the Pinterest plugin to make everything pinnable). You will notice that you are drawn into certain styles more than others.
Invest in neutral pieces
If you’re still not sure about your style, chose your big furniture and investment pieces neutral and timeless. You can always change the theme later and play around with accent pieces, rugs, pillows, decor, shelves, sheets, colours… Without reinvesting in expensive items like a sofa, a bed or a dining table.
Work with what is available
I also have to work with what is available locally. Unless the prices are really insane, I avoid custom made furniture. I always end up disappointed and the local crafters NEVER get things right in Morocco. Plus, you have to follow-up constantly and it takes so much energy. So I prefer ready to go pieces. In addition, I love second hand furniture and repurposing pieces to give them a new life.
Purge and avoid clutter
I don’t like clutter! I am not a total minimalist but I really like clean spaces, I find them relaxing and I like coming home to a clean organised home. Everything in my house should have a purpose and a place where it belongs. This mindset has the enjoyable side effect of making the weekly house work easier. Don’t forget that the things you buy or keep in your home should always spark joy as per the Konmari method.
Once you chose your style and your main pieces, you can start making moodboards. Moodboards are fun and creative and will give you a global idea of each room or corner. This way you can see if all the pieces that you chose work together, and eventually approve the purchase from your roommate, husband or partner. I use Polyvore, Canva or Morpholio on my ipad. It’s not necessary to find the exact pieces, especially if you buy second hand or vintage pieces. Just find similar products or pictures to visualise your whole theme. For example, this is the moodboard that I made to redecorate a family beach house. I typed on google or polyvore in this case: blue sofa, rattan hanging chair… and arranged the photos together: Living room beach house makover.
Checklist for your first apartment
Make a list! It will save you a lot of unnecessary stress and keep things clear in your mind. Again, Pinterest is your best friend! There a plenty checklists for furnishing an empty apartment. I used this one to make sure that I don’t forget any essential. I printed it and checked the items when bought or ordered.
Sneak peak of our first apartment
Vintage meets Scandinavian decor
The style of our apartment ended up being a mix of vintage and scandinavian. Both my husband and I love art and vintage pieces, so whenever we find a new treasure it can easily blend into the existent. A first apartment is the one that you never forget, your first home, the one that shapes your adulthood. So make it special, a home that you want to home to. Whatever your budget, be patient untill you find the perfect piece, and don’t forget second hand, flea markets, Facebook groups, Craiglist…
xo xo Dalal