Top Tips For Beautifying Your House Or Apartment

By Julia Dunn on May 15, 2018

Moving is (almost) always a hassle. Between coordinating the transport of all your items into a new space, navigating the last-minute details of cleaning, returning your old keys, and saying goodbye to your old place, it’s easy to forget the fun stuff on the horizon: decorating and beautifying your house or apartment!

I’ve always been fascinated by shows like Design on a Dime and Fixer Upper, which showcase all sorts of ideas for sprucing up your house room by room. It’s exciting to watch professional designers think through different floor plans and options to make a room more functional and pleasing to the homeowner. While shows like this are more so focused on renovation and significant transformation of a room–not simply beautification and decor–you can absorb plenty of creativity from each episode, which may help you in beautifying your house or apartment more easily. Here are some tips for beautifying every room in your house or apartment:

Infographic by Julia Dunn

The Bedroom

This is where you’ll spend most of your time relaxing, resting, sleeping and lounging. When beautifying your house or apartment, particularly the bedroom, store items vertically; this fills up the space more economically and frees up space. You can put plants, books, picture frames or even figurines on a floating shelf to make a statement and add some nature to your room (of course, you have to make sure to water potted plants and remove any cut flowers once they dry out, or you’ll end up with a mess).

If you’ve got a desk in your bedroom, beautify it by making your own DIY storage containers! You can decoupage mason jars and old oatmeal canisters, or even cover them with stickers, scrap paper, magazine clippings and other embellishments. These can serve as cute containers for scissors, pens, and other necessities.

You can also beautify your house or apartment with painted cork boards and colorful thumbtacks hung on the wall (of your bedroom or any room that needs extra storage for Post-Its, flyers, to-do and shopping lists or other items). Even displaying a magnetic whiteboard can help beautify a room if you decorate it with magnets and photos of your loved ones.

You might be thinking that your walls look a bit empty. Create your own art (or ask loved ones to create pieces for you) to personalize the space and add some vitality and visual interest to the room! If you’re not skilled with a paintbrush or lack magazines to make a collage, consider even blowing up a few of your favorite photos on a website and framing the photos with wall-ready frames. You could also print out your favorite photos and string them on a line using clothespins, which is an easy and inexpensive way to adds a personal touch and take up horizontal wall space.

Regardless of what you choose to put on your wall, consider the way you space the items. By staggering them and adding ample space between each piece, they will take up more room and look great. Consider using a big statement piece such as a large print or a tapestry. If your bedroom feels much smaller than you’d like it to be, “hack” the space with an optical illusion by putting a few floor-length mirrors on your walls.

Looking for inexpensive wall art? I like to use decorative kitchen towels, as they come with gorgeous floral patterns and landscape scenes, drawings of maps, even images of animals. Hang them up with either nails or push pins!

color swatches, rainbow, paint, interior design

Image via Pexels

The Kitchen

Keep the kitchen looking light and refreshing; you’ll spend a huge amount of time in here preparing meals for the week, throwing quick breakfasts together in the early hours, and possibly entertaining guests as well. I prefer to use light colors in the kitchen especially, mainly yellow and light green, as they are naturally uplifting and cheerful.

If you’re stumped about what to do for kitchen decor, try visiting a few local craft stores to see if they have any vintage-looking posters of fruits or vegetables that can appropriately suit your kitchen aesthetic. I recently found an inexpensive poster of different varieties of produce in a hand-drawn style, and it remains my favorite part of the kitchen! It was less than $6, too, likely because craft stores usually market these types of posters as wrapping paper or simply handmade crafting paper.

You can usually find plenty of items at craft stores that can be used for decor even without manipulating or transforming them into something else. Handmade paper is your best bet for a quick wall decoration.

To beautify your kitchen area even more, place potted plants and vases of flowers around on counter tops and eating areas. The freshness of a potted plant can create a positive atmosphere and improve your mood, while easily tightening up a space to become more composed and mature. For those with a less-than-ideal track record with keeping plants alive, a few succulents or cacti may be the smartest decision, as they require little water and minimal maintenance.

You can also put together an indoor herb garden; there are so many different styles and approaches on the internet that can inspire you. Some people nestle their plants in old shoes (even old rain boots) and other unconventional containers like painted cans. Others may prefer the wooden planter box look; you can buy planter boxes at most hardware stores, if you don’t have the means to build one yourself. You can usually purchase basil, parsley, cilantro, mint, chives and other greens at grocery stores (Whole Foods definitely has them) and home improvement warehouses can all grow in relatively small pots and you’ll be sure to have the right herbs on hand for your next meal.

living room, coffee table, plants, pillows

Image via Pexels

The Dining Space/Dining Room

If you have a designated dining room, you’ve got a lot more space to work with, but some houses may not have their own dedicated dining rooms. Sometimes, you have to make do with setting up a table in the kitchen or off to the side in a nook of the living room. In any case, if you’ve got a dining table and nothing else, you can still decorate it for extra impact when beautifying your house or apartment.

Start with an eye-catching tablecloth or even a large swatch of fabric from the discount section of a craft store. This will immediately pull your space together and draw interest to whatever else is on the table. Try not to choose a tablecloth with a particularly busy pattern or distracting print, but perhaps a solid color or a more relaxed print; florals are pretty hard to beat. If you end up choosing a zany print, anything you put on your dining table might not be seen as well.

The Living Room

Most students who have a living room probably use it as an all-purpose space, perfect for an evening of Chopped reruns and hot chocolate, or a Saturday of homework and readings. Depending on your house/apartment layout, the living room may be the first room you walk into from outside. It may also be the designated hangout spot for your friends and other visitors looking to study, relax, or simply to chat with you.

If this is the case, prioritize seating and table space in the living room. If you have housemates, ask them if they’d be willing to split the cost of a discounted couch with you (they’re pretty expensive if you’re paying alone). This will improve the aesthetic of your living room, promote a relaxed environment, and provide function for maximum use of the room.

If your living room has a window, this is a great place to add a curtain. There are many curtain styles that can brighten a room and draw attention to the natural light. You can use the curtain design and colors to match the other elements of your living room. It can also serve as a transition piece, if your living room connects to another room in a house with a window, you can use the same curtain in each room to add a level of continuity.

To beautify your house or apartment–especially your living room furnishings–add small touches of color wherever possible. You might add a few throw rugs to brighten up a boring beige carpet (or just to create a softer spot for your bare feet if you’ve got hardwood floors). Scope out the aisles of Target or Ikea to find accent pillows that reflect your style, and add them to your couch and chairs for extra comfort and pizzazz. You can also decorate your coffee table with fresh flower bouquets, or fabric flowers if you don’t want to worry about petals drying out and making a mess on the carpet.

towels, purple, gray, bathroom

Image via Pexels

The Bathroom

In my view, the bathroom should be a space for refreshment above anything else. It’s often where you get ready for the day, as well as where you might end your day with a relaxing shower or bubble bath.

To beautify your bathroom, use a consistent, light color scheme that suggests serenity: perhaps you’ll choose turquoise towels with light blue washcloths, or lavender floor mats to coordinate with pops of deeper purple color around the room in accessories or even wall decals, which are much easier and more student-friendly than fussy wallpaper

If your bathroom is well-decorated with a clear, consistent theme, you’ll find it easier to unwind and feel calm as you’re doing your hair or trying on the best outfit options for an upcoming job interview. A bathroom more chaotic in decor likely won’t throw off your energy too much, but it might subconsciously frazzle you the same way that a messy room makes it hard for someone to focus on their work.

If you have a lot of tiny bottles and products all over the bathroom counter, you might consider a multi-level spinning lazy susan-style storage container for the bathroom. This will not only free up counter space via vertical storage, but keep you from losing your tiny foundation tubes, makeup brushes, face lotion, hairspray and other small items that could easily roll into your sink or off the counter into the trash can (this has happened to me).

The Closet

Even though guests may not see your closet, it is a place that you enter every day. Thus, it deserves to have attractive design elements in it as well. You can beautify your closet in small ways such as organizing your clothes by color to create a gradient or a rainbow. You can also organize by article of clothing, season, or style. If you have a drawer of items that are haphazardly organized, consider a better form of storage that could also be more aesthetically pleasing, such as colorful bins or a vibrant small dresser.

If there are certain clothing items or accessories you tend to hang up on the wall, such as scarfs, jewelry, or an outfit you’ve planned out, you can beautify that storage through switching out your simple hook for a colorful antique doorknob. This small touch will bring in a unique design element and a pop of color. The knobs could also be arranged in a pattern on the wall for added flair. Another option is an accordion rack storage can hang up on your closet wall, which items can be hung onto. These can be easily beautified using paint or pinning personal photos on.

The Hallways

“Since this lonely space often gets hardly any decoration, doing just about anything to your hallway can make for a big wow impact,” says Adrienne Breaux in her article on “The easiest things to do would be to arrange a wall art collage or like suggested above, an interesting pattern. But large hallways could house a narrow furniture piece, a vignette, a bench or even some plants — something unexpected.”

When beautifying your house or apartment, prioritize functionality, style and appeal all at the same time. If your place isn’t set up with usefulness and convenience in mind, the decor and beautification measures you’ve implemented will be far less effective. Never sacrifice comfort either! Make sure to arrange all of your furniture and seating exactly how you need it, before you start beautifying rooms. Otherwise, you run the risk of having to take things down to accommodate furniture layout changes. Happy decorating!

By Julia Dunn

Uloop Writer
A writer, editor and educator based in Northern California.

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