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Knowing Your Style: A Guide to Decorating Your Apartment

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 13 December 2016 16:40

Your apartment is a reflection of who you are. When someone walks through your door, they should learn something about you by the way your home is decorated. It can, however, be challenging to express your personal style in a small space. No matter how you'd describe your style, use these tips to bring your vision home.

Rustic and Homey

If you love the warm look of natural wood and gravitate toward timeless pieces that you might find at a fabulous flea market, you love the rustic look. You're not afraid of a few imperfections, and prefer organic fabrics to synthetic materials.

Look for unusual shapes and irregular borders, like a side table with a rough-hewn top or an area rug with fringed edges. Choose used pieces to find that worn-in look, or keep an eye out for new items that have been intentionally weathered. You can also create this effect yourself by distressing new pieces by hand.

Sleek and Modern

Image via Flickr by jinkazamah

This look is all about clean lines and contemporary materials. Lovers of modern style are drawn to things like glass, steel, and concrete. You value function over form, and pride yourself on neatness and organization. Clutter is the enemy.

You don't have to banish your guests to hard chairs and sharp corners to achieve a sleek, modern look. When choosing cushioned chairs, a sofa, and other soft surfaces, go for solid colors and structured shapes. Stay away from non-essential soft accessories like pillows and throw blankets. Mix it up by searching vintage sales for older industrial pieces that stick to the theme while adding character.

Refined and Traditional

A traditional sense of style is rooted in the past — but it's not retro, and it's definitely not stuffy. It's about classic design principles like symmetry, texture, comfort, and the perfect balance of form and function.

When choosing pieces to fit into a traditional apartment, opt for subtlety over making a statement. It doesn't have to be overly matchy, but you don't want any single piece to stand out. The magic is in how you arrange the space to create comfortable areas with a clear purpose, like a reading nook.

Eclectic and Funky

This is the grab bag of design, for people who love a little bit of everything. But you can't just throw a bunch of random pieces together and call it style. Like mixing prints in fashion, it takes a special eye.

One key to successful eclectic design is finding a way to tie seemingly unrelated components together is to find a through-line. It could be a particular shape, color palette, or visual theme that makes the parts feel like they belong to the whole. And don't worry if you're not an instant master — learning by trying is part of the fun!


One of the best things about having your own space is that you can make it an extension of your personality. Even better, you don't have to stay married to the same style forever. If it's been a while since you redecorated, change things up and try something new. You might discover a side of your style you never knew was there.

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