Ideas to elevate the style of your home or apartment

Some quick tips to help you source and style your home and apartment.
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If you’re like me, styling your home or apartment can feel a bit intimidating. Rugs. Vases. Wall décor. Blankets. Quilts. Shelves. You could buy all the things and still feel like you’re only halfway to having a well-styled house. This site was created to help you approach abstract and sometimes confusing topics, a guide that tells you what you need to know in 5 minutes.

For this article, I consulted with Macy Hansen, a sourcing and stylist consultant who was previously the Director of Couture and Accessories for Hindman Auction House. She reviewed this article for content and substance and, well, style. In turn, I learned that personal style is about recognizing what’s personal to you and putting that on display, not necessarily buying expensive items that are on-trend.

For those who aren’t interior decorators or who have maybe ignored styling your place, elevating the look of your house or apartment doesn’t have to be a process. In fact, it can be as simple as re-arranging a few things you already own. Here are some simple ideas to make your living space feel more personal and stylish. These are some quick ideas to elevate the style of your home or apartment … in 5 minutes.

Style your home and organize it at the same time

An example of how trays elevate the style of a house or apartment.

Trays. They might seem simple, but trays have the ability to bring both organization and style to what could feel like a scattered space. Instead of having objects thrown about, merely putting them onto some good looking trays makes your space feel more contained and organized. Putting a tray by the doorway can help you from losing your keys or forgetting your lipstick on the way out. Keeping a tray on your coffee table can prevent them from having a mind of their own and seemingly always walking away.

Simply put, trays are a simple item that can go a long way. Better yet, they’re ubiquitous and can be found in nearly any furniture or home goods store.

Add a touch of green to make your space feel alive

It’s fascinating what a little green can do to a living room or kitchen. Green brings life to a room and can be added on any budget. Place a succulent on your bookshelf or coffee table as an easy accessory. Pick out a few herbs like basil or mint on your next trip to the grocery store and add them to your countertop.

Floor plants add another dimension if you’re looking to add scale and fill up a bit more space. But they’re a larger investment and you need to consider things like placement and lighting. Succulents, however, can be placed pretty much anywhere. With succulents, you can rarely go wrong. Most hardware stores sell succulents for under $10. You could get 20 of them for under $40 at Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Put your personal items on display

Adding a little green is another quick tip to elevate the style of your home.
Trays or bowls like the above offer a storage solution and provide a nice decor.

Finding 1-2 things that represent who you are and adding them to a room can make things feel much cozier. Here are a few ideas to help bring these ideas to life:

A few décor ideas to add personal style to your home

  • Are you a person who loves the outdoors, be it hunting, fishing, or hiking? Consider showcasing things like feathers, shells, or personal items you’ve collected from past trips.
  • Do you have a special taste for certain foods or coffees? Not throwing away the packaging from specialty coffee bags or wine corks is a great way of holding onto items you find unique and cherish. You can place the corks in a bowl or hang the bangs in your kitchen.
  • Have an appreciation for photography or artwork? Placing your camera lenses (carefully) on a shelf or on a glass tray offers great decor.
  • Hanging artwork, be it from your children or what you’ve created yourself, can also add a touch of whimsy to your personal space.

Fill up your walls

In addition to artwork, mirrors do a great job of adding style to your walls. Bringing a touch of elegance and cleanliness to any room, mirrors are can really help elevate a space. Another benefit of adding mirrors to your wall is their ability to make a room feel larger than it truly is.

Buying a mirror that looks different than the general style of what’s in your room can also create an element of contrast. Why should you care about a contrast? Contrast offers a bit more of a bold style choice and can elevate the overall appearance of your walls.

Don’t overlook lamps

Lamps are underrated and can add scale to a floor and give your home an elevated style.

The overhead light fixture that maybe came with your home or apartment might do a perfectly adequate job lighting a room. But a lamp can accent nearly any side table as well as literally brightening any darker areas of your living space. Lamps placed on top of a side table can bring height to a room and allow an area to feel fuller, as well.

HomeGoods, Ballard Designs, Lamps Plus are just a few great places to start when shopping for a good lamp.

Quick rug tip

Rugs can be complicated. A quality rug can change the tone of a room. Conversely, a rug that might be considered an “odd style choice” might ruin a room’s decor. Rugs are their own discussion. But a quick style tip that will elevate any room is to layer rugs. You could buy a larger, less expensive rug to cover a floor and place a smaller one on top. Layering rugs gives the room more dimension and will likely prevent you from needing to spend thousands to cover the floor with a larger rug (generally 8×10 or larger). If you’re going to layer a rug, the larger rug should likely be a more neutral color or tone to allow the high-quality, smaller rug to stand out.

Final Minute

Obviously, this article isn’t meant to turn you into an interior decorator. But with a few quick style touches that won’t take up your whole weekend, you can turn an ordinary room into more of your own.

For those of us accustomed to not giving styling a great deal of thought, trying out 1-2 of the aforementioned tips might reveal a new appreciation for personal style. For those who are seemingly always in the market for newer furniture, it might not hurt to consider the power of the little things. Adding some green, a few trays, and bringing out more of a personal touch might freshen up a place as much as a new couch. When it comes to styling if you first think elevate before eliminate, you might be surprised with what look you end up achieving.

This article was written by:

Macy is the Founder of Heidi & Hans Home, a sourcing and styling company based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Prior to starting her own company, Macy was previously the Director of Couture at Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago, IL. Visit her site to learn more.

Paul is the Founder & Editor of in5minutes.com. He is a Certified Salesforce Marketer, FAA Drone Pilot, HSK Chinese Speaker, Ham Radio Operator, NASM Personal Trainer, and Certified Canon operator amongst other things. He hosted and produced the first original programs for Hulu and Twitch and helped launch a pilot program for teaching soft skills to incarcerated students. He currently runs content marketing for an aerospace company in Los Angeles. If you'd like to request a consultation, contact Paul here.

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