Outside view of VIDA Building

5 Common Apartment Decorating Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Living room with a couch that's too long to fit. Image credit: mikkelwilliam

January 2024


Decorating your apartment or townhome can be an exciting endeavor. We love to see our VIDA residents put their heart, soul, and creativity into it. However, there are five decorating mistakes that are all too easy to make and most common with apartment dwellers. We’re here to tell you what they are and how to avoid them.

Neglecting Space Planning

One of the most frequent mistakes in apartment decorating is neglecting space planning. Many people rush into it without a clear plan, resulting in cluttered and cramped living areas. To avoid this mistake, start by measuring your apartment’s dimensions and sketching a floor plan. Consider the flow of traffic, the placement of furniture, and the function of each area. Proper space planning ensures that your apartment is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Tip: Create zones within your apartment, such as a designated living area, dining space, and workspace. Even if you divide a single space into multiple zones, you can use things like shelving, rugs, plants, or folding screens to create boundaries.

Ignoring Lighting

Inadequate or improper lighting can affect the overall ambiance of your apartment. Many people make the mistake of relying solely on overhead lighting, which can create a harsh atmosphere.

Tip: Incorporate a variety of lighting sources, such as table lamps and floor lamps to create layered lighting. Use curtains or blinds that allow you to control the amount of natural light coming in. Wall mirrors are also a great way to reflect and spread light, especial natural light from outside.

Overlooking Color Choices

Choosing the right color palette for your apartment is a big part of setting the right mood and atmosphere. Common mistakes include using too many bold colors, ignoring the importance of neutrals, or selecting a color scheme that doesn’t match your personal style.

Tip: Start with a neutral base and then add pops of color through decor and accessories. Consider the psychological impact of colors – for example, calming blues and greens in bedrooms, or vibrant yellows and reds in living areas.

Neglecting Storage Solutions

Clutter is a major enemy of good apartment design. People often fail to incorporate sufficient storage solutions, leading to a messy and disorganized space. Overcrowded shelves and cluttered surfaces can make even the most stylish apartment look chaotic.

Tip: Invest in furniture with built-in storage, like ottomans with hidden compartments or coffee tables with shelves. Use wall-mounted shelves to free up floor space and keep items organized. Regularly declutter and donate or sell items you no longer need to maintain a tidy living space.

Disregarding Personal Style

One of the most critical mistakes is decorating an apartment solely based on the hottest trends or imitating a catalog. While it’s important to stay inspired by design trends, your apartment should reflect your personality and preferences. Doing so, makes it both unique and a more meaningful place for you to live.

Tip: Take the time to discover your personal style by collecting inspiration from various sources, such as magazines, Pinterest boards, or interior design books. Don’t be afraid to mix different styles and incorporate personal touches, like family photos or or collections, to make your apartment feel like home.

By avoiding these pitfalls, you’ll be well on your way to achieving a well-designed apartment and will love coming home to VIDA every day.