New year, new you, new apartment style? Why not?
You may not be able to paint or wallpaper your apartment (without permission), but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it stylish. Whatever your preferences are, reflect them in the color scheme you choose to display throughout your home.
There’s a catch, though: You don’t want to repeat the same mistakes others have made. Like thinking they were on-trend, but actually decorating their apartments to be a designer’s nightmare.
You want to keep your apartment fashionable while avoiding passing fads and common mistakes. While you’re revamping your home, have fun, and add flair!
But keep these seven color no-no’s in mind before you invest time or money in your decor.
Table of Contents
1. Don’t Overwhelm The Senses
There’s a fine line between too much color on your walls and not enough. This applies to your choice of paint, wallpaper, and decor.
No matter how you choose to use color in your apartment, you’ve got to leave a bit of it alone. Blank space is just as essential a component in your color scheme as the right hues are, and here’s why.
Our minds are processing our environment on a subconscious level. It’s essential to leave a little empty space in every room to allow your brain to rest as it takes in your surroundings.
Too many colors can trigger sensory overload on your guests, even if they don’t bother you. And, whether you notice it or not, the extra colors are constantly working your brain. This leaves you vulnerable to becoming frustrated and stressed quicker without realizing why.
Try subtle shades accented with bold hues if you really want to incorporate multiple colors. It’s a tiny change that gives you a similar effect without the potential to overwhelm the occupants.
2. Avoid Too Much Of One Color
Of course, some people go to the opposite extreme. Instead of a wide variety of colors, they stick with one favorite shade.
Like the person who collects a specific type of memorabilia, there can be too much on display. At this point, it ceases to be interesting anymore. Your favorite color becomes boring and — gasp! — possibly even gaudy.
To infuse some life into your apartment, choose a color scheme that includes your favorites but use different shades of it. Then find complementary colors that enhance yours and use those for an occasional accent.
3. Have A Plan, But Don’t Overdo It
Jumping into any design scheme without planning ahead is asking for trouble. But too much of a strict style can come across boring at best and cold and unwelcoming at worst.
Using patterns or other arrangements to add color and personality in your apartment is excellent, as long as you don’t under- or overdo it.
Rules For Harmony In Your Apartment
The ultimate goal for your home is to provide an area where you feel at peace. It’s not an easy mission, though. You can’t have too much or too little; it needs to be just right.
To get that “just right” harmony, keep these rules in mind as you create your plan:
- If you use patterns, group them together, starting with your strongest print. Add a smaller pattern with similar colors or designs. Then end with a complementary color in a different motif. Add a solid for balance.
- Don’t be afraid to use white as a base for your rooms.
- Use consistent color palettes in each room and blend them together into the adjoining rooms.
- Keep your color intensities consistent, as well. Don’t mix bolds with pastels, for example. They should go with a muted complementary hue.
Mixing patterns and color palettes can be intimidating, but the final outcome should be a space that you enjoy spending your free time in.
4. Learn How To Use Rugs
Your place may have smaller-sized rooms. If that’s the case, you’ll need to decorate carefully to keep them from appearing even more modest. The science of illusion works in your favor here if you learn to use or avoid certain color tricks.
Most people know that using mirrors, colors, and specific furniture placement can give their rooms a larger appearance. But did you know rugs can help perform the same magic?
Rather than match your rug to your room size and go diminutive, small spaces need large rugs to create the illusion of a wider area. It’s not the size you need to worry about, though. Go big, but watch your color scheme.
The color or pattern of those rugs should accentuate the style of the room without matching it too closely. If you’ve got a predominantly chevron pattern, for instance, try a geometric rug to tie everything together.
5. Work Magic With Mirrors
Mirrors can make small areas look bigger by adjusting the eye’s perspective, so they’re fantastic to use in apartments.
But you can’t set up mirrors just anywhere. The trick is to use them to reflect the colors and patterns in your room.
Too many mirrors randomly placed throughout the room can look tacky if you’re not careful, but don’t be afraid to go big.
One large mirror — or strategically placed medium-sized mirrors next to each other — can trick the eye into seeing the room as more extensive. These reflections will enhance your colors, as well.
6. Don’t Forget The Windows
Instead of adding blinds to cover your windows, use drapes to make use of the vertical space and adjust the eye’s perspective.
Consider the pattern and color carefully, though. Plan it to match your area rugs and color scheme.
7. Remember To Set The Mood
Going for your favorite color sounds intuitive. But try not to ignore the science-based fact that colors can impact your mood.
Research your color palette before you choose and make sure it is appropriate for the room’s purpose.
Pros recommend that bedrooms keep a calming shade of blues and greens. Save bold, energetic reds and yellows for your kitchen. Neutrals or relaxing colors can go in your living room, or use more vibrant colors if you aren’t using the room to rest.
The final piece to remember, as you decorate your apartment, is that you live there. Ultimately, it’s your decision about what works and what doesn’t.
By avoiding these seven common color mistakes, you can narrow down your preferences. Choose what works for you to create an environment that you feel comfortable in whenever you’re home.
Chris DeAngelis is the founder and principal of TriArch Real Estate Group, a multi-strategy real estate investment and property management firm. In this role, Chris oversees all acquisition, management, design, and development activities of the company. He spends much of his time working with Monarch Heights to help them with their marketing efforts.