Getting the keys to your new apartment feels like a fresh start — especially after a cross-country move. When Aviel Kanter, POPSUGAR's associate director of branded content, moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles a few months ago, she knew that the first step to making California feel like home would be decorating her one-bedroom apartment.
Still, turning a rental apartment into a space that really feels like you can be a tall order. To see how it's done, we enlisted interior designer Kate Rumson to give Aviel — and let's be real, all of us — some expert tips for decorating after a move. With 15 years of experience in home design and decor, Kate knows how to create a truly personal, stylish space. Read on to discover Kate's advice for making a new apartment feel like home and discover the decor from HomeDepot.com that she'd use to decorate Aviel's living room.
When you're looking at an empty room, it's easy to get overwhelmed by all there is to do. To make the design process a bit easier, Kate likes to start with the biggest pieces of furniture, then work her way down into smaller accessories. "Focus on finding all of the large and most important furniture pieces first, then move on to rugs, window treatments, and art, and then complete the look with lighting and accessories," she said. "Breaking the project into three stages makes it feel more manageable and less overwhelming." Kate recommended Aviel look for hero pieces that really make an impact, like a stylish armchair in a deep jewel tone and a coffee table with a slightly industrial feel.
Find Your Aesthetic and Stick to It
To make your space feel cohesive, it's incredibly important to know your style. Before you start adding accent pieces and small decor items, Kate recommended browsing social media or your favorite brands' websites to really hone in on your personal aesthetic. "Once you settle on the overall look and style, look for similar furniture and decor pieces, but don't forget to add your sense of style," Kate said.
For instance, Kate chose a walnut end table to go with the rustic-industrial coffee table. Wooden serving trays, succulents in a cement planter, and charcoal marble coasters complement the neutral wood tones.
Use Color Strategically
Kate also said color can make a huge impact on a space, as long as it's introduced thoughtfully. If you're not sure where to begin, choose one key color to use throughout the room. For instance, Kate recommended Aviel opt for something like a vibrant mustard yellow. You'll see pops of it everywhere in Kate's design, from the throw pillows, to the wall art, to the patterned rug. Since Aviel shares her apartment with her dog Chicken, Kate recommended a rug with a somewhat busy print — any stains from muddy paw prints or accidental spills will be easy to camouflage.
The common thread in all of Kate's decor advice? Keep it cohesive. Sticking to one color palette, decor style, and overall vision will help your home come together. Whether you're moving into a studio loft or multistory house, that advice will certainly serve you well.