gray fabric loveseat near brown wooden table

Interior stylist shares 8 tips for decorating small apartments on a budget

Living in a small rented apartment can be challenging, especially when it comes to decorating and making the most of the limited space. However, according to Joanna Thornhill, a London-based interior stylist, writer, and former serial renter, fixing up rented and shared spaces or decorating walls doesn’t have to be expensive or upset your landlord.

In her recent book, “My Bedroom is an Office: & Other Interior Design Dilemmas,” Thornhill addresses the common struggles renters face when trying to personalize their living spaces. “I’ve been a serial renter in all sorts [of places], from tiny one-bed flats to room shares or house shares with several other people, so I’ve always had limitations as to what I’ve been able to do myself decor-wise,” she shared.

Thornhill’s background in set-styling has equipped her with a unique perspective on solving design puzzles using a temporary, photoshoot-style approach. She emphasizes that “you’re not creating something that’s meant to last forever,” which can be liberating for renters who want to express their personal style without making permanent changes.

One of the key takeaways from Thornhill’s book is that interior design does not always equate to permanent ownership. Getting creative with temporary interiors can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for renters.

From structural tips to personal-charm suggestions, Thornhill’s guide book offers eight design solutions that are both practical and stylish:

Tip 1: Use reflective peel-and-stick wallpaper

Adding reflective peel-and-stick wallpaper is an easy way to add visual interest and light to a room without making permanent changes.

Tip 2: Avoid filling small spaces with small furniture

A common mistake renters make is filling small spaces with small furniture. Thornhill suggests opting for larger, statement pieces instead.

Tip 3: Get creative with storage solutions

In small spaces, storage is key. Thornhill recommends getting creative with storage solutions, such as using vertical space and multi-functional furniture.

Tip 4: Add personal touches with removable decor

Renters can add personal touches to their space with removable decor, such as wall decals, removable wallpaper, and temporary artwork.

Tip 5: Use lighting to create ambiance

Lighting can make a big difference in a small space. Thornhill suggests using a mix of overhead lighting, table lamps, and floor lamps to create a cozy ambiance.

Tip 6: Embrace minimalism

In a small space, less is often more. Thornhill recommends embracing minimalism and only keeping items that serve a purpose or bring joy.

Tip 7: Use rugs to define spaces

Rugs can help define different areas in a small space, such as a living room or bedroom. Thornhill suggests choosing a rug that fits the size of the room and complements the overall design.

Tip 8: Don’t be afraid to experiment

Thornhill encourages renters to experiment with different design styles and trends, as temporary interiors allow for more flexibility and creativity.

Thornhill’s advice is paired with shoppable counterparts, making it easy for readers to implement her tips in their own homes. Her relatable and down-to-earth approach to interior design is refreshing and encouraging for renters who may feel limited by their living situations.

As more people find themselves living in rented accommodations, Thornhill’s book serves as a valuable resource for those looking to make the most of their temporary homes. By following her expert advice, renters can transform their tiny apartments into personalized, stylish, and functional spaces without breaking the bank or risking their security deposits.

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