How to Make Your Apartment Homey: 10 Decor Tips

September 10, 2023 4 min read

living room with "home sweet apartment" wall art - apartment decor tips - Gear Den

Apartment living can be wonderful, whether you're a young go-getter who's just found your independence, or a growing family making memories together. However, there's a certain feel to apartments that just doesn't equal the homey-ness of home. It doesn't even matter if you have a tiny studio or a spacious rental -- without the right decorating, apartments tend to feel stark and impersonal.

If you feel this, we got you! Here are simple decorating tips to make your apartment feel the coziest and homiest it's ever been.


Why Does My Apartment Feel So... Basic?

basic apartment - decor tips for homey apartment

First, let's take a quick look at these common reasons why rental spaces look plain and un-cozy. Being aware of these pain points will help you transform your space when you redecorate!

  • You can't make major changes. Lots of rentals prohibit renovations, repainting, and other interior modifications. Perhaps this is what's preventing you from truly personalizing your space.
  • There are too few windows. It's common -- especially among townhouses and rowhouses -- to have just one or two windows in the main space, making it difficult to play around with layout.
  • The walls are so blank! Newer apartments are particularly prone to be expressionless. Artless corners, no texture, clad in all white. It can be easy to fall into the trap of keeping the space as austere as it is.

With these points in mind, let's get you started on your apartment transformation! Read on for our decorating tips.


Decor Tips for a Homey, Cozy Apartment

1. Soften with textiles.

Balance the room's straight lines and hard angles with some flowy, drapey fabrics. A set of soft curtains would be lovely! Also consider throw blankets on your couch, draped just so.

Bonus tip: Hang those curtains a few inches higher! This creates the illusion of higher ceilings and added luxury.

personalized blanket - we should probably cuddle - couple blanket - GearDen

Blanket pictured above: Personalized "We Should Probably Cuddle" Premium Fleece Blanket 


2. Add texture to your walls.

Lucky are you if you can add a bit of wall paneling, wainscoting, or trim to your apartment walls. But if you can't make any real changes to the architecture, try temporary tweaks such as removable wallpaper or peel-and-stick faux moulding. We found the incredible example below from Lindsay at Frills and Drills. Yes, that's fake wainscoting!


3. Fill it with wood elements.

Nothing makes a space look cozy like wood can! The color and texture of wood can balance the smooth neutral-colored surfaces of a condo. Plan your decor scheme to incorporate wooden tables, benches, and/or sideboards. For budget-friendly alternatives, try displaying canvas artworks with realistic wood designs (like ours at GearDen!).

"Home Sweet Apartment" wall art canvas print - GearDen

 Wall art pictured above: "Home Sweet Apartment" Premium Canvas 


4. Add warm lighting.

Apartments and condominiums typically come with white-colored built-in lighting, which tend to give the room a cold, stark atmosphere. Warm up your space by adding ambient lights and accent lights with a more diffused yellowish glow. A soft lampshade here and there can do wonders!

Bonus tip: If you're going lightbulb-shopping, ask specifically for bulbs with 2,700 Kelvins or lower, as they give warmer tones.

custom bedroom wall art with couple names - Gear Den

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "Couple's Names Joined By Love" Rustic Premium Canvas


dining room wall art - bless food, family, love - GearDen

Wall art pictured above: "Food, Family, Love" Premium Canvas 


5. Go vintage.

When an apartment is filled only with newly bought things, it can feel like a showroom instead of a home. To counter this, display vintage or antique pieces that mean something to you personally. Perhaps some heirloom ceramics passed down in your family, or an aged writing desk you've had since childhood.

living room with antique piano - make apartment homey tips


personalized family name wall art - homey apartment tips - GearDen

Wall art pictured above: Personalized Rustic "Family Name" Premium Canvas


6. Pile on pillows.

Cushions make cozy! Arrange a set of throw pillows on your couch and on your bed for an instant lounge feel. Visually, pillows also add layers of texture to the room, preventing it from looking bare.

bedroom with "soulmates" horizontal art - GearDen

Wall art pictured above: "Soulmates" Premium Panoramic Canvas


Pillow pictured above: Personalized Pillow "Mr. & Mrs." With Name And Year


7. Dot your interiors with plants.

An indoor plant instantly adds vibrancy and softness to a room. If you're in a low-light rental, don't worry -- you still have greenery options. Plants that don't need a lot of sunlight include snake plant, pothos, ZZ plant, spider plant, and many more!


8. Display artwork you love.

One of the easiest ways to personalize a rental is to fill it with wall art of your choosing. If your landlord doesn't allow nailing things to the wall, no worries! Read our blog post on the various ways to display your favorite prints without hanging.

custom couple wall art with names and story - GearDen

 Wall art pictured above: Personalized "Where It All Began" Couple's Premium Canvas


mother loving her wall art - custom art print with mom's name and kids' names - GearDen


Wall art pictured above: Personalized "Mama, We Love You" Premium Canvas


9. Pull your furniture off the wall.

Apartment dwellers often arrange all their couches and tables flush against the wall to save space. But if there's too much space left, this layout can make the room feel flat, almost like a waiting room at the dentist's! How about reconsidering this furniture setup? Play around with layouts where your seats are closer to each other -- not just for style purposes but for a closer vibe when hanging out with guests!

apartment living room decor - custom wall art - Gear Den

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "Family Name" Color Choice Premium Canvas


living room with green pillows - Gear Den

Pillows pictured above: Celtic Knots Design Irish Pillow


10. Add style to the floor.

A rug is a fantastic way to add character to your rental space if you can't do any major makeovers to it. Rugs come in all colors and styles, from richly colored Oriental or Persian rugs, to modern geometric patterns, to texture-oriented wovens and shag rugs. You can definitely find one that makes you feel at home.

apartment dining room with rug and wall art - Gear Den

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "It's So Good To Be Home" Premium Canvas


We hope these tips help you make a real cozy home out of your apartment! What decorating tips would you add? Share with us in a comment!

If you liked the wall art, pillows, and blankets featured here, find more at! We have tons of customizable home decor that's five-starred by homemakers like you. Browse now!



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Gift and Decor Guides

green bedroom - rental decor - how to decorate rented home - GearDen
10 Super-Stylish Renter-Friendly Decor Ideas

April 02, 2024 4 min read

No remodeling, no repainting, and even no nailing to the wall! When rental rules are restrictive, how do you decorate? Here are our favorite moveable decor tips to transform a basic rented space into a beautiful, stylish home.
bright living room with TV - interior decor tips from movies - GearDen
Gorgeous Interior Decor Inspiration from 8 Recent Films

March 26, 2024 5 min read

Film sets are a fantastic source of interior design inspiration. Here are standout film sets from the last decade and corresponding decor tips we can use in our own homes. Don't worry, we've picked just affordable, doable design ideas!

peach-colored flower centerpiece - Easter 2024 - Spring decor ideas - GearDen
Spring Decorating: 15 Beautiful, Affordable Easter Decor Ideas

March 18, 2024 5 min read

This Easter, flex that spring decorating muscle! Easter Sunday 2024 falls on March 31, but with these budget-friendly tips, you'll be too excited to wait! Here are our fresh picks for Spring 2024 decor ideas. Let's get blooming!