I live in a small, not-so-fancy apartment in Chicago. And, as a renter, there’s only so much I can do to make these 400 square feet (yes, you read that correctly) feel like home. But, it’s a welcome challenge. I’ve had fun thinking through the many things I could do to liven up the space. Decor, crafty storage solutions, pops of color, texture. The options are really endless.
Over time I’ve discovered that, for me, when it comes to personalizing a space, it’s all about the little things. Small touches with big impact. Here’s my inspiration for accents that add style to any room.
Trays. You’ve gotta love decor that doubles as an organization tool. Available in all shapes, sizes and colors, use them to display pretty barware, organize desk accessories or add texture to a coffee table. I love the lacquered look but wood and metal trays are timeless.
A knick knack or two. Just typing the word ‘knick knack’ gives me mild anxiety. I’m a minimalist 100% and don’t like acquiring things I don’t use. However, if those things have special meaning and you can keep any desire to collect in check, they can add a lot to your space. My deer antler is from the North Woods of Wisconsin where I spent all my summers as a kid and recalls memories of the place, the times and for my love of the outdoors.
Neutral Artwork. Prints or photos in blacks, whites and other neutral colors are a great way to add a really personal touch. I’ve had my eye on this one for a while. If animal photography isn’t your thing, different sites like Minted and Society6 have tons of options. Stick to neutral frames (once again, black, white and metal) and these pieces will transition with you from home to home.
Hurricane Candle Holders. These babies can go pretty much anywhere. I use mine on the floor of my apartment but the options are really unlimited. And you can find them pretty much anywhere. Get creative and use them to hold more than just candles.
Plants. Real or fake, plants are a great way to bring life to a room. I got this succulent at Trader Joe’s and love the extra dimension is adds to a stack of books. Plus, they are insanely easy to take care of! I’ve got my eye on this Fiddle Leaf Tree to bring some height to my living room and of course, more green.
Cutting boards. I’m a huge believer in using every day household items as decor. A beautiful cutting board doesn’t need to stored out of sight. Investing just a little bit more when purchasing kitchen tools and supplies will pay off in the end!
Lamps. Lighting can make or break a space. And lighting fixtures can work even harder. And oh so much variety! Every shape, height, finish and color is available. They are also pretty inexpensive touches that make a big impact.
And quick PSA, you do NOT have to spend a lot of money to inject personal style in to your home. Some of my favorite things have come from antique stores, Home Goods, Ikea and sometimes, even the grocery store. Now, get decorating.