When you rent a new apartment or house in New England, its character, shape, size and overall flow are always different. The houses and apartments for rent in Boston are uniquely historical, colonial, industrial and modern all scattered about and interspersed in various areas. So when you move from one place to another, it becomes important to learn how to re-decorate and re-purpose items on a budget or for minimal investment.
Whether you want to buy all new furniture for your new apartment, or you want to use what you have, yet make it look like you chose it expertly for the space you’re in, we’ve found a few key decorating and furniture arrangement guidelines to help. You’ll be decorating your Boston apartment the right way if you follow these few simple tips.
Find Each Room’s Purpose and Focus
Before you begin, decide how you want each room used and how often. Where will the focal point be? Before you can place furniture and store items in strategic locations, you have to know how your space will be used and what area or feature of the room you want to be featured.
For example, you might have a beautiful view of the Boston skyline outside of a rather large window. To make your view the focal point of the room, you would arrange each piece of furniture in the room so that its occupant can see the view from one angle or another. Each of these seats will also want a place to set a drink, like a coffee table or an end table. By focusing on how each room will be used, you can then choose where to place your pieces of furniture and decor more usefully and tastefully.
Break the Rules of Decorating
Some older spaces (and even some newer ones) are not well designed for laying out furniture so sometimes you have to break the rules. That room we just spoke about, with the awesome view and oversized window, may have no other place for a piece of furniture that makes any sense except for on the wall with the view.
Put that bed or couch in front of the window if it works. In some cases, placing your bed below the window can make it look like a headboard. Frame the window with some curtains and you have yourself the most picturesque bed of anyone on the Boston apartment scene.
If you put a couch in front of a window like this, pull the couch a couple of inches from the window so that when a person is standing in front of the couch or sitting and looking back, they can see even more of the landscape. Make it inviting. Your couch is now not only a great place to sit, but the window is also still the focal point of the room.
Create an Intimate Setting for Social Spaces
Speaking of inviting rooms, pulling furniture out from the walls, even just a few inches, can also create more intimate social spaces. By creating space between your walls and furniture, you give your home a more cozy feeling. However, the spacing is crucial here. You do not want to cut off the flow of the walkways in your room to put a gap between your walls and furniture. Floating the furniture just a few inches from the wall can create this same effect, but ensure you never cut out the natural flow of movement.
Use Finishes, Shapes, Colors and Materials to Create Art
Never just place your furniture where you think it will be most useful. Look at the overall silhouette it creates and where each piece compliments another. Does anything stand out? Should it? Or do you need to move it?
Placement is more than just functionality. It is also visual design. The contrast of textures in an older Boston Colonial style apartment may help to tie in your potentially eclectic furniture to the vintage backdrop. Or vice versa. Maybe your furniture is vintage but you just moved into a modern loft. Move things around and look at how the shapes or textures compliment each other.
You don’t have to scrap your old furniture just because you move into a completely differently styled apartment! But when you collect furniture and pieces, do try to at least make sure there are complements and complementary contrasts involved in your style. For example, stick to a few colors. Lighter colors are ideal because they make small spaces seem larger and darker spaces feel brighter.
Place Proportions Appropriately
Too many large objects in a small setting make any space feel cramped. And too many small objects in large space has just the opposite effect. The trick to proportions is to mix them up. By choosing pieces of varying proportions, no matter what kind of future place you live in, you will have a space that will work with it. Ideally, you would choose objects that fit your new Boston apartment specifically. But as many Boston renters know, buying all new art and decor every time you move is never ideal. So stick with variations in dimension.
You should also always be open to thinking outside the box. For example, if you choose to purchase a 12-foot antique ladder to use as a standing piece of a table or bookshelf in a loft apartment with high ceilings and then move to a cottage or colonial style apartment with a shorter space, you can turn it sideways and hang it on a wall for a number of purposes. This giant piece can be used in multiple ways. The objects that you then place on and around the ladder should be smaller and medium in size, varying the sizing of the decor and suiting the space as you see fit. The possibilities are endless.
Plan Before You Purchase
Lastly, if you are getting ready to buy something new, plan where you are going to put it first. Do you need it? Where will it go and how will it tie into your space? Many often fall prey to the click bait of Amazon lightning deals or that cute little end table they saw in a thrift store that they just had to have. And many of those same people often meet with bitter disappointment when they realize it doesn’t even fit anywhere. Luckily for those guys, they have this blog post to help them FIND a place for it. It is cute, right? It will fit somewhere…