Have you ever gotten a tour of an apartment for rent and the living room is decked out with cool artwork, high-end furniture, and accessories that make it feel nice and homey? Well there’s a reason for that. Apartment complexes want potential residents to see what a unit could look like when there’s someone living in it, rather than showing them an empty room with white walls.

But the problem for many apartment renters is that when they move in, the apartment is empty with white walls. And when they bring in their own belongings, it still doesn’t quite match the look and feel of the staged apartment they saw on the tour. So how can people living in apartments make it their own? And do it in a way that maximizes their style to make every space in the apartment cozy and homey?


Personalizing Your Apartment 101

These tips will focus on the living room, since that’s generally the largest space in an apartment, but each tip can easily be applied to bedrooms, the kitchen, and even the bathroom. The most important thing is to have fun and keep an open mind.

Use Color

Even a little bit of color will go a long way in helping an apartment feel more like your own space. When approaching the task of adding color to a space it’s important to not be afraid of it! Even bold colors like bright yellow or green can be balanced with softer tones of complementary colors. Not sure what colors are complementary to each other? Check out the color wheel. If you want blue in your apartment, the color opposite it on the color wheel is orange. The complementary color of yellow is purple, and so on.

Adding color to your apartment can be challenging, given that most complexes don’t allow residents to paint their walls. However, there are plenty of other ways to add color, such as:

  • Removable wallpaper
  • Fun lampshades
  • Brightly colored accessories
  • Artwork
  • Pillows
  • Picture frames
  • Towels
  • And so much more!

Play With the Layout

Whether you live in a one-bedroom apartment, a two-bedroom, or a three, many times the living room is roughly the same size. This makes it especially challenging finding a furniture layout that works for you and isn’t the traditional design. When you can, or just when you want a change, try to think outside the box and move furniture around. This will give you an opportunity to rethink the space and breathe new life into your design. Remember that rules of design are meant to be broken! So go with what works for you.

  • Instead of pushing the couch up against the wall, try moving it in between the living and dining room to create separate spaces that are defined by the couch.
  • If you have end tables, they don’t necessarily have to be on either end of the couch.
  • If there’s a patio door or window in the room, try placing a chair angled toward the door/window rather than point it inside.
  • If you have a TV, consider putting the stand in a corner rather than on the wall opposite the couch.

Add Texture

Along with adding color, a fundamental technique of interior design is adding texture. But this can stump many people who live in an apartment. What is texture? Texture is how the surface of an item feels, but it’s also how it reflects light, it’s the “weight” of an object, and it’s layering items to create texture, regardless of what the items are made of. A great way to add texture to an apartment is by placing a rug in the living room. Not only is it layering with the carpet (if the apartment is carpeted), but the type of rug is a texture itself. A thick fluffy rug isn’t the only option though, consider choosing a knitted or woven rug. Pay attention to the details of the rug as well, if it has an embroidered pattern or sequins in it.

The light that an object reflects and the weight of an object is related to the material. A rough or coarse texture will reflect less light, making the space feel warmer and gives the object more weight. A smooth or shiny texture will reflect more light, making the space feel cooler and objects lighter. So what material items you put in your apartment will depend on the overall mood you want to create in the space.

Create texture with:

  • Rugs
  • Shelf Decor
  • Plants
  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Drapery
  • Magazines or books

Create Space

This is especially important if you live in a one-bedroom apartment with minimal square footage. While there’s nothing you can do to make the square footage bigger, there are certain tricks to achieve this — and this the beauty of interior design!

When it comes to creating the illusion of space in an apartment, it’s all about placement, size, and light. The staff at The Legends don’t want to suggest that you rush out to buy new furniture, but couches, chairs, and tables with certain features can make a space appear bigger.

  • Look for couches with a slim seat, tall legs, and a low back. You may want to consider selecting stools rather than chairs with a back.
  • For the dining room table, a bar-height with stools will allow you to push the stools under the table when not in use.
  • Choosing colors that are brighter will help open up the space, rather than dark colors that pull everything in.
  • Hang a large mirror on the wall that is hit with the most natural light. Hanging mirrors is a great way to trick the eye into thinking that the space is much bigger than it really is.


Not only is making art fun, but it’s also a great way to truly personalize your apartment with your unique style and taste. Even if you don’t consider yourself artistic, there are several ways to express yourself and add some design to your apartment by creating pieces of art.

  • Paint-by-Numbers: Don’t knock it until you try it! Some paint-by-numbers offer beautiful finished pieces. To take it a step farther, choose several smaller paint-by-numbers that you can then frame and make into a collage.
  • Go Abstract: Get some paints, brushes, and a pre-made canvas and go wild. Whether it’s geometric shapes, splashes of paint, or strategically placed thin lines of black paint on a white background, frame it in an elegant yet simple black frame, and you’ll be the next artist to watch out for.
  • Look For Patterns: If you need to avoid being artistic at all costs, simply look for cool patterned paper or cardstock that you can add to a frame and use as art. Whether it’s a cool gift bag from a store you like, a card you got in the mail with a fun image, or even a downloaded image, adding any type of “art” to the wall is a great way of personalizing your apartment.
Contact The Legends Apartments in Hickory Today

Decorating your apartment can seem overwhelming, but when you start with white walls, any small thing you do will have a big impact.

If you’re looking for an apartment to rent in Hickory, NC, The Legends Apartments is the place to be. With several high-end amenities, one- to three-bedroom apartments, and spacious units, you will love being able to call your apartment home. View pictures of our apartments, and schedule a tour with The Legends today!