How to Update Your Apartment In One Weekend

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Editor’s note: Today, we have a special guest blogger! Jessica Klein is an interior designer, the author of the [fabulous] blog, Oh, I Design, and a recent Boston transplant. She’s here to give us all a lesson on easy apartment updates that can be done in just one weekend. So grab a notepad and pen, and start making your Ikea shopping list. (and when you’re done with that, be sure to follow Jessica on Instagram at @ohidesignblog, her account is one of our new favs!). 

1. First things, first. Let’s de-clutter. We all have areas that need some attention in the organization category. My advice is to take all of the decor, paperwork and tchotchkes out of the space and think of how each piece will work better in the space. Store items you do not use everyday in cute baskets or bins and display the pretty ones. Be sure to donate any items that you do not love or find to be functional. It’s a proven fact that if your space feels cluttered, it makes other areas of your life feel cluttered as well. A clean home is a happy home! :)

A project Jessica did for Laura Hooper Calligraphy.

A project I did for Laura Hooper Calligraphy.

2. Fresh Flowers This is SUCH a quick and easy trick to instantly add color and a beautiful element to your space. The plus? it’s inexpensive. Some of my Boston favorite flower/plant shops: Winston Flowers, Niche Urban Garden Supply (for indoor/outdoor plants and planters) and the Flower Market!

Jessica's apartment when she lived in San Diego. Image via The Everygirl

My apartment when I lived in San Diego. Image via The Everygirl

3. New Bedding/Pillows What a better way to freshen up a couple of your rooms by updating your bedding and accent pillows? Some retailers like West Elm, allow you to purchase covers separate from the insert so you are able to update your pillows often. I do this in my living room to keep things fresh and play with different colors without feeling committed to painting a whole wall a bold color. Picture this: you have a boring, old sofa you want to get rid of but you have to live with it a bit longer…add a few bright, patterned pillows and it will instantly take the show over your sofa! Same goes for your bedding – such an easy update that you can change out every season!

A model apartment I designed.

A model apartment I designed.

4. Update your Hardware I am sure you have heard of this tip before but that’s because it really is extremely easy and makes a remarkable upgrade to any dresser or cabinet! Especially if you are renting – if you have kitchen cabinets that are not to your liking, just change out the hardware and BAM those hideous cheap-o depot cabinets just got 50 times better! We did this to our Ikea dresser that we have yet to change out and it added so much to it! Here are a few of my favorites right now: West Elm Agate Knobs / Schaub & Company / Restoration Hardware Aubrey Pull / Rejuvenation Pyramid Knob

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Update hardware on dated cabinets (you can even do this in a rental, just save the old ones to put back when you move out!), like I did in this model unit.

5. Lighting Proper lighting in a space is crucial. Not only does it help you see (that’s important..haha!) but good lighting can also make your apartment feel larger. It’s crucial to have both ambient (most overhead lighting) and task lighting (lamps that focus on an area you are doing a task…like reading) in each space. Being a renter myself, with no overhead lighting, I decided to place this arching floor lamp in our dining space so it hangs over our dining table similar to a pendant and then we have two table lamps near and it really makes a difference. For everyone else that has the option to hardwire (lucky!!), you can find a wide variety at local retailers that will add a “wow” factor to the space without breaking the bank and most electricians charge $50-$175 to change out a fixture. Such a quick and easy fix!

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This is a nursery I did, but I love the Sputnik pendant!

And there you have it! A few tips to update your space over the weekend! If you have any questions about your home or want more advice, feel free to visit my blog – Oh, I Design. Thank you to the ladies of Lux & Concord for having me today! :)

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