When you go apartment hunting, take along a camera. It's unlikely you'll be permitted to stop by much before moving in, so working from photographs is your best bet for designing a décor scheme for your new home.
After deciding on an apartment unit, take photos of each room. This will help you plan the space, such as where to position furniture or hang shelves. Knowing ahead of time where you'd like to put big or heavy items saves you (and your back) the hassle of moving them more than once. How would you like the couches arranged in the family room? What wall should your bed's headboard go against? These are questions worth answering before you take possession of your new apartment, if possible.
These pictures will also help you remember the color of walls, tile work and flooring, as well as where windows are located so you can coordinate new accessories or furniture.
Sometimes, the color of your decor is largely dictated by an apartment's existing features (cabinets, wall color and flooring). But if it's up to you, here are two big things to keep in mind when deciding on a color palette:
- You can create fluidity and flow throughout your home despite the smattering of colors you introduce to it by selecting colors in the same "family." For example, if your kitchen is a deep cranberry color, sea foam green in the adjoining dining area probably wouldn't look too hot because the colors clash in tone. Go with other jewel tones, such as rich greens or even a chocolate brown, instead.
- Greens, blues, purples and other cool colors tend to make you feel cooler, literally, while reds, oranges, yellows and warm colors have the opposite effect.
Once you have a rough decorating game plan, it's time to jot down a checklist of all the things you need to create the design you want: paint, window coverings, throw rugs and accessories like pillows and candles. Be sure you record only things that don't already appear on your other lists! Remember, financial independence is always better than being in debt, so if you have to forego some items to stay out of the red, wait until you have more cash flow to support your decorating tastes.
The new apartment checklists featured so far cover the things you need to acquire. The checklist coming up can really help you with all the things you need to do before moving into your new place.