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I recently asked the BuzzFeed Community for some help breathing new life into my apartment.

villanelle fogging a car window and writing help in the cloud with her finger

villanelle fogging a car window and writing help in the cloud with her finger

BBC America / Via

People really came through! I’ll definitely be trying some of these — like this one:

1.“If you have a statement piece of art, attach a picture light to the top of it. I found this great oil painting at an antique store in a beautiful gold frame. Then, I went on Amazon and found a picture light in the same gold tone, and it was really easy to install on the back of my painting. Not only does it highlight the painting, but it creates a nice ambient light in my living room. Guests always comment on how cool it looks!”


Here are 16 other pieces of advice I got:

2.“I had a large mirror with nowhere to go. I hung it on the living room wall where a frame would normally go. It makes my apartment look so much bigger than it is, and it’s handy to have a mirror there.”


a large arched mirror hanging above a couch in a living room

3.“Stick to a color palette, but use loads of different textures within it.”


two wooden coffee tables with pink coffee mugs on them next to modern grey sofa with pillows and blankets in different shades of pink, a pink fuzzy rug, a pink lamp, and a pink painting on the wall

Katarzynabialasiewicz / Getty Images/iStockphoto

4.If you don’t know where to start color scheme-wise, pick art you like, and then base the color scheme on that. You don’t have to go crazy with it, but pulling accent colors for accessories from your artwork can really tie things together. Plus, choosing an art style is also a great style jumping-off point. Into oil landscapes or modern abstract brightly colored prints? It can help you choose a direction to go in.”


a bedroom with green artwork, green pillows, green blankets, a green rug, and green curtains

Bulgac / Getty Images

5.“My boyfriend and I were getting tired of the all-white kitchen we ended up with, so we bought contact paper and put it on the counters and floating shelves. It ended up looking like a totally new kitchen! We also moved around our furniture to fit our lifestyle better, ending up with our bedroom in the smallest room in our 2-bedroom apartment, and putting the living room furniture in the larger bedroom to create a really cozy den.”

“Of course, that left the ‘actual’ living room for us to put a pool table in, haha.”


kitchen cabinets with patterned wallpaper on them

6.“You can create great optical illusions with simple wall paint — is the living room too dark? Paint the walls white, except the walls with the windows, give it a darker shade, and your eyes will perceive it as more light flooding through the windows.”

“Similarly, if you have a narrow room, give the end wall a dark color, and the room will seem longer.”


a living room with light colored walls and a dark green wall with windows

Ana Maria Gaspar / Getty Images/iStockphoto

7.“I feel like this should be well-known, but no matter what color scheme you’re going for, always, always paint your ceilings white. When I was painting houses, I would add an almost unnoticeable punt of blue to the ceiling paint, and it would slightly reflect the sky outside, but not enough to really realize it. It makes a room feel brighter, but not overpowering that when you want to have dim lighting that it is too much.”


person painting a ceiling white

Andreypopov / Getty Images/iStockphoto

8.“Check out thrift/antique stores for cool vases, planters, and small decor details. The things you find can often be a small fraction of the price you would pay for new. If you find something that you like but it needs some love, a coat of paint or a good cleaning can bring life back to old things, and you will save a pretty penny. It takes some digging, but I’ve found some awesome stuff!”


an antique dealer's living room filled with a child's glass coffin carrier, an elephants foot foot stool, a taxidermy dalmatian, a giant leather shoe, decorated ostrich eggs, a plaster death mask, and carboy's filled with coloured liquids

Jamie Garbutt / Getty Images

9.“Once I stayed at a super cute B&B, and one of my favorite design features was curtains behind the bed! There wasn’t a window there, but they hung pretty white curtains as a kind of back-drop behind the bed, and it was so cute! Adds some soft texture and prettiness to the room. Plus, you could do any color or design of curtains! Easy way to add an accent to a wall.”


10.“I recently put up new curtains and wanted to change my rods to something simple without spending a lot of money. After looking on Amazon and not finding exactly what I wanted, I ended up going to Home Depot and buying wooden dowels. I stained them java and then bought faux leather strips that I used to hold the dowel on the wall. This worked out great because the curtain sits flush against the wall, and I don’t have to worry about any light leaking through the top or sides of the curtain.”


person looking out curtained windows

Moyo Studio / Getty Images

11.“Art, but not retail art. I have a custom piece from an artist friend, a bunch of prints from artists I see at events, prints sold to support animal rescues, a promo poster from a musical I worked on, and gifted art. Stuff that is more than just something nice to look at, stuff that can be a conversation when someone says, ‘Oh, that’s nice/interesting/etc.’ My goal is to live in a gallery of my friends’ art.”

Alex F

12.“Make your own art in Canva. Print it off at Walgreens — wait until they do 60% off. And wait until frames at Michaels are 70% off. You can get a large print and a high-end look for around $20.”


graphic designer working at a computer with a tablet and stylus

Jacoblund / Getty Images/iStockphoto

13.“Go into it knowing the vibe you’re shooting for, and have some language around your style. Define your style by figuring out what you like, dislike, and your priorities. Ask yourself lots of questions.”

“Start with functionality: How do you plan to use the space? What types of storage or seating do you need? What fabrics make sense? Then move into style: Do you like minimalism? Coastal? Eclectic? When you have a vision on the front end, you won’t waste money or time buying furniture or decor that doesn’t go together or isn’t right for your lifestyle. It helps decisions go faster and be more intentional.”


person looking thoughtful as if trying to make a decision

Antonio_diaz / Getty Images/iStockphoto

14.“I use apps like Floor Plan Creator to test out layouts, designs, and other ideas before I commit to anything. It saves me the energy of pushing around tables to different corners until it feels right. It also helped me discover that I have enough space in my living room for an office, which is GREAT.”


an apartment layout designer app that lets you place furniture into a virtual space

15.“Use graph paper to plan spaces and furniture (one square=one square foot). Draw the dimensions of the room and use dimensions of furniture or potential furniture to figure out what works best where and avoid overcrowding.”

Flipping Burgers

(You can also do this with Google Sheets by formatting all the cells into squares.)

an apartment layout created in a google spreadsheet

Jess Goodwin

16.“Definitely cut clutter, but furthermore — and most people don’t think about this tip — try to limit containers for clutter, too. A lot of homeowners assume that getting extra storage at the container store will keep their belongings more orderly, but these extra bins can actually just serve as an excuse to accumulate unwanted things, creating more infamous junk drawers. Be intentional about each item in your house, even the ones dedicated to organization.”


a very sparse minimalist living room with just a chair, a couple of plants, and a hanging lamp

Photo taken in Rangsit, Thailand

Wa Nity Canthra / Getty Images/EyeEm

17.“If you have room, get a roller cart. You can lock the wheels, and it can be a little kitchen island, bar, place to store other pots and pans or baking needs, etc. We have a tiny kitchen, but our roll-out cart has acted an extra counter/work space, storage, and serving space all in one.”


“Yup, I use mine for the microwave on top and all my baking supplies on the bottom shelves. So convenient to have them all in the same place since I’m an avid baker.”


a kitchen cart

Oksana_bondar / Getty Images/iStockphoto

What about you? Sound off in the comments if you have any tips you swear by!