Decorating Can Be Methodical (Who Knew?!)

So, after years of living abroad under a brutally minimalist regime and then a year with roommates who already had the apartment fully furnished (mid-century modern became a new word for me) well before I arrived, I’m confronted with having to furnish and decorate (decorate might be a strong word here) my new one-bedroom apartment.

I like to think that I have good taste. The validity of that aside, I definitely have strong preferences about the finished product. But I’ve never had to furnish an apartment from scratch before - any “decorating” that I’ve previously done consisted of having a provided knickknack that I moved around rooms in a trial-and-error fashion. So I turned to the internet for help - the internet had a lot to say on the subject.

Below are some of the “rules” of decorating I found. Perhaps they will be helpful for all you graduates about to move into your first dorm room.

“Start with a simple base”

Ok, wood floors and trims and white walls are what came with the apartment. Simple enough?


“Layer lighting”

I’m taking this to mean I should buy some lamps, and they shouldn’t all be the same height, and at least one of them should have “accent lamp” written on the box.


“Find your room’s focal point”

Right now it’s the unpacked boxes.


“Take risks with accessories”

As you like, magazine.


“Mix textures”

Ok, seems useful. I’ll buy something upholstered.


“Always measure your space”

Didn’t need anyone to tell me to measure the space inside my apartment. But I just realized in NYC you have to measure the doorways too…


“Create a center”

Martha Stewart has this as distinct from “focus on the focal point.” Still working out why.


“The rules are a place to start. How you break them is an expression of your individualism.” 

Thank you, kind left-leaning decorating website.


“When it comes to sofas, you'll never go wrong with these two styles: a square-armed tuxedo or the curvier, more traditional Charles of London. I'm issuing a moratorium on gigantic roll arms!”

Taken from the top ten decorating rules of the editor-in-chief of Southern Living, presented without interpretation.


-Sami Y, Instructor