Color makes Rita feel, happy and peaceful, which was her #1 goal when decorating. "My second goal was staying on budget, so everything may look very extravagant but in reality my furniture is from Target and Walmart!"
This 1970s Bauhaus-Inspired Munich apartment — which is completely round shaped, by the way — was transformed into a pastel-colored, Memphis-inspired home filled with vintage gems, modern finds, and custom-made furniture designed by the homeowner.
Reed Van Dyck used her time in the pandemic to turn her apartment into a sanctuary for a peaceful night in with her cat and dog. She mixes thrifted and new items to create a space that feels truly hers.
When the NYC housing market dropped during the pandemic, Kimberly and her partner decided to buy. They worked with an architect to turn a two-bedroom apartment into a one larger bedroom with home office.
When NYC rents lowered in the pandemic, children's book editor and author Anna Membrino took the opportunity to live alone for the first time. Mirrors, white walls, and lots of plants help make the small space feel much larger.
"I love color," Dominique, who rents this New Jersey apartment with her fiancé, says. "I feel like a lot of homes I see that are on the higher end are so white/gray and boring... It's been a dream to freely decorate and just be ourselves here. I think we did a good job making it cozy but still elevated and adult without being too boring."
Scott and Brian's apartment blends many styles. "What started as a mid-century motif evolved into a very unique living space that surpasses a definitive style marker," Scott writes. "We are very much into warm tones and comfort. We have a love for vintage glassware that can be seen in our decorating style... We have a mix of old and new, high-end and low cost."
Creative director, prop stylist, and set designer Melissa Cripe says to "create your own world" in your home. "Send yourself secret messages of love and support through your space and what you choose to fill it with," she says. In her New Orleans shotgun, this mantra manifests in whimsical upcycled furniture, rental-friendly murals, and family heirlooms.
Renter Sydney Callands finds a way to make her 660-square-foot apartment's odd layout work. "Sometimes it almost feels like I'm Carrie Bradshaw living her best life in the West Village — emphasis on sometimes," she says.
"I love how even in a smaller space I've been able to create several distinct zones that I can enjoy for different reasons, whether I want to lie in bed and nap, spread out on my couch to read and look out on the street below, or get some work done on my computer at my little bistro table corner," SF renter Lydia says. "I've managed to fit many rooms into one!"
Sensi editor-in-chief Stephanie Wilson's apartment is "maximalism to the max" and FULL of wild decor ideas — like contact-paper-covered doors, neon-painted door jambs, and a carefully curated bar-cart-turned-bong-cart.
Taylor and her fiancé celebrate the perfectly imperfect in their space. They believe it's important for a home to look lived-in. Their apartment has parquet floors, neat archways, black hexagon tile floors, and intricate art-deco touches — and of course, books lying around, mugs left out from that morning's coffee, and all its familiar dings and quirks.
Renter Heather Luciano's advice when it comes to decorating is to be unabashedly you. "Being yourself never goes out of style," she says. "I know a lot of people who worry about what’s in or trendy when it comes to fashion and design, and I’ve just never lived that way. I have always over-accessorized, lived in color and pattern, and have been shopping for antiques since I was in grade school."
Andrea rents this hospital-adjacent apartment out to medical students and traveling nurses, and she wanted it to feel like home for them, "with an atmosphere more eccentric than the typical rental," she says. Because she sourced the furniture secondhand, she could splurge on special finishes.
Erinne moved into this apartment right before the pandemic, and she quickly learned several things: She would need separate zones for working and living, she wanted to love the way her apartment looked from every angle, and she actually loves the color pink.
Richal and Jenny's apartment, which they have lived in for 30 years, is in a pre-war, park-adjacent building built in 1931. Their warm, inviting space retains its original crown moulding and has beautiful chevron flooring in each room.
"Having lived in a rented 'white box' for a few years where I couldn't put a single poster on the walls, this place turned out the opposite: There's not a single white wall!" says apartment owner Marina Chaccur.
Apartment dweller and art advisor Rachel Elliott's apartment is filled with original works, some of which she planned specifically for her space with the artist. Rachel says: "If you have the opportunity to meet the artists you are collecting and collect from emerging artists, do it! These are relationships that can last a lifetime."
"My style is sexy and edgy and a little bit frantic, but is also warm and simple and cozy," renter Xenia Polychronis says. "These two 'styles' do not go together on paper, but they go together for me!"
"My home is a physical diary of the places I’ve been and the objects and memories I cherish, a place to remind me of the incredible beauty I’ve found during the adventures of my life," Ashley Urban, an eight-year resident of Los Angeles says.
When she and her husband first bought it, Kara Haren's apartment had cranberry painted walls, a kitchen that hadn't been touched in 20 years, and flimsy and cracked windows. In the six years they've lived there, they have renovated each room to feel special and specific to them.