6 Tiny Makeovers to Make Your Same Old Apartment Feel New Again

Tiny apartment makeovers can go a long way these days.

Embarking on any level of apartment makeover can seem daunting, but it’s an exciting opportunity to inject some fresh energy into your living space. Even the smallest changes can transform a corner into a stylish sanctuary.

Let’s take a look at 6 simple ways to revitalize your space, even if the most adventurous change you’re ready to make is a new piece of artwork, or a cozy throw pillow.

1. Smart lighting for a total mood makeover

The right lighting is the swiftest way to achieve a new ambience, whether you’re angling for “zany ’80s cocktail party,” “sleepytime chillvibes,” or “goth speakeasy.” And a new wave of high-tech LED light bulbs, like these from Govee, make it even easier to dial in just the right mood.

Wash your apartment in a #FF0083 tone (the best color, obvi). Or install several and turn your place into a DIY James Turrell installation

Smart lighting for a total mood makeover
Clubs closed? Bring the rave home…

2. Treat yourself to fresh flowers on a regular basis

Whether you grab a $6 bunch of tulips from the corner bodega, or sign up for a subscription delivery service like Urban Stems, flowers are an obvious way to add novelty (and a pop of color) to your place. Put them on your WFH desk, or on the kitchen table—where they’ll help wake you up before your coffee kicks in.

Bonus tip: A simple bunch of eucalyptus, hung from your showerhead, adds a cheap and rejuvenating vibe to your bathroom…

Treat yourself to fresh flowers on a regular basis
Flowers don’t have to be fancy to wake a room up.

3. Rearrange an entire room, just because

No, you don’t need to do it according to lofty design principles, and you don’t need to pretend to understand feng shui (but if you want to try, go for it). Sometimes simply shifting your couch or your bed to a different location can add a whole new perspective—a small change can count for a lot.

Rearrange an entire room, just because
What if that chair…went over there?

4. Splurge on proper bookshelves

If you’re like us, you’ve been doing a lot less socializing—duh—and a lot more reading-at-home. And if you’re like we used to be, circa 2015, most of your books don’t have a deserving home.

Maybe they’re stacked haphazardly on the floor. Maybe you built “shelves” out of raw plywood and cinder blocks, which looked kinda raw and bohemian and industrial-chic at one point, but… come on, man. Maybe you have “real” shelves, but they were bargain options from IKEA that you inherited from an ex-boyfriend, and by now they’re about as stable as the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

First things first: Give away books you’ve already read and are unlikely to ever read again. (And let’s get real—isn’t that copy of Infinite Jest only there to impress Bumble dates?) Once your collection is trimmed down, treat yourself to a proper bookshelf… or pay that underemployed carpenter-friend of yours to make a custom one that’s tailored to your own space.

Splurge on proper bookshelves
Ready for your #shelfie

5. Add some visual surprise to your environment

Sure, hanging a massive painting over your couch is an easy way to alter the look and feel of your apartment. But your budget might not permit such a splurge (although it’s more than possible to buy original artwork even if you’re not filthy rich!).

Looking for something more low-key? A vintage Italian movie poster (nicely framed, since you’re an adult) would give you something new to stare at when you’re trying to figure out what sort of takeout to order for the 100th night in a row.

Heck, even a big-ass, design-savvy calendar can gently transform a room. This stunning 1966 calendar by Massimo Vignelli is sold out until 2022… but there are still quirky options out there, including a huge vinyl decal to help you keep track of your schedule.

An artsy scarf, elegantly hung on the wall—like this beaut by Judy Chicago—would also give your apartment a jolt of fresh energy. Looking for something more offbeat? Take a nod from TikTok trends and use a digital projector to add a stunning window-and-a-view to your windowless bedroom

Add some visual surprise to your environment
How about projecting a window in your windowless bedroom? (Via @lex_SZN)

6. Develop a charming accent (wall)

Want something more dramatic, and a bit more permanent? Consider an accent wall for your living room or bedroom. Or go even more modest with an accent door…or an accent pipe

If all your living room walls are off-white, pick one and repaint it in canary yellow or robin’s egg blue. Wallpaper isn’t cheap, but if you’re only covering a limited space, it might not break the bank… and wouldn’t your Brooklyn studio look amazing with a dash of this postmodern wallpaper, conceived by a Beastie Boy, no less?

Certain wallpapers are removable, and walls can always be repainted—but be sure to ask your landlord before you start making major changes to your apartment .

Develop a charming accent (wall)
You don’t need a lot of green to add a nice accent to a room.

Whatever you do to jazz up your place, we’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you to get hooked up with Lemonade Renters insurance to keep all your stuff protected.

Scott Indrisek

Scott Indrisek is Lemonade’s Editorial Lead. He is a former arts editor and writer for publications like GQ, ArtForum, and ArtReview. In 2019, he came to the realization that insurance is fucking awesome, and he hasn’t looked back since.


Please note: Lemonade articles and other editorial content are meant for educational purposes only, and should not be relied upon instead of professional legal, insurance or financial advice. The content of these educational articles does not alter the terms, conditions, exclusions, or limitations of policies issued by Lemonade, which differ according to your state of residence. While we regularly review previously published content to ensure it is accurate and up-to-date, there may be instances in which legal conditions or policy details have changed since publication. Any hypothetical examples used in Lemonade editorial content are purely expositional. Hypothetical examples do not alter or bind Lemonade to any application of your insurance policy to the particular facts and circumstances of any actual claim.