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How to decorate a ‘white box’ apartment



For those of you living in Chase, Duck’s Village or Stadium Park Apartments, making your apartment seem personal is difficult thanks to the countless white walls and identical layouts.

Although the most obvious response to designing a white box is to add large amounts of color, there is a better way to make the space livable and all your own without looking tacky. By following the rules below, turning your white box apartment into a livable one will be easier than ever.

1. Pick a theme
Having a theme to tie all of the elements together in your apartment or room is key when personalizing your white space. For example, sophomore art history major Kate Woginrich used a travel theme when decorating her Stadium Park apartment because it allowed her to incorporate a variety of decor.

  • Focal piece: One way Kate incorporated the travel theme into her room was by covering one wall with maps (free at AAA). By doing this, Kate was able to inexpensively bring the concept of travel into her room in a bold and personal way.
  • Combine styles: What is especially appealing about Kate’s use of a travel theme is that she combined the modern travel style of the maps with a more vintage feel by adding a pillow covered in a wide array of languages.

2. Add texture
Texture is an oft-overlooked decorating option when designing a room because the outcome is not always as obvious as adding bright colors. However, texture can bring visual interest to an otherwise-boring white room. Take junior art history major Kim Leyerly’s room, for example: She combines texture in every corner of her abode.

  • Textiles: Kim’s combination of shiny and textured textiles gives her bed a rich and eclectic look. To avoid making the diverse range of textiles look too busy, Kim kept them all in the same cool colors.
  • Natural materials: Kim’s incorporation of a wooded nightstand and wicker chair adds a nice organic contrast to the other materials in her room. Also, the warm wood tones of these two pieces offer a break from the cool tones used throughout the room.

3. Make it personal
The best way to distract yourself from the overpowering whiteness is to make each room as personal as possible. Adding personal touches is as easy as framing family photos or art pieces.

You can also add personal touches through homemade decorations. Both Kim and Kate made their own artwork to add life and personality to their spaces. In the living room, Kim embellished six mirrors with decorative paper (all bought at Dollar Tree) to make the space feel more personal. The “Keep calm and carry on” art piece in Kate’s room was made with recycled crosswords.

Both Kim and Kate were successful in turning their less-than-ordinary apartments into something quite extraordinary through personal touches and clever design tricks.


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