How to Decorate an Empty Space

12 Oct.,2022


how to decorate an empty room

This article is part of our Design special section on how looks, materials and even creators evolve.

I recently relocated and took with me basically nothing. What’s the best strategy to fill up an apartment? Should I buy everything at once? Or wait and build it out?

Even if you can afford to buy everything at once, it probably is not a great idea, because you risk ending up with a showroom look, which is never appealing. The goal is to be your authentic (and perhaps contradictory) self, not to buy into someone else’s one-size-fits-all uniformity.

So aim for a home that looks like it was assembled over time. And the best way to achieve that — short of hiring people to scour online auctions, rural flea markets and vintage shops — is to take the time. Buy pieces you love and want to keep around. Enjoy the process of discovery. Find inspiration in your travels.

To create some coherence, before you start out, decide on an overall style and color scheme. Make mood boards from magazine clippings, visit blogs, comb through Instagram and roam décor stores, antiques markets and garage sales. Using these inspirations, lay a foundation of basic items like a sofa, coffee table, dressers and the largest table your kitchen will accommodate — it can function as dining area, workstation, extra counter space and family hub. The rest will follow.