The 10 Best Style Tips from Apartment Therapy Comments in 2022
We’ve published tons of style advice from designers, home stagers, TikTok, and more, but they aren’t the only ones furnishing Apartment Therapy with creative and clever tips. Sometimes great advice hides in plain sight: right in the comments section! Here’s some of the best design advice that you — our readers — have supplied in the past year.
1. Create faux fire with fairy lights.
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While candles, a light box, and plants all look great in a non-working fireplace — and AT’s article on stylish ideas for non-working fireplaces said as much — they don’t achieve the look of a lovely, crackly glow. Reader KHAT shared in the comments that balling up strings of twinkling fairy lights, placing them in the fireplace cavity, and adding a brass screen across the opening will do the trick. “When they’re on – & twinkling – you’d swear at first [glance] there’s an actual fire burning,” they wrote.
2. Fashion a headboard out of plywood and fabric.
Instead of buying a headboard slipcover, commenter SARAH recommended covering a piece of plywood with fabric to achieve a similar effect — and using safety pins to secure it so you can easily swap out the color and style as you please.
3. Use uplighting to open up a room.
Earlier this year, home Instagrammer and TikToker Tiffany Encarnacion cited lots of lighting — such as table lamps, floor lamps, and chandeliers — as something every first apartment needs. Reader MIKE IN HAWAII added one more in the article’s comments: uplighting can lights. “If you have a good sized plant, an uplight casts complex shadows on the wall and ceiling and make the plant’s underside the highlight,” they write. “Any corner you want to have some pop, an uplight can gives it.”
4. Invest in the items you interact with every day.
When we compiled tips for decorating your first apartment, commenter ZEPHY chimed in with their own: “Spend more on stuff you handle every day, like doorknobs/cabinet handles, drinking glasses, plates and forks (if you actually use them every day), your mattress and bedding, your desk lamp (if you use it every day). These things become your life, so it’s worth it to choose quality and stuff you love,” they wrote. “Don’t splurge on temporary things like throw pillows that will be replaced fairly soon.”
5. Convert a TV cabinet into clothing storage.
Want the armoire look for less? “I’m constantly seeing *free* tv cabinets!” SARAH commented on our March 2022 article. They recommended covering any holes in the back with luan wood, and replacing the hardware and track of sliding doors with hinges if needed. “Put in shelves or a rod. How hard is that?” they continued. “Voila! For the price of hinges and luan you have a great storage piece.”
6. To make your kitchen appear larger, paint the ceiling and upper cabinets the same color.
Working with dark finishes on kitchen cabinets and want to prevent the space from looking smaller? In an October AT article, interior designer Stephanie Brown advised making the upper cabinets or shelves a lighter color. Reader MARYBARR50 took that a step further in the story’s comments section, suggesting a same-hued ceiling, as well.
7. Breathe new life into children’s furniture.
“30 years ago, I thrifted a child’s bedroom desk set, which consisted of a pair of 3-drawer dressers and a separate desk-drawer unit,” user DRAGNSPARK shared on AT’s piece about using three-dresser drawers as nightstands. “The desk drawer is gone, but I stripped the solid wood 3-dresser drawers, stained them, and swapped the legs for casters.” They wrote that they’ve since gone on to use the dressers as entryway consoles, kitchen storage, nightstands, and sofa end tables: “I’m never giving them up. They do everything!”
8. Decorate your garden with plates.
When we wrote about the trend of using plates as wall decor indoors, commenter SARAH jumped in, explaining that cast-off plates from neighbors and relatives can also introduce “a bit of color and surprise among the kale or beans, even flowers” of a garden.
9. Make a gallery wall extra personal with family photos.
Piggybacking off of AT contributor Sarah Lyon’s recommendation to create a gallery wall with varying frame materials, shapes, and sizes, commenter LOU91940 says they created a similar effect by using only family photos, “from about a 1906 grandparents wedding pic to current children and grand children.”
10. Usher in a new season with subtle decor swaps.
While this March 2022 article focused on bringing nature into your home for spring, reader JAZZGIRL205 remembered how their mother would welcome spring by replacing heavy bedspreads with lighter, paler sets and taking down the curtains, leaving just the sheers. They add, “I like to change out my china from the Fall and Winter cranberry transferware to a white pattern with azaleas on it.”