The 6 Ingredients to Achieving a Glown-Up Apartment

published Sep 2, 2020
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For many apartment dwellers, a glown-up apartment is a large, looming goal. It’s that design point where you actually love all the pieces in our space—pieces you’ve carefully considered, eyed for months or even years, saved up for and proudly invested in. That’s what a glown-up apartment is: a home that truly, finally reflects your style; that’s full of stuff you’re proud of; that little by little has transformed from a house to a home. You can’t glow up your apartment overnight (it’s a process!) but if you’re eager to speed up the transformation, here are six key ingredients that’ll get you closer to your glown-up goals. 

Credit: Apt2B

A Statement Sofa

The sofa is the anchor of your living room, the big piece that everything else works around, so a good one is worth the money. That’s not to say a budget sofa will make your apartment look awful, just that a good quality one you’ve saved up for and truly love will completely transform your space (and how you feel about it!). A statement sofa can be anything—funkily patterned, brightly colored, simply classic. Apt2B’s timeless mid-century Jensen Leather Sofa, made with 100 percent top grain cowhide leather, is an instant classic and the perfect way to add casual elegance to your space. 

Buy: Jensen Leather Sofa, $1,898 $1,613.30 from Apt2B

Credit: Framebridge

Framed Art

One quick and relatively affordable way to upgrade your home? Frame some stuff! You don’t have to toss out your beloved posters from college or invest in a $1,000 MoMA-worthy painting for this to work. Frame whatever tells your story, whether it’s a commissioned piece from Etsy or a vintage find from the thrift store. Frames add a sleek, finished look to any piece and can help tie a variety of pieces together, especially if you’re planning a gallery wall. There are tons of places to get your art framed online, including Framebridge, which has prices starting as low as $39. Just upload or mail in your art, choose your frame, and voila! Welcome to your glown-up space. 

Buy: Custom Frame, starts at $39 from Framebridge

Credit: West Elm

Custom Window Treatments

Window treatments make a marked difference in any space; not only are they practical, but they add to a room’s personality and create that nice, homey vibe. But how do you take them from good to glown-up? Invest in window treatments that actually fit your space. That means a real metal rod for your curtains (no more tension rods!) and curtains that fit your window’s dimensions. West Elm’s Linen & Luster Velvet Curtains bring a tailored look to your space with their mixed-material design. Hang them so the linen and velvet meet right where you window ends, and it’ll look like you had them custom-made. 

Buy: Belgian Flax Linen & Luster Velvet Curtain, starts at $99 $69.30 from West Elm

Credit: Bloomscape


The plant craze isn’t going anywhere, and we never want it to. But if you want your plants to really be a part of your home, don’t buy them just to buy them. Be mindful, and take the time to select a few plants that really speak to you and make sense in your space. Find planters that fit their size and shape and go well with your style. A couple larger plants in sleek statement planters, like Bloomscape’s three-foot snake plant, can do a lot to anchor your indoor jungle. 

Buy: Sansevieria, $150 from Bloomscape

Credit: Rejuvenation

Good Lighting

One of the ways you know you’ve made it as an apartment dweller is when you finally ditch the fluorescent overheads and install lighting that works for you and your space—as in, it actually helps you see better and looks pretty while doing it. There are all sorts of lighting solutions you can add to light the way to a glown-up home, but these Cylinder Task Wall Lights from Rejuvenation are a great place to start. Trade them in for your bedroom floor lamp to save space and make nighttime reading so much better. 

Buy: Cylinder Task Wall Light, $199 from Rejuvenation

Credit: Open Spaces

Purposeful Storage

A final, somewhat surprising way to get a glown-up space: thoughtful storage solutions. It doesn’t matter what you’re storing, whether it’s blankets, bathroom supplies, kitchen appliances, or something else—the point is that you carefully choose storage solutions that fit your needs and space and make it all look even better. There are hundreds upon hundreds of storage options out there, but we like these simple medium-sized bins from Open Spaces for things like bath products and small clothing accessories.

Buy: Medium Storage Bins – Set of 2, $46 from Open Spaces