January is a great time to redecorate your apartment. The holiday finery is boxed up and put away, the brand new year brings about a desire for a fresh new look, and (let's face it) it's cold outside – perfect weather for staying in and warming up your space. So, how can you bring the latest decorating trends into your apartment without spending a ton of money?
Look around your apartment for a piece of furniture that could use some TLC. It could be your coffee table, a side chair, or even a bookcase. Check out Pantone's hot new colors for 2013 and decide if a dusky blue or a snappy violet is right for your space. Don't be afraid of color – if you don't like it, you can always repaint. Painting furniture is an easy way to update your space without a huge commitment – and since fashion trends change, you don't want to spend a lot of money on items that aren't considered classic and timeless. Instead, consider small pops of the new "it" colors. Painting a small piece of furniture or adding a few inexpensive accessories such as pillows, a throw blanket, or a vase will complement the style you already have and can easily be changed when a new trend catches your eye.
Pattern is in for 2013, especially florals and stripes. Freshen up your living room or bedroom with some new curtains (or make your own). Look for fabric with a modern floral design – especially flowers that look painted on. If you prefer stripes, look for a striped pattern in warm, neutral tones that will blend with your existing décor. Botanicals, insects, birds, and animals (but not necessarily animal prints) are also popular.
Natural elements – wood, stone, marble, and bamboo are hot for 2013. This is an easy update to your apartment – glass jars filled with shells on your fireplace mantle or end table, a new wicker chair, a bamboo tray – most are inexpensive or even free. Bring nature into your apartment in unexpected ways, such as spray-painting a small, fallen branch in a cheerful yellow and using it as the centerpiece on your coffee table. Update a picture frame by gluing river rocks or small shells to it, and insert a favorite landscape-focused photo – such as that sunset photo you took on the beach last summer.
As you bring the outdoors in, remember another design trend: eco-friendly. You'll want to recycle and reuse as much as possible, so before you toss that old lamp, consider ways you could extend its usefulness. Upcycling – taking something that has outlived its usefulness and giving it a new purpose -- is a great way to not only reduce waste but also to save money.
If you want a completely new look, take things a step further and redecorate in one of the two hottest styles for 2013. The 1940s "Femme Fatale" look includes mirrored surfaces, curvy lines, and hints of pink or purple, while the "Metropolitan" style – think upscale Manhattan hotel – incorporates clean lines and sparse furnishings.
No matter what decorating and fashion changes you decide to make for the New Year, have fun – and share your ideas and inspiration with us on Facebook.