How to decorate a small apartment

Decor, DIY

With 3 roommate sharing an apartment and one common living room, it’s hard to keep their home organized with the front door leading directly into the living room without any formal entryway. And to make matters worse, there is no closet to hang coats. The solution is to build wall panels that can be painted any color and customized to include DIY coat racks, a DIY charging station and lighting with integrated wall sconces. There’s even an IKEA notice board incorporated to act as a home command center of sorts for the roommates to leave messages for each other. You’ll see how easy it is to decorate a small rental apartment with color and at the same time add the functionality of an entryway even if all you have to work with is a big blank wall.


  1. The panel installation is great! Might i would apply to the wall of my room someday. Thank you for your share..

    • I really appreciate you saying that – thanks for watching!

  2. Great instructions ~ Inspirational ~ Simple ~ New Project ~ Thanks!

    • Thanks so much – much appreciated!

  3. I love all of your episodes please make more. Ooh before I forget please demonstrate how you hang your pendant lamps because I am having a little trouble on how to hang them.

    • Thank you so much for saying that – I’m working on it 🙂 For the pendant lamp, the HEMMA light kit from IKEA that I used comes with the hanging hardware – a hook and a plastic guide for the cord. I simply put in an anchor and screwed the hook in place. Hope this helps!

  4. Thanks it is amazing idea

  5. Do you think if you used heavier wood and stronger anchors could you install a flat panel tv?

    • That might work, depending on the size of the flat screen…

  6. Thank you for the good idea. I have a scone light that I do like to ride. The painel will be very usufully.

  7. Could you please explain how you attached the wall panels to the wall?

    • I put in 2 key holes (one at the top of each side of the panel) and then put in 2 wall anchors (you want to use appropriate ones for the type of wall that you have and the weight of the panels) with screws into the wall. Then I hung the panel on the screws. Similar to installing a heavy mirror with 2 holes in the back – here’s an example:

      Hope this helps!

  8. What color of paint is that? I absolutely love it and have been looking for a nice color for my small room, I think that would be perfect!

    • I love that color too and the name is great too! It’s called “Cozumel” from Behr (Home Depot). Thanks for watching!

  9. I don’t understand how you ended up with 3 panels of 6′ x 2′ per suggested materials, if the hardboard comes in 4′ x 8′ and you recommend 2 pieces. Also, what size is the middle pieces of pine wood at each top and bottom panel? I tried this project, either my measurements are wrong or I misunderstood something. Please help..

    • This first 8ft x 4ft hardboard panel will give you 2 panels by having it cut to 6 ft long and then cut in half (you will end up with an extra 4 ft x 2 ft panel). The second panel will give you your third panel and an extra fourth panel 6 ft x 2 ft panel and an extra 4 ft x 2 ft panel.

      For the 1″x2″ pine pieces that make up the frame, you will have 2 pieces that are 6 ft long (for the sides) and the top and bottom pieces are the width of the panel minus the thickness of the 2 side frame pieces.

      Hope this helps – if you have any more questions, feel free to email me at!

  10. Would chalkboard paint work on the hardboard panels?

    • Though I’ve never tried it, I would think chalkboard paint should work fine on hardboard panels.

  11. verry nicely done..thanxx

    • Thanks for watching!

  12. Hi Isabelle,
    I’m so glad I found your blog. I just LOVE your creative tips and ideas! I, too, am a renter and would like any tips you may share about [possibly] laying laminate flooring over an existing carpeted area of my apartment.
    thank in advance, and keep the videos coming –very much enjoy every single one!

    • Hi Joya! Thanks so much! So happy to hear my ideas are helpful to you 🙂 Thanks for watching and stay tuned, a new video is coming out very very soon!

  13. How sturdy are these panels for holding stuff and can bench seating be installed in front of them without fear of them toppling over on you?

    • The panels are very sturdy and as long as you secure them to the wall using the proper anchors, they will not topple over.


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  2. Cable Management | Office Furniture Design - [...] by the phone chargers.You can see how I built this DIY charging station and the wall panels here:…

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