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Style > Decor

Tiny Transformations: How I Upgraded My Apartment With Peel & Stick Wallpaper

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Whether it’s a dorm or your first apartment, your space might feel more like a holding pattern and less like a home — maybe the walls are blank, or the windows don’t bring in enough light. Whatever it may be, the good news is that it can be transformed. You can upgrade wherever you’re living so it feels like your dream world, and I know because I did it. 

Enter my two-bedroom apartment in Hoboken, New Jersey, that started out as a, quite frankly, grim environment. The living room window was off-centered and small compared to the large wall they were built into, and the walls felt like they were closing in on me. Overall, it wasn’t great and I knew there was a lot to be done. See for yourself: 

Upsetting, right? Prepare for a very dramatic transformation, y’all. As a former editor at House Beautiful, I learned a few insider tricks from Decorist designer Jessica McCarthy, who first taught me this: There’s nothing an accent wall can’t fix. I thought I was stuck with the walls I had since I live in a rental, but Jessica taught me that adhesive wallpaper was perfect for anyone living in a temporary space. I ended up going with a pink floral design from Etsy shop (seriously!) Sweet Pea Wall Design. It’s essentially a giant sticker, so when it’s time for me to move on I can easily peel it off. 

Blush Floral Wallpaper, Sweet Pea Wall Design available on Etsy, $34; Shop Now

To fix the devastating window issue, Jessica recommended a curtain wall to really open the space up. The small off-centered window was taking away from the high ceilings, so this was a great fix. With curtains and a rod from Bed Bath & Beyond (mhm) the room instantly became more chic and airy. Even better is that when I actually open the curtains, it gives the illusion that the windows are centered. 

Lesson learned: Do not underestimate the power of peel and stick wallpaper or curtains. 

Follow @PrettyDorms on Instagram and submit your Tiny Transformation by tagging your photos with #prettydorms!

Danielle was previously the Deputy Editor at Her Campus, where she oversaw social and content strategy, lifestyle, beauty, fashion, news, and entertainment. Prior to joining Her Campus, Danielle worked at House Beautiful as Senior Lifestyle Editor, directing and producing feature videos and stories. Danielle also served as Snapchat Editor at Cosmopolitan, overseeing the brands daily Snapchat Discover channel. In 2016, she launched Cosmo Bites — which is now the official food and beverage vertical at Cosmopolitan. That same year, Danielle was named as a Rising Star in the digital media industry by FOLIO Magazine. Danielle got her start in digital media by launching the Her Campus chapter at Fairfield University in 2014, where she acted as Campus Correspondent for 2.5 years, before graduating with a degree in English and creative writing. She enjoys wine, food, and long walks through HomeGoods. Follow Danielle on Instagram!