Fashionable Renting: How to Achieve Popular Interior Design Trends in Your Apartment

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The interior design style you choose for your home sets the tone of its story. While design choice is a matter of taste, certain styles have dominated distinct US regions and different states. The geography and the environment, along with the history of the state, are factors that influence a predilection for one style over the other.

To find the top searched for interior design styles, the experts at Joybird checked Google Trends and compared the results among 18 categories, by state and region. Perhaps surprisingly, they found a preference not for the very modern and edgy styles, but for the timeless classics like Industrial and Vintage, which occupy the first two positions in the top. The laissez-faire allure of Shabby Chic is also popular, the style ranking first in 5 states.


Image courtesy of Joybird


Being the most searched for term in 12 out of 50 states, the Industrial style is a favorite across different regions of the US. The Vintage design ranked first in 6 states, among which Connecticut and Vermont. More unique and specific styles were popular in particular states, such as the exuberant Hollywood Regency preferred in California, or the Coastal style for those living in Florida.


Image courtesy of Joybird

Interior Design Trends & Decorating Rental Apartments

As a renter, it can be tough to get the design of your desire in a rental. However, by focusing on colors, furniture, and décor, you can get the feel of each design. Let’s take a look at the most popular interior design styles and how you can adapt them for a rental apartment.

Industrial – 12 states

industrial_living_room_with_exposed brick

Inspired by the design of factories and warehouses, the Industrial style turns practicality into beauty. With exposed bricks combined with metals, stone, and wood, it might be difficult for a renter to get this look in an apartment. However, you don’t need a brick wall to mimic the style. Focus on utilitarian materials for your furniture and decorations, especially for the lighting system. Go for copper, iron, steel, wood, and choose neutral colors centered around grays. To really get Industrial vibes, focus on cohesion among your decorations and furniture, and go for shapes like cubes, straight lines, and other manufactured forms.

Vintage – 6 states


This nostalgia-driven style is a timeless beauty. Its soft and flowing design combined with neutral, warm colors fills each room with light and turns the aged, wooden furniture into the focus of the room. Some statement pieces like long, draped curtains, decorative pillows and cushions, and floral pattern carpets covering wooden floors are sure to give you this noble look. You can never go wrong with decorative items you find at antique or pawn shops or even the flea market.

Shabby Chic – 5 states


Harmony and chaos come together in this style, perhaps the easiest one to achieve. Shabby Chic embraces the aesthetics of chance, and an effortless look is the goal here. To start with, neutral backgrounds and muted colors fit this style best, since this allows the decorations and furniture to stand out. The ‘shabby’ part of this design means that the place might always look a bit cluttered. To achieve this, populate the space with art, little finds and charms, trinkets, and whatever else you feel you might want. It should also look comfortable, so go for soft fabrics—cotton or wool—in carpets, pillows, and blankets.

Mid-Century Modern – 4 states


A fresh style that came as a response to the trends at the beginning of the 20th century, Mid-Century Modern is characterized by bright colors and sophisticated patterns in the background, and simplicity and practicality in the foreground. To find a balance in your design, try to combine the bright hues with earthier tones to not oversaturate the rooms. Go for matte décor pieces, and furniture that embraces the newer materials, while also looking for more sophisticated decorations and details, like abstract artworks, geometrical accessories, and symmetrical designs.

Minimalist – 4 states


With simplicity at the core, minimalist design takes practice. Clear lines, toned down colors, and natural light open up each room, making decluttering a priority. Minimalism works great with smaller rental apartments since it inspires a certain lifestyle of fewer possessions. Minimalist design creates comfort and relaxation, which evokes harmony. With little decoration, each furniture piece needs to stand on its own and blend in with the room, so as to not create disjunctions. Since the design itself can become a little cold, try to evoke a sense of warmth through combinations of colors and softer fabrics. Use artworks, plants and vases, and sophisticated lighting systems to add personality to each room, but do not overstuff with heavy combinations.

Rustic – 4 states


The Rustic style is a bit harder to achieve in a rental apartment since it relies heavily on wooden structures as the basis. However, you can still achieve the rustic feel by going for a neutral background paired with furniture and details made of wood, stone, or steel. Try to go for mismatched furniture, to create a feel of randomness. It should look as if you bought the pieces at different times, for different purposes. Go for curved lines to make the rooms feel more organic and natural, and embrace the flaws of the items, which play witness to the passage of time. This style transforms each place, giving it the sweet, warm feeling of home.

You have many options when it comes to designing the interior of your apartment. Most importantly, the style of your home should reflect your own personality and cater to your lifestyle. If you’re ready to start a journey, find the apartment you’re looking for on, today!

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Mihaela Buzec is a senior writer and online content developer for RentCafe. She covers topics about everything related to the renting lifestyle, from decorating and interior design to finding the right apartment, frugal living, money saving advice, and more. She dives deep into topics of interest, writing well-researched comprehensive guides on subjects such as renting with pets, saving on utilities, or avoiding rental scams to help renters stay informed and live smart.

Mihaela holds a BA in English and German Language and Literature, an MA in Current Linguistics, and she is currently pursuing a PhD in neurolinguistics.

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