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Greg Cummings: San Diego Real Estate Agent

News > Simple Ways to Decorate Your San Diego Condo and Maximize Space

Decorating a condo requires a deft touch. Unlike traditional houses, floor plans are often compact with limited storage space. If your furniture and accessories overwhelm your cozy home or if your current style is a throwback to years gone by, it’s probably time for an update. With a keen eye and a few clever tips, it’s possible to turn a small space into a stylish, functional home that meets all of your needs.


Style and Color Scheme

Your first task is to choose a style and color scheme.  The location of your home often determines the style and the color scheme. Is your condo located downtown, on the beach, or further inland?

Coastal: Beachside condos in San Diego often reflect a relaxed but sophisticated coastal décor. This style captures the tranquil elements of the sun, sea, and sand. The California Coastal style is a diverse blend of Old World European furniture combined with natural fabrics and floor coverings in neutral colors. Painted, white-washed, or distressed furniture can be used for a more casual look. Soothing wall paint in hues of the sky, sea, and sand compliment most homes. Use stripes on pillows or upholstery for a fresh, nautical look without overwhelming with excessive shells, anchors, or lighthouses.

Contemporary: The newest downtown condos feature sleek, stream-lined (Euro-style) cabinets and fixtures. They practically scream for modern furnishings. Contemporary décor trends toward minimalistic – perfect for smaller spaces – with clean, simple lines.   Glass tables give the appearance of open space. Leather furniture, artistic area rugs, and a few striking art pieces are all you need.  Furniture may be artsy but also multi-functional.

Global: A newer trend is global décor. This style is influenced by Moroccan and Asian cultures as well as Parisian, Caribbean, Latin, and Aboriginal.  It’s fun to mix and match. Pair a piece of green blown glass from your last Caribbean vacation with a dark Moroccan style coffee table for a clean but sophisticated, international look.   

Remember, you don’t have to live on the beach to use coastal décor and you don’t have to live downtown to have a hip, modern condo. Whatever style you choose, use lighter, more neutral colors, which reflect light. Moldings and wall trim painted a lighter color than your walls make rooms appear larger. Colorful accessories, rugs, or artwork layered on a neutral background create depth. Vibrant blues and greens are popular color choices in San Diego.


Windows and Light

Floor to ceiling windows are common in condo buildings where a view is available, especially in highrises in Downtown San Diego.  Do away with valances and heavy draperies. Simple window treatments that allow the light to filter in make small spaces appear larger.

Window Treatments: Roller and solar shades are minimal and modern. They’re custom fitted to any window and nearly disappear when rolled up. The solar versions filter out heavy glare while blackout shades provide ideal sleeping conditions. Choose from manual fabric shades to motorized systems controlled with a click of a button. Some models can even be programed to automatically open and close at set times. 

Rice paper Shoji screens are another contemporary choice for large windows. These screens slide back and forth and offer both privacy and light. If you love traditional curtains, consider sheers in the same color palette as your walls. They’re understated and allow light to flow through. Other modern alternatives are Roman, bamboo, and grass shades. 

Mirrors: Hang them across from windows to reflect natural light and bring the outdoors in. Feature a large mirror between two windows to create the illusion of an additional window.


Multi-functional Furniture, Striking Fixtures, Accessories

Some of the newest designs are desks with legs that double as electrical sockets and coffee tables that moonlight as dinner trays or laptop desks.  Look for pieces that are stylish as well as multi-functional, like ottomans with storage beneath their tops, beds with built-in drawers, expandable dining room tables, and coffee or side tables with drawers and shelves.

Display your furniture like artwork and pick one piece to create a focal point in each room. Utilize a stunning dining room table, for example, and keep the rest of your décor to a minimum. A large piece of artwork on your wall is also better than several smaller pieces. 

If you choose to remodel, consider extending bedroom closets and kitchen cabinets to the ceiling to create extra storage. Even a relatively small investment in new fixtures for your kitchen, bath, and dining room can update your home.

San Diego has a number of modern furniture stores that offer designs that fit the clean look.

If you’re looking for a condo in the San Diego area, contact us today. Tell us your style, and we’ll recommend a home that is just perfect for you!


Though not guaranteed, information and statistics in this article have been acquired from sources believed to be reliable.

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Last Updated: 2024-06-14