This apartment would benefit from a soft, bright palette of materials to keep the rooms, which receive most of their light from the back windows, light and airy.
I would start by painting the walls and ceiling in an off-white color and installing a durable, light-colored flooring material throughout. Maple and bamboo are both good choices. With a natural stain and light varnish the fine grain of these woods shows through and they’re easy to clean. A simple wood base of the same material wood will give the walls a neat finish. The new wood doors, door frames, and window frames would be finished to match. For the kitchen I’d use cork floor tiles, which are soft to stand and work on, modern maple cabinets, and dark countertops. For the bathroom I’d stick to traditional white ceramic fixtures, and use black and white ceramic tiles on the wainscot and floor.
A cream- and honey-colored palette for furniture complements the wood flooring and also adds warmth. Contemporary pieces that stand up off the floor keep things feeling light and airy. I’d mix in a few more substantial pieces too, perhaps a coffee table from reclaimed wood, or an old-fashioned upholstered sofa.
Full-height sheer white curtains along the back wall will provide privacy while letting in lots of light. I’d use simple bulb-shaped ceiling mounted light fixtures, and hang a special, more ornamental one above the main living or dining area. Darker colored wool rugs or sisal mats can soften the living areas and pull seating arrangements together. Brightly colored pillows, wall hangings and throws will add depth and cheer to the rooms. Red, orange and brown would all be strong accent colors.
This apartment is going to make a stylish, comfortable home for someone. I can’t wait for her to come in and start sweetening!