Apartment Sweet Home

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When you first move into a new apartment, its bare walls and empty rooms may feel like the farthest thing from home. However, with a little creativity and hard work, you can turn this sterile space into a cozy home. Read on for tips to make your apartment the place you look forward to coming home to at the end of the day.

Unpack Right Away

The stress and hassle of moving makes many people postpone the unpacking and decorating process. You may know someone who is still living out of boxes and suitcases despite having moved into his apartment months ago! Don’t let this happen to you. If possible, take a few days off from work after your move to unpack, set up furniture and make any necessary purchases. The longer you wait, the less you’ll want to take the time to decorate and settle in.

Start with the Basics

Before you start decorating, you’ll need to make sure that the “personality” of the apartment is to your liking. Is the bathroom adorned with a dingy shower curtain? Does the living room carpet remind you of the hallways of your office? Don’t settle for these shortcomings if you don’t have to. While it may not seem that the effort installing a new carpet or set of light fixtures is worth it for a rental apartment, it will make a big difference in the way you feel about your home. Talk to your landlord before you install new carpets or change the bathroom tiling. Your landlord may place certain restrictions on making substantial changes to the apartment. On the other hand, he or she may be willing to absorb some or all of the costs of the improvements you suggest. When considering whether to change anything about the structure of the apartment, pay attention to the details as well as the big picture. Consider the shade of paint on the walls, the curtains, kitchen cabinets, door handles and light fixtures. Sometimes even a small change, such as the type of handles on the kitchen drawers, can change the look of the entire room.

Make it personal

Nothing will turn your apartment into a home more effectively than adding personal touches to all the corners of your apartment. If you need to buy furniture, try mixing neutral, functional pieces with a few interesting, unique items. It’s fine to get some of your furniture and appliances from Ikea and Bed, Bath & Beyond, but avoid making all of your purchases at these more generic stores. Before you know it, your bedroom will look like everyone else’s. Instead, explore the local thrift and vintage stores for unusual items. Checkout what people are selling on craigslist or in the local paper. Not only will you have an apartment with more personality, you may save some money in the process.

When it comes to decorating blank walls, many people turn to framed prints of classic paintings. Still, you can take a more personal approach to decorating your walls. Take some of the best photos you have taken and have them enlarged and framed. Consider doing the same thing with family photos and pictures of loved ones. Snapshots can take on an entirely different personality when they are framed and well hung. If you like art, take a look at paintings from local artists and small galleries. Depending on the artist and local market, you can pay very affordable prices for unique pieces you won’t see anywhere else.

Houseplants and fish tanks are other great ways to enliven your apartment. If you spend a lot of time away from home, be sure to choose plants and fish that are hardier and require less maintenance.

Perhaps the best investment you can make in your apartment concerns light and light fixtures. Even the location of your light source can make a big difference in the appearance of a room. Cover any bare bulbs with a visually pleasing light fixture. If an overhead light looks too harsh, invest in a table or floor lamp. Many home furnishing stores sell hanging lanterns and paper lamps that emit a soft, calming glow.

Make Room for Yourself

If you really want your apartment to feel like home, make sure you treat it like home. Create a special space for yourself where you can think, read, mediate or relax quietly. This could be a special corner of the living room with a pleasing lamp and a comfortable chair. If you have a small one bedroom or studio, this space could even be your own bed. Invest in a few well-made pillows that a designed for your sleeping style, a thick comforter and soft sheets. Whatever this special place is, it should be a place you can turn to after a hard day for rest and comfort.

Home Sweet Home

Creating a homey apartment is less about how much money and space you have, and more about the time and effort you are willing to put into it. If you move often, it may not seem to be worth the time and effort to invest in changes you can’t take with you. Still, your apartment is the place you have to come back to every day. Even if you stay in your apartment for less than a year, it may be worth the investment of a few days to make somewhere you want to come home to.

11 Responses to “Apartment Sweet Home”

  1. May 03, 2007 at 1:52 pm, Guest said:

    I love it, thanks so much – sara luppino

    Reply

  2. May 03, 2007 at 3:45 pm, Guest said:

    I couldn’t agree more with this article! I just moved into a one bed apartment in Providence and since I am starting from scratch all I have is an “antique” orange velvet couch left behind by the previous tenant and a sweet deal of a bed I got at the Salvation Army! =)

    I can’t wait to start decorating it and finally get it to look like a place I am proud to call my own. I though about track lighting for the living room since the current lighting there makes it feel like an interrogation room and it drains the life outta me.

    The kitchen is tiny but walls look promising for some shelving real estate so that I can take advantage of potential storage space.

    I’d like advice on window treatments for bedrooms. I went with panel curtains but it made the room look even smaller. Maybe some black out shades is the way to go.

    If any one has any stories or advice to share please let me know.

    Best,

    Fil

    Reply

  3. May 03, 2007 at 10:33 pm, Guest said:

    plants are inexpensive and add colour and brightness.
    Use decorative pillows and coloured accents and blankets on sofas or loveseats.
    Candles, vases and baskets of differnt shapes and sizes work wonders also.

    Hang pictures and mirrors to give the room colour and making the room seem bigger and or brighter.

    Hope this helps.

    Reply

  4. June 06, 2007 at 12:58 pm, Guest said:

    reading this wite made me excited to move !!! thanks Itze

    Reply

  5. August 22, 2007 at 9:07 am, Guest said:

    not so freaked out about making my first appartment feel like home. Thanks for all the advice! I can’t wait to decorate now!

    Reply

  6. October 26, 2007 at 10:02 pm, Guest said:

    If you’re itching for your furniture to look a little more unique, but like the exterior, wall-paper the inside of the drawers. 1. it won’t snag anything delicate inside and 2. it makes it feel like your furniture, not one product of many.

    Reply

  7. February 16, 2008 at 5:33 pm, Guest said:

    Art postcards and antique postcards (usually you can get them for about a dollar) look nice if you put them in clip frames ($3.50ish at places like Pier I.) I have a few c. 1950s postcards of famous skyscrapers, and they look great grouped together. Sometimes local antique stores or old bookstores have inexpensive old postcards of the town you live in, and that can be a fun look.

    Reply

  8. May 19, 2008 at 2:11 am, Guest said:

    Ok I just moved into my apartment and Im at work all day just like everyone else but at night or in the morning if i even walk into the kitchen or open my closet the people bang on the cieling. We have sleeper lofts in our apartments and if I even walk across the living room (quietly) they bang with their fists on their cieling. I am not being loud and im seriously not even up for more than 2 minutes. In the morning I had a meeting at 8am i got up walked to the closet didnt turn a radio or tv on opened one door didnt slam it simply opened it and they started banging then i closed a window on the other side of the apartment started banging again. Tonite picked up clothes from the floor put them in the hamper baging on the cieling so I had to go sit down!!!! Please someone help, what should I do????
    Thank!

    Reply

  9. June 08, 2008 at 3:41 pm, Guest said:

    hope you have spoken to the landlord or moved out.

    Reply

  10. August 19, 2008 at 7:00 pm, Guest said:

    I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but I would be EXTREMELY worried about the sofa and used bed that you purchased. Have you not seen the epidemic that’s been going around the world with bedbugs??? people like you are spreading this disgusting problem. Why not buy a product that has not been in someone else’s home? I apologize about being so upfront, but if you simply type in bed bugs on the internet, you can easily see how most people have gotten these bugs into their apartments: sharing USED furniture!

    Reply

  11. October 29, 2008 at 11:36 am, Guest said:

    go talk to the people below you.

    wear socks or slippers, put down a throw rug & promise them you’re doing what you can. You do have to live and you pay rent, just like them.

    if they keep up with the pounding the ceiling after that, just stomp on the floor.

    Reply

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