Apartment Living: How to Love the Apartment You’re In
Unfortunately, it’s rarely possible to find the perfect apartment. That’s why it’s so important to prioritize when apartment hunting based on what’s most important to you. Usually that just means sacrificing a bit of storage space for an apartment that’s closer to public transit or something similar, but sometimes the place you find isn’t quite what you wanted in a lot of ways.
So what are you supposed to do when you’re apartment living situation is one that you aren’t crazy about? It’s vital to create a space you’ll feel happy and comfortable in for the duration of your lease, but that’s actually easier than you may think. Here’s how to work with what you have and create an apartment you love:
Find Your Ideal Setup
Believe it or not, your furniture arrangements may make a huge difference when it comes to how you feel about your apartment. Even if you don’t subscribe to Feng Shui, there’s something to be said for using furniture to create a certain flow within a space.
A couple of tips: One, don’t fill your place with too much furniture – it can start to feel cramped and uncomfortable. Two, don’t commit to one setup right away. Try different arrangements every few days until you land on one that just feels right.
Lighting, and especially natural lighting, is a great way to perk up any apartment. My apartment is adjacent to an alley, which unfortunately means most of the sunlight is blocked by the building next to me.
If, like mine, your apartment is woefully lacking in illumination, supplement with extra floor lamps and use full-spectrum lightbulbs that imitate sunlight. You can also hang mirrors strategically to reflect light and brighten the apartment.
Work With the Walls
If your landlord allows it, and you have written permission, consider painting your walls. A few pops of color on an accent wall or two can add some zest to otherwise boring white walls.
Bright colors, like yellow and pink, are joyful and energizing, whereas greens, blues, and browns offer a more calming effect.
Make Your Bedroom a Haven
Whether you’re in a studio or have a separate bedroom, the area where your bed is should be as comfortable and serene as possible. In fact, ensuring the bed itself is just the way you like it can help you feel better about your whole apartment.
Use plush sheets, blankets and pillows to create a haven you can retreat to.
Get Rid of Clutter
Clutter is a lot more psychologically stressful than you might think, which means keeping your apartment tidy may help you enjoy spending time in it. If you’re feeling like any room in your apartment is too cluttered, whether with furniture, tchotchkes, or anything else, make yourself get rid of five to 10 items.
Choose furniture pieces or other things you aren’t as crazy about or that you never use – you’ll start feeling better in no time.
Make it Pretty
Spend the first couple of weeks (or months, if you’re a procrastinator like me) after moving into your apartment making each room pretty.
Add wall hangings, framed pictures, and anything else that makes you feel good. Real or fake, flowers in a vase are a charming touch that can make for a happier apartment.
Splurge on a Statement Piece
If you’re in the market for a few furniture basics, you may want to consider springing for one that you absolutely love.
Whether it’s a large antique armoire or a beautiful couch, this sort of splurge will make you enjoy your apartment more. Just make sure the money you’re spending is an investment on a piece you’ll be able to bring with you as you move in the future.
Want a super easy way to love where you live? Just invite some friends over! Almost anything is better with the addition of a few great memories, so have your girl or guy friends over to watch your favorite show or invite a bunch of people over for a party.
Keep Comforts Around
To make your apartment feel like home, surround yourself with your favorite and most sentimental belongings.
This could mean displaying photographs on your dresser, stacking a few of your favorite books on your nightstand, or keeping a secret stash of chocolate in your freezer. Having comforting items around is a bit like hanging onto an old security blanket (in the best possible way).
Take Your Time
If you aren’t in love with your apartment right away, keep in mind that it may take a little bit of time to settle in.
Make changes, add decor, and rearrange things every so often until you figure out the best way to use the space you have. Give it enough time, and you may find you’re pretty darn fond of where you live.
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