How to Make Your Apartment Feel Like Home
Moving to a new apartment inherently comes with an adjustment period. You don’t know the neighborhood or the unit, so the foreign location isn’t quite as comfortable as you’d like it to be.
The good news is that the discomfort doesn’t last long. Before you know it, your apartment and neighborhood will feel like home. Of course, you can expedite the process by trying a few of these tips:
Lighting is a powerful, often unnoticed and under appreciated element that can make your apartment feel instantly warmer. The right lighting scheme turns a drab space into an intimate and cozy one, so it should be one of the first things you tackle when you move in– after setting up all the necessities, of course. Here are some tips for using lighting to make your new place feel like home:
At Least Three: Interior designers agree that every room should have at least three lighting sources to help create zones. Each of the three must be task or decorative lighting, as these types create pools of illumination– so that means the ceiling light that came with the apartment doesn’t count.
You can add lamp to your side table that makes reading at night possible, place a standing lamp in the corner and decorate with string lights.
Consider Bulbs: Look for compact florescent light bulbs that are designed to produce warm, gentle light. Original CFLs create that awful bluish-white light that’s flattering on exactly no one. Fortunately, the smart people who make bulbs invented versions that glow in a similar way to incandescent, only CFLs last longer and use energy more efficiently.
Decorate According to Your Tastes
Once your furniture and other necessities are set up inside your new apartment, fill it with your personal tastes. That means decorating! Pick out artwork, knick knacks and details that make you happy. Everything from the painting over your bed to your lamps to your shower curtain can be infused with your style.
Be picky about what you decorate with– only use items that match your overall decor scheme and fit your tastes. When you shop for items, don’t just pick something up because you like it. It should be cohesive with the rest of your belongings. If it’s not, it will feel out of place and you may not get much use out of it.
Include Sentimental Items
As you plan your decor scheme, include personal items that mean a lot to you. A painting that hung in your grandma’s house, the throw blanket your mom knitted and the mirror from your study abroad trip are all examples of decorations that not only look nice but have sentimental value.
Surrounding yourself with both new and old items can help make the place feel more like yours. That being said, if you have a lot of meaningful belongings, pick and choose just a few. They should match the rest of your decorating design and not create clutter.
Most apartments have already been cleaned before a new tenant moves in. However, that’s not always the case. Before you put stuff away, do a deep clean. This gives you a fresh start both literally and figuratively. Plus, you’ll quickly get acquainted with your new space.
Carve Out Your Space
You may not have time to decorate every room immediately, so pick one. Start with that area and make it totally your own, using tips I’ve already mentioned. That way, as you settle into the apartment, you have at least one retreat that makes you feel at home.
Have a Party
Fill your apartment with friends and loved ones and it will feel like home right away. There’s nothing like good times and good people to make you feel welcomed. Plus, moving is a perfect excuse to have a drink with friends.
Explore the Neighborhood
You probably picked the apartment you did in part because you liked the neighborhood. Now that you’ve moved in, go explore! Take a walk outside to see what bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and stores are nearby.
As you do, you may start imagining yourself going to the coffee shop every night to work on your blog. Or, you could picture group outings to the bar. Find features of your neighborhood that make you happy and envision your future there.
Additionally, look for community groups you may want to join. Running clubs, book clubs and even wine-tasting groups exist in many metropolitan neighborhoods, and they’re an easy and fun way to make friends. And having friends nearby is a surefire way to feel at home.
Don’t worry: Your new apartment will really start to feel like home in no time. With these tips, the unit will transform from just a building into a place filled with great memories.
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