A new apartment is a reason to celebrate. Think of your new home like a blank canvas, except that it has walls, doors and windows. Whether you are downsizing or moving into your first grown-up home, you will want to create a welcoming space. It may seem daunting, but there are some easy questions to answer and then you can begin creating a space that reflects your personality and budget.
How Long I Will Live Here?
Different periods of your life help determine the length of time you will live in your new apartment. If you are a college student a stay may last anywhere from 10 months to a couple of years. If you have recently taken a new job in a new city, one to two years is highly probable. If you know your city and are simply head over heels for the area you have chosen you could conceivably stay for many, many years.
What Will I Use to Decorate My New Home?
After you determine approximately how long you will be in your new home you must decide if your budget allows for an entirely new set of décor. Will you be repurposing items you already own, or you will be perusing second-hand shops and flea markets for cool, vintage and only slightly used objects? If you’re moving into a first apartment and there are pieces of furniture your family has donated, use them.
These pieces of furniture may help you feel at home. And just make sure each piece fits your new space because a 12-foot sectional in a 485 square foot apartment may prevent you from opening any doors - not a good thing. If you are lucky enough to already own furniture that can be utilized in your new apartment that’s great.
Adjust Your Space to Feel Like Home
It is relatively easy to arrange furniture. In order to avoid moving heavy pieces around the room, measure them and mark the outline in blue painter’s tape on the spot where you think they should go. This will allow you to see if your couch blocks the only exit or if you will need to jump over a dresser to get to the bathroom. Arranging the largest pieces first should allow the smaller pieces to simply fall into place.
Using Little Touches
If the current color scheme of your furniture is not to your liking, slipcovers made to order or purchased online can customize your new space. Another easy way to bring your personality into your décor is with towels, curtains, linens and art. These items can all be used or hung in various ways depending on how permanent you want them to be. Whether you live in a Pittsburgh studio or a larger space in sunny Los Angeles, it doesn’t matter, an easy way to fill spaces and make your apartment feel like home is to decorate with plants. The vessels you choose can be anything from a painted pail to an expensive piece of Italian pottery and the benefit of having greenery in your home is well documented.
Maps for Moments
Make your apartment reflect you. Add personal touches like your own unique Star Map of a special occasion. Choose from a myriad of designs and customize your own unique depiction of the starry night sky. This could be the perfect way to immortalize an anniversary, engagement or the birth of a new star. Photos age, art comes in and out of fashion but the stars will outlive us all. What better way to decorate your new apartment!
Shelving and Storage
No matter how minimalist we try to be, there is a certain amount of accumulation tied to daily life. One should not live roll to roll when it comes to toilet paper, so a place to keep the spare rolls is essential. If there is no cabinet space in the bathroom you can easily stack a couple of wood crates from a craft store. Secure them with a few zip ties in the back and you will have instant shelving. There is no rule against storing stuff in drawers or cabinets just because the items might be used in a different room. For example, a television unit with closed cabinets underneath is a great place to keep bulky sweaters and sweatshirts--stick them under the TV.
Accessibility to Your Stuff
It is important to remember that you live in your home and need to be able to get to the things you need daily. Try not to stuff a closet so full that every time you need a jacket you must take all your sports equipment out first. Hang some hooks behind every door for items you know you will need often. Behind/over the door shoe holders make excellent places for cleaning supplies and bottled bathroom items like shampoo. Arts and crafts supplies can be stored in this fashion also.
Remember, this your home! If you utilize the myriad of ideas from places like Pinterest, Ikea and even Aunt Bessie - who always has such great rooms--you can create a space you will love coming home to at the end of the day.