In the last seven years since I graduated high school and left home, I have lived in seven different apartments. Yes that is right….SEVEN! I feel like I am a master at apartment living. With all that moving most people find that it isn’t worth settling down and really turning your apartment into what you might call home. I completely disagree. After a hard day of work, projects, midterms, and stress, you need a place of refuge to relax and unwind!
I have gone from living in a pre-furnished apartment with five other girls to having an apartment with my own little family. Throughout all of these apartments I have always been told that it feels like home, which, in my opinion, is the best compliment I can get! There are a few little tricks to really transform any apartment into your own personal oasis.
3M Command Hooks
I know this seems like a silly trick, but these things are my all time favorite! Several of the apartments I have lived in do not allow larger holes to be nailed or drilled into the wall. My favorite things to do with these is actually to install curtain rods using a very large command hook rather than the wall bracket that comes with the curtain rod (Disclaimer: These stay up well when they are not pulled on, now with a little kid running around I’ve pulled out the big guns and installed the actual bracket with screws). These are obviously great for displaying lighter framed pictures, but I have also used them for hanging up a ceiling lamp. It sounds crazy… but it works!
This is one of my very first apartments (pre furnished with six girls) where you were not allowed to nail into the wall. Almost everything is held up with 3M hooks, including the curtains and lamp over the table.
Since I have never been in an apartment where I have been allowed to paint, I have found that adding some curtains to the windows make SUCH a huge difference in breaking up the plain white walls. Although I have typically gone with lighter sheer curtains because I feel like a lot of apartments tend to not get a ton of light, this is also a great place to add much needed color to the space. Be sure to refer to this blog post for the right way to hang curtains.
Just like curtains, rugs are a great way to add some softness, color, and personality to an apartment. Finding a great rug can even help to distinguish separate spaces since I am almost always forced to squish a dining room and living room into one tiny space. This also is an excellent way to focus your space planning as you arrange a room. There are a lot of great places to purchase rugs without breaking the bank, like overstock.com, Ross, and TJ Maxx.
This is simple… Apartments are small. Mirrors can help to expand the limited light and space that you are working with. Over the sofa, at the end of a hallway, in the entryway… Mirrors can help in so many places!
While my sister filled every inch of her bedroom with NSYNC posters as a teenager, I always had a rule that I would not put up a picture unless it was framed. I know, I was probably such a boring child. I think having your pictures framed rather than thumb tacked to a wall is a great way for it to look like a mature adult is occupying your apartment, while still making it your own.
Personalize and Accessorize
Just because you are in an apartment does not mean that you cannot make it your own! Little details make a huge difference. Place a vase of flowers on the table, sew up some fun throw pillows for the couch, find some groovy table lamps that you absolutely love. Heck, I took what I already had (a bookshelf full of books) and decided to organize them by color. Everytime I look at my personalized rainbow of books it puts a smile on my face! Have fun and fill the apartment with things that you love!