In my opinion one of the trickiest parts of 20-something life is finding yourself constantly finding yourself in situations that feel only halfway adult. Take renting an apartment for example: in so many ways, you're now off on your own and can in theory do whatever you want with the place. But in some cases renting means no painting walls, drilling holes, or doing any major overhaul to the place. I remember when I first moved into this apartment I was so excited to decorate it. In an effort to go beyond college dorm room decorating (read: posters) I've decided today to share some of my favorite ways to make your apartment feel like home, whether you live in it for six months or six years.
1. Decorate in non-permanent ways
Carry the lessons you learned from decorating your college dorm room over to your adult life. Rather than invest in a headboard, I hung up a tapestry sideways above my bed to add some color to the space. Anything that can hang on your wall with push pins, Command hooks, or painters tape is a bonus, since it doesn’t leave any residue or damage to the wall. I surprisingly used Command hooks to hang my jewelry holder on the wall, which you can’t even notice unless you look closely.
2. Play up your favorite colors
Red is without a doubt my favorite color, but even I acknowledge that a bedroom with red walls can be a little extreme (unless you’re Peyton Sawyer on One Tree Hill and it becomes your Personal Brand) but what I love to do is find red pieces for my room that can act as accent colors. I have a red rug, red throw pillows, and some red in the tapestry above my bed.
3. It’s the little things
Light yummy-smelling candles (here are four of my personal favorites), find a home fragrance you love and spray it throughout your house, throwing in bonus points if the scent is one that makes you feel nostalgic. Get some extra cozy blankets (I have an amazing one from Home Goods) and buy yourself some fresh flowers. All of these little details will really make a difference in transforming a space from being just a room into a sanctuary.
4. Don’t be afraid to invest a little
It can be hard to justify spending $1,000 on an extravagant bookcase when you can get one from IKEA at one tenth of the price, especially if you are just renting and you can't predict how it will look in the next space you move into. But there are some smaller Real Adult things that you can definitely start to invest in that you’ll have with you for years to come. Buy yourself the nice frying pan. Treat yourself to the fancy soap dispenser. Those smaller investments will not only make your rented space feel more luxurious, but will also prepare you for when you make larger purposes at a later time.
5. Keep the place clean and tidy
You can place one painless order on Amazon Pantry (hashtag not sponsored) and be done with your cleaning supplies shopping for the year! Stock up on soap refills, paper towels and toilet paper so you have backstock to ensure you won’t run out. Buy laundry supplies like detergent, bleach, color catching sheets and dryer sheets before you actually go to the laundromat. And be sure to have some standard cleaning products on hand like Lysol wipes, Windex, and 409 spray. Oh, and invest in a Swiffer mop, a broom, and a mini vacuum. Keeping your apartment clean is one of the best ways to avoid unwanted visitors (in NYC that means mice and cockroaches) and to make sure that your space is always clean and welcoming.
6. Invite people over
One of my favorite things to do is to host friends at my apartment. I love having everyone gather in the living room, offer up beers or a glass of wine, and just kick back and relax. We have board games, a host of streaming networks, and an adorable cat named Sassy to entertain us, so it’s always fun no matter what we’re doing.
What are your favorite apartment decorating tips?