Guest post written by Paisley Hansen
Home sweet home. When we enter our homes, we should feel as if it is welcoming us, not suffocating or overwhelming us. Can you relate? These oh so lovely emotions can particularly apply with apartment living or a smaller home. When I moved into my first apartment, I remember wondering, “how am I actually going to live in here? It’s too small!” But it doesn’t have to be this way! Personally, I believe that apartments should be fun, cool, and homey. There are many cost-effective, simple, and fun ways to make your apartment seem more spacious while, at the same time, reflecting you and your home.
Less is More
After downsizing, you realize how much stuff you have. One way to make your apartment look bigger and more home-like is simply to cut back on your stuff. We truly live in a society of “more is better,” but is it really? Look around. Does that pile of stuff in the corner make you happy? I bet not. Get yourself three boxes. Label one “toss,” another “give away,” and the last “re-use.” Now, get busy and go through your things. Do you really need that waffle iron? Let it go. Now ask yourself, “would someone benefit from this?” If so, put it in your “give away” box. If not, toss it in your “toss” box. Continue to do this with any item you truly know you don’t need. For those items that you have doubts about, consider them for your “re-use” box! Can you use the item in a different way in your home? Decoratively? Functionally? Maybe that old coffee table you hate can be painted a funky color and turned into a piece that you truly love. Have fun with it!
Most interior designers would agree that you should pick one or two items that you want to design a room around. A favorite picture, couch, or other piece that really reflects you or inspires how the room is going to make you feel. Then, accessorize that piece! Think texture, color, fabric, and the big picture. Remember, less is more. The clutter will make you feel exactly that: cluttered. Pick your favorite pieces and group them together to show them off. A perfect example would be your favorite family photos that are the focal point of your end table.
Creating the feeling of home definitely includes the ambience of a room. Throw open your windows! If you are fortunate enough to have a porch or balcony, take advantage of that barn door hardware and let the fresh air and sunshine in. Window treatments and screens are a worthwhile investment that will pay off because of the privacy, warmth, and functionality it adds to a space.
One of my favorite ways to add some interest to your apartment or house is to rethink the purpose of a room. With limited space, sometimes we need to think multi-functional when it comes to what a room is traditionally used for. An extra bedroom can easily be transformed into an office/spare room with the creative use of functional furniture and wall space. Our walls are an organizing and space-saving asset that even the smallest apartment can afford. Search your nearest garage sales, antique stores, or Goodwill for inexpensive shelves that you can hang to get your things up off the floor and table surfaces. This saves space. Simple baskets and other fun containers can be found at garage sales and the like to help your space look sleek, clean, and organized.
So there you have it! I hope you are inspired to tackle your very own apartment and turn it into the home of your dreams. As Dorothy would say, “there’s no place like home,” and we should all feel as if we are returning to our own personal oasis when we walk in the door. Happy homemaking!