Whether you’re renting a large three-bedroom house in New York or a studio apartment in San Francisco, decorating an apartment can be difficult.
Making your apartment feel like home is an even bigger challenge. But it can be done.
With a few strategic design tips, you can make even the most basic, cookie-cutter apartment feel special.
Ready to turn your rental into a space you can’t wait to come back to every day?
Check out these seven tips to make your apartment feel like home!
#1 Add Some Colour to Your Walls
Most apartments have drab white walls. And many rental agreements include restrictions that prohibit painting. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add colour to your walls…
If you have a landlord who allows you to paint, go for it! But be courteous and stick to light, pale colours. It’ll be easier for your landlord to paint over when you move out.
You can even leave most of the walls neutral and paint one wall in a bold colour. Adding just one accent wall can make a huge difference!
If your lease strictly forbids painting, consider adding removable wallpaper. There are plenty of stylish wallpaper options out there in a variety of colours and prints.
And just like paint, you can do one wall here and there – you don’t have to wallpaper your entire place.
Don’t trust yourself to hang wallpaper? Decorate with art instead!
Frame some prints or photos and hang them with Command strips. That way, you won’t damage the walls and lose your security deposit.
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#2 Invest in Quality Furniture
Investing in a few nice pieces of furniture can really transform your apartment. Well-built decor helps to make your place feel more like a stable home, and less like a transient campsite.
I’m not suggesting that you blow your entire budget or wipe out your savings on an expensive couch or a fancy bed. But little things like coffee tables, accent tables, and lamps can make a huge difference.
When you move out, there’s a good chance you’ll want to buy a new couch or bed. So instead of investing in those, opt for smaller pieces that you can take with you when you leave.
A coffee table, or even a dresser, will be much easier to move when you end your lease and buy a home.
#3 Customise Your Lighting
If your apartment comes with harsh overhead lighting fixtures, it won’t feel very cosy. Luckily, there are a few easy things that you can do to change that.
For example, you might switch out the existing bulbs in favour of dimmer ones. Softer, incandescent lights can add a bit more ambience to the space.
If that’s not an option, just ignore the fact that you even have overhead lighting. Instead of using the light switches on your walls, add table lamps or floor lamps to create the type of atmosphere you desire.
Make use of natural light as much as possible. Lots of apartments come with cheap blinds, but it doesn’t hurt to ask your landlord if you can remove them and replace them with a curtain rod instead. That way, you can add extra colour and texture with drapes while making it easier for the sun to shine in.
#4 Buy Some Area Rugs
Area rugs are a great way to add colour, texture, and style to any room. And they’re soft, too, so they’ll make your place a bit comfier.
They look best beneath a coffee table, luxury dining tables, or the bed. You can even place a rectangular rug in your entranceway to create a welcoming environment.
If your apartment is already carpeted, you can still add an area rug – just don’t go overboard. One rug under a coffee table or a dining table is all you need.
#5 Organise Your Kitchen
If you want your rental unit to feel like home, it’s crucial to have a clean kitchen.
This means you’ll have to declutter your countertops, organize your pantry, and get your fridge in order. Even if you don’t love your counters or cabinets, an uncluttered kitchen always looks better than a messy one.
Keep only the bare essentials outside of the cabinets – your coffee maker, toaster, and the few things you use every day. Clean your fridge on regularly and keep your pantry organized with storage containers for dry goods such as flour, cereal, and snacks.
#6 Add Some Plants
A few plants or flower vases can give any room a quaint feeling. Place a few on your nightstand or windowsill, or invest in a bookshelf with a few tiers. You can fill it with colourful vases, fun flower pots, and different types of greenery.
Bringing fresh flowers and greenery into your place is a great way to add colour, scent, and natural beauty. Plus, experts say that some plants help you sleep better, which is an added benefit.
#7 Throw a Party
Whether you’re in a temporary space for a few months or an apartment that you plan to rent for years, inviting people over will make it feel like home.
Maybe you like to cook. Perhaps you’d prefer to hire a caterer. Either way, throw a party and gather with family and friends to make memories that you’ll carry with you for a lifetime, no matter where you live.
If you want to make your rented apartment feel like home, there’s one main thing to keep in mind: you have to make it your own.
Add some colour to your walls with paint, wallpaper, or artwork. Pick up one or two pieces of quality furniture and add lamps or dimmer bulbs to soften up the lighting. Decorate with an area rug and add some fresh greenery to bring a natural element into the space.
Organise your kitchen and when you’re ready to cook or make cocktails, throw a party! The best way to make your place feel like home is to open it up to family and friends.
Keep the place clean and customise it wherever you can. Before you know it, your cookie-cutter rental unit will feel like it’s truly yours.
Jenna Monen is the Business Manager at Reserve at Seabridge. With over ten years of experience in the industry, she begins and ends each day loving what she does. She finds joy in helping others and makes this community a place everyone loves to call home.