Today’s post is sponsored by Acorn Influence and it’s advertiser, SC Johnson. That just means that I get a little something for writing a unique article that readers can enjoy and that SC Johnson can stand behind. If you’re living in an apartment or missing an old home, I hope you find it useful.
If you’ve somehow missed that I’ve left behind my home of over 10 years for a small apartment in another city, I’ll wait while you catch up… Change is hard. It’s hard leaving behind things that don’t fit in my new place or things that needed to stay behind at the house for one reason or another. The first night in my apartment, the only time it felt like home was when my kids were bouncing off the walls and my Border Collie was pushing on my arm, begging me to throw a toy. Once everyone settled down for the night, it was lonely and strange. I was missing my stuff, I was missing my home.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m also exciting about starting over, starting fresh. Still, I want my apartment to feel like home – preferably sooner rather than later. I’ve put together a few tips for making an apartment feel more like home. They’ve helped me and if you’ve just moved or are moving in the future, they may help you too.
1) Get stuff up on the walls. It might seem like something that should be an after thought, but you’d be surprised how much the little things, the things that seem irrelevant, play into a place feeling like home.
When I made this piece (from pallet scraps) I had no idea where it would hang, but one of the first things I did the weekend I moved in was find it’s home and get it on the wall. With all of the adhesive products on the market for hanging things, you don’t have to worry about finding the place things are going to stay forever and ever (that or filling your rented walls with a hundred nail holes), so stop worrying about finding the perfect place for everything and hang some of your favorite pieces, or even new ones.
2) Put out a welcome mat. Maybe you don’t want guests knocking on your door, but at least your welcome mat will be there to welcome YOU home every day. It’s also a way you can show a little personality outside of your apartment and mark your place as “yours”.
Y’all, when I found out my walls would be beige and tans, I knew the whole brown/tan sofa thing I’ve had going on for the last, of, 15 years wasn’t going to work. I mean, I could’ve bought another boring, blah sofa and it would’ve been “fine” but it would’ve felt sterile and *blah*. I don’t want home to feel *blah*. So, when I set out shopping for furniture and found this blue little number at a resale shop, I took it. It’s actually brand new… I had no idea that some resale shops sell new stuff too. The greens in the pillows and the chair that matches will give me a perfect jumping off point for curtains and rugs, as well as little decor touches that will add to the color in the room.
4) Don’t underestimate your sense of smell. The nose knows! While my new place smelled absolutely lovely when I moved in, it didn’t smell like home. Home smells like food, stuff baking (sometimes like the dog – they don’t make a candle for that, do they?) In the fall, my house always smelled like pumpkin or spices – sometimes both. Lighting candles or using plug-ins or wax melts in scents that are familiar to you will make your space feel more homey.
5) Don’t spend more than you need to, but get things that will last. Unless you’re moving into a college dorm, there is no reason that your whole place should be furnished from the “back to school” section at your local big box retailer. If you buy an apartment full of furniture meant for a dorm room, that’s what your apartment is going to feel like. Now, that’s not to say that $10 end tables from IKEA don’t have a place (I just picked up 2 last night myself) but they are a small piece of my furniture puzzle, not the whole thing. If you can’t afford new, “real” furniture pieces, shop used! There are tons of great resale shops and you can really have fun with yard sales or refinishing furniture too.
It feels more like home already, yes? If you’ve moved from a house to an apartment or other short-term/rental situation, I’m sure you’ve been there too! What tips or tricks do you have up your sleeve for making an apartment feel more like home?