Most apartments won’t provide the amount of space that many houses offer. They also won’t allow you to make sweeping structural changes. But that doesn’t mean you have to skip over creating a harmonious living space, or break your budget to feel comfortable and at home.
By getting creative and focusing on some general rules of design and organization, you can make a rental unit feel like home sweet home. No matter what you choose for decorating, make sure you check with your landlord before making any permanent or semi-permanent changes (like painting!).
Decorating Idea #1: What Color is Your Comfort?
It’s no secret that colors can have a psychological effect. The colors in a room can positively influence the mood of the tenants, as well as their guests. Colors come packed with certain energies and they can comfort, stimulate, inspire and more.
Just like businesses and hospitals choose certain colors to convey a certain ‘feeling’ — the colors you choose for your apartment can do the same for you. When decorating, choose colors that reflect your tastes can convey ideal feelings and the overall purpose of a room. Light colors will help make a room feel larger, seemingly with more air-flow and natural comfort. Rooms with darker colors come off as warm and are often more suited towards common areas that both guests and tenants share, such as a living room.
Warmer tones tend to make more of an appearance in the average northeast home, while you’ll find more broad, lighter/colder colors in homes of the south.
Despite popular trends, choose the colors that make you happy and comfortable, there’s no right or wrong answer.
Decorating Idea #2: Organization & De-cluttering
Have you ever been to a crowded concert and felt like you needed to get to a more open space? The same can be true for any environment — namely, your living space. The more chaotic an environment is, even if you don’t always notice it consciously, the more your brain yearns for less stimulation — a quieter place with less noise and visual stimulation. In less cluttered spaces, people tend to think better and feel less stressed.
Organizing and keeping the living environment tidy and clutter-free takes planning and in some cases, a revamp of daily home activities.
This ‘decorating’ advice is less about adding furniture, color or texture, and more about focusing on organization and general cleanliness. That’s because you’ll find that the decorating you do gets a better chance of showing itself off and making you really feel at home when the chores and hints of everyday living are not just hidden, but organized.
For example, if a room is on the smaller side, don’t pack as much furniture in just because ‘you have the furniture.’ Plan for ease of movement through a room, and choose furniture that can double as storage. The same goes for when a room is larger — stick to what you need and make concessions openly if they’re going to add to the organization and de-cluttering of the home.
Utilize file cabinets and storage for bills, important papers, etc. and stick to a routine of filing and putting this type of clutter away at all times.
Store the majority of your kitchen items in drawers and cabinets, making sure that you keep up with the dishes as well. Even a few things left out can divert your comfort and happiness.
Think about a closet organization system of shelves and drawers that make the closet more efficient while helping you keep more ‘stuff’ put away, organized and out of plain sight.
Decorating Idea #3: Use Natural Lighting
We’ve talked about using lighter colors to make a room more airy and seem bigger. Having the feeling of being able to ‘spread your wings’ is important. Going lighter on curtain color and patterns is also a good idea to further convey those feelings. Consider installing a curtain rod higher than the top of your windows, while letting the length of them fall all the way to the floor.
The above suggestion makes the windows seem larger, further making the room feel light and roomy, even though the square footage hasn’t budged. The natural light that enters the windows and reflects off of your lighter colors and patterns will increase that open, airy feeling.
Taking it a step further, add mirrors to an opposite wall in order to reflect and distribute the natural light entering the windows. The brightness and openness of the room will grow, simply by hanging large, decorative mirrors. A second, important detail that mirrors add is the illusion that the room has more depth than it does. Light colors, reflecting natural light, and increased depth will make most any room feel more inviting, fresh, comfortable and like home sweet home.
Decorating Idea #4: Adding Plants to Your Decor
Ever notice that when you walk into a supermarket you typically walk right into the fruit and vegetable section? Markets are designed like this on purpose — your brain now thinks that most everything in the store is fresh.
The same feeling (conscious or not) can be achieved at home by introducing plants to your decor. Plus, plants will actually help clean the air and add spectacular color. Depending on your own personal preferences, plants can add a unique flavor to a room or entire apartment. Some research shows that taking care of plants and even gardening can relieve stress.
The dynamic feel and visuals that plants bring to a living space are more than just decorative, and just like making cool and comforting color choices, plants encourage the brain to feel at ease and bring a quick sense of comfort and completeness to a room and the whole apartment.
Decorating and Decor Can Make All the Difference
You don’t have to be an interior designer or hire one to make your apartment feel comfortable, and inviting. A little elbow grease and small investments can boost your mood, look great and make your apartment your foundation for everything else in life.
After all, home is where the heart is!Tweet