When you sign the forms for your very own apartment, it’s a real milestone in your life.
Having a space to call your own, that you can decorate however you want and use just as you please, is a wonderful freedom, and a just reward for the hard work you’ve put in to afford the rent. If you’ve taken an unfurnished apartment, you have a blank canvas on which to make your mark. On the other hand, if you have rented furnished accommodation, there will be a lot less work and expense involved when you move in. Both options have their advantages, and your choice may depend on what is available and your budget. Either way, there are some simple things you can do to add some touches of style to your new place and give it the feeling of home.
The colors and design of cushions, curtains, and bedding can all make a much bigger impression on a visitor than you would imagine. The eye will be drawnto bold colors and striking designs, making these the focus rather than the room or the furniture in it. This means that if you are furnishing on a budget or using existing furniture, your touches of style will enhance what is there even if the pieces are not what you would choose in an ideal situation.
Furnished apartments are commonly painted in neutral colors, and you may have restrictions on what you can use to paint the walls in your new place, and if so the addition of beautifully designed curtains, rugs, and bedspreads can add color and interest even to the plainest of decors. When you’re choosing soft furnishings, go for the best quality you can afford and make sure you pick something special that says something about your style. Get some quality linens for your bed too, like bamboo sheet sets that will add a touch of sophistication to your bedroom. It’s also one of the best feelings to be able to lay back in your own bed on soft, quality sheets and pillows!
You don’t need to get into debt buying the latest hot artist’s painting for your new walls in order to add a touch of style. There are many outlets for original artworks at very reasonable prices from galleries and online agencies for artists – you could even find yourself investing in a future masterpiece! Photographs also look very classy if they are well-taken. If you’ve got any good photographs, you could have them framed to go on your walls, which would be both a satisfying personal achievement and very economical too. Be selective with your artworks, using single larger pieces on their own, or groupings of smaller pictures. Even if you favor the minimalist look, you can still add in some tasteful pieces of sculpture or objets d’art to add your personal stamp. Again, quality is far more meaningful than quantity. One or two high-class pieces will make a far better impression than a lot of cheaper items.
Adding some houseplants will not only look good but will also make the air quality better in your apartment. Foliage plants that look good all year round are best in the main room and are usually straightforward to look after. A tidy now and then and keeping the leaves polished will keep them looking beautiful. Always check the conditions a plant needs to thrive and make sure you give it the right amount of light, heat, water and feed as recommended on the plant label. If they are in the right climate and are given the best treatment, many foliage plants will last for years. You can add a splash of color here and there with the perennially classy orchid, which flowers for months at a time and will do so repeatedly if well-treated. A vase of cut flowers is also a nice touch that gives a place a more homely feel.
Adding lamps at strategic places in your apartment and adding or changing lampshades will bring a warmth and intimacy to the rooms. Use a combination of tall, freestanding lamps and small table top lamps to create a stylish as well as welcoming atmosphere. You can also use soft light bulbs, or different colored bulbs to add to the effect.
You want these to fit into your design smoothly, being easily accessible but at the same time not cluttering up your space. If you have your books and music all stored on electronic devices, you might want to consider getting some real books, DVDs and/or CDs – or even records, which are considered very desirable – that you can display to add personality to your space. If you’ve got too much in the way of possessions, have a clear out or find some storage solutions if you want to hang on to things you don’t have room for. Don’t leave boxes of things half unpacked about the place, or your apartment will never look right. Make sure you’ve got all the items you need to keep yourself organized and deal with all the household tasks, such as a laundry hamper, then you won’t get cluttered with possessions or find keeping everything tidy too much of a chore.
If you want your apartment to look like your place rather than a hotel suite, add some features that are pure you. Put some bright yellow ceramic ducks in the bathroom windowsill; have a big cuddly teddy bear sat on the chair in your bedroom; put your giant pasta bowl that’s decorated with a bright red tomato pattern out on your kitchen counter. There are many ways in which you can add a dash of your personality and a representation of what’s important to you. The key is to make these gestures understated, not go over the top and descend into kitsch.
Now you’ve moved in and added those touches of style and personality to your new place, it’s time to start sending out the invites to all your friends for a big party to celebrate! After all, what’s a home without a housewarming?