When I first found my studio apartment, it was absolutely nothing special. My mom said it best when she said, “Kathleen, what I love about you is that you can see the beauty and potential in anything.” With rickety doors and windows, old vinyl flooring and absolutely no amenities; my apartment was nothing to get excited over. I live in an old Victorian home that was converted into 4 units. I immediately fell in love with its charm, the location and my sweet landlords. There were some hurdles with decorating a quirky and small building such as my own, but the end result makes me so happy to go home each night. I have collected some tips and tricks for giving your apartment that insta-worty touch.
If it doesn’t bring you joy, don’t keep it
Come on now... I am sure we have all binge watched Tidying Up on Netflix by now.... ;)
I made this mistake in my last apartment. I would buy décor based on what I thought was the norm and not based on what makes me happy. This lead me to come home feeling like the place was never fully mine. With my current home, I made an effort to rid myself of anything that doesn’t make me smile. While my house is currently decked out in pink, I absolutely love it and feel like it is a complete representation of my personality.
Ikea furniture is great here and there, but if you want your home to really stand out try shopping vintage! Adding recycled pieces will do wonders to add character to your home. If you’re in the Sacramento area, I highly suggest the Sac Antique Faire every second Sunday. On my last trip, I found the most adorable floral chandelier that brightened up my kitchen!
We’re not in middle school anymore people… posters and pictures should always be framed! This small touch can add an extra bit of class to your home and make everything look more polished. Even something as fun as a band poster looks much better framed than tacked to a wall. My favorite thing to do is find vintage frames at a thrift store, and repurpose them to hold my own images.
Show Your Personality
Your living space is a reflection of yourself, and if you want your guests to get to know you better, show off a few details about your passions. Your favorite book that you’ve ready 20 times…. leave it beautifully displayed on the coffee table. Into music? Display your record collection for guests to browse. A sucker for stupid jokes such as myself? Add a pun-ny dish towel to your kitchen!
Along with shopping vintage, I am a huge proponent of upcyled or DIY furniture. There is a sense of pride that comes with building and creating something for your home. When I first moved out I wanted an elongated dresser so badly, but I couldn’t find anything under $400 that I even liked. One day, I found a $40 dresser at a thrift store that was black with glitter knobs and brutally beaten up. I spent a week sanding it and applying coat after coat of white paint until the end result was something I had only dreamed of. I even added custom knobs! It still to this day is my favorite piece of furniture and it’s even better because I poured my heart into it.
Light it up
Lighting is incredibly important for your home. It can set the mood for your day. While my home came with lighting fixtures, rental lighting is typically nothing impressive. My house felt dull and dark, so I replaced all of the old warm lights with LED daylight bulbs, and it gave my home a fresh new look.
Invest in a few table lamps to add light and character. I’m also a big fan of twinkle string lights and candles for some added sparkle to your home.
Utilize your space
I can’t tell you how many times I rearranged my furniture when first I moved in (which was quite a struggle for my 5'2" self!) My home is an awkward layout with little storage space, so I had to get creative with my furniture. I went from a walk-in closet at my old place, to a minuscule storage space. I decided to use my favorite fashion pieces as a display and put up a clothing rack for both organization and décor. I also utilize every nook that I can! Under-the-bed bins are my savior.
Hide the Sh*t
Cat people! This one is for you… I have never been so passionate about a cat box in my life until I found this box on amazon. So much nicer looking than a traditional box and with a top entry, the cats are forced to wipe their paws. I used to sweep every single day before I bought this…. So yea I’m excited about this sh*t box and you should be too.
Add a little love
Living alone, it was so important for me to surround myself with pictures of people I love. I created a little polaroid section in my home for guests to take pictures when they come over. I also deck my fridge with any and everything from my friends (wedding invites, birthday card, ect!) Framed photos of my loved ones are a must... including my infamous ass photo with my friend Lauren.
Keep it Clean
This is the hardest part, I know! Start every work week with a clean home by dedicating a little time to tidying up. You should be able to have people over within any given notice and not have to work about hiding your mess. This is so much more easy said than done, but the peace of mind that comes with it is so well worth it.
and if all else fails.... you can always find a place to hide your laundry!