Home sweet home in an apartment? Of course! Renters don’t have to feel like just because someone else owns the place, they can’t make it their own. Your apartment is where you sleep, relax, entertain and maybe even work, so it should be cozy. Here are a few simple ways to help make your apartment feel like home. Read the rest of this entry »
‘Apartment Decorating’ Category
If you’ve ever lived in a studio apartment, you know that managing the layout can be tricky. In a studio apartment, the bathroom is typically the only area that’s clearly sectioned off — the kitchen, living room and bedroom are all one room. The low rent and simplicity of this kind of apartment living make it appealing to many renters, but it goes without saying that the floor plan can be challenging to work with. Not to worry, though: If you’re moving into a studio apartment, here are some tips to help you set up the space in such a way that apartment living feel organized and comfortable.
Prepare for Your Move
If you haven’t moved yet, take time now to prepare. Make a list of all the things you have, like end tables, accent chairs, bookshelves, a sofa, desk, bed and dining room table. Next, get the floor plan. Ask your apartment manager for a copy of the floor plan. If they don’t have one, draw it as best as you can. Look at the items on your list and start thinking about how they’ll fit. If you’re moving from a house or large apartment and you think you’ll have way too much stuff for the new place, consider downsizing before moving day or putting some items in storage. Doing this can save time and money and reduce stress when it comes to your new style of apartment living.
One of the coolest things about studio apartment living is that you can create your own “rooms” within the space without building walls or doing any kind of construction. You’re essentially deciding the floor plan, and that’s definitely not possible with a regular apartment… unless your landlord is okay with you knocking down walls (probably not). So how exactly do you create rooms in a studio apartment, then? Easy: Use furniture and curtains as room dividers.
Bookshelves come in especially handy as room dividers. For example, if you want to section off the sleeping area from the living room area, you could put a bookshelf and sofa back-to-back, with a coffee table and TV stand in front of the sofa and your bed in front of the bookshelf. If it’s a tall bookshelf, though, just make sure it’s secure so it doesn’t wind up falling over. Using a bookshelf that doesn’t have any backing will allow light to go through and will feel more open. But if you’d like more privacy, hang a curtain.
Arrange and adjust your furniture until you have something you’re happy with. Area rugs can also help the sleeping area, kitchen and apartment living room feel like their own space. It may take several tries to get things just right, but you’ll have a comfortable, organized studio apartment in no time.
Finding a Studio Apartment
If you’re intrigued and want to rent a studio apartment for your next home, we have free apartment search tools to help you out. It can make finding an apartment and apartment living a little easier.
We don’t know about you, but it seems like the holiday season comes sooner and sooner every year. Do you decorate your apartment for the holidays? Many people love bringing some holiday cheer into their own home for the last few weeks of the year, and everyone has their own unique approach. Read on for some simple ways to decorate your apartment for the holidays.
Hang a Wreath
Whether it’s made of cranberries, straw or evergreen, holiday wreaths look gorgeous hung on doors. You can find freshly made evergreen wreaths anywhere they sell Christmas trees. Craft/hobby stores typically sell the supplies to make your own wreath out of artificial plants. Using ribbons, you can even customize one with the colors you’d like
Put Up String Lights
It wouldn’t be the holidays without string lights. They’re cheap and can be found around the end of the year at pretty much any store that sells home goods (even at grocery stores, usually). Hang them on your mantle, on the wall, around your balcony — there are lots of possibilities. We’ve even seen people hang string lights on the wall in the shape of a tree instead of having an actual one.
Things to keep in mind: If you have a roommate, be sure and talk to them first before you start decorating. They could feel uncomfortable, especially if they don’t share your beliefs — or they may even want to help out! Also, don’t forget to check with your apartment manager about holiday decorations. It’s not uncommon for apartment complexes to have rules against hanging up lights on balconies or on porches, or putting up a wreath, for example. And lastly, exercise caution with any candles, lights or other electrical equipment you may be using to decorate.
We hope you have a wonderful holiday season! If you’ll be moving in the new year, be sure and check out our Apartment Moving Center for some very helpful resources.
Living in an apartment can have significant advantages. For example, you often have maintenance staff that will help repair something in your living space if something goes wrong. You also have flexibility: If you want to change locations, all you’ll have to do is wait for the lease to be up. You don’t have to deal with trying to sell your house. However, as opposed to living in a house, space can sometimes be limited, especially if you live in a small apartment. You will need to make the most of the area you have. To help you do this, we’ve put together these tips for maximizing the space in your apartment.
Give Things a “Life Expectancy” of Usefulness
Still attached to that extra-small argyle sweater you loved in eighth grade, even though you’re now a foot too tall for it? We understand the sentiment, but still, that sweater is taking up valuable storage space. Consider reselling or donating it — or maybe even making it an heirloom and gifting it to someone else in the family. A good rule of thumb is, if it takes up space and you haven’t used it in over a year, strongly consider getting rid of it somehow. And don’t stop with clothes. Do you have any bulky and highly specialized kitchen equipment that you never use? What about an exercise bike that’s been a drying rack for six years running? It’s tough to be ruthless, but you’ll thank yourself with the extra cubic feet.
Think in Three Dimensions
Notice how we wrote “cubic feet” instead of the more common “square feet?” That’s because you need to start thinking of the space in your apartment in three dimensions. Creativity is endless in this department, but things like putting a wine rack on the wall to store rolled-up towels or hanging a basket from the ceiling to put fruit in are helpful space savers that free up floor space. Installing shelves is also a good idea.
Reduce, Reuse, and Save
These tips are just a few that will help you in your quest to make your apartment roomier. Don’t have a place of your own yet, or are you looking for a different one? Use our apartment search tools to get where you need to be.
Save with Rental Furniture
There’s a lot to think about and square away when you rent an apartment: setting up utilities, changing your address and deciding just how you’re going to furnish the place. That last part can either be really fun or really stressful — if you already have furniture and decor, you’re set, but what if you don’t? Consider getting rental furniture.
You might be wondering, why wouldn’t I just buy furniture for my new place? Well, depending on your situation, getting rental furniture might just be the easiest, most convenient and most cost-effective decision.
The cost of furnishing an entire home can add up quickly. Buying a new bed, a couch and couple of chairs could set you back more than $1,000. With having to pay a deposit and first month’s rent — and possibly last month’s rent as well — up front, you may be strapped for cash once you get to the point of furnishing your home.
If You’re Temporary, Consider Renting
Another reason to consider rental furniture is if you’re not going to be staying in the apartment for very long. Whether you’re working in another country, just in town for a corporate relocation assignment or you are living somewhere temporarily for some other reason, it might not be ideal to purchase furniture to use only for a short amount of time.
Rental furniture is all about convenience. Typically, the rental furniture company will deliver your stuff, taking the hassle out of you having to rent a truck and do it yourself. This is especially convenient when you’re busy with getting your new apartment set up. Plus, it could help you save on moving expenses.
The bottom line is that rental furniture is worth checking out. Convenient, flexible and easy, it might just be the perfect way to furnish your home.
Decide to Declutter
“Declutter my apartment!” has been on most apartment renters’ to-do lists since New Year’s. And here it is, already March! You shouldn’t wait until apartment moving day to discover lost and unneeded stuff. Start decluttering in simple little steps, room by room. Decide to declutter and don’t delay. Your roommates, pet, family and friends will thank you!
Organize with an Apartment Inventory
You might find your declutter project is easier with some apartment inventory software like Know Your Stuff, a great free application from the Insurance Information Institute. Not only will an apartment inventory help you figure out which Badfinger CD you’re missing from your collection, but it’ll also be a lifesaver if you ever need to make a claim on your renters insurance.
Our Apartment Decluttering Tips
- Decluttering doesn’t use a lot of brainpower. Declutter while watching TV or listening to music – it’s easy!
- Ask yourself, “When was the last time I used this?” The answer may surprise you. Why keep something bulky if you only use it every three years? Can you borrow one from a friend if you need it? Well, then, declutter it!
- Ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” Another popular decluttering question. You don’t necessarily need to find an apartment with more space – you just need to declutter.
- Tiny steps. Don’t tackle the whole apartment at once. Go room by room, or just tackle problem spots that you know will make a big difference.
- Declutter and donate. It helps to know that your decluttered stuff is going to good causes, whether it’s the neighborhood thrift store, the homeless resource center downtown or your best friend.
- Make decluttering fun. Put on some music that makes you want to dance and use that energy to dig through those piles of magazines, dirty clothes and gold bullion. (Okay, probably not the latter) If you have apartment roommates, set up a quick competition to see who can declutter faster or better. The worst declutterer has to clean the fridge!
- Decluttering can make for a good party. Get your friends to declutter their apartments too and bring all the stuff to one place for a white elephant party. Everybody goes home with something they like.
We hope your spring cleaning goes well! And of course, if you do decide that decluttering isn’t enough, find an apartment with the storage space you need at ApartmentSearch.com. You can earn up to $200 in renter rewards with us!
Decorating Your Apartment: Add Some Color
Decorating your apartment with color? What? Color? Yep. Color adds mental stimulation, a mood, and variety. Just because most apartments have leases with restrictions on painting doesn’t mean you need to stare at 4 boring white walls every time you come home. Oh, and if you didn’t read part one of “Decorating Your Apartment“, you might want to go back and read that first.
Painting May Be Possible
First, ask your apartment manager about your options. Some will let you paint one accent wall if you promise to turn it back to white before you go. Then, get your mind out of the box, and think about how you might go about decorating your apartment with color while keeping management happy.
Alternatives to Painting Your Apartment
If you can’t paint in your apartment, try decorating your apartment by using supersize canvas from your local art supply or craft store. Or hit the lumber yard and get thin sheets of plywood. Instead of painting the wall, you paint the wood, then attach it or lean it against the wall. There’s also fabric. You might choose a flat piece of fabric in a color that goes along with your theme for that space. Or experiment with decorating your apartment using strips of fabric to create texture.
Remember to Not Damage Your Apartment
It’s important to remember to not damage your apartment or you could get hit with fees. You’ll want to use the smallest thing available to attach it to the wall. You might try thumb tacks. Visit your local hardware store and explain what you want to attach, and tell them you need to make the least noticeable mark on the wall possible. There are some great wall hooks made specifically for this purpose. Also, if you spot one of the maintenance crew at your apartment, ask them for suggestions. They’re usually the ones who have to do the clean up and patching, so they may be able to give you suggestions on decorating your apartment without causing.
Better yet, select a wall you want to accent, get a cheap tensioning curtain rod, and mount it against the opposing walls. From there you can hang drapes or curtains, giving the illusion that there is something behind there, and that you’ve actually got more space then you really do. If you take care, decorating your apartment with this technique shouldn’t even leave a smudge on the wall when you’re ready to move out.
Choose Your Lighting Well When Decorating Your Apartment
While you can’t install your own lighting fixtures in the walls or ceilings of an apartment, there’s a lot you can do if you go out shopping for lamps to fit your functional or theme space needs. For example, a few small lamps in the corners of your bedroom installed with colored light bulbs can give it a romantic feel without the danger of candles. Or a lamp with multi settings and multiple bulbs in your dining area might be able to provide bright light for studying or doing your taxes on the table, or a calmer, background light while watching TV in the evening. Don’t forget the importance of lighting in decorating your apartment.
Shop for Furniture, Organizational Supplies, and Knick Knacks
Now that you’ve got your canvas ready with theme ideas, colors, and lighting, pick the big items to go along with the rest of your apartment personality. Start with just a few major items you need, like a bed and table, then slowly work your way up until you’re happy. Less is definitely more when it comes to decorating your apartment.
Now go get those creative juices flowing, and decorate your apartment!
Decorating Your Apartment Is Like Furnishing Your Life
Decorating your apartment should be something you look forward to. But that’s not true for everybody.
For some apartment dwellers, finding an apartment is the big challenge and decorating an apartment is an afterthought. Apartments become places where they just store stuff. They think of it as a temporary space, and figure that with the restrictions in their lease about painting the walls that they’re stuck with a generic white apartment treatment that looks like every other apartment on the floor.
With a little decorating creativity, though, you can make your apartment feel more like a real home that says something about your personality. Whether it’s candlelight and pastel-colored, fluffy pillows, or a display of your favorite team’ sports memorabilia, here’re some ideas to get your creative juices flowing and your apartment decorated in style.
Decorate Your Apartment in Themed Spaces
The important thing here is to brainstorm, and not worry too much about how you’re going to decorate. Just get your creative cap on, or invite your more creative friends over to brainstorm ideas and help you with decorating your apartment.
Mentally Divide Your Apartment
Even if it’s only a one bedroom apartment you’re living in, take a look around and mentally partition your apartment into some divisions around which you can create a few different decorating themes. Use the # of bedrooms + 3 rule. That is, you can usually choose a theme for each bedroom in the apartment, and create three other themed spaces. More themed spaces may create a busy, crowded feel; fewer themed spaces may give the impression that you stopped decorating your apartment halfway through.
For example, the best corner in the apartment could become a mini antique display, a spot to highlight family photos, or a morning meditation spot. By creating themed spaces, you’re taking a small, homogenous space and giving it variety. You’ll also make your small apartment feel bigger. That’s what decorating your apartment is all about.
Functional and Random Spaces in Your Apartment
Your themed spaces can be functional and random. For example one corner could be your dog’s, with his doggie bed and a few pictures of him on the wall above it, while the general living room area can evoke a relaxing, laid back feel, with a recliner as the main focus.
A Central Decorating Theme
Try making your apartment’s themed spaces revolve around a central theme. Your living room area could be decorated in a South American fiesta theme, with a large map of the continent on the wall, while your apartment’s bedroom can have an Asian theme, with bamboo pictures and thrift-store lacquer furniture. Use your own style and interests to define how you approach decorating your apartment.
Physically Decorate and Divvy Up Your Apartment’s Space
A divider can be a great way to decorate your themed space and give you even more of a feel that you’ve got more space than you do. These are a great cure for the layout of a studio apartment, which feels like (and is) one big room.
Here’s a creative alternative to the usual wooden dividers: head to your local crafts or sewing store, and ask them about large, folding table pads, used to protect tables from needles and to provide a work surface. You can throw a large sheet, blanket, or other cloth over them to create a different look, and nobody knows what’s under there. Not only might this save you money, but the foam type of material inside makes a great sound absorber, which is important in a small apartment. You never know when you’ll have trouble quieting noisy apartment neighbors, too.
Stay tuned! In our next blog, Decorating Your Apartment Part 2, we’ll give you some tips on how to add color to your apartment while keeping the apartment management happy.