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 »
‘decorating your apartment’ Tag
An Apartment Search Guide to Renting Your First Place
Renting your first apartment can be pretty exciting. You’re looking forward to having your own place, new neighbors and a new view, but then there’s the whole moving thing you have to deal with first. It can be a pain — boxes and boxes (and more boxes), heavy furniture, endless packing and then unpacking. Here are some pointers on renting your first apartment that might make things a little easier.
- Find an apartment. Okay, okay — so this one’s obvious. But we had to put it in here, as it’s essential to you actually renting your first apartment, and because you want to do it right. Rent an apartment that you’ll be happy living in. Consider location, size, price and amenities. Figure out what’s important to you and rent an apartment you can call home. Other things to consider are whether the apartment complex will allow you to have pets, whether it’s a smoke-free apartment and the length of the lease.
- Set up necessary utilities for your first apartment. You’ll want to ask your apartment manager or other relevant person about which utilities you need to set up before moving in. It’s different for every place, but you may need to, for example, call the electric company and the gas company to set up service so that the lights and hot water will be working on the day you move in. You can also ask about cable, phone and internet services. It’s ideal to find out about these things at least a couple of weeks in advance to be absolutely sure you’ll have them when you move in. This is one of the primary problems for people who are renting their first apartment; they’re usually unfamiliar with these delays.
- Get furniture for your new apartment. If you’re renting your first apartment, you’re going to need some stuff to furnish it so you at least have a place to sleep and sit. There are many ways to go about this, like getting hand-me-down furniture from family and friends, going to thrift stores, renting furniture or buying new furniture. Measure the pieces to make sure they’ll fit where you want them to.
- On the day you’re moving into your first apartment, you’ll need a way to get everything there. Decide how you’ll go about doing this by planning in advance. You may need to rent a truck, hire a moving company or ask a friend or two for help. Having your belongings packed safely into boxes can make loading and unpacking easy, especially if you clearly mark your moving boxes. Also, confirm with your landlord what’s required to get the keys to your first apartment on move-in day. You wouldn’t want to show up with a truckload of your belongings only to be turned away.
- Once you’re moved in, it’ll take some time and effort to make your new home feel like home. Decorating your first apartment can be really fun and it can show off your personality.
These are just a few of the many things you’ll need to take care of when you’re renting your first apartment. Don’t miss our Moving Checklist, which is a great way to organize the tasks related to your move so you don’t forget anything. Happy renting!
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.