Home ownership can be a wonderful thing. Having a piece of the American dream is what a lot of folks work for and try to attain all their lives.
But there are many benefits to leasing versus owning a home. For many, the thought of living in an apartment home where there is less maintenance required, no property tax bills at the end of the year, less in utilities, and lots of amenities in most cases, is very appealing.
It makes even more sense to lease if due to your employment you make regular moves and relocations.
But being an apartment dweller, should not mean that you have to leave your style and personality at the door. Even with great finishes and amenities in today’s apartment homes, it is still very important to infuse personal style and personality and make it your own. Where you live should represent your lifestyle and taste. When you are surrounded by the things you love, and the things that tell a story about your life, it automatically creates a great atmosphere, mood and a feeling of well-being.
There are many inexpensive but stylish things that you can do to add style and personality to your apartment home without losing your deposit.
Paint an accent wall – I know, I know, most apartments do not allow major painting to their units. I think they are more concerned with having to repaint a whole unit in the event that you move out. With proper permissions, they may allow painting an accent wall as long as you repaint it the original color if you move out. Since an accent wall is a small area, it will not cost a lot, but will make a big impact. Be very selective about what wall you chose to paint an accent color, and choose color carefully. Any paint technique can be used for a big focal point – stripes, stenciling, or faux finish. Pinterest is a great resource to view examples of beautifully painted interiors
Buy Furniture That Is The Right Scale – This is one area where most folks make a big mistake; not buying the right size furniture for their apartment homes. Apartments are typically smaller than a standard residential home, so regular furniture available in most big box stores are often over-scaled for an apartment. Start with creating a floor plan drawn to scale to figure out the right sized pieces to purchase. Many furniture companies have free drawing software on their websites that are very user-friendly (Icovia.com is a great resource for this). Next, search for apartment sized furniture – there are upholstery pieces designed specifically for apartment homes. Don’t be sucked into the standard belief that you have to purchase a set of furniture. Mix and match pieces for a more eclectic and collected feel
Maximize Storage – Every possible area should be looked at as potential storage. A smaller space means that it will easily get cluttered if things are not put away. The less clutter, the more comfortable and relaxed you will feel in your home. Be very selective about what you bring in and how you arrange things. Go vertical as much as possible – bring in shelves and bookcases in place of some tables or nightstands. Utilize areas like underneath beds and even upholstery to store away seasonal items. Display your collections instead of storing them away inside of cabinets. This frees up space for things that need to be tucked into drawers and cabinets
Add Color Through Window Treatments – Putting holes in walls is probably a big no no, and you definitely need holes to hang window treatments, right? Well, there is a way around that. You can use Command adhesive hooks to hang window treatments where there are no holes needed, and no damage to the walls. A few things to keep in mind: Use the heavy duty sizes; install one every 24″ or so; make sure your curtains are light weight like semi-sheers; make sure they are decorative and do not require constantly opening and closing for privacy. Go for a great colorful fabric that will add some color and personality to the walls. Install them high above the windows to create the illusion of taller ceilings
Add Color Through Area Rugs – Even if there is carpet on the floor, an area rug is a great way to add color and personality. It helps to define a conversation grouping and anchor furniture pieces. It is also a great way to preserve the carpet in high traffic areas. Be sure that the rug is the right size. Every furniture piece in the grouping should touch the rug; at least the front legs on upholstered pieces. An 8×10 or 8×11 usually works well
Make Your Décor Social – The more you use your apartment for socializing, the more likely you are to feel at home. Decorate your apartment with entertaining and socializing in mind. Create a bar area complete with a bar cart as in the first picture above. Bring in lots of extra seating like stools and ottomans that can easily be placed underneath a console table when not in use. Utilize balconies and other outdoor spaces as part of your apartment – indoor/outdoor living opens up your apartment and make it feel bigger
Bring In Nature – Flowers and greenery help the air quality in your apartment home. They definitely make things a bit more lively, and brings you a bit closer to nature when you are not able to get outside. Add easy to maintain plants like snake plants, fiddle leaf figs, or bird of paradise. A taller plant adds a bit more drama. Adding some up-lights at the base of the plant will cast great shadows on the ceiling at night
Create A Luxury Retreat In Your Bedroom Suite – There is nothing better than having a spa day where you are pampered for hours. Why not bring that same feeling home? Purchase the most luxurious bedding you can afford; bring in scented candles in the bedroom and bathroom (always attend to lit candles); utilize bath salts and have a good soak in the tub every once in a while
Capture The Senses – Utilize home fragrances in your home to stimulate the senses. Not only is it important to have a visually pleasing home, it also makes it much more comfortable if it smells fresh at all times – especially if you have pets
Take Cues from The Model Apartments – Most apartment complexes have model units as a marketing tool. These units are professionally decorated and a lot of thought is put into the pieces that are selected and how they are displayed. Visiting these units and borrowing some of the ideas is a great resource for decorating your apartment. They will give you ideas of how you can arrange furniture; what size furniture you should use and how to style table tops and other surfaces. Be sure to take a camera along with you to take photographs that you can refer back to later. Bringing along a tape measure and note pad is also a great idea. Measure larger key pieces and the distance between them in a grouping. That will act as a great guide for the size furniture you should buy.Observe the way they are styled – take notice of how the different vignettes are arranged
Find Creative Ways To Display Art -Hanging art also means holes in the walls, but there are ways you can limit the number of holes you put into walls for hanging your art work. You can use floor screens in place of art in some areas; use Command hanging strips; use large easels; and lean art against walls as much as possible
Use The Services Of An Interior Designer – People often think hiring an Interior Designer is an expensive undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. Having a Designer come in just to give you some guidance, direction and a plan is worth the small investment. Most Designers will work on an hourly basis to help you with a floor plan and furniture layout, ideas for furniture pieces, color palette and most importantly, what mistakes to avoid
So if you are currently living in an apartment and think that you are stuck with the basics, think again. You can definitely create a home that represents your lifestyle and taste, and be happy in your home for years to come
If you are an apartment dweller, comment on how your home reflect your style and personality
Wishing You Beauty And Inspiration!