You have just moved into your first apartment; the floral wallpaper is peeling slightly around the edges, the kitchen light fixtures are humming, and there might be a few mysterious stains on the living room floor, BUT it is yours. So how do you make it feel like yours? Designing an apartment can feel a bit daunting at times, but the Homewings team is here to help you with some tips on how to get started!
1.Spend time first getting to know your own style
Unless you entered the adult world equipped with a perfect grasp of your own sense of home decor style, it is a good idea to do some research before you begin designing and decorating. Pinterest, Instagram, and other similar social media sites are generally easy places to start (not to mention the myriad of interior design websites created specifically for new apartment-owners like yourself). Investing in a home design magazine subscription is also a potentially good idea, depending on how thoroughly you want to redecorate your apartment. If you still don’t feel you have a fully-formed idea of your own design taste, take our style quiz to see what kind of suggestions Homewings has for you!
2. Lights, Paint, Action!
Many underestimate the effect that tasteful paint and good lighting can have on a room; getting rid of those buzzing kitchen fixtures and installing some new lights will make both simply cooking and having friends over so much more enjoyable. Adding a modern floor lamp is also a fantastic way to really light up the living room (no pun intended). “But Homewings team, what about the walls?” Bin that heinous floral wallpaper and splash on some stylish new colors. Not only is painting your own apartment a fun and hands-on experience, it is a cheap and easy way to completely change the feel of a room.
3. Take it Easy at Ikea
We all know how difficult it is to leave a certain furniture store cough cough without buying every adorable throw pillow and owl-shaped coffee mug. Chances are, however, if you have recently graduated from Uni, your apartment is not large enough to house all five of the hip, animal-print lounge chairs that irresistibly beckon to you. Start with the basics instead: a stylish kitchen/dining room table with a few chairs is a great first purchase. It is also always fun to personalise your table and chairs with a coat of paint or to learn to distress furniture to give it an antique feel. By choosing only a few key furniture pieces from the store, you’ll save both space (see below) and money (which you can spend on Swedish meatballs instead).
4. Maximize Your Space
Chances are, you have gotten quite good at living in small spaces if you have been at Uni. However, maximizing your space in an apartment can - and should - be different than doing so in a dorm room. Bookshelves, lidded box-chairs, and hidden under-the-bed drawers are all great pieces to help you squeeze your keepsakes into your new apartment. If things still look a little bit cramped, try to utilize vertical spaces such as the areas above doors, cabinets, or closets -- installing simple shelves in high-to-reach places is a fairly cheap and easy way to store infrequently used items. Finally, the best way to maximize your space is to simply declutter, which brings us to the next point:
5. Learn to Let Go
As much as you might want to hold on to that purple beanbag chair or the Eat Pray Love poster from your dorm room, the big move to your first apartment can be a good time to say goodbye. Starting over fresh can be a helpful way to develop your personal (and adult) sense of style while giving you the spatial freedom to compliment that style with new furniture pieces, rugs, lamps, etc. It is important, of course, that your new apartment is an embodiment of who you are so make sure to hold onto the pieces you truly love -- even if they don’t go perfectly with the rest of the apartment, they will reflect your individual style and make you comfortable in your space.
Whether it is big or small, urban or suburban, brand new or worn in: your first apartment is special and exciting. Designing and decorating your new space is a great way to explore your personal taste, impress your friends and family, and feel at home in your new place.