With a busy life and a confined budget, it can be difficult justifying the need to personalize a temporary home—especially a small apartment. But, in reality, allocating a bit of time and money to make your apartment feel like home can make a huge impact on your day-to-day life. Creating a space that is uniquely yours can help boost your motivation and relieve stress. But if you are feeling confined by what you can do to renovate or decorate your apartment without requiring a complete apartment makeover, look no further than this list of ideas on how to create a space that is uniquely yours.
Ask Your Landlord if You Can Change Things
While not all landlords are as flexible, many are open to minor renovations—especially if they add value to the property. For example, certain value-boosting changes that your landlord may be receptive to include updating kitchen appliances or light fixtures, renovating outside living spaces (like a porch or balcony), replacing the entryway door, or applying a new coat of paint. Just be sure to communicate with your landlord about any changes you may want to make and whether or not those changes will need to be reverted back to their original state before you leave.
Purchasing or repurposing furniture is a great way to express your style, especially within apartments where permanent renovations are discouraged. If your apartment came furnished, try spicing things up by rearranging the furniture to give the home a new look. Purchase stylistic pieces from antique shops that offer a completely unique touch. Or, if you are looking for a fun project to pass the time, purchase an old piece of furniture from a thrift shop or a local antique roadshow to personally refurbish. After all, no mass-produced piece of furniture could represent your unique style more than something you have created yourself!
Hang Art You Make
Art can be another great way to make your apartment uniquely yours. And while generic images or art replicas can be stylish, why not add your own individual touch by incorporating art that you have personally made into your home? This could include murals, paintings, and sketches—or even your own photography, wood carving, or pottery. If you aren’t sure you have any good art to exhibit, try taking an art class at your local community center. That way, you can get in better touch with your individual form of expression and, as a result, decorate your home with things that are uniquely you.
Add Wall Quotes
Everyone wants their home to be a place of serenity and motivation. And what better way is there to create an inspiring space than surrounding yourself with reminders of your worth and purpose in big, bold text? For example, you can add character to your home with inspirational signs with quotes. Consider the heroes in your life and keep them ever-present by framing their encouraging words. Or, if your landlord allows it, try creating a statement wall with eye-popping, wall decals that display your favorite quote.
Showcase Things of Meaning
Life is full of meaningful moments and adventures: that one spring break trip, your old sports jersey, a certificate of achievement, that special relationship—and the list goes on. Rather than fill your apartment with generic decorations and furniture, make your apartment truly yours by showcasing the things that are most meaningful to you. Maybe it is a picture of you and your best friend, or a trophy you won in high school—or even that souvenir from your trip abroad. Make a throw blanket out of all your old, favorite t-shirts or frame a personalized map of all your various travels.
Don’t Be Afraid of Color
If you have a colorful personality, don’t feel the need to stick with the mundane, neutral color schemes everyone seems to use these days. Make your apartment uniquely yours by incorporating distinctive color combinations. If you can’t paint your walls, add a couple of brightly colored accent pieces to spice up a room. For example, a pop of blue looks great on gray or creamy color tones. Or even some bright red or yellow may liven up a space that originally appeared drab.
Choose a Scent That Reminds You of Home
Scents can be powerful, emotional triggers. In fact, smells are so powerful that they take the fast-track right into the memory and emotion centers of your brain. If you take the time to think about it, you may realize that there are certain scents that just bring you back to happy memories or brighter days. Personalize your apartment by choosing candles or air fresheners that spark joy and are meaningful to you. That way, when friends come over and ask about your nice smelling apartment, you can take advantage of the moment and share with them the happy memory associated with the scent.
Become a Plant Parent
Plants are the perfect, low-budget way to customize your apartment—and they have great health benefits too! Keeping living (not plastic) greenery in the home can boost your mood, improve the quality of the air in your home, and even increase your productivity. Furthermore, plants offer a very individualized, unique touch to any living space. They become a piece of you as you lovingly care for them and watch them grow. If you are intimidated with the idea of keeping live plants in your home, start with a small, low-maintenance plant, like an aloe vera plant or snake plant.
While all of these ideas are a great place to start, there are plenty more ways you can personalize your apartment. For example, consider other temporary forms of decoration, like temporary wall-paper or colorful rugs to hide ugly tile or laminate flooring. Or, try installing some new blinds to replace those old, dusty horizontal ones. In the end, however, you may not be able to change everything to make it just the way you would want it: Therefore, be willing to think creatively and consider ways of making your apartment uniquely yours.
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