In an age of Pinterest and Tumblr, decorating your own place can be daunting. With magazine-worthy living rooms and chef-ready kitchens, the task of making your home your own seems almost impossible. Putting your own touches on your first apartment, however, can be one of the easiest, and most fun, ways of taking advantage of your independence. And, when your rent bills come rolling in, it’s a lot easier to write a check for a place you love instead of just a place you crash.
Speaking of those rent bills, decorating your first place doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. Here are some easy tips, tricks, and resources to help you start making your first apartment your first home!
- Fill the walls: Putting up something to fill blank walls will instantly make your apartment look more lived in. It’s also a great way to put some of your own personality into your place. Try your hand at making some art for your walls. While the crayon art fad is cheap and easy, it’s overdone and lacks personality. Instead, grab some canvas and art supplies from your local hobby store and go wild! Not feeling particularly artistic? Make a tassel garland for you wall for some instant shimmer or shop local markets or thrift stores for some one-of-a-kind pieces!
- Add some light: Nothing makes a room feel less homey than harsh fluorescent ceiling lights. Even if you’re lucky enough to dodge these mood-killers, chances are that adding more sources of light to your space will make a big difference. Many sources of soft light will always make a room feel warmer and cozier than one harsh source. So pick up a lamp or two at Target, their Threshold and Nate Berkus lines are great for cheap and trendy picks, and sprinkle your favorite candles throughout the room for an instantly inviting space.
- Add some life: Bring some of nature into your home. Even if you end up killing it, a plant can bring much needed life and energy into any space. Succulents are, of course, an easy and trendy way to bring the outside into your home. Air plants are whimsical alternative if you’re looking for something different, and Etsy is overflowing with fun and unique ways to display them!
- Make it your own: Your first apartment is probably one of the first places you are really able to settle into and call your own. You’re not sharing with your parents or dorm-mates anymore. Even if you have a roommate or two, there is probably still a certain amount of ownership in your first apartment that you’ve never had before. Embrace it! Have a collection that’s in a Rubbermaid tub in your closet? Display it proudly! Are all of your books in your parent’s garage? Buy an Ikea bookshelf or grab one at a garage sale and start your own library!
That all being said, ultimately, your first apartment is all about you! It’s one of the biggest steps toward independence as a twenty-something. You’re the one who is paying for your apartment and you’re the one who is living there. If your priorities are elsewhere, no one says your have to have any décor at all! Enjoy this tangible step into independence and don’t stress about having an apartment straight out of Pinterest if it doesn’t make you happy. Your first apartment is yours, have fun with it!