Whether it’s 4 or 4,000 miles away, moving into your first place away from home is an exciting time! It’s also a great time to learn how to infuse your unique style into your decor, not only so it’ll look fab but also to make it feel homey.
In this post, we’ve included some tried-and-true tips for making your student apartment feel like home regardless of your space and budget.
1. Wall Decor Matters
Nothing’s more depressing than blank wall space, but you don’t have to invest in fine art to make your new digs look like adult life there! For instance, if you’re looking to fill a lot of wall space, like in a loft apartment with higher ceilings, one colorful tapestry may be all that’s required to create warmth.
Another option is to create a gallery wall full of miscellaneous framed photos. Don’t be afraid to mix up styles, media, and sizes. The more diverse, the better for an eclectic, lived-in vibe.
2. Give Your Floors & Lighting Some Love
Like bare walls, bare floors in an apartment can feel stark and uninviting. If your new place has hardwood floors, pick up some rugs to add color and texture. If your apartment is carpeted, placing area rugs in high-traffic spaces is never a bad idea either. Not only does it contribute aesthetically, but it also helps preserve the carpets longer.
Lighting is also essential for creating ambiance in your home. Ceiling or overhead lights are often harsh and don’t exactly convey coziness. Not only do floor and table lamps look better, but they allow better control over the intensity and direction of illumination too.
3. Add Houseplants & Personal Touches
Houseplants instantly make any room look comfier and more inviting! They don’t have to be high-maintenance or take up an entire room to do it, either.
Smaller plants like succulents and bromeliads look great and usually fit comfortably on a windowsill or bookshelf. If you want something larger and more dramatic, hardy plants like spider plants or bamboo palms fill up space with gorgeous, low-maintenance greenery.
Also, putting keepsakes and knickknacks with sentimental value around the house gives it a personal touch that you just can’t get from store-bought tchotchkes. Meaningful items that you’ve picked up from traveling or gifts from loved ones almost always carry a story with them that adds uniqueness to your home’s decor.
4. Add Color & Texture to Your Sofa and Bed
Large furniture pieces often unintentionally become the focal points of a room in smaller spaces. If your bed takes up virtually all of your bedroom, or the sofa takes up most of the space in your living room, you may not have much space left over for decorative touches.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t use what you’ve got to create a homey vibe! Use colorful, touchable accessories like hand-knitted chunky blankets and throw pillows to turn your sofa into a nap-worthy sanctuary, for instance. Materials like faux fur, Sherpa, velvet, and chenille are all great for adding texture and flair to your bedding, too.
5. Pay Attention to the Kitchen
Big cities like Chicago, Boston, and New York are known for lots of universities with lots of students, all living in apartments without a lot of square footage. The same is true for plenty of other cities, too, usually student hubs.
Because it holds your kitchen table, your kitchen isn’t just that. Chances are, it’s a study hall, office, gathering place for friends, and all-purpose area whenever you need space to spread out.
That’s why even if you don’t cook, keeping it clean and organized is a surefire way to create an environment that’s inviting for everyone to hang out in. Also, keep kitchen staples out like a coffee or teapot, a basket of snacks, a bowl of fruit, dish towels, etc., to make your guests (and you) feel at home.
6. Have Fun
Creating a place of your own is a special rite of passage for many students embarking upon the adventure of adult living. So don’t stress about making everything perfect! At the end of the day, a real home is lived-in and well-loved.
We hope the tips we’ve left here help you turn your new student apartment into a place where you can retreat, relax, and comfortably hang your hat.