Moving out of home into your own flat or apartment is both exciting and scary at the same time. You have more independence to do what you want to, but now have to perform tasks you may not be sure how to (washing dishes comes to mind for many of us).
Living alone can also be lonely without the comforts of home to make you feel safe and happy. However, you can make your new flat feel like home with some simple tips and tricks as outlined below.
Make your bedroom a haven
Let’s be honest, the first room you go to after taking off your shoes and putting down your bags when coming home, is your bedroom. To make it feel more like a home rather than just a house you are living in, transform it into a haven from stress and worry.
Buy one or two luxurious bedding sets in calming colours and plush fabrics, and decorate the room in relaxing tones and hues. If you are renting, you are most likely not allowed to paint the walls, so you will have to introduce calm by way of lighting, linens and accessories. Use candles for evening lighting, soft cushions to rest your head on and bedding that feels like you are being hugged by a cloud.
Buy real furniture
It can be tempting to stick with plastic or cheap furniture, especially when you are just renting, but real furniture can go a long way to making a flat feel like home. Don’t allow yourself to come home to hard plastic chairs and cardboard box tables. Not only does this look tacky and disorganised, it is most likely uncomfortable to use.
Look for furniture that is affordable but high quality, and don’t skimp on pieces that you will be using frequently. A comfortable sleeper couch is an essential for any new flat owner, doubling as a bed for those nights when friends stay over or when binge-watching series tires you out. Choose furniture that complements the colour scheme of the room and that you will want to continue using, even after you have moved out.
Inject some personality
Once you have unpacked and repacked your essential items, you should move on to decorating your flat. Ask your landlord or check your lease to see to what extent you are allowed to decorate – painting white walls a different shade is a drastic move and may not be allowed in some flats. Choose decor that is easily removable and that sparks joy when you see it.
Create a framed gallery wall of your favourite snapshots and hang this up on a prominent wall, pop some pot plants around the living room to bring a touch of nature inside or leave a cute bowl for your keys close to the front door. Even small touches can make a house feel like a home, especially with decor you have chosen yourself.
Curtains are often something that new homeowners or renters forget about. They are important, however, allowing for privacy from the outside world and for creating a cosy and welcoming atmosphere on those cold evenings. Look for curtains in colours that match the rest of the flat and do not clash with other pieces of furniture.
If your flat already has curtains but you are not a fan of their style or colour, you could ask your landlord to take them down and allow you to put your own up. It may seem like a small issue, but having curtains and linens in your dwelling that you have chosen will make it feel more like a home, especially if you are planning on staying there for an extended period of time.
Pick a signature scent
One thing that everyone notices when entering an apartment, flat or house is the way it smells. It is a fact that scent can bring pleasant memories to the forefront of our minds, which is why having a nice smelling flat can go a long way to making the place feel like home.
Choose a scent that makes you feel happy and energised when coming home or you could look for a scent that reminds you of your home and family. An oil diffuser that smells like vanilla and cinnamon might remind you of your mother’s freshly made pancakes or one that smells like ylang-ylang and orchids can invoke memories of summer spent in the garden with your siblings.
Most importantly, have fun
Do not think too hard about decorating your apartment, after all, this is a fun and enlightening experience. Have fun choosing new linens, cushions, decor and even cooking utensils. Remember to display all your photographs of your family in a place where you can see them easily, to remind you of home when you need it most.