As the days come closer for me graduate, I’m getting more and more excited to move into my first home. However, that’s not quite happening yet. I’ve once again signed a lease for next year in a 688 square feet one bedroom apartment. Even though it’s definitely a step up from my last apartments that I’ve shared with 3 other girls, it’s still going to be a challenge to turn the space into a place that I can call home. That’s why I thought I would share some of the tips that I’ve come up with for anyone else in the same situation. Whether you’re renting for a short time while waiting to move, or planning on renting for a while (like me) here is my best advice for making the rental space more inviting and home like without getting into trouble with the landlord!
The first most important thing is to focus on the things that you can change, rather than the things you have no control over. Make sure you and your landlord have an understanding as to what you can update and what needs to stay the same. Even if the agreement is that whatever is changed has to be back to the way it was before you leave, that’s better than nothing!
If you are able, consider painting some of the spaces to something homier instead of the vivid white that comes with most rentals. Keep into consideration that the new color should be able to be easily changed back to the original color. Ask the landlords if they have extra paint left over to paint the walls back, or even if they can give you the name of the paint for you to purchase.
Another important first is to make sure that you get completely unpacked. Before you unpack, do a quick clean up of the space to make sure you’re starting off fresh. Anything not getting unpacked should go into storage or get hidden away neatly in boxes. Nothing is worse than living somewhere not unpacked and unorganized. Especially in a small space where you need all of the room you can get.
Next comes the layout of the space. Make sure you consider the best options for your furniture placement. Usually apartments don’t give the best opportunity for layout adjustments, but the right furniture in the right place can really open up the space. Think ahead before trying to bring a giant sofa into a tiny living room. Also try to think of double duty furniture. Pieces that can be used in multiple ways whether it’s storage or sleeping are great additions to a small space.
Last but most important is decorating the space. Don’t give up on the walls if you can’t paint. Put up shelves, artwork, mirrors and pictures to liven up the space. Take into consideration using adhesive hanging hooks etc. instead of nails to take out the hassle of covering them up when you’re done renting. Add lamps with some character to give off warm lighting (and save on your electricity bill!) Get some rugs for the space to add pops of color. The bedroom is a great way to personalize your space. Bedding is an easy way to add your personality into the apartment, and along with a decorated headboard it will make the space feel like home. Don’t forget the small spaces like the entry and the bathroom. A shower curtain with a few accessories in the bathroom will make it a very memorable space. The entry and door are the first and last thing you see when walking into/out of a space. A few accessories on the wall or a little hall table will be very welcoming to you and your guests and will leave a good first impression and a lasting impression when you leave.