Taking the time to make your living space feel like a home is essential but time consuming. I know that it took me many months to configure my space in the most functional but aesthetically pleasing way. For those of you who’ve just moved in or who still haven’t gotten it quite right, here is a list of simple techniques to make it a little easier:
1. If you’re building allows, paint. For smaller rooms, pick a dramatic color or paint thin stripes from the floor to the ceiling—it makes the room feel larger.
2. Put up shelves. Organized clutter/knick knacks help make a room look lived in. If you’re not allowed to paint your walls, staining or painting your shelves will add a nice touch of color to your white walls. Personally, I didn’t want to spend any money on my shelves and decided to call the local wine store to see if they had any old wooden boxes that they wouldn’t mind parting with. Most wine boxes have a nice design and work well as book shelves. For any shelf that you put up make sure that you’re using the proper wall mounts. You don’t want a shelf falling on your head in the middle of the night (I learned that the hard way).
3. Stain or paint your furniture. Colored stains are nice because you’re still able to see the wood grain. By staining or painting your furniture you’re adding another element of color to the room.
4. Get a rug (even a small one). Unless you’ve got gorgeous hardwood floors—then you should use a rug to pull the room together. On cold mornings it’s nice to put your feet on a rug and let them adjust to the new temperature before walking around your apartment.
5. Use multiple light sources, preferably lamps with nice shades.
6. Picture frames make the room feel more sophisticated. Hang several differing sizes together to draw your eyes to that particular spot in the room.
7. Curtains, hung close to the ceiling make the room feel taller than it is.