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Five Ways to Make Your Apartment Feel Like Home

Five Ways to Make Your Apartment Feel Like Home

Moving into your first apartment after college is a big change. It’s not uncommon to feel the pressure of dressing up your spot to make it look more “grown up.” However, it’s good to keep in mind that there are just five simple pieces that are necessary to create a sophisticated-but-relaxed, perfectly homey space.

With the addition of a great area rug, a headboard and a few other essentials, you can make your new apartment feel cozy in no time. Here are five ways that you can make your apartment feel like a home without breaking the bank.

1. Art is Essential

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    A big, blank wall is a rookie mistake that makes your apartment feel cold and impersonal. Art displayed on the walls of your new abode can make a huge difference in the look and feel of your new home away from home. Curating a small gallery wall or selecting a few pieces of art that speak to your style can be a great way to spruce up your space without breaking the budget. Look for pieces that come in series if you don’t have enough time to hunt for art on your own, or ask around for spare prints and curate an eccentric and unique collection.

    2. Don’t Underestimate The Power of an Area Rug

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      No matter what type of floor your apartment comes with, an area rug can address several needs at once. First, it warms up your space—literally. If your apartment comes equipped with hardwood flooring, area rugs add visual warmth as well as soft support underfoot. Next, an area rug pulls any room together. Place it neatly underneath a coffee table to anchor your living room, wedge it underneath a dining table for a proper sitting area, or tuck it underneath your bed for a warm place to land after a full night’s sleep. For more inspiration on which type of area rug to choose, you can check out this rugs guide from The Home Depot.

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      3. Say it with Shelving

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        Instead of stacking your old textbooks against the wall, invest in a bookcase or floating wall shelves to store your favorite books, accessories and decorations. Doing this will not only give your treasured items a neat new home but at the same time it can relieve the cluttered look as well as add an element of style to the apartment. To mask things like stacks of papers or clutter, opt for baskets within the shelving units for a design-centric storage center. Balance books with baubles to create a fashionable vignette that is both functional and stylish.

        4. Hello Headboard

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          Most likely, your dorm room didn’t have the space for a plush, sophisticated headboard. Luckily, your new apartment very well might! A small amount of Internet research could work wonders in making it possible to enhance the look of the bedroom. Browse the web for headboards that match your personal style and budget, and then watch your bedroom magically fall into place. A headboard is like an area rug for your room: you don’t realize you need one until you have one!

          5. Play Up Patterns

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            When putting the finishing touches on your place, remember that you can treat yourself to a bit of fun with colors and patterns. Incorporate throws, pillows, and accessories with color throughout your space tastefully and sparingly. A colorful dish here, a patterned throw there and voila—your apartment transformation is complete!

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            To see more ideas for area rugs and other home decor, you can visit Home Depot online. What are some of your go-to ways to create a homey first apartment? Feel free to leave a comment and let us know.

            Featured photo credit: http://www.morguefile.com via mrg.bz

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            Kerrie Kelly

            Interior designer

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            Last Updated on November 11, 2019

            How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

            How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

            Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

            To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

            Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

            1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

            Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

            Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

            To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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            2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

            Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

            If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

            Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

            3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

            Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

            Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

            4. Feed Your Brain

            Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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            This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

            Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

            Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

            5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

            According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

            Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

            Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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            6. Write it Down

            If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

            It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

            You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

            7. Listen to Music

            Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

            8. Visual Concepts

            In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

            Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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            Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

            9. Teach Someone Else

            Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

            Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

            10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

            Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

            So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

            Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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