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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 March 13, 2019

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

            You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

            Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

            1. Work on the small tasks.

            When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

            Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

            2. Take a break from your work desk.

            Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

            Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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            3. Upgrade yourself

            Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

            The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

            4. Talk to a friend.

            Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

            Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

            5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

            If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

            Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

            Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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            6. Paint a vision to work towards.

            If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

            Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

            Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

            7. Read a book (or blog).

            The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

            Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

            Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

            8. Have a quick nap.

            If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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            9. Remember why you are doing this.

            Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

            What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

            10. Find some competition.

            Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

            Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

            11. Go exercise.

            Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

            Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

            As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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            Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

            12. Take a good break.

            Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

            Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

            Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

            Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

            More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

            Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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