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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 September 18, 2020

            7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

            7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

            Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

            Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

            1. Exercise Daily

            It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

            If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

            Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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            If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

            2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

            Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

            One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

            This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

            3. Acknowledge Your Limits

            Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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            Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

            Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

            4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

            Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

            The basic nutritional advice includes:

            • Eat unprocessed foods
            • Eat more veggies
            • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
            • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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            Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

              5. Watch Out for Travel

              Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

              This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

              If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

              6. Start Slow

              Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

              If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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              7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

              Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

              My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

              If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

              I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

              Final Thoughts

              Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

              Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

              More Tips on Getting in Shape

              Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

              Reference

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