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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 July 23, 2019

            5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

            5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

            In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

            Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

            How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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            • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
            • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
            • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
            • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
            • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
            • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

            When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

            1. Realize You’re Not Alone

            Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

            2. Find What Inspires You

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            Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

            On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

            3. Give Yourself a Break

            When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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            Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

            4. Shake up Your Routines

            Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

            Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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            When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

            5. Start with a Small Step

            Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

            Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

            More to Help You Stay Motivated

            Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

            Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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