The Advocate - Hepburn

Laying urban roots: How to make your apartment feel like home

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When decorating your home in a bid to turn it into your personal haven, it is important to choose a décor that reflects your taste and who you are. Picture from Shutterstock.
When decorating your home in a bid to turn it into your personal haven, it is important to choose a décor that reflects your taste and who you are. Picture from Shutterstock.

Is there anything more exciting than moving into a new apartment? Whether you've purchased your very own property or are simply moving into a new rental, relocating your life into a brand new space can be an incredibly exciting experience.

However, with this new excitement also comes a wave of doubt - how will you make your space feel like home? Is it even possible to transform a generic space into a personal haven that you can't wait to get back to at the end of a long and tiring day? These are just a few common worries that many people have during the moving process.

Thankfully, these trepidations are easily remedied with the help of a few expert tips that we will be sharing in this informative article.

If your new apartment feels bland or generic, consider all the following six tips to help liven up your space and make it feel like a home sweet home.

Seek out your local community

If you've recently moved into a new apartment, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to seek out your local community. If you are a homeowner who has purchased a strata property, you can easily do this by getting involved in your building's body corporate in Melbourne.

Generally, every owners corporation will hold at least one general meeting each year, allowing you to get to know your fellow homeowners and giving you the opportunity to make e personal suggestions on how you think your body corporate can be improved.

Alternatively, if you are renting, a great way to get familiar with your local community is to get to know your neighbours by attending local community groups or shopping locally. If your building has a community space such as a gym, pool, sauna or games room, these can also be great places to meet people who might have something in common with you.

It always helps to introduce yourself when moving to a new area!

Don't be afraid to make it yours

Regardless of whether you're a renter or a homeowner, the most effective way of making your apartment feel like home is to pull out all the stops to make it yours.

This will mean different things for different people, but generally, we recommend making your space yours by investing in a variety of different decorative elements such as wallpaper, a brand new coat of paint, rugs, artwork, personal mementos and more.

When decorating your home in a bid to turn it into your personal haven, it is important to choose a décor that reflects your taste and who you are. Surrounding yourself with things that you love and enjoy looking at will make a world of difference.

Don't forget that it will inevitably take a little trial and error and time to decorate your home, so don't rush when picking out décor.

Some of our favourite ways of turning a house into a home include:

  • Hanging family photographs and artwork on walls;
  • Laying down rugs to tie a room together;
  • Investing in unique furniture and decor pieces;
  • Creating a feature wall with paint, wallpaper, mirrors or decorative panelling; and
  • Switching up window treatments to create your ideal interior ambience.

Invest in quality furniture

Even if you're only planning on staying in your current apartment for a year, don't let it be the year of fold-up chairs and cardboard box tables. If you're truly looking to turn your apartment into a home, it's time to get serious about investing in quality furniture.

Hand-me-down pieces and free items you've found online are all a great starting point when furnishing a brand new home, but unfortunately, these options rarely allow you to channel your inner creativity or create an ideal space that is in line with your interior design vision and goals. Instead, consider treating yourself to that gorgeous couch, coffee table or bed frame that you've been eyeing for months.

A high-quality piece of furniture will give you joy and an improved home life for decades to come. Moreover, you'll have these items with you long after you leave your rental, so don't be afraid to invest in some nicer things today.

Top Tip: If you're worried about spending good money on items that may or may not fit into your next apartment, we highly recommend looking into modular furniture options that provide added flexibility and the ability to tailor your pieces to suit any space.

Incorporate nature

For a quick, cost-effective and easy way to turn any space into a home, look no further than a touch of nature. This can be as simple as heading to your local nursery to pick up some brand new indoor plants, or even investing in decor pieces made from natural elements such as wicker, rattan, bamboo or seagrass.

Aside from the obvious aesthetic benefits, incorporating plants and natural elements into your apartment may also aid in purifying, humidifying and oxygenating the air within your space, thus improving indoor air quality.

Furthermore, biophilic design has also been found to support cognitive function, physical health, and psychological well-being. Explore 20 ways to incorporate nature into your daily life here.

Fun Idea: If you are someone who loves getting crafty in the kitchen, something as simple as a windowsill herb garden can also be a great idea to not just incorporate nature into your space, but also offer the ease and practicality of having access to healthy fresh herbs that are guaranteed to make you feel like a top notch gardener.

Clean and organise your space

Cleaning and organising may not be the average person's favourite tasks, but trust us when we say that investing a little time into creating a tidy and organised space is one of the best ways to truly make your space feel like home.

If you've already lived in your space for a while and are guilty of letting clutter build up over time, now is the perfect opportunity to spend some time cleaning and reorganising your space. By giving your apartment a deep clean, you allow yourself a fresh start both literally and figuratively.

On the flipside, if you've only recently moved into your apartment, cleaning and organising is a great way to get acquainted with every nook and cranny in your new space.

A deep clean is a great idea before you start furnishing or decorating your space, so grab your vacuum cleaner, find some rags, and start scrubbing away any signs of past tenants. We promise you'll feel a million times better for it.

Top Tip: While you're at it, don't forget to choose a signature scent for your apartment. Scent is very strongly tied to memory (aka the Proust effect). If you want to make your space cosy, try to mimic the smells of home with diffusers, incense burners or scented candles.

According to experts, the fastest way to make yourself comfortable is to introduce a favourite smell into your new apartment.

Invite friends and family over

Now that you've done all the hard work of cleaning, organising, decorating and getting to know your local community, it's time to open your home up to your closest friends and family members.

Regardless of whether you choose to host an elaborate house warming or just a simple dinner party for your nearest and dearest, there is something so special about having a place where you can welcome guests - it is the final step in making your home feel like your own.

Even if it's just inviting your immediate family members over for a night of takeout and nostalgic movies, we guarantee you'll feel much more at home after you've been able to host a gathering of your favourite people in your new space.

And there you have it - six steps that you can take to make your apartment truly feel like a home. By remaining proactive and following the tips mentioned in this article, you'll be well on your way to enjoying your space and filling it with brand new memories in no time. All the best!