Thursday, May 30, 2013

5 Ways to Turn an Apartment into a Home

I have been married for just over 2 years now, and in that time we have lived in 4 different apartments. Many of you have seen me document move after move on this blog. I am happy to say that I am very happy with our current apartment and hope to live here at least a year or so (who knows where God will bring us next!).

It is so easy to feel as if an apartment can never be a home. Through these many moves I have found a few tricks for making my apartment homey, even if we only live there for a few months. When people walk in, they don't see "temporary"; they see a home.

So here are the tricks I have learned, in no particular order:

1) Don't think about the future, think about right now
Often people think "We probably won't live here very long, so I don't want to take the time and effort to make this place homey." Don't spend your life planning for that time in the future when you might be in a more permanent position. Decorate your home right now as if you are staying there forever. Give yourself permission to enjoy right now.

2) Don't be afraid to poke holes in the walls
Put up all your photos, shelves, paintings, etc. This is especially important if, like me, you don't paint the walls in rented spaces. Spackling the holes up when you move will take 30 minutes or less. Even if that means you only stay in this home for 3 months, that's 3 months of seeing dear faces in photos and enjoying a beautiful space.
I have 3 small shelves like this around my apartment

These beautiful paintings were a gift from my husband, and I love how they look above our fireplace

3) Hang curtains
I am going to admit it right now: I have a thing for window dressings. I think nothing cozies a room like curtains. When I walk into homes without anything on the windows, it just seems so.... blah. If you are focusing on the right now and not on the future (like in #1), curtains are one of the easiest ways to make your space homey and "lived in". And again, it isn't much work to rehang them in a new place

Curtains also serve a very practical purpose. Most rented spaces don't have the best insulated windows. Save yourself the money in extra heating and air conditioning by putting up insulated or thermal curtains. I promise it is worth it!

4) Have a plant or two in the house
Houseplants are a very easy way to make a room look fresh, colorful, and lived in. Plus, they are super portable! Don't have a nice houseplant? Ask friends or family if they can give you clippings from theirs.
painting+plant+curtains all in one place= HOME
If you fear (or have experience) killing a houseplant, just follow these simple rules:
a) Put it near light. Don't worry about it being right next to a window, but make sure it is never pitch black in the room except at night. Remember that plants like artificial light too.
b) Water it only when it needs water. Many amature plant owners over-water their plants. Only water the plant when you feel that the soil is dry. I usually water my plants once per week.
c) Groom your plants. Look for and remove any dead leaves or areas of discoloration. If a part of the plant is starting to die and change color, it is only draining the rest of the plant. Repot your plants once per year in fresh soil. 

5) Don't forget your balcony/porch
Most apartment or rental homes have an outdoor area. I spend about $30-$40 each Spring on flowers for my porch and I always am happy I do! You can spend even less if you take the time to grow flowers from seeds. There is nothing like spending an evening on a porch that has been shown some love and been decorated with pretty flowers. Plus, everything is portable if we decide to move again. HERE is my post from decorating my porch last year (at a different apartment).

And here are some photos from my porch this year

I usually don't buy pre-potted plants, but I saw this plant and melted. My husband took pity on me and bought it for $15. Every time I look at it I think it was so worth it

 4 pots and a hanging strawberry plant (not pictured) make our porch such a nice place to be:)


  1. Why have you and your husband moved so much? My husband and I have only moved 4 times in 27 years of marriage. I always hated moving, more so when we moved with our 7 children. lol we had to have an 18 wheeler to move everything. lol.

    Blessings to you and your husband.


  2. I agree with all your tips--especially about plants and curtains. Your porch is so lovely! I wish apartment complexes in CA looked like that but we don't have anything close to that here. I've always been more partial to the look of wood siding.

    I'd have melted if I saw that plant too. It certainly looks worth the $15. :)

  3. These are really good points!!! I have only lived in rented apartments all my life and you are right.....those few things make any house into a home.


  4. Just found your blog through the blog Between the Lines! I read a couple of your posts tonight and was very encouraged, especially by your testimony. :-)

    xoxo Miss ALK


I love to fellowship with others and hear what they have to say. I would ask, however, that you be mindful of what you write and try to be uplifting and respectful. Thank you for sharing!