As apartment rents soar and living spaces get more compact, we tend to lean on the “minimal” aesthetic of interior design. But our homes don’t have to be reduced to dorm room décor. Even on a tight budget, there are thrifty tricks that can take a humble space into grown-up territory.
1. Think about your lighting
A well-lit room can look and feel bigger and more airy. Get rid of plastic and paper lamps from the dollar shop, and include lamps that are the correct size and strength for your room and furniture. For as low as $7 a month, you can rent out some fabulous lighting options to spruce up your apartment.
2. Add some color
Cushions, bolsters, throw pillows and blankets and rugs are all great options to add pops of color, texture, and character to your apartment. They’re inexpensive and can be moved easily as you move so you’re good on the investment and convenience. Plus, who doesn’t love to curl up on the couch (see sofas for rent) with a glass of wine and some comfy cushions?
3. Treat yourself
Do you have your heart set on a cozy couch but fear the cost? Or maybe you’d love to have a decorated dining table when hosting dinner parties but are unsure about your lease? With renting, you can have your dream furniture, whether it’s sofas on rent or dining tables on rent without the cost and commitment of purchase or the hassle of moving or selling. Delivery is free, there’s no installation and returns are a phone call away.
4. Stop sleeping on the floor
For those pushing through with a mattress on the floor, we get it – buying a bed is a pricey investment, especially if you’re not sure how long you plan on staying. We’ve been there and that’s why we advocate renting – for as little as $12 a month (see all beds for rent here) you can get a grown-up bed for your grown-up home.
5. Put up some curtains
A lack of curtains lends an incompleteness to a room that you can’t quite put your finger on until its pointed out. Treat your windows and yourself to some privacy. Drapes aren’t expensive so pick some mid-range varieties that don’t resemble shower curtains. Full-length curtains in solid colors can add a bit of class to any room.
6. Get some plants
Good looking, healthy plants just scream ‘Responsible adult gardener!’. They’re also good for the air and are known to be good listeners. You can buy super trendy cacti and succulents – these beauties are a breeze to care for and lend a natural edge to your surroundings. Or get some aloe vera (also very hardy) or herbs and make those babies earn their keep in your house.
7. Stock up on bathroom essentials
Remember how your parents never used to run out of toilet paper and toothpaste? Or the fresh towels at your aunt’s house that smelled like roses? Pretty grown up, right? The bathroom is one of the easiest places to do good – keep it clean and stocked, add some colorful towels, quality hand soap, and scented candles and show Aunt Rita you got game too.
8. Sort the alcohol
If your kitchen counter (or worse, floor) is scattered with an installation of wine and liquor bottles, it’s time to organize. A simple wine rack or renting a small cabinet ($5 per month) is a great way to cut clutter and have easy access to all your bottles.
Or as your mom would put it, ‘Clean your Room!’. A clean and tidy room seems bigger and more airy. Throw away all those empty shampoo and perfume bottles, don’t use old bags as storage and invest in a laundry basket so someone can actually sit on that chair. Nothing’s more adult than making your own bed without being asked.
10. Put up some art
Prints and posters are a great way to add personality to your apartment; sticky tape, however, is not. Dressing up your favorite art in frames immediately makes it look a 100 times better and, dare we say it, more serious. You don’t have to spend a lot – simple black, white or wood colored frames are subtle and elegant.
Once you break it down, making your apartment look more grown-up isn’t so tough after all. Take your time to incorporate some of these tips little by little and you’ll see your personality soon reflect onto your living space.