Everyone knows that a major part of being a Grown Person is having the 'digs to prove it. Unfortunately, this can become more of a difficult thing to pull off when you're still in your 20s, living in an overpriced apartment that doesn't have the best lighting, and have no way to afford fancy furniture. This doesn't matter, though. The truth is that the most aesthetically pleasing homes aren't necessarily the best financed, they're the ones that most feel like you. And if you're in the business of trying to create a space that feels enough like you but sans the whole "eating takeout and never cleaning it up and leaving clothes in random, scattered piles" impulses, this guide may be for you.
The following are a few simple make-or-break rules for your apartment aesthetic. Sure, you can carry on with as much vintage artwork or minimalist design or Harry Potter fangirl paraphernalia as makes your heart happy. But if you want your place to look more "Sex and the City but kind of realistic" than an episode of Hoarders or a "before" shot on one of those makeover shows, listen up. Nothing that I'm about to say here is particularly difficult nor will it necessarily impede on your ability to still make your space feel like yours. What it will do, however, is ensure that you live more comfortably, are able to make things feel more homey (like, you know, your parents' house or whatever) and will generally enable you to live ever so slightly better. Without further ado: all the crucial details that will make or break your apt.:
Lamps > Overhead Lights
Overhead lights are the biggest, hugest "no no" of them all. Overhead and/or fluorescent lights will make any nice space look instantly cheap, so unless that's your thing, invest in a few table lamps. They make even the messiest, paint peel-iest rooms look cozy and inviting.
Everything In Its Home
Everything needs to have a place to go, which is just another way of saying that everything needs to be organized. When everything has a space where it belongs, cleaning becomes effortless and fun. When things don't have "homes," it seldom ever gets done (or at least, not without a ton of discomfort and stress) because there's nowhere to put anything.
Clean, Cozy, Inviting Linens Should Be Staples
You don't have to spend a fortune, but nice sheets, pillow cases and cozy blankets are essential to making any living space feel welcoming (even just for yourself). There's nothing like slipping into clean sheets at the end of a long day, and sleeping soundly under a blanket that feels so cozy and protective.
It Doesn't Have To "Match," But It Does Have To "Go"
When trying to put together a cohesive looking space, worry less about making sure everything matches, and more about just choosing the things that you naturally gravitate toward, and like. When you do so, you'll find that your space just "goes," not because you meticulously selected things, but because everything is a reflection of who you are.
Pick A Style And Stick To It
OK, so your love of vintage Disney is riding up on your desire to live in a country-chic apartment. I get it. The reality is that you have to choose one or the other though, or it will always just look kind of awkward. (Remember what I said about just picking what you like? This is the exception to that rule.)
Make Everything Serve A Purpose
A corner table of your favorite knick-knacks might look cute, but a sitting chair with a place to set your coffee and read your favorite books on Sunday afternoons works so much better. Not necessarily because it looks great, but because you're actually using the space you have.
Make Clutter Your Ultimate No-No
There's having a mess in your room, and then there's having clutter. Clutter is just piles of random crap that you haven't gotten rid of yet, stuff you don't really care about. A mess is just things that are important that haven't been organized well. There's a difference; one needs to be banished, and one just needs to be dealt with.
Images: Giphy; Unsplash