Your pad. Your domicile. Your crib. Whatever you call it, the word always means the place in which you live. But when you walk into your apartment, does it just feel like a place to live, or does it actually feel like home?

As they say, “home is where the heart is,” and if your apartment is giving you less than cozy vibes, something’s up. You’ve got to make a change, and February is the time to do so!

When you live in an apartment, you learn a lot about transforming a space. You’re in an environment where actual space is limited, so it’s important to get creative! No matter what kind of budget you’re on, these simple, everyday items will help you transform your apartment into a home.

 

Candles

I’ll go ahead and say it – candles are the single best way to dress up your apartment. Here’s why:

Scented candles do a couple of things for your living space. For starters, they create ambiance. There’s something about the flickering light of a candle that’s simply soothing. Light a candle in your bathroom to create a relaxing glow. Place one in your bedroom to set the mood. See what I’m saying?

Candles also make it super simple to decorate. Stagger pillar candles of various sizes in your fireplace (you lucky duck, you!) as an alternative to burning wood. Use a 3-wick as a centerpiece in your dining room or living area. In smaller spaces, use tea lights or votives in decorative holders to add that extra personal touch to your decor.

Additionally, candles can transform the way you feel about a space. Scent is one of the most powerful senses, capable of transporting the mind back to a specific time or place in your life, capable of taking our mind a step further. Fill your kitchen with food scents, like a vanilla cupcake or lemon, to entice your appetite. In the bedroom, it’s a free for all! Find a scent that makes you feel alive. Bonus points if you can find a candle that takes your nose back to your childhood or even a past place that you’ve lived. A pro tip – use unscented candles in your dining room. Scented candles can take away from the way we taste the food we’re eating.

Candles are an easy addition because they’re available at a variety of price points. Bath & Body Works typically put their 3-wick candles on sale 2-3 times a month, so check their website before you head to your local store. For discount candles, check the clearance sections of stores like Target, Walmart, and other big box stores. Seasonal scents usually go on clearance immediately after holidays, so stock up when they’re on sale!

 

Doormats

It may sound silly, but your doormat can showcase a ton of your personality. I know what you’re thinking – it’s a doormat. A place for people to wipe their feet; an overlooked accessory. Consider this – it’s the first thing your friends and family notice upon their arrival, so view it as your chance to make a killer impression.

If you’re a plain and simple kind of person, find a doormat with a sophisticated design. If you consider yourself to have a spunky personality, find a doormat with funny phrasing such as “Check your ego at the door” or  “Adventure awaits.” If you’re not so good with words, you can find all kinds of imagery on doormats, from pineapples to puppy dogs. In today’s era of personalization, you can create your own doormat that says whatever your heart desires, whether that’s your last name or a warning to your neighbors to “stay away!” hop around to find the best option for you.

Doormats are available everywhere, so shop around to find the best option for you. Don’t forget to include a mat on the interior of your entryway! These don’t have to be bulky, bristled versions of the doormats we keep outside. They can be woven or cloth and come in a ton of colors, styles, and sizes. Find a mat that pairs well with your outdoor mat to express a cohesive home design.

Pillows & Throws

No matter what the time of year, having pillows and throws present on your couches, chairs, and bed(s) are part of what makes your apartment yours. Do you consider yourself the originator of the Netflix and chill movement? Fill your couch with plush blankets in a variety of sizes and textures. If you can’t figure out how to do so without your living space looking cluttered, fold those blankets and stow them in a storage ottoman or decorative basket until your ready to use them.

If you find that you spend more time out of your apartment than you do in, you won’t require as many throws. Don’t think that you can get away without having any, though! They’re ideal when you have guests stay the night, or those times you’re feeling a little under the weather, or even simply when you’ve had a bad day. Curling up on your couch with a comfortable throw blanket can really make all the difference.

Now, onto those throw pillows. They’re vital when it comes to injecting personality and upgrading your apartment’s overall comfort level. Throw pillows come in every shape, size, design, color, and texture, so there is literally an option out there for everyone. The best option for apartment dwellers? Plain throws that you can swap the covers on. This makes swapping your designs from season to season simpler and minimizes the amount of storage space you take up (storing a flat pillow cover takes up a lot less space than a slew of fluffy pillows). Check online retailers like Pottery Barn, Wayfair, and Etsy for unique designs.

 

Pictures

If you’re like me, all of your photos are either tucked away in an album or jam-packed into a box that sits in a closet. While it’s impossible to display every photo you’ve ever taken, it is important to showcase the best ones!

Spend a little bit of money to beautifully frame your most prized photos, like family or wedding portraits. Cover a certain piece of artwork, be it by you or another artist? Splurge on a frame for that as well.

For those other pictures that are 8×10 or smaller, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to frame and display them. Gallery walls are ideal in an apartment setting. Conduct your own research (Pinterest is a great jumping-off point) on specific arrangements, or get creative and install a gallery wall of your own expression.

Use a mixture of memories, people, places, and things throughout your gallery wall to really capture your personality. You don’t have to limit yourself to pictures you’ve taken! Framing a stunning shot from a magazine or a quote scrolled in an elaborate font can serve as artwork for your gallery wall, too.

The ways in which you choose to accessorize a space are the single most telling aspect. Remember this when you’re incorporating these simple, everyday items into your apartment decor.

Written By

Lauren Ray is a passionate writer on a mission to create insightful and imaginative content. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Entertainment and Arts Management from Drexel University and loves writing and creating. In her free time, Lauren also enjoys travelling, binge-watching Netflix series, and quoting "Forgetting Sarah Marshall."