Saturday, March 15, 2014

Can't Remodel? Turn Your Apartment Into a Home With These Unique Ideas!

Homeowners shouldn't be the only one to get to remodel.  I know there are renters out there who would love to remodel but feel limited by contractual restrictions.  While it's true that you can't knock down a wall or add a room, but you still have options to give your home a facelift and turn it into a place you feel rested and safe in.

Part of the beauty of renting a smaller space, is that it gives you a chance to put money aside if you do in fact, want to buy a home.  This is also a great time to develop the vision for your next home and put the ideas in action.  Through trial and error, by the time your are ready to buy or build your home, you have have much more clarity about how you want it to look and feel.

The foundation begins at knowing what kind of a person you are and what you prefer?  Perhaps you are a minimalist and like your decor to be black, white and chrome.  This is particularly good for people who like things highly clean and organized.  Maybe you like a more international feel? This allows you to think outside the box and play more with color and a combination of medium to darker woods.   What about the traditional antique farmhouse feel?  These people tend to like distressed furniture, handmade quilts and a combination of ocean blues, canary yellows and rich burghundy accents.   Only you can know what your 'type' is and once you determine that, you'll be able to move on to personalizing your space!

I would say, start with the room or space that stands out most in your mind; that first space that makes you feel heavy and frustrated.  Is it the darkness that frustrates you?  Is it the clutter?  Does it feel too small?   Does it feel welcoming?

Let's talk about the entryway.  Whether it's a doorway into the living room, or an all out entry way, it's the first place you and your guests will walk through and should set the feeling for the rest of the home.  What space do you see first?  It's always good to have a focal point that grabs attention and it should feel clean and inspirational.  For some, that will be a plant, or a vase of flowers or a painting.  It's important to make sure that your focal point is not a television screen, disorganized book shelf or other cluttered space.  This leaves a person feeling more heavy and mentally exhausted, even subconsciously.   Also, make sure you have a place for shoes and coats nearby - and I don't mean the couch or the floor!  You can easily find cheap shoe racks and coat hooks that suit your style and this will leave you feeling like even the 'things' have a place to belong.

Walls.  Bare walls in an apartment can drive a person mad.  It has an institutional feeling.  This can be remedied easily for the minimalist and art collector alike.  If you are allowed to paint, choose your color wisely and paint it light.  Consider your climate and home style.  If you are in a building where it rains, you'll want to stay away from grays and dark, rich tones.  They can make nice accent colors but in the end will make the space feel smaller and dark.   Pale mustards, muted greens and ocean blues make fabulous brightening colors that make you feel light and welcomed.
The other things walls need are things ON them.  I've noticed this in all homes - it feels good when there is art, decor and shelving on the walls.  It brings your attention upward and creates balance.  We tend to be afraid to put holes in the walls so everything stays near the floor.  This is my NUMBER ONE tip:  Enjoy your home NOW.  Fix the holes when you move or find alternatives.  Just get something up there!

Light.  Rentals feel so much better when there's ample light.  Floor lamp, hanging lamps, candels and even stringing lights in strategic places can feel so much more warm and cozy.  Make sure your lights come in pairs as well, for more balance and options.  These can be best positioned on opposite sides of the room.  In bathrooms, small wall mounted lights on either sides of the mirror bring a more relaxing feeling to the space and will also be less harsh to your morning reflection!

Kitchens.  This is honestly the hardest place, because you often can't change the cabinets or appliances.  So, at this point, it's all about distraction.  Get some good containers for your coffee, sugar, tea and stove top utensils.  Hang plants or place them on the counter or window sill.   Make it yours and just do what you can.  Just keep the clutter out.  Get the dishes done so at the very least, it's clean.   A dirty kitchen can really create resentment for your living space, so do what you can!

Your home is meant to be a place to rest and release the stresses from life.  It's ok if you aren't a homeowner yet.  Every life is different.  But please enjoy it in the meantime.

If you get to that point where you think you're ready to buy or build a home, please let us at Unique Home know what your vision is and we will happily get it started with you!



by:  Navae Fiona

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