About six months ago, I moved into a new apartment. After living in a large house for 8+ years, this move was a big change for me. Even though I was super excited, I was also a bit anxious about making this smaller space reflect my personality and tastes. As I decorated my new apartment, I did certain things that had a huge impact and made my new surroundings look and feel like home to me. Today, I’m sharing six of those things —things you can do right now in your own apartment. Whether you use one or all of these ideas, I’m certain you’ll see a change in your space. Please note: Be sure any changes you make to your apartment are within the terms of your lease or get approval from your landlord first.

Swap out a Light Fixture

I’m obsessed with light fixtures. They are one of my favorite pieces to choose when designing any space. They are also high on my list of things to change when updating a room. That’s why I knew that upgrading the fixtures in my new apartment was a must. There are light fixtures for every budget. Whether you shop at the home improvement store or your favorite home store, you are likely to find something to suit your space and style. Here in my kitchen, I opted for an industrial modern fixture that fits the loft-feel of my apartment and adds style and fun. (Don’t forget to save the existing fixtures and hardware so you can reinstall them before you leave.)

Add Area Rugs

No matter what you currently have for flooring, bringing in area rugs can make a huge difference. (Yes, you can place an area rug over carpet.) First off, a rug can give a pop of color, especially if you aren’t allowed to paint your walls. Secondly, a rug can help define an area. In a studio or loft, rugs are great to differentiate zones for working, relaxing, sleeping, and so forth. Finally, a rug can add instant coziness and warmth, particularly in the winter months.

Change Cabinet Pulls

As a lifestyle blogger, I find myself in the kitchen a lot, so I want it to work for me and look pretty. Replacing dated or builder-grade pulls and knobs can give your cabinets an instant facelift. They are the jewelry of your kitchen after all. You might also remove several cabinet doors to create the look of open shelving. (Just hang onto the doors, pulls, and screws so you can reattach them before you leave.)

Incorporate Plants / Flowers

Plants are not only the perfect finishing touch for any room, but they also can breathe life into a space. Literally! I recommend having at least one plant in each room. If you struggle to keep plants alive, talk with your local nursery or greenhouse about which ones are best for your space and lifestyle. Fresh flowers or flowering plants (like an orchid) are likewise wonderful ways to bring in the peace and beauty of nature. I love it that in our modern world, cut flowers are readily available regardless of the season. You can even find them at the grocery store. Pick up a bouquet each week so you’ll always have fresh blooms in your home.

Hang Artwork

If you’re allowed to paint your apartment, I recommend doing so. However, if that’s not an option, you don’t need to live with bare walls. Hang artwork to cover those large wall spaces and instantly add personality and interest to your apartment. Go bold with a big print or create a gallery wall with a collection of artwork.

Go Vintage

Many times when we are starting out in a fresh space (or updating our current one), we lean toward buying all new things. I recommend, however, hitting up thrift stores and antique shops for new-to-you pieces. Not only will they likely save you money, but incorporating items with history and character built into them will add instant charm to your apartment. While I have many vintage finds in my apartment, one of my favorites is the pie safe I use for my bar cabinet. It’s perfect for storing wine, liquor, and extra glassware. Get creative when shopping for second-hand items Think how the piece might function differently from its original purpose or how it might look with a fresh coat of paint. That’s it! While there are many things you can do to add interest, style, and personality to your apartment, these are a few of my go-to ideas. I hope you found them helpful and are able to implement a few in your space. After you have your space just the way you want it, it’s time to find out how often you should clean your apartment!

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