Why bother making a rental a home. Advice to help you get started and be happy in the place you are.
Pink walls I have been lusting after. http://www.sfgirlbybay.com/2012/11/02/color-pop-3/

Do you ever feel like putting time and money into your home is a waste? Whether it’s because you are in a rental and it is not your forever house or you are waiting for your dream home there are many reasons why you might feel stuck. I feel this way often because I have always lived in apartments. To add to the struggle, the past 6 years I have lived in 7 apartments, some with pretty strict rules. Some I made comfortable and homey and others I’d rather forget my design mistakes. Like that time my freshman college roommates and I hung pink string lights and covered the walls in drawings-it was cute for a day or two and then felt cluttered and overwhelming. Throughout my many homes, I have been trying and sometimes failing to make my apartments feel like home. It’s important and here’s why I think so…

Why do I bother putting work into my rentals?

In the past, like when I  was moving to college, I bought the cheapest things I could find. I bought everything at once without much thought into how they went together. This made sense for college but felt cluttery and unorganized when I made the same mistake in my first apartment after college.  Making your house a home applies to more than rentals. I know of many families that are waiting for that dream home or to retire. Live in the moment. This is about making your current space work for you regardless of the future. If you are always looking towards the future perfect home you will have then you will never be satisfied with where you are. It is ok to plan for the future but don’t let that planning take over the possible happiness you could be having now.

 

Home is wherever you and your loved ones are.

You and your family or roommates deserve to have a comfortable, inviting space to live in. I want people to feel joyful and comfortable in my home because it shows them that I value them. Even if you live alone, you deserve it.

Remember that you are not a professional and that your house probably won’t ever look like a magazine, which is a good thing. Someone else’s home could never capture your unique style and your unique needs for a living space.

 

It does not have to be expensive.

Look at what you already have. Could you change up where your art or knick-knacks are? Sometimes rearranging is all it takes for a space to feel new. Shop Craigslist. Ask family and friends if they are decluttering and have things that you could have. There are many cheap options if you get a little thrifty.

 

It does require time and being intentional.

Don’t know where to begin? Start on Pinterest to start getting ideas for which styles you like and which you should stay away from. It’s easier for me to eliminate styles first. Remember to be reasonable in both cost but also style. If your home is very modern, don’t pin pictures of classic or rustic interiors that may not jive with the structure of your house. Here is a list of styles that are explained well to help give you a sense of what you may like or dislike. Or if that overwhelms you, take a style quiz to get a general idea of what your preferences and then go from there. Remember to have fun with this!
Right now I am in a period of transition where I am living at my parents for a month or two while looking for an apartment. I’m very thankful they are letting me stay for a while but it means living out of suitcases in a shared space. Luckily, it is giving me plenty of time to pare down my possessions, stalk craigslist, and pin inspiration like crazy. Also, moving so many times has fortunately forced me to give away, sell, and donate the extra things that weren’t loved and used frequently. I am ready to make my house a home by being more intentional about my purchases. Going forward I would like my pieces to be either beautiful, functional, or sentimental. Hopefully I can find pieces that are more than one. I also live firmly by the rule If you love a piece then it has a spot in your home. Do you struggle with this also? WHat has inspired you to make your house a home? 

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