In all the apartments and rentals I’ve lived in as an adult, I have never felt like they were “done”. It was like my apartment never really looked like home. With my love of interior design, it was strange to think that my home didn’t reflect that. I never looked around and thought, “Wow, what a fantastic design, this is totally my space!”
Instead, I spent ages heading the age-old advice of don’t invest in furniture while you’re young. And the even more annoying why spend your money fixing up a rental when you’re only going to move again in a year?
I’m going to go on record and say it: that advice sucks.
Whether you’re in your rental space for only a year, or if you end up staying there 10 years, it is totally okay to decide to make it your own!
Go ahead and get the couch that actually fits the space, instead of lugging around some horrible hand-me-down that dwarfs every room you’ve stuck it in.
Go ahead and switch out the hardware in the kitchen, just make sure to save the old ones and put them back when you’re done!
If it makes you happy and it makes you feel like you’re at home, go for it!
(….within reason of course. Never get yourself into debt over material possessions. Try to avoid debt in most cases. Debt is the worst.)
But I digress. The thing that I want to talk to you about is taking the time to sit down and plan out what you want your space to be like…and then actually collect the pieces that will make it feel like that!
If you’re an introvert like me, home is crazy important. It’s the one space in the world that should feel comfortable and happy at all times. It’s your safe zone. You’re allowed to invest in your space.
How do I design my home? I’m not an interior designer!
That’s what this series is going to be about! How to design your apartment when you’re not a designer…and on a budget. Because let’s be real, baby don’t got money like that.
Follow along with me on my process for my new home, and you’ll find some tips that you can put into practice!
So… what should my home look like?
Scandinavian, farmhouse, rustic industrial, contemporary classic, mid-century modern….AHHHH. SO MANY CHOICES.
I love interior design, but half the time that’s the problem.
Now if you have more of an eclectic taste, no problem. You can take inspiration from all design aesthetics and mash them into one! But if you’re like me, your space probably ends up looking more confused than curated when you try to do that.
I think you can still mix and match in furniture and decor items in different genres of design, but first it’s really important to have a clear vision of what you want your space to look like.
The All-Powerful Vision Board
I am a totally visual person. I think in images so when I do have thousands of ideas swirling around my head, I need a space to collect and curate them. This is where my handy dandy Pinterest account comes in handy. I have tons of boards, but the ones that are most useful when I’m launching into a project, especially a housing one, is my vision boards.
Check out my guide on how to make a vision board if you don’t know how to make one. Otherwise, log in to your Pinterest account and go on a pinning spree! I want you to make a vision board for each space or room in your home that you are decorating.
After you’ve gathered all your images and made your vision board I’d like to say: go you! Look at this awesomeness you’ve created! Mood boards are so great because not only are they visually stimulating, they completely scream you! And it’s a great creative outlet too.
But most importantly, it’s the first big step in finding out how to design your own home!
Understanding Your Aesthetic
So you’ve got your interior design vision board together, and hopefully, you’re having a better understanding of what you like and what you want. Now I want you to write it down. Look at those images you love and connect the dots between them!
Don’t get what I mean by that? Try asking yourself these questions:
-What are the colors I gravitate towards?
-Are there certain rooms I focus on? Am I a dining room type of person? Or am I a living room lover? What are the most important spaces in my space?
-Do I like light and airy? Or are these more dark and moody?
-What area of design do the bulk of these images lean towards? (While it’s okay if you don’t know, keep in mind sometimes the keywords of certain design styles will come in handy when you’re shopping for furniture and decor. You can always research more into design styles!)
The list can go on! But the point I’m getting to is seeing what you want and what you like and creating keywords to keep in mind when you’re shopping. You might see an amazing bright teal baroque chair that you love, but when your mood board kept telling you “minimal, light, airy, neutral”, chances are that chair will stick out like a sore thumb in your home.
So to answer the question “what should my home look like”, the answer is… I don’t know, YOU do! Even if you thought you didn’t. This is generally true of most things in life, you do a little soul searching or Pinterest surfing and you find that you do know what you want. Except if it’s your spouse asking what to eat for dinner. Trust me, that is a universal mystery to us all.
Keep your eye out for Part 2: How to buy the right furniture!
Meanwhile, let me know in the comments below, what did your design style turn out to be? Were you a glam boho lover all along? I knew it!