When do you call an apartment home?

My partner and I scrambled to clean up our apartment and make it feel more like a home before we hosted my friend last month. Six months since moving in, it still didn’t feel like we had “unpacked”. Most of the frames were empty and lying unseen in cabinets, our walls felt embarrassingly bare. My partner’s art supplies were still stashed in a box under his desk. I had piles of beautiful mail tucked away messily in the bookcase. (There’s nothing like hosting someone or showing them your apartment to really put things into perspective.)

When I sat down to make a list of everything I wanted to do, I wrote down way more than could be accomplished in a weekend. I realized, though I hadn’t been consciously thinking about it, I had formed a lot of ideas about my ideal home.

First, my partner and I filled all our frames and hung them. Two weeks later, I’m so grateful we finally did this. It’s so great to see this awesome  tequila label every time I enter the office. I also love seeing our original artwork framed and perched on the bookcase or in our kitchen.

Espolon Label

Deer Drawing

New York lettering

Here are some other solutions we’ve recently finalized (or not so recently, but still are things that I feel really make these rooms our rooms).

Refrigerator
I hung up our holiday mail on the refrigerator. Even if it’s out of season, it’s so beautiful to see!
Although I can't take the credit for this one, I love the idea of organizing memorable knick-knacks in an old type drawer.
This is my partner’s, so I can’t take credit for it, but I love the idea of organizing memorable knick-knacks in an old type drawer.
For months I had been thinking a chalkboard would be the perfect thing for our kitchen table nook. I finally bought one and hung it up this weekend. Already it's lead to some meal plan brainstorming, and hopefully it's be a perfect place for inspiration, love notes, spontaneous poetry, and more.
For months I had been thinking a chalkboard would be the perfect thing for our kitchen table nook. I finally bought one and hung it up this weekend. Already it’s lead to some meal plan brainstorming, and it will hopefully be a perfect place for inspiration, love notes, spontaneous poetry, and more. Also note: Cafe Du Monde can lamp!
I'm a big fan of bulletin boards, especially for organizing washi tape!
I’m a big fan of bulletin boards, especially for organizing washi tape!
Japanese charm
This charm has been hanging up at our apartment since we moved in, and it’s still one of my favorite things that makes me feel at home.

So, in a whirlwind of pictures, those are the things that are making me feel like I can call this apartment home. And I’ve learned two important parts to feeling that way,
1. Properly displaying art and mail that I love
2. Having flexible spaces for creativity (an ever-changing knick-knack box, a chalkboard, a bulletin board)

I still have many more plans, and things will likely change, but I’m happy with how things are coming along.

What is something you do right away in a new space to make it feel like “home”?

3 thoughts on “When do you call an apartment home?”

  1. Hooray, I spy some pieces of mail on the fridge that look familiar! 😉 It’s funny how quickly one can adjust to blank spaces on walls etc but how fresh eyes come along with an impending visitor – I’ve totally been in the same boat. Lush plants are something that I’ve found to be key in making a new space feel like home! Along with wonderful rugs. Those are two of my favorites for sure.

    1. Yes! Your mail is such a wonderful, bright artwork to showcase! Indeed, impending visitors have an incredible knack for a reevaluation of your home. I love the rug and plants in your apartment! Definitely great statement pieces. The one hang-up I have about rugs is cleaning them! My parents had oriental rugs in every room, and spring cleaning was always a big event because of it. Do you have much trouble with that?

  2. We didn’t have a vacuum in Miami and realized it BIG TIME when we were moving out…our rug was so dusty and disgusting when we shook it out! Truly cringe worthy. We were a “shoes off” household and I swept it throughout the whole winter but nothing can beat a vacuum. But we have a vacuum up in CT and I don’t find it hard at all to keep the rugs clean – it’s kind of satisfying to me to run a vacuum over them weekly. 🙂 But it would definitely be a pain if anything ever spilled on them!

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