Our friend has been renting a "too small but it's easier to stay" apartment for 12 years. She simply gave in to her apartment dwelling instead of embracing moving on and up to a bigger place - until now.
She recently moved into a two bedroom condo and is calling herself a new renter, almost starting from scratch when it comes to setting up a home, getting comfy and interpreting her design style in her space. As she's been unpacking, she's shared some of her thoughts with us, aka confessions of a new renter.
Confession #1: No idea where to start when it comes to design.
Apartment Therapy tip: We suggest creating a mood board. Sure, flipping through home magazines and design blogs can offer a spark of inspiration but it can also be very overwhelming. The styled features can sometimes be too much for new renters. Tear out your favorite images and make one board featuring you favorite looks - color, texture, style, etc. You'll soon see a pattern emerge and this can guide you as you create a design for your home.
Confession #2: Wanting to use all of your existing furniture.
Apartment Therapy tip: Yes, reusing your own pieces is definitely resourceful and it can also be design-worthy. Repainting and retexturing your furniture is a great way to find new life and new style in old pieces. We absolutely encourage using what you have to make your new home look great!
Confession #3: Too much of one thing - vases.
Apartment Therapy tip: In our friend's case, she has tons of vases in different shapes and sizes. But other people may have too many lamps or tons of mirrors. Whatever your collection is, find new ways to use these everyday objects. What is a vase, could be a utensil holder or used in your office. Take this design time to look at all your things in new ways.
Confession #4: Handling more space - help!
Apartment Therapy tip: We've often talked about slowing down and living in your space when you move. It's important to get a feel for your space, for example, things like where does the natural light hit? How are you really using your rooms? How do your existing things work? Take a few weeks and live in your space. During this time, develop and create your design plan from tip #1. You'll really know what your need vs. what you want and can buy pieces accordingly. Also, you don't have to fill up all of your new space. Sometimes more things are just more things instead of complementing the space.
Confession #5: Placing furniture in bigger rooms.
Apartment Therapy tip: Best thing is to pick or create a focal point. This is the point in the room where your eyes are drawn to first and creates an anchor in the room for your furniture and decor to go around. Make a floor plan and don't be afraid to float some pieces. You don't need a wall to place a chair or couch against. Just make sure the room feels balanced when you are done. Consider your lighting and scale when doing this too.
What about you, Apartment Therapy?? Can you share some great new renter tips for our friend and others out there?
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(Image from South Austin Sunny & Sophisticated House Tour)