Home Projects

5 Things That Are Keeping Your Place from Looking Like a Grown-Up Lives There

updated Apr 10, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

During college and your early 20s, it’s acceptable to make… shall we say, questionable design decisions. You’re broke and your living space is temporary! No shame in using milk crates for side tables and taping up photos for decor when you’re going after low-budget apartment decorating ideas.

Follow Topics for more like this

Follow for more stories like this

But once you hit proper adulthood, it’s high time to graduate to a home that suits your age—falling-apart furniture and shabby posters didn’t once seem so bad, but they look pretty pitiful in an otherwise grown-up space. Here’s the good news: The biggest-impact changes don’t cost a lot of money. Seriously! You don’t have to throw down big bucks to make a home that feels sophisticated and—dare we say it—grown up. Our adulthood Rx? Say goodbye to these five things.

5 Things That Have No Business in Your Home

Un-filled drywall holes

There is nothing sadder than walking into someone’s apartment and seeing abandoned nail holes scattered all over the wall. It gives even a well-decorated place a disheveled look, and distracts from a pretty paint job.

Most holes are easy to fix: Scrape any debris from the hole, then cover it with a quick-drying lightweight spackling compound so it’s flush with the wall. Let dry; the spackle will shrink a bit. Then, sand the drywall smooth and touch up the paint over and around the hole to help it blend in with the rest of the wall.

Crumbling caulk in the tub or shower

No matter how new, and no matter how clean, a tub with cracking or missing caulk automatically looks dingy. That’s because caulk helps keep water from seeping into the gaps between the tub and wall—so when it stops doing its job, that’s when mildew and mold can grow. Gross.

Bathroom caulk needs touching up every so often, so if you see yours cracking or missing chunks, plan to re-caulk. It’s easy and affordable to do yourself—use a silicone caulk suitable for high-moisture areas, plus a caulk gun, and follow the directions on the tube.

A moldy or mildewy shower curtain

You can toss plastic and fabric shower curtains in the washing machine, so there’s really no excuse for one that’s speckled with mold or mildew. Another option: spot-treat your curtain with a paste of baking soda and water and a microfiber cloth. Magic Erasers also work… well, magic!

Flimsy plastic furniture

Respect for keeping your life organized, but those plastic cabinets, tubs, crates, and bins that you tossed all your belongings in during college feel so unfinished paired with real pieces of furniture. Replace them with smart and stylish bedroom storage pieces, and if you don’t want to toss the plastic, move the bins to a basement, storage unit, closet, or even under the bed—they’ll still be put to use, but kept out of sight.

Unframed posters

Sticky putty and removable adhesive strips have their place, but once you’re an adult that place is not “holding up posters on your walls.” And hey, just to be clear: We’re not advocating getting rid of your favorite poster! Frames of any size can be found on the cheap—check stores like Michaels, HomeGoods, Amazon, and IKEA for affordable options. Your prized band or movie poster will look twice as good in one as it does tacked to your wall.