“Quality of life” isn’t something you’ll see detailed on the pages of Redfin, but it’s something to seriously consider when you’re evaluating an apartment. The amenities you enjoy in a living space can mean the difference between feeling bored, lonely and deflated, or creative, energetic and motivated.
Imbuing your space with the right mix of creature comforts, luxury items, pleasing art and decor is the key to feeling comfortable and positive at home. Here are a few ways to do just that.
1. Let in the Light
Natural light is perhaps the best mood-enhancer you can get for free. There’s a reason that people who live in perennially dark places take vitamin D. It’s good for your health and your mood!
Incorporate windows, skylights and mirrors where you can to leverage the energy-giving light the sun provides us. Natural light makes spaces feel larger, instills happiness and makes it easier to see. If you’ve lived in an area that doesn’t receive as much sunshine, you feel the difference when a living space makes good use of it.
2. Put Up Pictures
Printing photographs has never been easier. A variety of online services can convert the images that live on your phone into professional-quality framed pictures complete with hanging hardware. If you don’t want to put holes in the walls, consider leaning the frame against the back of a chair or setting up a photo shelf.
Whether you frame them online or use more traditional methods, seeing the faces of your loved ones and close friends will make any space feel like home. Photographs have the opposite effect of the posters you might have hung in college, as they make your place look adult. Still, you should hang them for the way they make you feel, not how they affect others.
3. Consider Culinary Functionality
Making a quality, home-cooked meal for your friends is something you can feel good about. Arrange your living quarters to entertain so that they’ll want to visit and indulge in the wonderful dishes you produce.
Consider placing a grill on your patio or balcony space where you can easily access it to cook for your assorted guests. An open kitchen or a wet bar, where people can congregate without interrupting the chef, is a great addition, and one that will pay for itself in positive vibes.
Depending on your cooking skills, you can expand on this theme by adding a magnetic knife holder, hooks to hang pans from, a quality oven and cooktop and plenty of sealed counter space. When visitors come over, try a new cooking technique, such as grilling with your broiler or creating smoky meat rubs.
4. Add Olfactory Appeal
Scent has been called the sense tied most closely to memory. Think of a place that you love, and maybe you can remember how it smells. The meals you make, the dryer sheets you use, the pets you keep and plants you maintain will determine some of how your living space smells. However, you can add a personal touch with some carefully selected aromas.
What do you want to smell when you walk through the door? Perhaps sandalwood, lavender or rose. You can also use incense for health benefits. Studies show burning frankincense activates ion channels in the brain that alleviate anxiety and depression.
5. Introduce Some Greenery
Plants don’t just add life-giving oxygen to your space, they also offer color and positive energy. Even though they’re stationary, these organisms are alive. When you place them in your living space, you’ll be supported by the aesthetic and natural contributions that they make.
You can find indoor plants suitable for every skill level. For instance, if you lack a green thumb, opt for low-maintenance varieties like pothos ivy, aloe and peace lilies. You might also try heartleaf philodendron, shamrock, fiddle-leaf fig trees and areca palms. If you have the magic touch, you might try growing some herbs or vegetables.
Whatever plants you choose, the addition of greenery to your living space is something you won’t regret. Even if you lose a few first attempts, you can feel proud about improving your skills.
Make Your Apartment a Feel-Good Space
These five simple suggestions can help transform what was once a nondescript apartment into a sanctuary you like spending time in. You might think you’ve been saving money and living wisely all this time by leaving your place empty. However, it doesn’t take a lot of money to make your apartment inviting.
Try these simple techniques or let us know in the comments section below what your favorite addition to a new or under-adorned living space is. You can make a house a home in so many different ways.
Dylan Bartlett, aka, “The Regular Guide,” writes about a broad variety of topics on his blog. Check out Just a Regular Guide for more, or follow Dylan on Twitter @theregularguide for frequent updates!