Top 5 Ways to Make Your Place Feel Like Home

August 26, 2014

Story and photos by: Sophia Socarras

My childhood dream was to become an interior designer. While most kids were watching Saturday morning cartoons, I spent my weekend mornings watching HGTV design shows and helping my parents pick paint colors for our house. When I finally moved into an apartment this semester, I was excited to decorate my own place! Whether you’re moving into a new place or are looking to change it up a bit in your apartment, dorm or house, here are my top 5 tips to make the most of your space.

  1. Explore your local thrift stores. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to make your space unique. For example, I found a beautiful, large wooden mirror at Goodwill in Annandale, VA for only $30! Saving money on pieces like this will leave you more money to spend on investing in other parts of your space. Habitat for Humanity is also a great place to look for discounted furniture pieces. You can even view their inventory online so you know what they have even before stepping into their store. decor 1
  2. Customize as much as possible! Never underestimate the power of paint, fabric, a staple gun and some hot glue. For instance, by painting all of my furniture white for my apartment, I was able to give my bedroom a more cohesive look. Within a dorm, you won’t be able to do that, but my favorite project would actually have to be my new headboard. All I had to do was stretch some foam and fabric across a wooden frame, staple it on the back and add decorative metal grommets around the edge. Putting in the extra effort to be creative and crafty has made me extremely proud of my new place. decor 2
  3. Be colorful! Design the space that you've always wanted with your favorite colors in mind. When I first started designing my space, all I knew was that I wanted to incorporate my favorite color, Robin’s Egg Blue, into the bedding, pillows, curtains and rug. After several Pinterest searches I picked my accent color: Candy Apple Red. These two colors were a bold choice, but adding black and white to the space kept it from feeling too bright or tacky. Now I wake up every morning surrounded by colors that make me happy. decor 3
  4. Bring your favorite sentimental items from home: By putting one of my favorite posters in a simple black frame, covering my desk with pictures of friends and family and displaying souvenirs carefully around my room, my favorite items were incorporated into my design and made my space feel more like home. decor 4
  5. Give your new apartment, dorm or house a name! When my friend was making large letters of our initials, she noticed that when put together, they spell the word “NEST.” We’ve used our new name to inspire decorations throughout the apartment, from small birdhouses to customized pillows. Giving our new apartment a name was the finishing touch that has made it feel like a home. altdecor5

The time we’ve spent painting, reupholstering, crafting and planning has made my friends and I excited to show our place off to our friends and family. Whether you decide to completely redecorate or add a few finishing touches here and there, I hope you are just as happy with your new space as we are.

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