It's that time of year again. Everyone is either heading out of their current apartment or moving into someplace new, all with hopes of getting settled in as soon as humanly possible. And as if all the packing weren't draining enough, moving costs and other fees can quickly deplete your funds -- and energy -- making it hard to plan for future fun, i.e. housewarming parties and decorating.
But moving is only half the battle. Making your place look put-together, especially on a tight budget, is a whole different task entirely. That's why we've searched high and low and uncovered some of the cleverest tricks of the trade, all designed to make your space look more sophisticated without too much hassle. Whether you're looking to polish up your present pad or start your new place off the right way, read on for 10 ideas that will help make you -- and your apartment -- look like you've got it going on.
Few things make a home feel more adult than a well-stocked mini-bar. Not only are you always prepared for an impromptu party, you're also likely to save lots of money in the long run (how grown-up of you!) by drinking at home instead of at the bars. Plus, bar carts are super cute and affordable -- as are neat end tables -- and just as fun to stock.
Whether or not you actually work from home, a designated home office is crucial for ensuring interior harmony. In addition to defining a specific space for completing all of your to-dos -- paying bills, doing taxes, applying for jobs -- it gives you a place to properly organize your paperwork, stationery, and other adult miscellany. Anchor the nook with a sleek workstation, and never sweat an ink stain on your sofa again.
We may be living in a post-book world, but that doesn't change the fact that you're probably still hanging on to a few of your favorite hardbacks. That's why a styled bookshelf is a must for creating a mature -- but storage-savvy -- centerpiece inside of your abode. You can get creative and coordinate publications by spine color, or use floating shelves for a salon-inspired display.
When it comes to grown-up decorating, a little framing goes a long way. Whether your art collection consists of band posters or original oil works, a good frame will always take you to the next level of refinement. If you're watching your pocketbook, just stick with one big frame. Or if you're looking to switch things up, buy small ones in bulk and go for something salon-style. Lacking actual artwork? No worries. There are plenty of affordable options to pick from.
While most of us have learned to make do with takeout boxes and plastic forks in place of traditional tableware, it's amazing what buying a simple set of matching dishes can do for you. Functional and endlessly elegant, white dinnerware is easy to come by and always looks put-together, regardless of what you're serving. Throw in some fancy flatware and you'll swear delivery never looked so good.
What's more cosmopolitan than having an actual vanity? In addition to looking classy and timeless, they have the added bonus of being totally popular with the cool kids. Translation: Forget your tiny bathroom sink and treat yo' self to a dedicated primping station. No space for that? You can also add a dope mirror to your desk, and boom -- now you're multitasking like a real boss.
We're not saying that buying a plant will automatically make you an adult, but we do believe that taking care of any living thing requires a certain level of maturity. That's why having a well-nourished houseplant in your apartment not only looks sophisticated, it also suggests -- with minimal effort -- that you, well, actually know how to nurture something.
True adults know the value of a good night's sleep, so having a bed that you can't wait to get into is an absolute must. This means purchasing comfortable (and well-coordinated) bedding and a quality mattress to boot. You can always liven things up with a cool bed frame, or just throw in some fun pillows to shake it up a bit.
Why dry off in mismatched beach towels when you can upgrade your entire bathroom with one solid set of terry cloth? Invest in a proper pack or two each of the essentials -- hand cloths, washcloths, and bath towels -- and you'll feel put-together even on laundry day.
Never underestimate the power of a well-organized closet. Seemingly insignificant systems like color-grouped dresses and shirts hung by sleeve length can actually save you loads of time when you're pulling together outfits, while making all your old stuff feel exciting and new. Display your purses on a mod shoe rack or your hats in a chic sweater box and let your killer wardrobe do the talking.
By: Caroline Biggs