I admit, when I scroll through Instagram, I am usually brimming with jealousy because so many people have these homes that look like sanctuaries. Beautifully minimalistic furniture. Giant windows that shower through just enough light to capture that perfect social media photograph. A kitchen with marble countertops that make a gorgeous backdrop for any food related photo.
Back to my reality, I'm not yet living in the means to make my home look like the photographs I pine after, but that's no reason to sulk. I'm currently living in the teeniest of apartments, while I wait for a house that I'm ready to buy. Apartment life is stressful for me since I have more boxes than living space, but I'm set on making this place homely while I'm here for the next few months.
Here are some ways to spruce up a living space:
1. Make it smell nice.
What smells make you feel at home? Choose from fruits, florals, beachy, woodsy- or change it up every week. Personally, I'm a baked goods kind of person because I love the smell of cookie dough or vanilla cupcake wafting throughout the apartment. It adds an air of warmth for me.
Head to your local store and check out some candles. Pick up a few that matches the mood you're going for in your home.
Bonus: Candles also add a gentle vibe to where you place them!
2. Blankets and pillows.
Even in the summertime, lounge some pillows and blankets throughout your home. Thanks to the hygge sensation that swept through social media, we've all learned a thing or two about adding coziness to every room.
Put a blanket on the chair that you spend the most time sitting on. Add two extra pillows to your bed (unless you already have half a dozen pillows!) Bring some coziness to the living space.
3. Add plants to your creative space.
I'm a firm believer that everyone should have a space in their home where they flex their creative side. For me, this is a modest dining table in the middle of my tiny kitchen. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which can help soothe anxious feelings. If you prefer not to deal with watering and dirt, you can also put plants in vases and change them out once a week. Flowers add a little liveliness to creative spaces.
4. Have a place for everything.
Do you have things that just sit there, moving from surface to surface, because you don't know where it belongs? For me, that used to be a pair of headsets that I used for Skype calls. They were too big and bulky to fit in any of my drawers but I didn't have enough shelf space to have it put up. So it stayed on my work table, until I needed more room on that table. That migrated to my kitchen counter. Dinner table. Eventually, I would misplace it. These days, my gigantic headset gets put away in a big laptop bag that had space for the headset.
Having things laying out makes the environment feel stressful. That's why everything needs a place. Personally, one of the best ways to find out where something belongs is through the KonMari method, where you designate a space for every single thing in your home and get rid of the rest. It's a relieving way of decluttering.
5. Decorate and beautify for yourself.
It's easy to put things in place and take photographs for other peoples' eyes. It's difficult to meditate on what you truly love and aspire to live in and then transform your home into that thought. If you hate candles because they irritate your nose, there is no reason to buy candles. If the dirt from live plants make dealing with them a hassle, skip the live plants.
To spruce up your living space, give yourself things that you'd love. Add parts of you that you don't get to show to the rest of the world. Bring in what's worth adoring, in your eyes. That's how it's done.