Your first grown-up apartment

upscale apartment
Photo Credits: Yellow House Bakery

Awhile back, I wrote a New York Style Apartment Living article, which was all about ways to create the perfect upscale apartment! It shows ways to work with your apartment to make it so much better, this article, “Your first grown-up apartment” is all about what to do before you get your apartment and how to fix it up once you have it.

apartment in the city
Photo Credits: Keogh Design

Before you get your apartment:

If you buy an apartment this doesn’t apply to you, but if you’re renting you’ll want to know some things and limits. Here is a list of things you should find out before you sign the lease.

  1. What are your design limits? Some landlords won’t let you paint, some will. Just like some will be okay with you putting nails in the walls to hang things, and some won’t. You need to find this out before you start imagining how you will decorate.
  2. Are pets allowed? Some landlords allow some pets but not others. Some don’t want any pets around, ever! Pets can ruin flooring,(Click here for a solution to messy pet floors) some can experience some serious separation anxiety (like my Maltipoo) and disrupt neighbors. Some landlords on the other hand would rather you have any pet except fish tanks. It really all depends on who your landlord is and what their own  personal likes and dislikes are.
  3. Don’t pay for anything until you actually see the apartment for yourself. This may sound obvious, but you need to be sure of what you’re getting. Don’t settle for photos either. Anyone can show you a nice photo, say it’s yours, but then you open the door to the most uninhabitable place you’ve ever seen. Ideally, ask for the landlord or caretaker to let you tour the apartment before you actually commit to it.
  4. When taking the tour, open the cabinets. This is your best indicator as to any “housemates” that you may have in the future. Look under the shelves in the cabinets. Also look for any signs of mice. One thing the landlord won’t tell you is who/what else you’ll have eating your food and chewing up your things.
  5. Check the faucets and toilets. There’s nothing worse that having brown water.. except for everything flooding. While going through your tour of the apartment be sure to turn on faucets and flush toilets just to check for any flooding, clogs and even brown or discolored water.


luxury upscale apartment
Photo Credits: Dekris Design

Tips for a stylish apartment

When considering apartment living there’s some thing you can’t control like who your neighbors will be or how fast your landlord will fix things. But there is one thing you can control, the way your apartment looks to others. Your “grown-up” apartment is a direct reflection on you. Here’s a few different tips for those of you who want to have stylish apartments.

  • Go for a light, airy feel. Use whites and light linens for your darker rooms, this will make them look bigger and brighter. You can also get light colored slipcovers (Especially great if you have pets), to cover the couch and light white curtains to place over the windows. If you want solid colors then you can use the solids on the accessories, throws and pillows.
  • Mirrors. Mirrors will make a space not only look bigger, but also reflect light.  Put one on the wall, above the fireplace or stand a large mirror against the wall. They will also add a nice clean look to the room. If you go with the light, airy feel and white colors this will escalate the amount of light coming into your apartment.
  • Get petite furniture that will fit nicely with room to spare. This means investing some into getting a bistro table set or a small simple couch or even some small chairs. Petite furniture will leave you room to move, have guests over without falling over, and even have more space to place you’re own treasures!
  • Storage is your best friend. Find furniture pieces that will double as storage. For example, an ottoman that has a top that can come off and you can store your child’s toys before guests come over. (This is a good idea, seriously!) You can also use a trunk as your coffee table and as storage! Use it to store extra blankets and pillows for when guests are over or on those chilly nights.
  • Add life to your apartment with plants. Some apartments have balconies some have window sills. Find you a nice spot for a tiny plant and take advantage of it. This will add some color to the apartment as well as a fresh feel. Not to mention, light colors and greenery looks amazing together!
  • Add an area rug! An area rug adds character to a space and it can also pull a space together to perfect the look! If you have a light neutral look to your furniture then you can use a bold or patterned rug. If you have a bold look to your furniture then use a light colored rug or a neutral color to balance the room out.
  • Fake architecture. You may have built-ins in your apartment but some don’t have built-ins. One way to fake this is by taking two bookshelves and placing them on each side of the doorway. This is a good idea to put in the kitchen and can be used as open storage. That will free up some of your drawers and cabinets for other items.

Studio Apartment Ideas:

Some of us don’t have separate rooms in our apartments so we get studio apartments, which are just as fun to decorate and make beautiful! Here is a video full of ideas for studio apartments that will give you inspiration to use for your studio apartment! Be sure to let me know if you use any of these ideas.


Items to make your apartment living easier

Here are some items that will make your life “Oh so much easier!” I personally reviewed these items, and they had to get my approval before being listed here, so I’m sure these items will help you decorate your first grown up apartment!



small studio apartment
Photo Credit: Middeco

One Last Word…

So you’ve learned what to look for in an apartment, how to make it stylish and your own. I’ve given you ideas for studio apartments and also a list of things for you to buy if you choose to. Make your apartment sophisticated with all these tips, hints and suggestions and you’ll have your first official grown-up apartment!


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