Friday, September 21, 2012

Apartment Guide: Blast from the Past

I have partnered with Apartment Guide to reminisce about my first place (something I truly love to do ;) As an Apartment Guide Blog Partner, I will be sharing ideas to make your apartment feel like home. This could not have come at a better time because exactly 6 months ago this week I moved into my current apartment so moving has been on my mind. I don't really miss my last apartment at all. But I do miss my first apartment in DC. I can't really say specifically why-maybe it's fall approaching (DC in fall=beautiful!), being walking distance to the zoo (there's a new baby panda!), or the fact that I lived with my sister.

My apartment was located in the Cleveland Park neighborhood, which is in upper NW area of DC. I lived in the dorms my first two years of college. I moved off campus to my first apartment in the beginning of junior year (fall 2007). I then did my semester in Australia (spring 2008) and moved back into the apartment for all of senior year. Here is our living room:

I wanted my apartment to feel like home but I knew I would most likely be leaving DC after graduation. I didn't want to invest in expensive furniture or anything I wouldn't want to leave behind. When I left DC I drove back to California. This meant I could only take what fit in my car (!!!). 

Here are my tips on how I made my apartment feel like home while on a budget (I was in college still) AND knowing I would be moving again within 2 years:
1. IKEA. Yes, it's a pain to build the furniture. But it's a bonding experience (you will have to bribe someone to help you). You can't beat Ikea's prices and options. I LOVED my Ikea pink dresser. It's too bad I couldn't fit it in my car
2. Decals!  If you are renting these are a MUST to personalize your space. Add them to a wall (the flowers on the wall in the living room), furniture (see the brown flowers on the pink dresser above), anywhere!
3. Photos/picture frames and art instantly make you (and your guests) feel at home. I love the idea of having photos from trips or family portraits made into canvases.
4. Marshalls/TJ Maxx/Homegoods For home decor, dishes, cooking utensils and anything else you may need for your first place!
5. Keep things organized! I strongly believe that every little thing should have its own space-you'll feel more at home when everything you have has its own home! The Container Store has tons of storage options. Stock up on baskets and the Command hooks (essential for dorms/rentals-easy to put up and no damage when you remove). For example, all of my small bags and clutches are stored in this basket.

How have you made your space a home? What tips do you have for fellow apartment dwellers?

Whether you're living, looking or moving, Apartment Guide offers tips on how to decorate your apartment and make the most of your space on the Apartment Guide blog. If you’re ready for a whole new space or looking to move, Apartment Guide has the photos, floor plans, features and tips to help you find the perfect apartment community.

“Like” Apartment Guide on Facebook, tweet at @AptGuide on Twitter, “circle” them on Google+ and follow them on Pinterest for real-time tips and updates on how to make the most of your small space.

Disclosure: Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partner with bloggers such as me to participate in blogger programs. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any products and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.


  1. I have that pink dresser from Ikea! I am planning on redoing my bedroom and it wont match anymore. So sad! I may put it in my closet because I probably wont be able to get rid of it.

  2. Haha, I remember helping my big sister build her Ikea furniture in August! Love all your decals!

  3. Ikea is the best! And I agree that organization is key, especially if you end up w/small closets.

  4. IKEA is key. I just moved off campus about a month ago and their furniture was necessary. I'm living in a house, so it is slightly different, but I've found setting budgets and achieving a realistic design vision within that was important to me and has made it feel like home.

  5. Love the pink dresser. Great ideas, love ikea


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