How to Transition Your Apartment Out of College Mode

Is it time for your apartment to reflect your grown-up, professional self? You may have put off the upgrade due to lack of time or indecision about what to buy or change, but shifting your apartment out of “dorm mode” needn’t be overwhelming or difficult. Here are a few changes you can make that will give you a lot of bang for the buck. You’ll love being surrounded by a space that reflects the mature, glamorous woman you’ve become.

Ditch the Futon

How to Transition Your Apartment Out of College Mode

Most futons look like exactly what they are: cheap pieces of furniture to loll on in a college dorm. If you still have a futon in your apartment living room, it’s probably looking pretty tired by now. Upgrading to a real couch could be the biggest step in renovating your living room. Choose a sofa that is sleek and simple and use it as a backdrop for colorful or whimsical throw pillows in different textures. If you get bored, you’ll be able to change the look of your room later without dropping a lot of cash.

Upgrade Your Rug

Already have a real sofa? Then turn your attention to your floor covering. A fabulous rug can set the tone for the whole room. The most common decorating mistake people make is having a rug that’s too small. Look for a generously sized rug with a thick pile to bring a sense of distinction to your room.

Add Large Artwork

Even one piece of art will take a room to a whole new level if it meets just one criteria: size. A room with one giant painting over the sofa will look much more pulled together than a room with seven stingy pieces of art scattered on the walls. If you already have a collection of posters and prints you’re in love with, the easy solution is to put them in more generously sized frames with deep mats. Grouping similar artwork is another trick that fools the eye into seeing one large piece of decor.

How to Transition Your Apartment Out of College Mode

Create Pools of Light

Thoughtful lighting can bring a cozy glow to your space. Look for ways to bring soft, diffused light sources down below eye level. Ideally, you want at least three pools of light in an average room. Ambient lighting can come from Japanese lanterns or small lights aimed at pictures or plants. Task lighting for reading or hobbies should come from lamps placed near your seating areas. See what happens if you choose one focal point in each room and think about lighting that area.

Match Your Kitchen Things

How are things in your kitchen cupboards and drawers? If you’re not even sure where that one fork came from and your cups have cartoon characters on them, it might be time to build a collection of grownup dinnerware around a color scheme. Choosing a color scheme is as simple as picking white or cream plus a primary and secondary color. Invest in a nice set of dishes and some placemats that fit in the same scheme, and add a few candles or other decorative touches. Flatware doesn’t have to be expensive, but look for spoons that are sturdy enough to scoop ice cream without bending.

How to Transition Your Apartment Out of College Mode

Consider a Move

If your apartment or your neighborhood feel like they’re holding you back, maybe you’re ready for a move. The right location makes all the difference in the world in terms of lifestyle. Consider looking at apartments for rent in San Diego or other highly livable neighborhoods that offer walkable streets and a sophisticated lifestyle.

Wine and Coffee Gear

You will feel so much more like an adult when you can serve coffee to a friend or offer wine to guests without digging through cracked, stained mugs or serving wine in jelly jars. Clean out your cup and glass cupboard and replace that mess with some simple, serviceable items from IKEA or a discount store.

Living in a space that feels settled and refined will help you connect more deeply with your grown-up self and will boost your confidence tremendously.

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