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As much as it’s crazy to think about, I’ve been living in rentals for over 10 years. Whether it was the cream cinder block walls of a 1970’s constructed dorm room or the gray surfaces that now surround me, there’s always been the essentials that make a house a home. With each space, there’s been the disposable items, and then there’s the pieces that have traveled with me across country, timelines, and zip codes.
When you’re first starting out other than furniture, where do you invest? What makes a house a home? Here are my 5 favorite items to add when it comes to shifting from a dorm vibe to something a bit more grown up and permanent.
Keep reading for the top five picks after the jump!
What Every First Apartment Needs with Minted.com
Add a warmth and texture with textiles.
Whether it’s a discounted rug, mexican blanket, or a splash of color with a few throw pillows, add warmth through textiles. When putting together pillows, don’t be afraid to lay them out on the floor of the store or take your time with purchasing. Usually these evolve into collections where you want them to work together. Add throws seasonally for additional warmth and consider rotating them based on the weather. We love adding faux fur and thicker throws during the winter and use thinner chenille ones during the spring and summer months.
Touches of green.
In every interior that is curated and loved, you are sure to find moments of greenery. Figure out what plants are ones you can keep alive and add to your collection occasionally. I love thinking through this practically as well. For inside, I’ve chosen snake plants, succulents, and airplants. All things that are incredibly easy to keep alive. For the kitchen, I’ve chosen herbs that grow along the window sill year round.
Add memory and personality.
From a stained cookbook, a favorite quote on a letterboard, or the pictures of loved ones, add memory and personality to your place. Every item in your house shouldn’t feel like it could be bought from a big box store. In my home it’s the pieces that tell a story that are the most beloved. It’s the refinished farmhouse kitchen table, the repurposed tool chest into a kitchen island, and the vintage trunk. It’s the Estonian flag given by a beloved student and the deer antler given by a friend from their farm. These are the pieces that make your space unique and your own.
Make a statement (and a splash of color) with art.
Whether it’s photography, an abstract print, or an illustration, add art throughout your home. For an office and studio space, I love art prints that can be hung and will bring inspiration to your workflow. For the kitchen, consider a sweet illustration that boasts a love of doughnuts, rose, or another favorite ingredient. For above the bed, television, or sideboard, consider a statement piece like a beautiful picture of the ocean or a macro shot of a plant with stunning hues and soft texture. If you’re on a budget, consider investing in the art itself and save on a frame by hanging with a wooden pants hanger. It adds a bit of variety and quirk, without investing loads in the framing itself.
What are some of the essentials you have put in your first rental?
We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.