Turn Your House (or Apartment) into a Home

You don't necessarily need a house to make a home.

I recently moved into a brand new place. Not my first, second (or even third), but my fifth new apartment in 10 years. No, I’m not on the run (Hi Jay and Bey), but I am definitely no stranger to new beginnings.

While it’s always exciting to start over, it can be very overwhelming. You get your keys, walk through the door of your new place, unpack, and think… what now? When moving into a new space, the ultimate goal is to get comfortable there. Here are a few ways I transformed my rental into a home.

Blank canvas.

I moved from out of state, into a new construction apartment with zero built in character. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful! State of the art kitchen, perfect layout, beautiful flooring, but still… no character. I actually loved that I had a blank canvas that I could make all my own.

I started with the big (and most expensive) pieces – bed, couch, dresser, side tables, area rugs. Once I had these items, I focused on décor and accents.

Soft and plush textiles.

I moved in the winter time, so soft textiles including a nice heavy comforter, soft throws for the living room and bedroom, fur accent rugs, and faux fur pillows added texture, style, and comfort, almost immediately.

Kitchen decor and gadgets.

If you’re anything like me, you spend a lot of time in the kitchen. The kitchen is also a space where guests will naturally congregate. Fun décor and gadgets, drinkware, dinnerware, and a fully stocked bar are sure to make you feel at home.


Nothing says I’m the king or queen of this castle like personalized décor. Initials and monograms can add a very simple, yet personal touch to your space.

Who needs paint?

Painting is often very time consuming and permanent. Plus,a lot of apartment landlords don’t allow you to paint (and that’s totally fine if you ask me). Canvas art, posters, prints, reproductions, decorative memo boards, and framed photos make the best wall art. There are many inexpensive options that won’t break the bank.


Natural light can only help so much. Many spaces are often a little dark and dim. Bright lighting is a great way to create a more comfortable vibe. Trendy standing lamps are often inexpensive and one or a pair can light up an entire space.


Along with lighting, scents can greatly alter the mood of your home. There is NOTHING like a well-scented home. Invest in scented candles, room sprays, diffusers, oil burners, etc. and scents that you love.

Bonus: Greenery. Enough said!

As we all know, moving sucks - Point, Blank, Period, but there’s something very exciting about moving into a new space that is all your own. Give yourself a few months to live in the space, move things around as many times as you need to, return things, buy new things. Experiment and find your personal style.

Have additional design tips? Leave a comment and let me know.

And don’t forget to check out what’s new at Ashlei Shannon!


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