I don’t fantasize about a lot of things, but I do spend an abnormal amount of time thinking about my future home. What it will look like. How it will feel. I have it all planned out and, although I’m still a ways away from being a homeowner (LA mortgages are hilarious and financially I’m like 3 years old), that hasn’t stopped me from incorporating the spirit of my future home into my current place.
Although interior design isn’t high up on everyone’s priority list, it’s important that you create a space that puts you at ease, lowers your stress levels and makes you feel relaxed. If you work from home, this is crucial. However, for all of us, our home is our base. It sets the tone for how our days begin and how they end. Think about what it feels like to swap that college futon for a real couch, or how nice it is to walk into a clean house. It’s something that we should all make time for, or budget and delegate the responsibility to someone else.
If you want to spruce up your space, but you don’t have money to blow, I have a few tricks that I use to make my home look and feel way more expensive than it actually is.
There are plenty of beautiful home decor stores, many of which may be out of your budget. I won’t say to avoid those stores altogether but, instead, choose key pieces that you really love and save up for them. Then decorate the rest of your house with cool pieces you find at stores like Marshalls or Home Goods. Your local flea markets and consignment stores are great places to snag handmade and vintage items for cheap. The reality is, once it’s in your house, you can’t tell what was expensive and what was thrifted. It’s about being intentional about what you choose and making sure everything you buy is great quality.
Plants. All of the plants. Everywhere.
I have at least two plants in each of the rooms in my apartment. I think I have around fifteen total and it’s still not enough. We’ve discussed this before, but plants literally breathe life into your home. They make a room look like it was designed with intention. They also force you to be attentive when it comes to your space. You have to care for them and, in doing so, you’ll be more likely to care for their environment as well.
Less is more.
You don’t need a lot in a room to make that room feel complete. Each room will have its own necessary furniture but, as a general rule, as long as you have something to sit on, something to place a cup on, lighting, and something to entertain (whether it’s a bookshelf, TV or a large bay window), you’ve got the basics covered. Anything else that you introduce into the space should either add function or improve your mood when you walk in. Otherwise, you probably don’t need it.
Keep it clean.
I love cleaning, but I know I’m in the minority here. If you hate cleaning, consider putting a little money to the side for a housekeeper. I didn’t know this was a thing non-rich people do but LA cleared that up for me pretty quickly. All of my friends have housekeepers and it’s fine. If you think your time could be better spent doing something else, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
Otherwise, the easiest way to avoid spending a ton of time cleaning is to clean as you go. Wash dishes as you use them and you’ll never have to face a huge sink of dirty pans again. Getting into the habit of putting things back right after you’re done using them saves you the time and stress in the long run of having to deal with a chaotic space.
Your outer environment is a reflection of your internal environment. Take care of yourself, inside and out.