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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    NYC
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    438

    Making an apartment a home

    As some of you might know from previous posts, I'm a widow. I moved to another apartment in my building a few years after my husband died, and it felt more like exile than anything else. However, I've done the best I can (painting the bathroom, buying a few linens) to make my apartment into a home for myself. Lately though, I'm even more inthe mood for nesting. I think my desire to craft is behind it. I checked the mailbox today and my iron-on transfers for dishtowels arrived- I'm very excited about doing some sewing. I'm curious- what have some of you done to make an apartment more homelike after a move, or how have you freshened up your apartments to make them more livable and inviting? I'm especially interested in how you've done that through crafting.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    portland oregon!!!
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    328
    I've been kind of restless, and have lived in a couple different states. I usually sell/donate the majority of my furniture and bulky belongings. One of the consistencies, no matter where I live, are pictures and artwork of friends and family I have up on my walls. Most of the frames were either given to me by family or crafted or revamped by me. I still have the green paper with painted star frames my brothers got for me when they were in junior high. These pictures make me feel a little more connected to the past, and to people who are hundreds of miles away.

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    387
    The same for me. My entire family (save my dog) is 400 miles away.

    So for the last few years and the last few apartments, the most important thing for me has been to establish a "mantle" somewhere and cover it with family photos. (Currently a set of shelves hung on the wall, previously a desk, strangely never an actual mantle although that is how I think of it)

    Most of my crafty decorations emerged more out of a need for budget decor rather than really personalizing my space.

    The other touches that stand out are an old trunk that my grandmother refinished for me. The home-iness comes from my memory of garage sale shopping with her the day we found the trunk and the assortment of pom pons and little league trophies and childhood nonsense that it is filled with.

    I recovered some cheapo floor pillows with a beautiful fabric. They are more luxe than anything I could have afforded pre-made, but their charm is mostly the invitation to flop on my floor and hang out.

    My best friend made me a folk art collage of buttons framed in a shadow box. The design is just a grid with a unique button at the center of each square, but it was the perfect touch for my tiny bathroom (and justifies any color towel I want). Not my craftiness, but because it makes me think of my friend it makes my house seem more mine.

    Beyond that, paint is a wonderful thing. Living in my first condo and being allowed to paint the walls is awesome. My yellow living room and blue bedroom are so much more me than the dull institutional off white rental walls I've always had before now.

  5. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    86
    Lots of pictures and I use a French memo board so I can change them around and add to them. Lots of cushy pillows on the bed, chairs and sofa. And my baskets of needlework supplies in easy reach. Plus I light candles almost every evening that I am home. I love my apartment and it has really become home to me, but then I grew up in the military and was used to moving every 3 years. I love to decorate and usually add something new every month, or at the least, switch around some furniture or pictures. Enjoy it--it's your space.

  6. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    NYC
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    438
    The one thing I did was to gild some frames. I took a mirror I had received as a wedding gift and covered the frame with silver gilt. It looked faboo. I ended up doing the same to a few other frames and they look great.

    Another thing I did was take a cross-stitch sampler I had done years ago for my grandmother (now deceased) and put it up on the outside of the bathroom door. This winter I want to paint the kitchen cabinets.

    I went through a very long period of depression, with only a few months here and there where I resurfaced. There's been a lot of stress and I'm good at handling it, but it's hard to do when one is alone and too busy to make friends. So I cook a lot. And I craft. I did make a fountain for my bedroom out of a bowl, a fountain motor, and some stones- the sound is really pleasant. And I decorated the front edge of my tv with gilt paint and rhinestones. But I still have to work on making the space mine, and over the next few months I'll be pulling out the sewing machine and covering pillows. I also want to make a simple quilt or coverlet for the sofa, which is also a queen-sized bed. I'm thinking a simple art deco patten in dark jewl tones, because it will fit with the oriental rug and covered pillows I want to make.

  7. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    3
    The best thing about living alone is you can fill your home with things that you love and nothing you dont! I''m painting my whole apartment white to make it look clean, open and modern, plus it makes all my colorful things stand out.

    Thrift stores have been my saviour for decorating, along with sewing and embelleshments here and there.

    Oh and cosy the place up with rugs, cushions, candles, throws, artwork and lamps!

    My blog has articles and links that might inspire you if you have time to look, see my tag below

  8. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    81
    the biggest thing i noticed that has made me feel good in all of my apartments:

    don't be afraid to move things around.

    we've lived in our place for almost 2 years now and the more i move things when the moment strikes the more i feel nested. somehow - for me at least - i reinforces the idea that the space is mine - and plus it shakes things up a bit in a familiar-type way!

    good luck... :)

  9. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    69
    Yeah brightsun I know what you mean, changing things round makes it feel like a new room! I like it when you forget you've done it and get a nice little surprise when you walk in lol

  10. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    54
    I have several pictures of friends/family that always make a place feel more like "home" when I put them up. Other stuff:

    -posters/maps of special places I've been to
    -putting a handmade afghan or quilt on the bed
    -I have some very pretty knitted shawls that I rarely have a chance to wear, so now I drape them over the backs of chairs as decoration
    -curtains!
    -I also like to paint the walls before I move in if it's allowed.

  11. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    City by the bay
    Posts
    4
    I second painting the walls if you can. I just moved too and I felt like I really "bonded" w/ my apartment when I spent the weekend painting my bedroom, at least as much as a person can bond with a rented space (I''m of the camp that believes you most definitely can). I also have a feline friend who goes everywhere w/me, so I''ve made my apartment very cat-friendly with the addition of ledges of varying levels that I finished, painted to compliment the wall color and attached to the walls. I call them Bela shelves but I''ve read them referred to as cat lofts (sounds too fancy for my kitty and me!). You might not have a cat, but my point is that you take the things or interests that are very unique to your life and sort of build a decorating scheme around them.


 
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