There comes a moment in the lives of all home or apartment dwellers when they realize they simply MUST do something about their decor. That stained brown couch, battered chair, and tattered orange shag rugs from college days have got to go!
But how do you get started on a decorating project for the home that will improve your interior environment as well as express your personality? The answers for home decorating inspiration can come from many sources. The key to a successful home redecorating is to have the patience and persistence to keep looking through these sources until the idea styles and colors are found.
Some people have a natural knack for home decorating. They love browsing through decorating magazines. They make weekly dates to watch their favorite decorating shows on cable TV. They even enjoy going to decorator show houses to see the latest styles, from wallpaper and upholstery fabric to ingenious window treatments and beautiful floral rugs. The point is that any and all of these, and more, can inspire a home decorating project.
One of the less expensive places to start looking for inspiration is with interior decorating magazines. Don’t think you have to buy magazines new off the rack. These days many cities and towns have secondhand bookstores where people trade in their books and magazines. These used bookstores are great places to find decorating magazines at significantly discounted prices. Remember, the best home decorating styles have a classic air about them, so looking at outdated magazines can be just the ticket for choosing a room decor plan.
Secondhand bookstores and public libraries are also excellent sources for books on interior decorating. If you feel you have a good handle on the basic concepts of good interior decorating, such as balance and harmony, you can focus in some of the more specialized techniques of decorating. These might include how to paint faux finishes, sew beautiful draperies or create your own reversible braided rugs. Whatever inspires you to begin a project is a good place to start.
Apartment Homesteading: Top 4 Ways to Homestead in the City
You live in the city, and you LIKE your urban lifestyle. Yet you like the idea of being self-sufficient, eating organic produce, making homemade food, paying less for groceries, being more independent…
The basic tenets of homesteading and self-sufficiency definitely appeal to you.
I have good news for you! Even if you have NO balcony, rooftop or even patio space; there are still many urban homesteading ideas you can put into practice right now in your apartment. Let’s get started!
Top 4 Apartment Homesteading Ideas:
1. Grow your own vegetables. You may not have a yard, but you can certainly start planting vegetables in pots! Otherwise known as container vegetable gardening. Even if you don’t have a balcony or patio, you can start growing veggies INDOORS. Really!
Vegetables that grow in the shade (such as lettuce, spinach, mixed greens, carrots, radishes, and certain berry varieties) are good first choices for indoor vegetable gardening.
If you have aspirations to grow larger, fruiting plants, such as peppers and tomatoes, you can use fluorescent, HID or LED grow lights to provide the necessary light for plants to grow. With a little creativity and modern technology there’s practically no limit to what you can grow indoors!
2. Plant a medicinal herb indoor garden. Indoor herb gardens are an excellent choice for the urban homesteader. In terms of what they require vs. the benefits they bring, herbs may have the highest return on investment of any plant you could grow. Not only do they add delicious aromas and flavors to our dishes, most herbs have multiple beneficial medicinal qualities.
The best part is that it is actually easy to grow herbs indoors. They require less space, light and care than other edible plants. Any window with a few hours of sunshine is perfect for a window sill herb garden.
3. Compost your own food. Long called “black gold” by gardeners for the invaluable nutrients it provides to plants, compost is something you can start making from what you are already throwing away. And now that you’ve decided to grow indoors (see idea #1), why not turn your discarded food scraps into the valuable resource that they really are?
You may not have enough room for a huge compost tumbler in your apartment, but I bet you could find room for a small kitchen composter. There are even composters available for smaller spaces, such as countertops and under sinks.
4. Ferment your own foods. Ah the world of fermented foods. Do you know of their many health benefits? Do you know how easy they are to make at home?
Humans have fermented foods for thousands of years. Not only is fermentation a natural form of preservation that keeps food safe for consumption longer, it generates billions of probiotics that are highly beneficial for our intestines and digestive systems. In fact, probiotics have been proven to render dairy safe for the lactose intolerant, reduce cavities in children, protect against colon cancer, aid with IBS (inflammatory bowel syndrome), and more.
A few of the most commonly fermented foods are: Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, wine, vinegar, aged cheese and kombucha (a delicious Japanese fizzy drink), all of which you can learn to make at home.
So there you have 4 ideas to get you started with apartment homesteading and self-sufficient living in the city. Other ideas include canning your own food, making nut butters, sprouting, making bread, and more!
Don’t get overwhelmed – start with just one thing. Arguably the most rewarding practice of urban homesteading is to start growing your own food, whether it be in a balcony- patio- or indoor vegetable garden. With the satisfaction of eating your own delicious organic produce, you will soon be inspired to learn other self-sufficient living techniques.
Turn Your New Apartment Into a New Home
How long has it been since you purchased your apartment off-the-plan? Slowly watch it rise into the sky. Excitedly taken family and friends along to the building site, as the construction takes form. Counted 6 floors up, and 3 balconies over, pretty sure that that space was going to be your future home.
And today, you’ve finally been given the keys to your new apartment, and when you step inside it feels like a hotel suite.
Now for some of you, that may be the exact look and feel you have been waiting for. A brand new, neutral palate, warm-in-winter, cool-in-summer, apartment that makes you feel like you are on holiday every day of the year.
For others, it is a blank canvas waiting to become your own. But where do you start?
Here are 5 simple ways for you to bring character and individuality to your new apartment and really make it your home.
- First of all, every room needs a feature. Look at your current items, furniture, lamps, art work, mirrors. It needs to catch your eye. You may decide to freshen up an old piece of furniture, give it a paint job or new fabric. Allocate one feature item per room. And, if you don’t yet have a suitable item, see ideas 4 & 5 for an inexpensive solution.
- Remove the generic, hotel room look in the kitchen by replacing the standard fittings such as drawer and cupboard handles. Fresh flowers always create a homely feel, but you can take it one step further with idea number 3.
- Balcony kitchen gardens are becoming more and more popular as urban dwellers choose to produce fresh produce without the hassle of a full garden to upkeep. Depending on the space available for you, you can easily maintain a herb garden, and planter boxes that provide you with fresh greens and tomatoes.
- Light fittings can be an easy way to also add character to your new home. Modern, art deco, antique looks can all be achieved by simply changing the light fittings. If however, your new apartment is kitted out with popular down lights, remember you can always add character by using a feature lamp (floor or table) instead.
- Finally, the easiest and quickest way to achieve a dramatic impact and really stamp who you are on your new home is the application of paint and/or wallpaper. Wallpaper can add character without needing to change anything else in the room. Wallpaper all walls, or just one feature wall. You can do the same with paint. Not only are there are many color shades these days (you can color match to anything, just ask your paint supplier) but different effects and textures too.