So today I went apartment hunting in Nashville with my friend. My lease isn't up until this summer, but I want to get a head start on looking so that when Spring time comes around and I'm stressed out about graduating and finding a job, I'll already have my short list of apartments to contact to see about availability.
You may still be thinking this is too much advanced planning and you may be right, but truth be told, I love checking out apartment complexes and rental houses, so I don't mind. The hard part is not touring all of the apartments, but deciding on which one I actually want to live in for the next year. I'm always worried I'll get a horrible neighbor or see a mouse the day after I move in. Though I don't know for sure, I think I'll find something good and I'm still hoping that I happen to find an awesome, remodeled craftsman style house in a trendy neighborhood for a reasonable price 2 weeks before we move, but we'll see.
What I do know, however, is that I'm super excited to decorate whatever mediocre apartment (or remodeled, craftsman in a trendy neighborhood) we end up with. I've mentioned before that some of the main pieces of furniture in our apartment right now are mismatched hand-me-downs and while they have been much loved and appreciated over the past couple of years, I think it may be time to do some updating in our next place.
Now, I'm a touch obsessive by nature and when I say I love decorating, I don't love it like I love to take a walk with my boyfriend and my dog which is nice and relaxing, I love it like a person with OCD loves to organize cabinets and figurine collections. It is a mad, obsessive love. I think about decorating way too much and I thoroughly enjoy mentally redecorating new rooms that I visit (even if they already look nice). So naturally, I've been enthusiastically planning how I'm going to decorate our next place and I want to share with you my process.
First up, is planning.
My number one tip is make an inspiration board to help keep you focused. I made a specific board on my Pinterest account for new apartment decorating only. The important thing here is to only pin things that you'd like to see in your new space, not how you want your dream home to look, not how you wish you could decorate it, but how you're actually planning on decorating it.
I'm trying to pin only things that I think will help make our new apartment feel clean, welcoming and gender neutral-ish. So there's a lot of neutral colors (grays, whites, tans) and natural elements (marble, copper, plants). I'm not lying when I say I look at that board almost everyday. Even though we won't be making any bigger purchases until the summer, this board helps keep me focused when I'm shopping for smaller items and happen to see something I like, but that doesn't fit in with the aesthetic I've chosen.
An example scenario would go like this: I'm at Target and I see a nice pillow. It is violently floral and covered in sequins. Obviously, I'm in love with it and think, "I will buy this." But as I reach for it, I remember my excellently curated Pinterest board and I remember that there are no floral pillows to be found on it and that I must instead purchase a pair of floral socks to get my flower fix.
See? Crisis averted because of a little planning. Having a plan early on also gives you more time to shop for sale, clearance and estate sale items.
Another thing you might want to do is sketch out some hypothetical room layouts so that you can give yourself an idea of what type of furniture and accessories you'll want to put in there (most houses and apartments have similar layouts, so this shouldn't be too hard). Once you have an idea of what things you'll mostly likely want to put in each room, you can make three lists: Have it, Need/Want it, Make it. Sketching out rooms is another thing I do with a touch of obsession (see exhibit A).
So that's it, all those words just to tell you to make a Pinterest board and some sketches to help you plan for your redecorating project and to provide you with further proof of what a dork I am. You're welcome.