If you’re a millennial and a renter, you’re not alone — millennials are consistently the dominant renter generation, making up 17.2 million of all renter households. And as a renter, you may be looking for ways to make your home truly feel like your own. Renters usually have limitations on what they can do to their living space, so it helps to get creative when adding your personal touch. Even if you own your home, budget and time considerations may also limit how you can customize your space. However, there’s a lot you can do that won’t break the bank.
To get started, consider using your senses to help you transform your space.
1. Envision the possibilities
When you imagine home design, you naturally think of what you see. To personalize your space, start with lighting. More floor or table lamps help to brighten your surroundings, and lighter window treatments let in more natural light. Experiment with cool and warm lightbulbs to see how each impacts a room as you may be surprised at the change.
It’s also important to consider color. Choose a focal piece that’s meaningful to you, like artwork or a memento, then draw a color from that piece to unify the room. For your design palette, stick with warm colors like reds, oranges and yellows or cool colors like greens and blues. Provide contrast with neutrals (whites or light grays) or black accents. Make sure to stick to 1-2 colors as the focus for each room, or the look can get too busy. You can also add color accents by hanging art or making changes that are easily reversible, like swapping out cabinet hardware or applying stick-on tiles. If the effect is pleasing, you’re on the right track. When in doubt, remove a few accessories to simplify the decor.
2. The power of scent
When you think of your childhood home, what scent comes to mind? The aroma of something cooking in the kitchen, flowers a family member loved or fresh-cut grass? Because scent is so evocative, you can use it to speak volumes about your personality.
It’s easier than ever to customize your home’s scent using Glade PlugIns® Scented Oil warmer with new patented MaxControl technology. Glade’s new warmer provides 33% greater adjustability than any other PlugIn, giving you the ultimate control to customize the fragrance experience and scent intensity in each of your spaces. You can choose from dozens of always welcoming scents and vibes from the fragrance experts at Glade — whether you want your laundry room smelling fresh (think Clean Linen), your kitchen smelling fruity (like Apple Cinnamon), your bathroom smelling floral (such as Aqua Waves) or your living room smelling warm (Cashmere Woods). The easy-to-use control dial lets you adjust the fragrance level to fit any room size (up to 550 square feet), or to suit your personal preference for fragrance strength. The convenient plug-in design takes up less space than traditional aromatherapy or essential oil diffusers, making it the ideal air freshener for every area. Choose scents that make you feel calm, happy, upbeat — or evoke a place or season.
3. More than a feeling
Don’t forget the sense of touch as you customize your space. Providing contrasting textures that offer visual interest and feel great to your touch can turn a drab apartment into a cozy sanctuary. Consider soft rugs to sink bare feet into, fluffy throw rugs and pillows or wall hangings that invite you to touch them. Contrast soft and comfy features with hard surfaces like metal, glass, stone or wood for lamps, table bases and book ends for a sensory-rich space that gives you all the feels — literally.
4. The soundtrack to your life
Do you prefer quiet? Or do you like music, or enjoy hearing the hustle and bustle of the busy street (or cheerful birdsong) outside? Consider simple ways to make the sound of your space reflect your character. With a wireless speaker, bring your favorite music (or nature sounds) into any room (of course considering volume if you live close to others). You might also choose soothing ocean sounds or white noise to calm down and relax. Just like sight, smell and touch, you can use sound to customize your space to your liking.
Creating your personal space goes beyond arranging furniture — it’s about developing an experience that speaks to you — and about you — so you can share your tastes and preferences with friends and family. If you use your senses, you’ll find that your home will start to become a genuine expression of you.