By: Carolina Pichardo
When I got our first apartment, it took forever for me to settle down completely. To be honest, as a young mom, I really didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t until I did the following that settling down to really build something of my own – with my kid – felt right.
1. Paint with colors you love. Apartments in NYC are plain white. My parents wouldn’t deviate from that plain white either, out of habit and also because it was the only color most landlords allowed in apartment buildings. When I moved out, I got a can of an orange pastel color for our bedroom. It was bright and beautiful, and made every day feel like spring.
2. Lamps are your friends. I love lamps. I love getting different styles and shapes and characters. After getting a few to lighten a few corners, our evenings went a lot smoother. There was something about the softness it added to mellow out our day. My daughter loves lighting her lamp, and getting her books in order. That signaled bedtime for her.
3. Stick to What You Like. My style has been earthy. So when people suggested metal tables and these metallic TV stands (for free) to decorate our new and empty space, I had to pass. I felt eventually I’ll be able to fill our space with furniture and pieces I felt belonged there. It took time, but eventually we built on it, it got fuller and incredibly homey.
4. Involve Your Kids. My daughter was in charge of a few accessories, especially when it came to her space. She picked the curtains, flower vase, our plates and cups, tablecloth, and pretty much all the small essentials. This is how we ended up with a Mickey Mouse waffle iron, Mickey Mouse toaster, Disney Princess forks, spoons and drinking glasses.
5. Make It a Habit. To care for your home. Not just clean it, but move furniture around, and play with different settings in your living room, bathroom, and bedroom. Change your curtains often to suit the seasons and holidays.
6. Designate Your Spot. All homes have it—every, single one, Mine is near the window, where the medium-size couch leans on it so comfortably so that I could put my feet up. The sun sets facing you, as I sit there, reading a book or drinking tea. Once you find it, you’ll wonder how you ever did without that haven.
7. Invite Friends and Loved Ones. Nothing makes a space a home more than inviting loved ones. It wasn’t after having friends over, and them telling me how cozy our space was that I didn’t realize how much I loved and appreciated this new space—our home.