Recently, I moved into my own apartment. I’d never lived on my own prior to this, and the idea of decorating a space entirely to my own tastes was a bit daunting. I hadn’t actually ever had free reign over home decor before, and I had never spent a lot of time thinking about how I would decorate if I did. What kind of rugs would I get? What kind of sofa? Would I need a coffee table? Would I finally get plants and select ceramic pots for them? Would I frame some of the artwork I’d been received as gifts for years?
But even beyond the initial concerns about furniture, I didn’t realize just how many little touches are involved in making a home feel like your own. I hadn’t even realized that something like that would feel important at all. It hadn’t mattered when I’d been living with my friends, since in that shared space there none of us had ever really worried about decorating. Decor just happened, fairly informally, and there was always the sense that our presence in that apartment was temporary. Because of that, my understanding of home decor had previously been mostly unformed; I’d seen some HGTV but not much else. Surely just buying a couch was enough to really settle in, I’d thought. But how wrong I was.
Even after I got my couch, I realized that there wasn’t much personality in my house. It didn’t feel like my space. I’d thought just getting some furniture and plants would help me feel settled in, but it didn’t. I was planning on being in this apartment for quite some time. I realized that having something be so permanent meant that the way you set up the interior of it mattered a lot more. That’s when I really started to understand what home decor could be: it’s a way to make you feel like a space is yours. When it’s your first time living alone somewhere, especially when it’s somewhere you intend to be for a fair amount of time, that feels a lot more important than I had ever anticipated.
I learned right away that framing my artwork and putting it on the walls warmed up the space a lot. Putting my plants in ceramic pots and finally getting some little ceramic figures to display on my bookshelves gave each room personality. I bought some throw pillows in fun geometric designs and I splurged on accent chairs. I found a set of owl vases at a thrift shop for the kitchen nook. I bought a wrought-iron headboard and draped fairy lights over it so I could more easily read in bed. With each little addition, the apartment started to feel more like a place I actually lived, rather than somewhere a person was just crashing. Through the entire process, I realized that interior design and home decor was more than just something HGTV shows glossed over. It’s something people could do to make themselves feel comfortable and safe. At the end of each day when I come home I look over my little apartment and feel truly satisfied in a way I had never expected to, and that’s why home decor is so crucial. It makes any space, whether you own it or rent it, your home.