75.6 F

Davis, California

Monday, June 10, 2024

How to turn your apartment into a home

Tips from a recently mooved-in student


By MAYA KORNYEYEVA — mkornyeyeva@ucdavis.edu


Often, a blank canvas is seen as daunting and perhaps even overwhelming. The amount of empty space requires quite a bit of imagination to conceptualize, and then lots and lots of patience and hard work to bring into fruition. When I moved into my new apartment in Davis this summer, I felt all those feelings associated with staring at a blank canvas.

I had just a few things with me — my bed, my desk, some kitchen supplies, some clothes and a box of sentimental objects. Now, I just needed to figure out how to arrange them. Initially, this wasn’t so difficult, but when I finished putting everything away my room looked bare and a little sad: it’s as if I just put some random stuff in an empty space and convinced myself it was fine.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I worked diligently to ensure that my apartment felt less like an assortment of storage rooms and more like a lived-in home — a place where I could feel comfortable and rely on to bring up my mood after a rough day of classes. Here are a few tips that really created an impact on my interior space, and which I believe made all the difference in generating a cozy and warm atmosphere in my new apartment.


  1. Add some indoor plants: With the off-white walls and the gray carpet, my apartment was initially quite devoid of color: almost like those “sad beige toys” that everyone is advertising nowadays. After walking though Trader Joe’s for the first time this fall quarter and noticing the glorious display of plants in all colors and sizes, I couldn’t help but take a few with me. The second my Monstera entered the living room, I felt my spirit lift. My small pink rose and assortment of fresh herbs followed, and soon the space was brimming with vegetation. Many indoor plants like the Monstera, Golden Pothos and Snake Plant require minimal maintenance, which makes them perfect for busy college students balancing their school/work schedules.


  1. Fill up the wall space: Walls are an important part of your apartment not just because they hold up the ceiling (duh), but also because they can hold paintings, posters, calendars, cards, photographs and almost anything else you can think of. These additions to an interior space add so much life to your room and can showcase some of your personality. Whether it’s a poster of your favorite band, a collection of quotes from your friends, a massive painting, a wall mirror, a hanging shelf or even LED lights, optimizing and designing the vertical dimension of your apartment is crucial to creating a room that is curated to you.


  1. Add some decor: My third and final tip is to keep an eye out for interesting objects and/or pieces of furniture. Facebook Marketplace is a great tool to use if you’re looking for cheap, second-hand household items, and often there are some real gems hidden among the old mini fridges and dusty pans. For instance, I recently collected a tall corner shelf for my living room, which proudly holds my wifi router and a miscellaneous assortment of books and gadgets. Not only is it functional for storage, it’s also an unusual piece of furniture that sparks curiosity and conversation amongst my houseguests. Similarly, I also tracked down a gorgeous tinted-glass bowl, now filled with fruits and sitting pretty on the kitchen counter. The bottom line is, don’t hoard unnecessary items; instead, collect a few pieces here and there that tell stories and add contrast to the bountiful Ikea furniture already present.


I hope these recommendations help make the “blank canvas” of your new apartment or dorm room feel less intimidating, and perhaps a little more like a creative adventure. Just have fun with it, and in no time your residence will start feeling more like a home.


Written by: Maya Kornyeyeva — mkornyeyeva@ucdavis.edu


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual columnists belong to the columnists alone and do not necessarily indicate the views and opinions held by The California Aggie.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here