Have you guys ever had a panic attack? I have only had a few in my life, but they are not fun. I get them when I am super stressed or when I am really worried. I think they come from the clutter in our lives that we sometimes do not take care of. The "oh, I'll get to that emotion later" kind of thing. I am someone that always worries about other people before myself. I am super easy going, go with the flow, 5-second rule kind of girl. BUT when I have a freak out, it's an issue. One time I was in college and I had a freak out because I felt like I had no vision of the future. I mean seriously. I could not see ANYTHING in my future. Not like "oh my life is going nowhere", but more like "oh wow I don't have any idea what's next" kind of deal. Maybe I just spilled my craziness there... but seriously. When we can't see what our future looks like, it's scary! EVEN when what we envision for ourselves is COMPLETELY off course. It's comforting to feel like we have some stability, or any type of direction.
I have always been a lover of "things". Not in a materialistic way I don't think, but in a sentimental way. I never used to throw things away. I mean seriously never. I had this desk that my parents got me when I was young and I remember the bottoms falling out of the drawers because they were so heavy!! FULL of things that I would never use again or things that never even got used at all. WASTEFUL! I have touched on this before, but last year I really got the chance to go through EVERYTHING that I own. I got rid of soooo much. Some just junk, and others were things that brought back so many memories like it was yesterday, everytime I looked at them, so they never got thrown away.
That brings us to this.
I think that the anxiety we get a lot of the time comes from holding on to our past and also holding on to all kinds of things that we don't need and are not useful anymore. Junky home=junky life. I've enjoyed cleaning out different areas of my home. It's theraputic and helps me move forward wihtout holding onto the past and what I thought the future would look like. Let's be honest, we can't control that anyways and it usually works out even better when we don't try to.
So, when you are living in a small space like an apartment, how do you make it personable, functional and still look good, without having the junk of your life spilling out all over the place in such a small space? You want your home to look great and reflect who you are... How do you do that without spending a fortune? I have a lot of my friends ask me questions like this and let me tell y'all, there's not a quick fix! It takes significant amount of time to make a small space functional and inviting. Start with cleaning out the things you don't need or even look at anymore. It hurts at first, but by doing this your tiny home will start to shape up in no time.
Here are just a few helpful tips that I hope help!
1. Less is more
Sometimes it's hard to see the big picture... but we NEED those middle school participation trophies... right? Um no. The items you choose to display in your home should be either truly sentimental, or accessories that strictly go with the aesthetic that you are looking for and enjoy. Books... well books are a little different. I don't quite agree with the whole " you should only have 30 books" deal. I think if you are a book person, then spread the love! Use the books! Organize them in a way that makes sense and looks nice to you. You can get bookshelves from Amazon that are nice looking and not a huge investment. When you're organizing your shelves... make sure that you use other objects that give your eye a place to rest. A candle, an hour glass, a tall vase with a single flower, these are all things that can easily go on a bookcase to give your eye that rest. If your books completely fill the whole shelving unit, then you probably need another one to help balance all of that knowledge out.
When you live in a small space, it tends to be a little tricky buying furniture. Making sure that your furniture is of the right scale is pretty important when you're pulling a space together. If you can't walk around your couch easily, then it's probably time to downsize. You can downsize to a love seat, or a smaller sofa with less bulky chairs to compliment. Chances are that if you are living in an apartment, you probably aren't having loads of people over at a time, so it's alright to get rid of that huge couch that was passed down to you in college. You are working now and it's time to make your home YOURS. That's one great thing about "growing up". You can start collecting a home full of things that you love and make it feel like yours, rather than things that are passed down to you because you had no money.
PLEASE, friends, PLEASE don't skimp on the bedding. If there is one area that you are going to splurge, splurge on your bedding! You may not even have to "splurge". There are plenty of places that are not Walmart that you can buy your bedding from. For example, Target has wonderful sheets if you're looking for some that are not super fancy, but also not the disgusting thin itchy sheets. Trust me. You'll be thanking me later. Also, Amazon has some really great linen duvet covers. The key to a great looking bed is 100% layering. Our bed is the best looking thing in our little home right now and it's because of all of the layers! Start with your sheets. I think THESE are the ones that we have and we've got not complaints with them. Next, blankets quilts and duvets! You don't have to have them all of course, but the more of these, the more cozy your room will feel. Then, pillows, pillows, pillows! I go way overboard with the pillows... I'm a pillow connoisseur, if one would. When you're buying (or making if you're good like that) pillows, make sure they are different sizes. This will help with the texture and dimensionality of your bed. Keep it from look flat and Plain Jane. (PSA, Pottery Barn has up to 40% off all bedding right now, which is crazy...)
I mean... how comfy does this bed look? It's the texture and those layers!
How do you accessorize a home?? Well, first you have to choose what type of atmosphere you want to create in your home. Do you want a clean white atmosphere? Often times glass is a great option to accessorize with when you are wanting a space to feel clean and open. Glass can be a vase, a blown art piece, or even those little beads inside of a nice jar. What if you just want a relaxed space that people can come and feel comfortable in? This is another great time to layer! Blankets, pillows, books. All of these things are inviting and things that everyone is able to use. You can read, I can read. It sounds simple, but it's so true. When you use things that people are familiar with, it makes them feel more comfortable and welcome in your home. Also, the layering of all things soft makes for a pretty comfy living space as well, just like your bedroom! Use photos in nice picture frames to add some character to your space as well. Stein Mart can help you in that area! They have a ton of really affordable picture frames that are fun and different, along with more simple frames for a formal area.
Make sure that you have a coffee table and add a small table beside the single chairs in your living room. It never fails, someone will need a spot for their drink! You can get little tables like I'm talking about at Target , World Market (also has really great home sales right now), and a ton of other home places. Like I mentioned last week, we have two little drum tables and they get used WAY more than you would think. They were like $10 each on sale or something ridiculous like that and I had to have them.
When you're accessorizing different areas, it's a good idea to use books to raise things up to give some height variance. This trick is great for coffee tables, bars, built-ins and other spots like that. Notice how all well designed homes have lots of height variation...
So remember... height variation, texture, space for the eye to rest! If you can remember these 3 things, you're well on your way to a home that you will love.
A few things to let you guys know!
-Next week I'll be talking about baby nurseries! I had a few people ask me to write about how to pull together a great "nursery", so I am really excited about that!
-GIVEAWAY!!!! Make sure to follow Emteriors on Facebook and Instagram because in the next week I'm doing an awesome giveaway that I really don't want you guys to miss!!
-Last thing, I'm going to do a little one off blog about Aspen and how everything has been going with her. I just thought about it and I realized that our friends and family don't get to watch her grow up like we do, so I wanted to share what has been going on since we brought her home! SO. If you're interested in that, that will be up soon. If you hate babies, well, I guess you'll just have to skip that one. :)
Thanks you guys!