3 Ways to Make an Apartment Feel Like Home

I’ve been out of the house now for years. Many years. But even after all these years (and five apartments here in San Francisco) none of my rented spaces have ever felt like a “home.” Yes, even at the age of almost 25, whenever I say “home” I’m still referring to my parent’s house.

But I know you feel me.

There’s something about rented spaces that don’t really lend to that “homey” feeling – but do they have to feel that way? After moving into my fifth SF apartment I’ve taken measures into my own hands and am creatively coming up with ways to make our cozy apartment feel like home.

1. Invest in art you love

Bare walls are a stark reminder you’re in rented space. Add some accents and fun into a room simply by tossing up a couple of your favorite prints!

I have a major obsession with Rifle Paper Co. Rifle’s hand is like whimsey meets watercolor – and seriously I can’t get enough (they’re actually doing 20% off right now – not even an affiliate link, I actually think you’ll just die when you start browsing their prints).

I’m saving most of my travel related prints for a future gallery wall in our bedroom, but our guest room is the perfect space for fun, quirky pieces! Alice in Wonderland was always my favorite Disney movie as a kid so obviously I fell down the rabbit hole for Rifle Paper Co’s mad tea party print! KB also bought me one of their “vase studies” that I framed and put on the nightstand.

Mmm this room feels so homey and ready for guests!



2. A wall plugin for (almost) every room

Whenever I think of home (aka my parent’s home) I remember the smells. I remember the smell of the garlic my mom tossed in the pan to start preparing dinner around 6 o’clock. I remember the smell of freshly cut grass after Dad finished mowing the lawn. I remember the smell of clean laundry. Memories are created and enforced through scent – so pick out a couple for your apartment and you’ll be well on your way to making your rented space feel like home!

I’m a huge fan of oceanic scents because they smell like a vacation – peaceful, serene, and all about nature. I popped a wall plugin in our guest room and another in one of the bathrooms. Our apartment isn’t very big and these two wall plugins (on opposite ends of the apartment) manage to diffuse their scents through the whole place! They’re also awesome because they’re subtle – perfect for those of you who get overwhelmed by candles and reed diffusers but still want a clean smelling home.



3. Add little luxuries

What really makes a home feel like home are the little luxuries. From a warm towel to a fuzzy blanket to a coffee station, the little personal touches you put on your space will make it feel homey in no time!

One of my favorite spots in our apartment is our mini coffee bar! KB and I made a somewhat torturous trip to IKEA when I first moved in and one of the things we picked up was this wooden tray. We have plenty of counter space in the apartment, but this tray helped to section off a designated area for the coffee bar. I stuck our Mini Keurig and standard coffee pot on the tray, utilizing an glass jar for K-Cups! My coworker gifted me this awesome “Treat Yo Self” print that totally encourages everyone to reach into our K-Cup candy jar and prepare themselves a hot cup of coffee.


There’s still so many other little things I’d love to do in our apartment, but it’s crazy how big a difference these three steps have made! Not going to lie, the OCD inside of me loves walking through the door after work and getting a lung full of a scented wall plugin. Mmm it smells so clean. And writing up blog posts at my desk, pausing to daydream while looking at one of the art prints on the walls? Nothing beats it.

But if you ask me, what really makes an apartment feel like home is sharing it with friends, family, and those you love.

How do you make your apartment/dorm feel like home? Or your actual home feel cozy? Tell me in the comments below!


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One response to “3 Ways to Make an Apartment Feel Like Home”

  1. Late January says:

    Having a cozy throw blanket readily handy always makes a place feel like home to me. I couldn’t agree more than scents, I especially love the Peony fragrance from Archipelago. Today’s post makes me want to go home and snuggle up on the couch instead of going to work!