When we first moved to Dubai and got our first apartment, it was exactly that. Our very first apartment together. It was a complicated situation. Our first time living together, in a foreign country we didn’t enjoy that much. Safe to say, even though we had an amazing apartment – one bedroom, two bathrooms, kitchen, huge living room and pool and gym on the rooftop – we didn’t invest that much in it. It felt impersonal and I wasn’t that much into apartment decorating.
But while there, I started to follow a lot of lifestyle, fashion and decor blogs. And Pinterest was born. I don’t know if I was an early adapter, but remember it took me a while to get used to the concept of having an online pin board. Needless to say, when I did get the gist of it, I started pinning like a mad person. So, when we moved back to Portugal, I started getting an interest in apartment decorating and experimented in the one we moved in. Which was my first apartment in Lisbon. This was my office. It was soft, beautiful, organized. Our bedroom was also the cutest with a white bed, two beautiful vintage looking dressers and the duvet of my dreams.
Moving here, it was a whole other story. Since we knew it was a place we would see ourselves living in for quite some time, we decided to invest a little bit more time into picking our furniture. You got a few glimpses of it here and there. But then we moved. And I got excited over the possibility of changing a few more things and upgrading others. And I found out a few tips and tricks, whether you’re moving, wanting to renovate or just in need of something new.
Pick furniture you love.
But then if you’re like me, you’re going to tell me the furniture you love is expensive. I hear you! But, think about selling some of your old furniture, save up to buy that special piece and think long run. When we decided to move, one of our challenges would be fitting all our furniture, which just wasn’t possible. What I did, and I’m still doing, was sell items I didn’t needed or had room for anymore. We sold a bookcase, media console, desk and a few other things. This gave us room to get a few new pieces that we simply love, instead of having to have it.
This actually follows the previous point. If you don’t like something, get rid of it. Sell, donate, DIY. There are many ways you can turn something old into new, or someone else might find use for it. It takes time, effort and some negotiating skills, but it’s worth it.
Make it your own.
Pinterest can only go so far when it comes to apartment decorating. It’s a great source of inspiration, but you have to adapt things and make them your own. Give your personal touch, add details that make your home feel like yours. For me, these are small objects, pictures of us, and little accents here and there.
Curate your space.
Don’t over do it. It’s important that everything is well thought and sought out, mainly because you don’t want to regret buying something only to find out you hate it. The dinning table we got was a complicated process that took weeks to decide. I saw a few handfuls of tables before deciding on the one we actually got. And I even got several opinions on it – which can get you even more confused.
Trust your instinct.
I’ve yet to find something that works as well as my instinct. When it came to said table, it was my first choice. But due to doubt, people questioning, giving their opinion and not normally trusting myself, I caved. But eventually went back to that first thought.
Bring in something that’s unexpected. Like an different pillow, a bright pink vase, a small painting that screams life. Your home should be a fun, spontaneous and relaxing place for you to be in. Give it that extra spark. Apartment decorating can be daunting, but your home doesn’t have to be.