3 Ways To Make Your Apartment Feel Like A Home

3 Ways Millennials Can Make An Apartment Feel Like Home On A Budget - The Confused Millennial

Happy Monday friends!

Some exciting news: WE’RE MOVING!!! and since you guys loved the cleaning hacks post so much, I’ve teamed up with my friends at LIK Squared to share some more fun home hacks with you! Today we are talking about 3 easy ways to make your apartment (or living space) feel more like a home!

Backstory: E and I have lived in 100% furnished apartments for the last five years! We literally do not own sheets, a plate, or even a fork! Living in other people’s home’s with other people’s things around us for so many years has left us feeling like guests in someone else’s home, and craving a homey space of our own. A few years back I got fed up and decided we needed to get creative on how to make our apartment feel like home (on a budget no less, without damaging/getting rid of our landlord’s stuff).

I know we can’t be the only ones struggling with this because right now we are actually moving into our first UNfurnished place and $$$ is tiiiight so we aren’t getting things that exactly match our taste or feel super homey to us if you know what I mean…

So how do you make your living space actually feel like a home, without breaking the bank?


Here are three easy ways:

1. Get Clear On The Mood You Are Trying To Create.

While replacing furniture to get that “rustic” or “coastal” vibe just right may not be in the cards, you can still create a feeling by investing in a few quality pieces. In our case, we love a cozy laid back vibe, #saltlife, which is why ditching the dorm room posters and hanging a gorgeous acrylic print by photographer Peter Lik was exactly what we needed (excuse the glare of my window on the picture, like I said I am working in a small space dreaming of overhead light some day ?).

Peter Lik is a world-renowned, award-winning photographer (seriously he’s sold multiple photos for over $1 million, and holds four spots in the twenty most expensive photographs ever sold) – and in July 2016 he launched Liksquared.com – Where you can purchase high quality, lightweight, ready to hang, acrylic prints of his work.

2. Bring in nature. 

A simple and easy way to breathe fresh air into a space is by bringing in greenery and flora. Something as simple as keeping fresh flowers around can make a big change. They warm up the space, and allow you to play with the colors and style to fit the mood you are trying to create.


3. Switch out knick knacks. 

We have spent the last five years in one bedroom apartments which consisted of a bedroom, and living room. No formal dining room, no den, usually just one wall dividing the two rooms. Which means our living room is a major focal point. By switching out the accessories in a room you can easily add a personal touch.



In this case, we stored our landlord’s couch cushions in a closet and spruced up the area with throw pillows and blankets that matched our style. We also added picture frames of personal moments. Find the knick knacks you can switch out easily to pull in elements of the mood you are trying to create (read: #1).


How have you made your living space a home? Let me know in the comments!

Looking to find some money in your budget to spruce up your home? Grab TCM’s Checklist of Money Saving Tips!

Thank you so much to Lik Squared for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

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  • Sarah Jean
    February 27, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Bringing nature is is SUCH a great tip. Nothing perks a room up or finishes it off like a plant or bouquet of fresh flowers.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      February 27, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Agreed Sarah!

  • AFunnyThingHappened
    February 27, 2017 at 11:01 am

    I’m so stuck at #1, but I know as soon as I tackle it, decorating will get so much easier! These are all great tips; thanks for sharing!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      February 27, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      It definitely will! I would get so caught up on the furniture not being the style I wanted, that I forgot I can still create the feeling from the furniture with some good art work and accents!

  • Mom Noms
    February 27, 2017 at 11:12 am

    These are really great tips. I was just telling hubby that I wanted to make our apartment more homey and didn’t know where to start. I’m definitely going to use your tips.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      February 27, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      YAY!! So happy they were helpful! Good luck on making your place feel like home <3

  • Cole Nemeth
    February 27, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Your home is so bright and pretty! Living in a small space can be challenging, which I’ve learned over the years, but I totally agree with all of your advice! Soon as I added plants to my house, it actually felt more like a home 🙂

    • Rachel Ritlop
      February 27, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Such a simple fix for awesome returns!

  • Elly Leavitt
    February 27, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    these are such great tips! I’ve been subletting (aka moving to various temporary furnished apartments) in NYC for ~ 5 months now and have moved 3 times haha so I feel ya on this article. Plants seriously help so much!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      February 27, 2017 at 3:26 pm

      haha oh i know the NYC sublet life!! haha you basically always feel like a slightly anxious, nomad and pray that theres just no mold and consider it a win haha

  • Sophia Reed
    February 27, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Great tips, and I really love the background color of the wall.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      February 27, 2017 at 3:26 pm


  • Kristin Cook
    February 27, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    I love the surf board in the background! It makes my heart happy!
    So does #saltlife! 😉
    We have been really blessed to be able to rent houses thus far. I have never lived in an apartment. Granted, all the homes I have lived in have been pretty old and fairly creaky, but it has been so nice to have the extra space. We were also really thankful because my grandmother gave us our furniture for our wedding (before her stroke she owned her own interior design store and she gave us pieces from there).

    • Rachel Ritlop
      February 27, 2017 at 3:26 pm

      haha it’s my first board and i refuse to get rid of it so i use it as art now – you can’t surf it any more because it had a few dings i was slow to repair which led to some of the foam hallowing out 🙁 – and that’s so sad about the stroke, I am so sorry, but very exciting about your furniture!

  • Erica
    February 27, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Oh, the art is AWESOME! Like Squared sounds phenomenal. And majorly fun fact- I had no clue you relied solely on full furnished places. That’s so epic!

    Coming Up Roses

    • Rachel Ritlop
      February 27, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      Obsessed with LikSquared! And yup! hence the over the top panic I’ve been in the last week taking on an unfurnished place haha

  • Anna Hubbard
    February 27, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    How exciting that you’re moving! And I live in a university-owned apartment so I definitely know how it feels to want to make a space more homey!
    -Anna | http://www.fivefootandfabulous.com

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 3, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      It’s definitely excited and needed!!

  • Jessie @ Just Jessie
    February 27, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    My favorite part is that you’re reading HP 🙂 I suckkkk at bringing in plants, but that’s such a great idea. The BF got me flowers for Valentine’s Day and it brightened up my small little space!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 3, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      Lol that was my favorite one of the series!!

  • Neely
    February 27, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    I rearrange our knick knacks pretty often!

  • Jenny
    February 27, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Love this! While my hubby and I have always furnished our own place, it hasn’t been in the cards to really go all out so we have random mismatching things ha.

  • Chantal Bernard
    February 27, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    It can be hard to get the “homey” feeling in an apartment but these tips definitely help!

  • Bella B @ xoxoBella
    February 27, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    these are awesome tips, I will have to save these for when I move out!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 3, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      Thank you! You’re home will look like a dream someday i’m sure!

  • Tammy Nilson Tenison
    February 27, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    Great tips! I love using vintage and thrifted finds to make a space feel homey.

  • Shelly
    February 27, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    I love decorating my home with photography! Also, loving the pops of color in the surfboard and pillow!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 3, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      It really enhances the entire vibe!

  • Megan Campbell
    February 27, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Man I wish I could have found furnished apartments! So lucky! In addition to your create a mood, I use a moodboard and research on Pinterest. I created my current apartment for less than 2k. It seems like a lot to some but it was an honest steal! 🙂

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 3, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      Lol it’s definitely been nice! Where did you shop for your stuff?? that’s a steal!

      • Megan Campbell
        March 3, 2017 at 4:28 pm

        All furniture came from Ikea and everything else I got from Home goods, Joss and Main and Amazon. I did a ton of research and purchased most things on sale. It took me a minute to accumulate things but I got the best prices. Seriously check out your local Home Goods. They have the prettiest things for dirt cheap. I live and breath Home Goods.

        • Rachel Ritlop
          March 3, 2017 at 4:29 pm

          loveee home goods! I got my desk from home goods!!

  • Kiara Catanzaro
    February 27, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Love these tips so much! I especially love how you talk about bringing the outdoors in!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 3, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      It really is such an easy way to warm things up!

  • Katie
    February 27, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    Love this! My husband owned his home before we got married, so I had the task of decorating and turning his bachelor pad into a home after our wedding. It has been fun to put new touches on the place and to spruce it up a bit with decor. Your tip about swapping out knick knacks is so true – I find that it’s fun to buy decorations for different holidays and such. It’s a fun way to keep the house decorated and reflect the current season!
    Katie | Millennial on the Move

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 3, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      Thank you! it’s so fun!

  • Alix Maza
    February 27, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    Yay for you guys! Love that you’re reading HP haha.

    Alix | http://www.apintsizedlifeblog.com

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 3, 2017 at 3:45 pm

      Lol that’s my favorite one from the series!

  • Silvia Marquez
    February 28, 2017 at 2:05 am

    These are such great tips! I definitely tried to make my apartment a home by adding things that I wanted and fresh flowers.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 3, 2017 at 3:45 pm

      It’s so fun adding those personal touches!

  • Anna Nuttall
    February 28, 2017 at 5:22 am

    These are great tips. You have a very nice apartment. I Enjoyed making my apartment into a home. xx

  • Ashley Mason
    February 28, 2017 at 7:00 am

    Awesome tips Rach! So exciting that you’re moving though!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 3, 2017 at 3:45 pm

      I am definitely excited about it!

  • Patricia Conte
    February 28, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Congrats on your move — very exciting! These are great tips, good to use even if you’re NOT moving! A spruce-up every once in a while is a good thing!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 3, 2017 at 3:45 pm

      Thank you!! I totally agree!

  • nicole simonetti
    February 28, 2017 at 10:04 am

    I am a firm believer in flowers & plants in the home because it really brings a happy brightness to the place, whether it be an apartment, condo, house, etc. x, nicole // http://www.nicoleeigh.com

  • Kirsten Ortez
    February 28, 2017 at 10:40 am

    I love the mood you created! I’m so all over the place with my decor since everything is from places I’ve traveled too… Going to have to figure out how to tie it all in!

  • Abbey Phipps
    February 28, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Great ideas! I like the idea of switching out little things! 🙂

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 3, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      it makes such a big difference!

  • Kristine Circenis
    February 28, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Tuck and I are moving after graduation and it is also hitting me that we have only lived in furnished apartments. These are great tips for me to hold onto as we start looking at pieces to fill our new apartment. P.S. Love the Half-Blood Prince 😉 xox

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 3, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      Thank you!! and it’s my favorite one from HP!!!

  • mckenna bleu
    February 28, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    This space looks so cozy! I totally love the mood of your apartment!

  • Shane Prather
    February 28, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    I love the beachy vibes and the open space of your apartment! Makes me wish I lived near the ocean!

  • Miss ALK
    February 28, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    It can definitely be hard to make apartments feel like home when you’re moving around a lot as a young millennial! You have some great tips here! I love adding special sentimental touches that don’t break the bank to my living space, and shopping at home goods stores!

    xoxo A

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 1, 2017 at 9:06 am

      Homegoods is my jam!!!

  • Kim Montray LaCoste
    February 28, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Your place is so cute and cozy. I love the print and the surfboard because coastal is my jam!!!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 1, 2017 at 9:05 am

      Haha fo’ sho’! Mine too! I saw that print and was like “I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE!”

  • Summer @ Coffee With Summer
    February 28, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    These are so spot on! I didn’t bother decorating our old apartment, since my husband lived there beforehand. I’m loving that I can finally make our new house our home together now!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 1, 2017 at 9:05 am

      YAY! That’s so exciting! I can’t wait to see what you do with your place!

  • Alex Carreno
    February 28, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    I love all these ideas! I couldn’t imagine living in so many places that were already furnished. You go!


    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 1, 2017 at 9:05 am

      Lol thank you! It definitely makes the apartment hunt more stressful (since it limits your inventory) but it’s been worth it up to this point!

  • Nicole Booz
    February 28, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    I have never lived in a pre-furnished apartment, I didn’t even realize that was still a thing! I love tip #2 – plants and flowers always make a space feel happier to me!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 1, 2017 at 9:04 am

      Lol yup!!! And we have loved it since we never have had to buy a fork even! haha

  • Sydney Power
    March 1, 2017 at 2:56 am

    YES I LVOE THESE IDEAS!! I also agree that adding some nature elements is the best!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 1, 2017 at 9:04 am

      Thank you Sydney!

  • Alexis
    March 1, 2017 at 7:52 am

    I love how your styled your apartment! I also made sure my apartments felt like home. It made it so much better to come home to.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 1, 2017 at 9:04 am

      Thank you! It really makes SUCH a difference when you can make the space feel like it’s your own!

  • Maegan Clark
    March 1, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    So cute! I lived in an apartment for six years and it’s so important to make sure that space feels like yours!

  • stephanieabills
    March 1, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    Love the advice! I love bringing in as much nature into my place as possible. There is nothing more calming than having fresh flowers in my room to help purify the air and just bring a happy vibe.

  • Chelsea
    March 2, 2017 at 10:09 am

    So cozy! I love your space! I love bringing flowers in, too! It definitely makes it more home-y! 🙂

  • Adriana
    March 2, 2017 at 10:24 am

    These are such great tips! I love your living room chair – it’s so pretty! And I love having fresh flowers around at ALL times possible too!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 3, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      Thank you! it’s my landlords! It’s one thing I wish I could take on our move!

  • Erin of Very Erin
    March 2, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Great tips! Our apartment that we moved out of last year wasn’t furnished, but it definitely didn’t feel like home. We didn’t do a good job of making it more personal to us!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 3, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      yeah i am hoping our new place feels like home! I think it will since it has all the dream qualities we want!

  • Melinda House
    March 2, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    I’m loving your blanket and throw pillow, so cute!

  • Ashley Vickney
    March 7, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Love having photos of our family and friends! Also that print is beautiful! The pops of color are so pretty!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      March 10, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      Thank you!!! I love the pops of color too! I was immediately drawn to it!

  • Vivian
    April 7, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Bringing in nature was one of the best decisions I’ve made when I recently moved to my new apartment. I love your pictures! Sweet post!

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