Apartment 414

As I am finally settling in to my new (big girl) apartment, I’m slowly figuring out the twists and turns of decorating and organizing my new pad within the limitations my landlord has set out. Sometimes it can be tricky to personalize your pad when you are “prohibited” from painting and asked “not-to-nail” frames into the concrete walls ( a fairly difficult task to accomplish, even when this prohibition is lifted).  So how can you personalize and beautify your apartment without spending a fortune or losing a lease? Although I’ve only been living at Apartment 414 for 2 weeks now, here are a few, preliminary tips I’ve picked up along the way:

1. Personalize (anyway)

When it comes to the meeting room of your apartment, don’t be afraid to display personal “artefacts” that represent who you are, where you’ve come from and what you’re about. Your home should reflect YOU, so don’t be afraid to spread your treasures further than the bedroom  and show it off in the main event: The Living Room.

• My trusty Numark • Donated to my vinyl collection by an ex-beau, bound to be playing Dylan, Sinatra . . . or Mayfeild (much to Meghan's dismay). This thing has been lugged around with me to 3 different apartments and adds a touch of old world sensibility to our otherwise Ikea-furniture filled living room.

A quarter of my collection sits right below, displaying some of the ditties I usually have turning while cooking dins or getting ready for work.

On the book shelf, I keep a little stone that is close to my heart - a sand rose. Brought back to Canada from Saudi Arabia, this little token holds more meaning than you'd think. Sweet bowl also from the Middle East and adds a nice splash of colour!

To give your apartment a personal feel, try to steer away from a commonplace collection of Ikea prints. Instead, you can incorporate art that has meaning to you. Above is an image of Marsden, a beach where I built many childhood sand castles and memories. We have it hanging in the front entrance with 3 other black and white, original prints.

2. Colour your world

If you’re renting, you’re probably bound to white-washed walls that bring down the pretty factor immensely.  To avoid this problem, incorporate a few, bright splashes throughout your apartment that catch the eye and lighten the room.

Above our fireplace, and to detract from the simple, sage green walls, we have a bright orange print that is the center of attention when you enter the apartment. In keeping with the orange splash, we have a few other tangerine touches throughout. See below.

3. Organize

Keeping your wardrobe in check, your kitchen in line and your dresser pristine can be tough to manage, especially if you are constantly on the go (like myself and fellow nuts). So why not invest in a few organizational tools to keep the messy to a minimum?

Ikea is good for some things. . . I picked up a few of these rattan "DVD" boxes at $11 a pop. You can use them for just about anything. I use them to keep my personals and tidy up my top drawer.

My jewellery has forever plagued my dresser counter tops. To avoid this wee problem I seem to encounter, I have invested in a few organizational pieces dedicated to ma' jewels. This one is for my staple pieces . . . and then some. Organization is work in progress, okay people?!

In our kitchen we went for aesthetics over functionality, but keeping pasta, cereal, flour and sugar in jars, on display is an easy and attractive way to keep away the clutter.