New Year, New You: Hitting Refresh on Your Apartment

By now, you’ve probably already made New Year’s Resolutions (and if you haven’t, check out our post on resolutions every YP should make in 2017). But how many of them concerned your apartment?

Sure, your one-bedroom can’t lose weight, finally start saving money for retirement, or in general stop being such a downer to everyone it encounters. But that doesn’t mean it can’t get stale and tired. And who wants to change their life surrounded by the same old boring four walls?

That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to refreshing your apartment this year. None of these tips are very expensive, and none of them require vast amounts of time. But they will spice things up in the bedroom… and the bathroom, and the living room, and kitchen.

Repaint Your Boring Walls

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I once moved into a place with lime green walls. Think key lime pie, or a tennis ball that’s been left in the rain for a few days. They were so bright that I had trouble sleeping at night, but my landlord said that the green was a “signature” color. I later saw buckets of it on extreme markdown in Home Depot.

The lesson? Landlords just paint the walls with whatever color is cheapest. Often, that’s the same boring white or off-white — cough, excuse me, eggshell. That shit gets boring.

It depends on your landlord, and your lease — in some cases, you might not be allowed to, or you might have to repaint the walls when you move out — but if you do a good enough job, many landlords will welcome a paint job (these guys can help). Try an accent wall. Paint your kitchen blue. Grey looks great in a bedroom.

A new color can really change how a room catches light. So put down a drop cloth, be careful about taping around windows and moulding, and — unless you’re looking for an out-of-body experience — open a window. 

Move All Your Furniture Around

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Take the New Year as a time to shake things up. Changing the arrangement of your furniture is more than just moving some chairs around (although that’s great, too.) Take stock of your space: Where do you spend the most time?

You might find that you get the most work done at the kitchen table. So make it your desk. Your bedroom might be right next to the alley with all the dumpsters in it: Move your bed to the living room and turn your bedroom into a study. Who says your bedroom has to be where you sleep? Why does the dining room table have to be in the same room as the couch?

If you have roommates, you should probably ask before you start carting things around.

Throw a Dinner Party


Apartment life can get a little cloistered — all too often, we think of our apartments as places to get AWAY from people. And that’s great! But it’s easy to get stuck in a rut when all you do in your place is shuffle from the couch to the fridge for more beer.

Throwing a dinner party forces you to see your apartment as others do. That will probably mean some light housecleaning, and of course you’ll have to provide food and drink for your friends. [You could just order a pizza.] But after they’re gone, you might have a little more perspective on your apartment: It will be more than just a private space. You’ll move through it differently.

And what better way to ring in the new year than with friends?