Tips & Guides / Furnished Apartments

How to Make a Furnished Apartment Feel Like Home

By Bri Hand | Feb 22, 2022
Personal touches in a furnished apartment

Walking into your new fully furnished apartment can be a bit like having selective amnesia: You know you’re supposed to be there, but everything is strange and unfamiliar. The texture of the luxurious sofa is slightly softer than you’re used to, the coffee cups are in the wrong cabinet, and even the lightbulbs in the tastefully modern lamps are a hint warmer. 

In other words, nothing smells, looks, or feels like the place you’re used to calling “home.”

The good news is, whether you’re planning to stay in your apartment for a month or a year, there are plenty of measures you can take to shake that foreign feeling and make your new dwelling as cozy and familiar as the childhood living room where you spent hours battling your BFF at “Mario Kart.”

Ready to make your furnished apartment feel like home sweet home? Click your heels—below, we’ve compiled the advice you need to make your new apartment feel like it was made for you, including:

  • Get familiar with the fixings
  • Stock up on your favorite foods
  • Add your personal touches
  • Make use of the amenities
  • Introduce your favorite scents
  • Put on some tunes
  • Get to know your neighbors

Let’s get started! 

Get familiar with the fixings

Once you’ve unpacked and stowed your sweaters, tucked away your T-shirts, and lovingly hung your coats in the closet, it’s time to learn your new apartment like the back of your hand. The last thing you want is to have to stumble around in the dark when you need a cup of tea late at night or wander around with your laptop cord, searching every nook and cranny for an outlet. 

Start by locating the essentials, such as:

  • Outlets
  • Light switches
  • TV remotes
  • Linens and towels
  • Plates, cups, and cutlery
  • A place to keep your keys

If you know for a fact you’ll still forget where things are, sketch a rudimentary map of your apartment’s floor plan for reference and mark the location of these necessities as you go along. Stick it to your fridge, and voila—you have created the antidote to avoid pulling open every drawer to find a single butter knife.

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Stock up on your favorite foods

You know how the mere smell of cinnamon can conjure up the sweet, sweet memory of your mom’s freshly baked snickerdoodles out of nowhere? Food has a huge influence on how we feel and is often connected to our strongest, most sensory memories.

If you’re lucky, your host will be the kind that includes a few free snacks. Pretty soon, however, you’ll want to identify your nearest grocery and fill your fridge with your gastronomic go-to’s. Once you’re ready to go get cooking, your new apartment will be filled with an abundance of familiar tastes and smells.

Of course, if you’re not much of a hand at fixing your own supper, the other option is to locate the best-rated takeout menus nearby. If your host hasn’t provided these for you, you can easily find them online.

Add your personal touches

While you likely got to preview some photos of your new place before you arrived, it’s possible that whoever furnished and accessorized it didn’t quite share your eclectic preference of “bohemia-meets-space-travel” style and decor. So, what kind of decorating can make your home feel more you?

The first thing to remember is that whatever you bring in for decor will inevitably have to be taken with you when you go—and if you’re a digital nomad or frequent traveler, the ability to travel light is likely one of the reasons you chose a furnished apartment in the first place. 

Thus, your decorating options should mainly include decor that is either temporary or portable (or not too painful to leave behind). Some small items you can invest in to bring some of your personality to your home include a small rug, light curtains, temporary wallpaper, cushions, and peel-and-stick art for your walls.

Let’s examine some ideas to help you feel more at home in your new space:

  • Purchase a houseplant: Plants are a fairly affordable way to spruce up a space and add something personal. You’ll likely not want to travel with a delicate plant when you depart, but once it’s done enlivening your space, a small plant will make a great farewell gift to any friends you make while you’re there.
  • Rearrange the lighting: Most likely, your apartment will come with some lamps that can be moved around. Perhaps you need a little extra illumination in the entryway or in your workspace, but don’t necessarily need three lamps in the bedroom. As long as you put these back before you leave, there’s little harm in optimizing the lighting for your personal needs to brighten up your space. Beyond the lighting, feel free to rearrange the furniture in your space as you like it, too.
  • Invest in a duvet for your bedroom furniture: Unlike bulky blankets and pillows, a duvet cover and a couple of matching pillowcases are things you can easily fit in your suitcase. Simply slip your favorite Milky-Way-themed duvet and pillowcases over the provided comforter and pillows in your bedroom, and you’re ready to be whisked off to sweet dreams of shooting stars and far-off galaxies.
  • Put up some photos or mementos: You probably want to steer clear of the hammer and nail on this one, but that doesn’t mean you can’t display that treasured pic of you and your BFF on your last backpacking trip. Use magnets or wall-safe adhesive putty to display your photos on your fridge or walls, or slot them into picture frames that can be propped up on side tables, shelves, or other furniture. This small bit of decorating can go a long way!

Make use of the amenities

Depending on whether your rental is in a home or an apartment building, your new lodgings might come with some amenities you’re not used to having—such as a shared laundry room, a gym, a swimming pool, pet areas, and a business center. 

Once you’ve arrived, take an hour or two to track down these facilities in your apartment building. If you’re going to be getting any mail or packages while you’re there, you’ll also want to find out where in the building they will be delivered, if not directly to your door. 

Making an effort to get a feel for what’s around you will help also broaden your awareness of your immediate surroundings, meaning that what counts as “home” won’t be limited to just your apartment. Be sure to introduce yourself to any building staff or neighbors you run into along the way, and ask for directions if you need them.

Introduce your favorite scents

If you walk into your rental and notice some unfamiliar aromas, it’s no reason to turn up your nose. Most likely, your new apartment will have been cleaned shortly before your arrival, potentially with products whose fragrances just tickle your olfactories in a different way.

Aside from cooking, there are several other options to satisfy your sense of smell and feel more at home, such as:

  • Filling a vase in your living room with fresh flowers from the local market
  • Using a portable essential oil diffuser in your bathroom
  • Spritzing the room with air freshener or room spray
  • Open a window to let in some fresh air
  • Introduce a “signature scent” to all your rentals to immediately feel at home

One thing to note is that candles, while excellent at providing beautiful scents, are often a no-go in rentals due to safety concerns. Be sure to check with your host about this option before lighting up.

Put on some tunes

Another element of newness that might have you feeling off in your new apartment might be the background noise of the area—such as the ice cream truck that has somehow passed your place already three times today (lucky you!) or the unfamiliar whir of the air conditioning unit.

You’ll be happy to know there’s an easy solution, since what you listen to is also strongly tied to your memories, emotions, and how you feel about your new environment. Do the crooning tones of Elvis get your feet tapping? Start up a song and dance your way around your place, and you’ll be acclimated before you know it.

Get to know your neighbors

Even if you’re only staying for a short while, getting to know others in your apartment community and neighborhood can have a huge influence on feeling at home—and they can also be a helpful resource when you’re ready to explore your new city.

Hang out by the local pool or cafe and strike up a conversation with someone by asking what they love most about their city. Chances are, you’ll learn about something new to add to your bucket list.

You can also look for meetups in your area, including groups for those new to the city, board game and trivia nights, or that maybe even play weekly matches of the obscure variation of European racquetball you’ve been practicing since you were young. 

Once you’ve set the foundation for a few new friends, invite them over for a movie marathon or a casual home-cooked dinner in your apartment. After all, creating new experiences and memories with others is one of the surest ways to make you and your new apartment feel like you were meant to be.

Find a home with Landing

Gone are the days when those needing flexible living solutions had to put up with the drab interiors of an antiquated hotel room. Fully furnished apartments are here to stay—and they’re undoubtedly one of the best ways to experience a new city like a local.

When it comes to finding a place that feels like it was made for you, however, you need a source you can rely on. Say hello to Landing—your solution for fully furnished, flexible-lease apartments designed with you in mind. Landing allows you to live at your own pace, meaning that “home” is no longer just the place you grew up. It’s wherever you want it to be. Browse our apartments today!

Bri Hand

Bri Hand is Landing's Content Marketing Manager. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts, with her partner and dog, Arlo, but relishes any opportunity she can to travel so she can try new foods, see gorgeous sights, and daydream about living somewhere new after visiting there for less than 24 hours.