Millennials want to own homes, but many of them are still renting. The money for a home just isn’t there like it has been for previous generations. Part of that is because of student loans. It can be hard to collect enough money for a down payment if you’re barely scraping together enough to keep your education loans from defaulting. Even if you can afford to buy a home, you may have to compromise on what kind of home. For instance, if you want to live in the heart of a big city, you may instead have to snag a place in the suburbs. But with the right decoration, almost any home can start to resemble your dream home. Here are a few decorating tips for members of the millennial generation.
Use your photos in a new way
Your parents might have framed photos of you hanging on their walls, but what if you want something a little less traditional and typical? Besides, your lease doesn’t allow you to hang nails in the wall anyway. Luckily, you can display photos in your home without wrecking the walls or making your apartment look too much like your childhood home.
Look at your best photos. They might be on Instagram, Facebook, or even just hanging out on your phone and sucking up storage space. A few might be selfies, but odds are the really striking images will be the ones you take with friends. It could be as simple as a photo of you guys in a bar on a random Thursday night. Take these images and display them by making canvas prints from photos.
Canvas prints are easier to hang than traditional frames. They’re not as heavy and old-fashioned. They look cool and can be taken down without much trouble whenever you move. Framed photos can blend in all too easily, but a crystal clear image on canvas is going to stand out.
Learn about upcycling
We’ve all heard about people getting rid of things that don’t “spark joy.” But their loss can be your gain. If you haven’t heard of the term upcycling, now’s a good time to acquaint yourself with this concept. Upcycling is not the same thing as recycling. Instead, it’s about taking the same materials and making them better somehow.
It might be as simple as throwing a new coat of paint onto a piece of furniture. Or it could mean taking an old blanket and turning it into a trendy skirt. If you see something and feel inspired, then upcycling can mean just about anything.
If you’re doing it right, upcycling can add character to something that was previously on its last legs. You don’t want people to look at an item and say, “That looks tired.” Instead, you want people to look at it and think, “That piece has a history.”
Store what doesn’t work
If you’re feeling cramped, it might not be just because your roommate insisted on bringing in a couch that takes up half the living room. In big cities, apartment prices have gone up at the same time as overall square footage has gone down. Depending on where you live, you’re likely to see ads for “microstudios” that are 200 or 300 sq. ft. Seattle, Manhattan, and Chicago have some of the smallest apartments in the country based on average size.
So what do you do if there’s no clear place to put your side table? You can try squeezing it in somewhere that looks unnatural, but that’s not a great option. Putting it in self-storage is a better idea. There are self-storage units that are cheap enough for you to rent them for a year or so while you figure out your next step. Maybe you’ll get a bigger apartment, or maybe you’ll decide to give the table to a friend with more space. Either option is better than tripping over a piece of furniture when you get up to use the bathroom at 3 a.m.