This article originally appeared on the Springs "You're Home Blog."
They say “clothes make the man”… that people tend to judge others based on how they’re dressed. That might not be fair (especially when you’re in your grungiest sweats and run into an acquaintance at the grocery store), but that’s how it is. In the same way, people judge others on their homes – how they’re decorated, what types of items are showcased, and how well stocked they are with the basics of homemaking.
When you have friends, family or coworkers over, what do they see? And what does it say about you?
If the way your apartment looks and feels is a mirror to your personality, what might you do differently to make sure people get the most accurate picture of you? Here’s a tongue-in-cheek look at what your apartment home and its contents might suggest about you.
A Well-Stocked Bookshelf
Unless your shelves are filled with lurid romance novels and slanderous biographies, people will see you as an intellectual…or at least as someone who enjoys learning and exploring. Besides, a collection of books on shelves makes a great focal point for any room. If you don’t have much in the way of a library yet, start by collecting some of the classics (you know: the ones you were supposed to read in high school) from your local bookstore, or make it simple and sign up to have popular and highly reviewed options delivered right to your door by Book of the Month Club.
A Kitchen Worthy of A Chef
People walking into a kitchen outfitted with all the latest gadgets, an assortment of cookbooks, and a refrigerator stocked with food and beverages will come to see you as a gourmet cook. But beware: they’re going to expect a meal at some point! If, on the other hand, you use a kitchen towel for an oven mitt, open beer bottles with your teeth and haul out a bag of stale chips when asked about appetizers, yours definitely won’t be the go-to spot for gatherings. If your kitchen isn’t quite ready for entertaining, stock up on the essentials at retailers like Williams-Sonoma or Chefs.
Lots of Stuff/Junk/Knickknacks
What do an empty wine crate, a broken lamp, old glass jars and your collection of wine corks have in common? They say “I’m a hoarder.” This kind of stuff clutters up an apartment and gives the place a really-needs-to-be-cleaned feel. Pick a few favorites and showcase those. The rest? Donate. Better yet, find something new to do with them on Babble, or try some of these upcycle ideas from Pinterest.
An Enormous TV
Your apartment might be the place to go when a big game is on, but if that big-screen TV takes up more than a quarter of your living room, you’re sending the message that lying on the couch is your favorite pastime; certainly no one is going to mistake you for the adventurous outdoors type. Maybe all you need to make your TV less intrusive is an entertainment center that makes it feel more like a piece of furniture and less like a Jumbotron®. Here are a few economical choices.
Awww…pictures of your mom and dad? That’s a nice touch that tells people you’re invested in family and work to build relationships (an especially good signal to send if you’re a single person looking for a soulmate). There are plenty of ways to showcase photos beyond a frame perched on the end table. Try a few of these great ways to display them.
If you’ve got a couple matchbook covers from your trip to California, a woven bowl from Mexico and a beer stein from Munich, display them! It tells people you’re eager to learn about and experience other cultures. Here are some interesting ways to display all your stuff.
Plants, like pets, tell people you’re responsible and nurturing. Read our previous post about the houseplants you just can’t kill so you don’t have to resort to fake ones.
Unless they’re Elvis-on-velvet or dogs playing poker, artwork tells people that you’re cultured…that you value artistic talent, and that you can make emotional or intellectual connections with imagery. If you don’t currently have much hanging on your walls, try sites like posters.com where you can get inexpensive reproductions of everyone from Dali to Van Gogh, as well as the work of little-known artists.
Not only does your apartment say something to others, but it can affect your mood and outlook. The right atmosphere can turn your apartment into a relaxing respite from everyday stress, and the place where you feel you’re at your very best. Try some of these tips to create a space that says something wonderful about you!