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Ask Maeve: How do I make my first apartment feel like a home?

UntitledI recently moved and am living alone for the first time. I am having a hard time grounding myself in my space. I don’t know where to start to make my apartment feel like a home. It feels empty and without personality – what do I do?

This is a great question, and a common experience for many living on their own for the first time. Don’t worry – it takes time to settle into a new home. But if you’re looking for a starting spot, there are a few simple things you can do right away to make your space feel like home.

Re-create a piece of a place you’ve loved: a previous apartment, a cafe in your old neighborhood, your childhood home. Think about what it was that you loved about that spot – was it the plants? Or the cozy, warm textures? Now try to re-create some of these elements in your new space. This is a great way to make your space feel familiar and to match what was working before.

Bring in some color and texture! Paint a wall, look for pillows or accessories in your favorite color, or bring in a plush rug. Texture and color make your home feel unique and lived in. A high-impact place to add texture is in your bedroom. There is no better feeling than being able to fall asleep at night in a calm, cozy space, then wake in the morning refreshed and excited to start your day. So take a look at your new bedroom, and ask yourself, how can I make this space feel more like me? It doesn’t take much to make a bedroom feel cozy. If you want to keep things simple, I recommend introducing a simple throw rug (for either under or next to the bed), some new bed linens, and perhaps a bedside lamp.

Most of all, don’t stress too much – making a home feel lived in can take time, so take it one step at a time. Don’t be afraid to keep it simple: believe it or not, it doesn’t take much to make a home cozy. Sometimes part of the charm of a home are the layers of life that have built up over the years, so leave some room for growth! The good news is that you have this to look forward to.

Best of luck, and keep us posted!


Maeve Richmond is the founder and head coach of Maeve's Method, a home organization system based in New York City. She specializes in parents & kids, couples, small space solutions, space planning and decorative elements for the home. Contact her at or @MaeveRichmond.

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