How to make a furnished apartment your own – Expat challenges Vol. II

Moving abroad, moving to a new city and leaving everything familiar behind, even if it is just temporary, means change. It is known that human kind does not overall respond well to change, or the unknown, thus it is becomes even more important that settling in happens fast. Part of the settling in process and adaption to change is the creation of a home, a comfort zone. This obviously embodies our furnished apartment.

If you have the privilege of renting a furnished apartment, which prevents you from the strung-out and unfortunate process of furnishing it yourself, you’d still prefer to give it your personal touch.
It is about making yourself feel at home, even though it is just your home for a certain time period. Still, the need to feel at home is present and wants to be catered for. Naturally the first thought is bolting away to the next cheap interior store and buying inexpensive décor and starting to refurbish and redecorating the apartment.
And when you move out the entire décor won’t necessarily (most likely not) accompany you to your next destination. So, why clutter the already furnished apartment with unnecessary décor that means absolutely nothing to you, because you cannot personally relate to it in any sense.
Moreover, consider that the extent of your redecoration is limited due to the fact that the apartment does not entirely belong to you. Unauthorized painting of the walls in your apartment might not be the wisest choice, when trying to keep a good relationship with your landlord.
However, there are a few tricks to achieve the biggest effect with only a few adjustments.

We wouldn’t encourage you to bring a lot of your personal stuff because it would seem misplaced in this unfamiliar environment and can be surprisingly upsetting. Limit it to your favorite books, a blanket, your favorite coffee mug and a few personal pictures.

  • Bedding:

Buy yourself a generous set of bedding. Nice and cozy sheets and a new extra pillow in your favorite colour can do wonders when trying to make the apartment homey.

  • Plants / Greenery:

Invest in a small plant, a great and inexpensive way to add a splash of colour to your surroundings and brings life to your four walls.

  • Fragrances:

Choose relaxing or familiar scents that offer a unique way to personalize your apartment. Scents are known to trigger memories and make people feel more at ease. Diffuse your chosen scent by using room sprays or candles or your favorite detergent.

Be that as it may, Dustin Figge, the founder of The Homelike, an online platform for furnished apartments, suggests that it is important to focus on rewarding tasks during your temporary stay. For instance reading the books you always wanted to read, or joining a sports team or discovering the city and truly making an experience out of your stay will only bring you closer to your apartment. You connect to the apartment with memories where you read that, or saw this, or experienced that, which, in the end, will make you feel more at home than any other object you can buy.

Emily Byrne

Emily Byrne is responsible for content marketing and translations at Homelike. Although she now lives in Germany, she originally hails from Idaho, USA—and no, that's not located in the midwest.