Transitioning into a new space is an exciting process, albeit settling in can at time feel a bit… unsettling. Once the boxes are delivered and the movers leave, the process of transforming this new and unfamiliar atmosphere into your very own new home can begin. In the years I have lived in Chicago, I have had five apartments and a list of my go-to methods I consider part of the standard moving procedure so I can immediately settle in and feel at home:
Modern Vignette: If useful and beautiful are the criteria, consider a vignette to be a bit of both. Looking to an empty side table, mantel or empty shelf, a well-balanced modern vignette has a stronger transformative power on the entire room than you might realize. There are no hard rules when it comes to creating a modern vignette, though I find sticking to three or five items and thinking symmetrically looks best, lest it turn into a knick-knack nightmare. Exactly which items to use? Consider it a chance to have fun with functional items as decor: clocks, lighting, plants, its up to you! If it brings you joy when you see it, even just a little bit, then you did it right.
Lighting– If mind-numbingly harsh LED overhead lighting is not your thing (what I call the alien mothership lights), look to the infinite other lighting options. Whether its the ostentatious chandelier or a $5 table lamp, accent lighting instantly changes an atmosphere from a one-size-fits-all to your personal sanctuary.
Signature scent– We all know smell is the strongest sense linked to memory and moving into your new home means memories are in the making. Diffuse your signature scent (anything lavender or sage are my favorites), throughout your new home early on and soon it will become the first thing you, and everyone else, will notice upon walking in the door. Years from now, this scent it will trigger all the memories of this settling in phase in your new home.
Furniture– Form follows function, in other words, step 1, make it useful then step 2, make it beautiful (not the other way around). Comfort is a key ingredient in settling in, so if you are using the floor in your home office to sit, those Executive Armchairs you’ve been considering are going to serve a critical purpose and address your immediate need which is to stop using the floor as a chair (and they happen to be beautiful too, two birds one stone). After this, you can go crazy with your modern decor ideas you have been pinning.
Entertaining– There is a reason its not called a housecooling party, but even after you throw your housewarming party, filling a new apartment with friends and loved ones is always means good memories in a new home.