New York is a city of renters, which begs the question: how to create a uniquely personal space in a potentially temporary abode? According to Design Sponge, the form of the house—whether it be a tiny apartment, an airy loft or an entire brownstone—matters less than what’s inside. Here, the online mag's suggestions for where to focus your attention, and transform a house into a home:
• Rugs: Bare floors aren’t just sterile, they also fail to absorb sound, making a space seem empty and echo-y. Carpets—especially heirlooms or other rugs with a personal touch—warm up a room.
• Lighting fixtures: Often, the fixtures that come ready-installed in a rental are simple and cost-effective—but boring. Interesting fixtures add character, and you don’t have to spend a lot. Thrift shops, flea markets, even IKEA are all good resources for inexpensive lighting with personality. (Just be sure to keep the existing figures so you can swap them back in when you move out and get your security deposit back.)
• Art: Empty walls can be soothing, but adding a few (or even many) pieces of art makes your place unique. The artwork doesn’t have to be expensive so much as meaningful to you. It also doesn’t have to be a framed image hung on the wall—though that works, too. A creative display of beloved books, an element of nature (say, an interesting branch or collection of shells) or a piece of sculpture all count.