As of 2015, about 39.5% of millennials are living with their family. That is a 75-year high. With property values and college loan payments creeping higher and higher, this is not only a last resort, but also a smart choice.
I am one of these millennials who opted for the rent-free option. However, living with your parents does not mean that you can’t have your own space. I turned my parents’ basement into my own haven. It is a place where I can go, relax, have a cup of tea and be at peace. But when I decided to take on turning it into my apartment, I had a lot of work ahead of me.
All of the cleaning and sorting
The first thing you need to do is clean out the space. This unfortunately can involve several days of sorting through things, and deciding what to keep, give away or trash. In my experience, this was probably the hardest part of the entire process. But, you will be grateful for a clean slate before making the space your own — at least I was!
Time to decorate
Decide on a color scheme. If you’re a fan of bright and bold colors like I am, go for it. Since I was working with a basement, I wanted to make sure that when people walked in, the colors were light and cheery, and put everyone in a good mood. Of course, for most of us, price is a consideration. Paint is a great way to change the feel of a room, without breaking the bank. Add some block color accents on the walls to help other things, such as artwork, pop. Little things like this can really draw the eye up.
Make it yours
When “living at home,” privacy is obviously a concern. Hang curtains to block off the apartment from the stairwell — this way, parents can still access the basement if needed, but you have a greater sense of privacy. Make sure to add those little things that make a house a home, especially any keepsakes that inspire you. You know, the things that make you smile when you look at them. Hang up lots of pictures of loved ones to remind yourself of the great people in your life. Indulge your senses with candles, soft blankets, and pillows — plus all are also inexpensive to make!
I still smile every time I enter my apartment. Living at home doesn’t have to be a cliché. It can be both economically pleasing and joyful, depending on what you make of it.