So you’re subletting in San Francisco for the summer, or you’re chilling in Crothers. Or, you landed a barren apartment in New York. A couple things are for certain: this place does not feel like home—and 10 weeks isn’t enough to really make this space yours. First and foremost, remember your living space will affect every part of your internship experience. It’ll affect your mood, how you wake up, and how you relax after work. Take a look at these 10 tips for making your summer living space, well, home!
1. Embroidered Indian silk or batik wall hangings These beauties are available in dozens of places from specialty stores to World Market. Perfect if you’re walls are completely white, bare, and kind of hospital-y.
2. Old vinyl records Let’s face it, your bookshelves won’t be filled with math textbooks this summer (well, unless it’s for test prep). Visit record stores and buy some cheap, colorful records of yesteryear. Lining these up on shelves adds some character to your space. Best thing I’ve ever found: A 60’s vintage Winnie the Pooh album in Amoeba records for $7.
3. Move the television out of the bedroom. This will make your sleeping space a much calmer atmosphere and you’ll get to bed at an earlier hour. Nothing’s worse than falling asleep with the TV on to wake up to gruesome news stories at odd hours. (See: Miami zombie attack)
4. Have to buy plates? Visit the nearest thrift store and buy mismatched, vintage china. Then, go to Target and pick out solid color placemats to complement your quirky choice of art. Extra points if they have cat motifs.
5. Fresh flowers! Always. Find the nearest farmer’s market and buy a giant bundle of sunflowers. Repeat weekly. Not only will your space liven up, you’ll explore your new city and get some fresh air.
6. Make a giant t-shirt quilt out of all your sorority/Stanford shirts. You’ll stay warm, not have to throw out the memories, and appreciate the brightness it adds. Don’t worry! If you’re not handy with a needle and thread, there are some companies where you can just send in your shirts and they’ll handle the rest. Instructions here: http://www.goosetracks.com/T-ShirtQuiltInstructions.html
7. Hide closet clutter. It’s never fun seeing a completely trashed closet the second you walk in the door. Keep at least your t-shirts and jeans neatly folded in stacks. No door? Buy an extendable shower rod and a fabric curtain and make one!
8. Giant coffee table books The “bargain books” section of any Barnes & Noble has a huge selection of cheap coffee table books for $6-$10. Pick a couple featuring favorite travel spots or musicians and leave them out for your guests to thumb through. Cool book finds: Vargas-girl pin ups, Greek Islands, African animals.
Remember, a summer is plenty of time for you to make this space your own, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Send decorating tips my way—I’d love to hear what you’ve “done with the place”!