Making it Your Own: Personalizing Your Apartment Space
By Mason Nichols
When Arielle Creps moved to Grand Rapids in 2019, she traded the ample size of her 2-story, 3-bedroom home in Lansing, Michigan, for the excitement and walkability of a downtown location. But as she and her husband pondered where they would live next, several questions came to mind:
- Which apartment community would provide the best experience?
- Would any of the downtown Grand Rapids locations provide enough green space for the couple’s two dogs?
- What about the look and feel of the space itself? Would it meet their needs for quality and aesthetics?
Arielle and her husband found their answer in Fulton Place.
Form, function and feelings
As Arielle began personalizing her 2-bedroom apartment at Fulton Place, which is located on Grand Rapids’ ever-growing West Side, she first took advantage of her surroundings.
“I’m someone that likes a lot of contrast,” she said. “I like having a neutral palette that I can put a lot of color into. The white walls in our space lend really well to that.”
Arielle injected color into the rooms by finding local artists to support and adorning her walls with their work. This helped brighten her living areas while also taking advantage of Fulton Place’s tall ceilings. She also added a wide variety of plants to her apartment, including some that have crawled up the walls over time, creating a more living, breathing space.
“Having these huge windows allows plenty of light to come in, which has been a huge mood changer. It also allows us to have lots of plants. I’ve trained some to climb up the wall using 3M hooks – in fact, we have a plant that started out rather small that’s now taller than me!”
Arielle explained that the plants and paintings complement each other well, with the plants bringing out even more of the color present in her artwork. Overall, her approach to design relies heavily on form and function. However, mood and the emotions one feels when entering the space are key – especially given the additional time spent at home as a side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Where to find inspiration
Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine how to decorate and personalize your space, particularly in an apartment that may not be seen as a long-term living situation. Arielle recommends social media as a particularly plentiful source of inspiration. She has successfully leveraged Pinterest to generate ideas, but also suggests using Instagram and YouTube, where you can follow social influencers, top designers and others who have knowledge in this area.
Ultimately, Arielle suggests adorning your apartment with pieces that are transitional and will function well from place to place – whether that’s simply another room in your current apartment or in your next home. She also recommends finding pieces that “speak to you,” since the goal of decorating is to make a space your own.
“We may be renting from Fulton Place and Rockford Property Management, but we still want to think, ‘I’m going back to my home,’ and not just, ‘I’m going back to my apartment,’” she said. “And that, really, was our inspiration for how we set up our space.”