As you work towards total apartment mastery; that is, transforming your small, generic rented pad into a really cool apartment, you will at some point need to set ample time aside to shop for cool apartment stuff. This means a pretty wide variety of things to different people, but here are a few to get you started. These are listed in no particular order, except to concentrate on the practical, the indispensable, and the downright fun. Onwards!
A good lamp with a stable base and a long, adjustable neck. An extra light always brightens up the atmosphere and somehow puts one in a better mood. Don't get one that attaches permanently to a wall or a surface, but an easily moveable one you can take all around your apartment. Ideally, pick a design you really like, for example I have a fondness for those long metal folding elbow and spring-type arrangements draftsmen used to use, and also round shaped heads held up by flexible metal goosenecks. There's a certain antique classiness and function-over-form vibe I appreciate about those things. I'd look for one that uses screw in CFL bulbs. They are more common, less expensive, usually longer lasting, and are easier to install. Look for one with a heavy base that will keep it stable no matter what angle the neck is at. Some designs use a large, strong clip on the end where the base should be, while these work too, they are more fiddly and not as "take anywhere" as those with simple bases.
A radio. You may be the type who enjoys watching television, but a radio keeps one company in different ways. While a television sucks all your attention into itself, a radio is a soundtrack that that just drifts in and out of your consciousness, adding color and flavor to your day, gently inducing you to daydream. Of course in this day and age, when I say "radio" I really mean a stereo system that's good enough to not have to be set really loud before it sounds good. This is key to living in an apartment building, and don't let your noisy neighbors convince you otherwise. Invest in good, comfortable headphones for an extra bit of noise-control. And yes, do pick one that has a radio, for when you feel the need to hear someone else's voice.
Thick, luxurious bath towels. This particular luxury was still relatively affordable the last time I checked, so get yourself one or two now, and save up for another. Usually, it's good advice for lone apartment dwellers to get some stuff in bright happy colors to brighten the atmosphere, but there is something sacred about the ritual of cleansing oneself, whether it's with a five minute shower or an hour long soak in rose-water, and what that needs is the quiet whisper of white towels.The process doesn't need a big budget or a professional interior designer, all it needs to create a cozy, happy home for yourself out of that small rental space are a few well-chosen pieces of cool apartment stuff!
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