How to Make Your New Apartment Feel Like Home

Senior Couple Downsizing In Retirement Carrying Boxes Into New Home


Moving into a new place can bring up many emotions at once: excitement, nervousness, frustration, joy, relief, and more. Those of you who’ve lived in your homes for many years or even decades might wonder how this new apartment can possibly feel as warm, cozy, and familiar as your old place. You might even feel a sense of grieving or mourning for your old home. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to bring cherished memories and feelings with you to your new home.

The key to making a new place feel like home is simple: personalize it. Read on to learn easy assisted living decorating ideas to feel warm and welcoming from your very first day. Pretty soon, you’ll wonder how you ever lived anywhere else! 

Creating a Comfortable Environment in Your Assisted Living Apartment

Personalizing a new apartment starts before you select a new place to live. As you tour potential communities, pay attention to what you see, hear, and experience. Does everyone seem comfortable and happy? Are there groups engaging in activities? Are there pockets of friends sitting and chatting together? Notice the staff as well. Are they smiling? Do they seem helpful? Are they working hard to engage the residents? Is the place clean and safe?

Remember that while the setting may not look exactly like your old life, it should still offer a sense of community that you’d be happy to join.

Once you’ve selected your community, signed the papers, and hired the movers, it’s time for the fun part: personalizing your new apartment!


The easiest way to personalize your new apartment and make it feel like home is with photos. These days, there are many ways to bring a lifetime of memories into your apartment without taking up tons of space. Digital photo frames are a fantastic option. They allow you to create a rotation of photos so you can view different pictures in one spot. Many digital frames also allow remote sharing so that your children, grandchildren, or friends can instantly send you new images and videos from anywhere in the world! You can also create a printed collage of multiple photos in one piece with a service like Shutterfly.

Artwork and Decorative Objects

Artwork also warms up a new space. Whether hanging beloved pieces you’ve collected over the years, framing scribbles done by your children when they were young, or having your grandchildren create something new just for you, you’ll surround yourself with love.

You probably have a collection of decorative objects around your house: souvenirs, awards, medals, and even magnets or dish towels! Whatever is meaningful to you can be brought to your new apartment and displayed on a shelf or table.


This one can be tricky, as you’re likely moving from a multi-room house to a studio or 1-bedroom apartment. As such, you probably can’t bring all of your old furniture with you. This is a good time to have a conversation with your family about pieces they might want to take off your hands and keep in the family. As for your new place, be selective about which furniture you bring with you. That bespoke armoire may be a cherished heirloom, but will it fit in your new bedroom? 

Remember, too, that you won’t actually need all of the furniture you currently have. You’re not raising children and don’t need their beds anymore. Dining tables and chairs aren’t necessary if you take most meals in your community’s dining room. And you likely won’t need your entire home office set up if you’re retired. 

Although it may be difficult to say goodbye to some of your favorite furniture, decisions have to be made. You don’t necessarily need to throw everything away. Consider the following:

  • Donate gently used furniture in good condition to a place like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Many places will pick up your donations for you.
  • If you’re crafty, some parts of your furniture (wood, metal, glass, etc.) can be repurposed or upcycled. If you know an artist or crafter, ask them if they want certain pieces.
  • Large pieces of furniture or accessories that you can’t move, donate, or repurpose may need to be thrown away as “bulk trash.” Find out what your city or town does with bulk trash so you don’t end up putting something on the curb that’ll never be picked up – or will get you fined.
  • Junk movers can haul away anything that’s still leftover.

Plants and Flowers

Fresh plants and flowers often help people feel better at home, both mentally and physically. If you have a green thumb, you might have some houseplants that you can bring with you. Or you could get all-new plants for your all-new digs! They’ll instantly brighten up your space and freshen the air.

For those without a green thumb, opt for low-maintenance plants like golden pothos, ZZ plants, snake plants, cacti, or succulents

At the very least, fake plants and flowers look much more realistic than they did several years ago. They can still brighten up your apartment with lush greenery and other vivid colors.

Make New Friends

One of the most fun things about moving into a new apartment is making new friends! Remember that you’re not only settling into a new living space; you’re joining a community. Get out of your apartment and participate in activities that interest you. Meet your new neighbors and learn about life in your new place. Attend events and go on field trips. Before you know it, your exciting senior lifestyle will be full of invites and socializing, helping you settle in and feel at home.

Save Space for the New

Try to avoid taking up every inch of space in your new apartment with decor and furniture. Soon enough, you’ll have new art, new photos, and new souvenirs to add to your collections. Leave space for small gatherings; you may have friends over for coffee or a movie night, or the grandkids might come by to visit. Remember, this isn’t the end – it’s a whole new beginning for you! 

Interior Design for Senior Living 

When designing the layout of your new apartment, focus on functionality and safety. If you need to buy new furniture, look for pieces that maximize the use of space, like minimalist bed frames. Choose ergonomic furniture and accessories that promote healthy posture and balance, such as a chair that lifts you up or a table that adjusts to your height.

Many of the bathrooms in senior living communities already come with safety features like grab bars, non-slip flooring, and shower stools. If yours doesn’t have those things, though, they’re easy to purchase, and your community’s maintenance crew may be able to install them for you.

As you arrange everything, consider the layout and think about how you’ll move through your new apartment. Arrange your things in a way that minimizes your chances of tripping or falling. Where will you be spending the most time? Make those spots easy to access. Avoid placing objects where you’ll need to move around them frequently. Try to keep important objects within reach. Cord organizers can help eliminate tripping hazards in areas where lots of electronics are plugged in. 

Ultimately, the goal is to make the apartment feel like a safe and welcoming home where you can thrive independently while enjoying your living environment.

Find Your New Home with New Perspective

When it comes to the comforts of home, look no further than New Perspective. With dozens of locations to choose from around the Midwest, we know you’ll find a place to call your own.

Take a virtual tour of our communities, or speak to one of our caring staff members about pricing and availability. Welcome to your new home!