The past year has brought on a significant amount of unexpected change—and for many, that’s included housing. Whether it’s finding a place closer to family or needing more space to do long-term remote work, more people are switching up their dwellings to accommodate life as we know it at this moment. In its latest campaign “Live Anywhere on Airbnb,” the lodging company acknowledged this trend, noting that bookings of more than 28 days increased by 10% between 2019 and 2021.
At the onset of COVID, my fiancé and I made it 65 days (literally tallied on our wall) in our one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment before admitting we needed to make a change. Co-living, co-working, co-exercising, and co-cooking in cramped quarters was driving the two of us cuckoo. Because we had the privilege of keeping our jobs and working remotely, we decided to seek brighter (read: larger and cheaper) pastures as summer quickly approached.
After a short stint in upstate New York, we packed up our apartment and made the cross-country drive to my home state of California, where we’re currently living (and working) in our second furnished L.A. sublet that we found thanks to the magic of the Internet (a combination of booking through Instagram DMs, Airbnb, Listings Project and apartments.com). Though we have loved all the extra space, finding myself somewhat unexpectedly in a new home full of someone else’s belongings quite frequently over the past year had me wondering: What are the best ways to make a temporary abode feel like your own? A full year later, here’s what I’ve learned.
The easiest way to make any space a haven of comfort is to make your new bed feel cozy and familiar. Bringing your own sheets, pillows, and duvet is an instant mood-lifter—plus, if you’re not a fan of your sublet’s decor, new bedding is an easy way to change the tone and color palette of a room.
$269 at Linoto
$115 at HAY
Most furnished sublets come with well-stocked kitchens, but adding in a few favorite pieces—a well-loved wooden spoon or the soup pot you use weekly—can make a huge difference. My fiancé and I prioritized our favorite tea and coffee supplies to keep our treasured morning rituals intact (I drove 3,800 miles with a Chemex balanced between my legs so he could have coffee just the way he likes it!). We also brought five or six of our own spices, which don’t take up a lot of room in the car but add a world of homey goodness to your cooking.
$44 at Williams Sonoma
$54 at Food52
$250 at Williams Sonoma
Hear me out: Watching a plant grow and thrive is one of the most fulfilling ways to connect to an object in your space. If you can, bring a small houseplant with you on your sublet travels, and you’ll be reminded of home every time you see it.
$18 at Etsy
Being an extrovert in the time of COVID has called for finding safe ways to socialize. Even as vaccines are becoming more widespread, consider sublets with some form of outdoor seating for hosting friends in a socially distant manner. Lacking furniture? You can rent chairs from Fernish for as low as $3 a month.
$3 at Fernish
Living out of a suitcase is a constant reminder that your new space is temporary. Take time to unpack and give items a home. Put your go-to soap or candle in the bathroom—bonus points for bringing your own little tray for jewelry and toiletries. Drape a throw over the sofa (a favorite scarf would do in a pinch). Make space for your hobbies: Put books on nightstands, your yoga mat by a window, or a board game on the coffee table. And if you find the layout lacking, rearrange the furniture—but take pics beforehand so you can move it back before you leave.
$32 at Redoux
$195 $165 at 1stDibs
$275 at Gropius Lamps
$27 $25 at Bookshop
$15 $6 at HAY
$125 at Food52Tag: ways to earn from home