Living in Toronto is tough sometimes - you either have minimal space, or you are paying more money in rent than a downpayment on a home outside of the city. Here are some simple ways to upgrade your apartment, without breaking the bank.
1. Invest in low-maintenance plants
Emphasis on low-maintenance here - this will depend on the regular humidity of your space. If you're in a basement apartment with little light & high humidity you should opt for snake grass or succulents. They'll stay alive forever as long as you don't drown them in water. (I sing to mine, I think that helps)
If you've got refracted light and a humid space, try orchids or aloe plants, Again, water those puppies once a week. People get too excited about plants and tend to overwater them.
2. Get a Google Home Mini and tell your apartment to turn it's own damn lights on
You know that episode in Friends where Monica is in her millionaire boyfriend's apartment and everything is automated? And like the fridge says "hello" and it's super dope? That's literally how I feel every time I walk in the door and turn the lights on just by asking it nicely haha.
First you need an assistant, I have the Google Home Mini in coral, which was super affordable at Christmas ($40, it's going for $79 now):
I've heard good things about Alexa too:
And then you need a smart plug - I'm all about TP Link's brand:
And you download an app to connect the devices - I'm using Kasa. You set it up, an voila! You can even set timers for your lights to come on.
3. Figure out your peak sunlight areas and install some mirrors
You know how certain reptiles require basking bulbs for the growth of their shells? I'm a strong believer that we should all have basking lights haha. Especially in the wintertime where everyone could benefit from a bit more Vitamin D. This will also help your apartment feel really spacious - figure out the areas that your apartment receives direct light and install some mirrors in those areas. You could even try your hand at making a light shelf if you're super handy.
4. Invest in pillowcases
Whether you have a colour scheme or not, this is a really easy way to improve your space really quickly. Buy a few pillowcases that are similar in tone and colour, but slightly different. Really lovely way to tie the room together, and you can always switch it up if you're bored of your space.
5. Buy flowers that look just as good dead as they do alive
Dead plants in your home are legitimately one of the most depressing things. It's one of those things that some people will let it slide for so long that they forget about it, or they'll hold onto a 2 year old black rose from prom for the memories. If you're like me and love having fresh flowers around, choose the kind that look sweet when they dry. Snapdragons sometimes look like little skulls when they dry, and they maintain most of their colour.
These guys are my favourite - full disclosure, NO idea what they are, but they look pretty much the same as when I bought them last year.