If you’re anything like us, you spent your 20s finding, honing, and curating your wardrobe and sense of style. But in our personal experience, the focus naturally moves from the wardrobe to the home in your 30s, as priorities, interests, and lifestyles shift (Friday night in instead of hitting the bar? 100% yes). While 30 looks different for everyone, it’s a fun and experimental decade for design lovers, as building and honing your personal definition of “home” starts to grow in importance.
Whether you’re nesting in your forever home or living the studio apartment life, here’s how our interior designers have noticed their own style evolve and grow into their 30s, plus their bits of design advice. Keep scrolling for their two cents:
1. Stay true to your personal style
While we all turn to Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok for design inspiration (and have admittedly been “influenced” a time or two), your home should ultimately be a reflection of you and your individual aesthetic preferences. From artwork and textiles to furniture, bring in elements that make your heart sing, regardless of whether or not they’re “photogenic” or “Insta-worthy.” Lean into your favorite colors, patterns, and silhouettes instead of jumping on every passing trend, and enjoy a home tailored to your specific tastes.
2. Make space for form and function
Good design is all about balancing both form and function, not one over the other. Creating a home tailored to your specific needs and sleuthing out pieces that are comfortable, durable, and beautiful will make you love your home on another level. For example, designing a proper entryway with designated space for your phone, wallet, keys, and beyond helps maintain organization and efficiency — and makes your space feel that much more established.
3. Take your time finding *the* sofa
A sofa is arguably one of the most important pieces of furniture in a home, especially if you’re living the apartment or studio life. We’ll never be above a good IKEA find, but taking the time to search and invest in a “forever” sofa that you’ll have for a decade plus is well worth the effort. This piece will come with you from home to home and make your space that much more cozy and functional.
4. Showcase your interests
Nothing says “adult” like having a room, corner, or square foot of your space dedicated to a hobby or interest, from a full-on poker room to a piano or simple reading chair or magazine rack. This thoughtful personal touch makes a home, apartment, or condo feel uniquely yours.
5. Create a home for your books
On that note, putting your books out on display adds a personal, lived-in touch to any space. Your books have seen you through many trials and tribulations, so why not give your collection a little spotlight? Get those books out from under your bed or out of the closet and showcase all that wisdom you’ve spent so much time acquiring — it’s such an easy and affordable decor hack!
6. Be realistic about upholstery
Piggybacking off the “form and function” point, it’s important to be realistic and practical about upholstery. We’ve personally convinced ourselves that we could handle dry clean-only fabric or a crisp-white sofa, only to regret the purchase months down the line. Be honest with yourself and search for the perfect performance fabric, slipcovered sofa, or easy-to-clean velvet in moody jewel tones.
7. Add thoughtful storage
Nothing makes a home feel functional and complete quite like proper, thoughtful storage. From closets and pantries to the kitchen junk drawer, having some semblance of organization — be it baskets, drawer organizers, or storage ottomans — simply makes life easier.
8. Elevate your bathroom
Little luxuries in the bathroom can go a long way, whether you have an en suite space with a clawfoot tub or a tiny city bathroom with nonexistent square footage. Hang a hand towel or two, put your favorite skincare products on display, and hang some eucalyptus from the shower head. You deserve a little spa moment!
9. Create a relaxing bedroom
We don’t need to wax poetic about the importance of sleep and relaxation — if you’re in your 30s, you likely already know. You quite literally spend years of your life in bed, so why not put a little effort into your bedroom? Get the sheets you love, add a cozy area rug, bring in a sound machine or fan, and pick up a proper nightstand for your creature comforts — quality sleep is priceless!
10. Host with the most
If hosting is your thing, lean into your hobby! A cute bar cart setup, proper dining table, set of ottomans for extra seating, or whatever your space allows can elevate your gatherings and bring you joy on a personal level. Plus, with the right furniture, you can host holiday parties, Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving, birthday gatherings, and beyond — it’s a worthwhile investment.
11. Make a small space your own
Curate the one-bedroom apartment, studio, or cozy condo of your dreams with personalized decor, cozy textiles, and furniture you’re obsessed with. Try your hand at peel and stick wallpaper and swap out your kitchen hardware for something that suits your tastes. Style isn’t dependent on square footage, or even on a mortgage — there are endless ways to make a small space feel like you without breaking the bank, and it’s fun!
12. Make the most of your outdoor space
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s the value of outdoor spaces, from cramped balconies to sprawling backyards. You’ll love your home or apartment even more with a well-appointed patio or porch, so spend a little time finding the *perfect* outdoor sofa or cozy accent chair for summer afternoons in the fresh air. Even a simple side table next to a folding chair can make all the difference!
13. Embrace window treatments
If your 20s consisted of dirt-cheap, too-short sheers that blocked out zero light and woke you up at the crack of dawn, your 30s are for blackout curtains. Consider how much light you actually want in your home, from the living room to your bedroom, and invest in window treatments accordingly — you will not regret it.
14. Carve out a WFH space
Working from home is now commonplace, even if you go into the office a few times a week. Rather than working from your bed, sofa, or kitchen island, consider carving out a proper WFH station. It doesn’t have to be a dedicated room — a cloffice or drop-down desk next to your bed will suffice — but it’s so beneficial to have a designated work spot. You deserve to properly log off at the end of each day!
15. Say it with us: kitchen storage!
Utilitarian kitchens thrive on functional storage, whether you have an easy bake oven to your name or the chef’s kitchen of your dreams. Make your cook space work even harder for you with proper storage — from beautiful dining room buffets to floating islands, drawer organizers, rolling storage carts, pot racks, and more.
16. Buy a full length mirror
This is another one of those little luxuries that just makes your home more functional and personalized. If space allows, investing in a beautiful floor mirror not only makes getting dressed every day that much more enjoyable, they look beautiful and double as statement decor. Being able to check your full outfit head-to-toe is just priceless.
Looking to give your own X room a facelift? Work one-on-one with our expert interior designers for just $129 per room. Get started today with our style quiz.