Furnishing your first apartment can be tough. You are most likely dealing with a limited budget, hand-me-downs galore, and a somewhat elastic definition of your style. But the good news? Your first apartment is also your first chance to decorate from scratch and explore looks that don’t work in a shared space. In other words, it’s time to get decorating! Below are just 8 "musts" to add to your first apartment:
1. Accent Wall
Choose a color that is light enough to repaint when it’s time to leave, but switch up the standard white/eggshell/grey paint that you may have in your rental. Light yellow, peach, and robin’s egg blue are all lovely options that can add so much to a room, and paint is affordable, too. You can’t go wrong with Home Depot, Walmart, or Lowe’s.
2. Framed Original Art
Everyone can afford art, it’s just the artist that changes the price. Go to farmer’s markets, art fairs, and shop second-hand to find art that fits your home furnishings and your budget. Too challenging? Buy a vintage magazine on eBay and remove a page or two (old ads and fashion spreads are fantastic conversation starters!). And frames? IKEA is a great place to get any frame for less.
3. Accent Rug
Choose a color you want to incorporate in your apartment decor, and select a rug that brings it in through in small touches or a full-on solid. Whether you choose patterns or solids, however, be sure that the shade is spot-on. For discounted rugs, we recommend Overstock, which currently is featuring some massive price cuts during their Labor Day blowout sale!
4. Quality Tableware
Placemats, matching plates and cups, and quality silverware might feel like an extravagance, but they aren’t. A new apartment is the perfect place for entertaining, and looking “grown-up” begins with proper place settings. It doesn’t need to be stuffy, though… you can use colors galore, funky plates, and cool stemless wine mugs.
5. Quality Sheets
Planning on splashing out on something big, but you’re not sure what really matters? We’ll tell you -- sheets matter. Get the highest thread count you can afford from discount sellers on Amazon or at Overstock.
Are you the opposite of a green thumb? Join the club. Avoid inevitable plant death in your new apartment with simple greenery that is much easier to keep alive… like succulents. There’s even a subscription service available at Succulent Studios that delivers special selections each month.
7. A Lovely Lamp
Those inset ceiling lights and fluorescent bulbs are not going to improve a small space, but you know what will? A lamp -- any size -- that casts a warm glow at night. Use direct, strong lights in working areas (like over a desk or an easy chair).
8. A Hamper
Without a nice hamper, things can get messy quickly. Find a wicker hamper or a rolling, soft-sided basket to keep everything organized. Without it, you’ll face a mountain that’s as unsightly as it is annoying to deal with every time you do laundry. And if you don’t have a washer-dryer in your apartment, get a hamper that has wheels.