Finding your first apartment is an exciting time, but it’s also a time to make a lot of decisions. Most of those decisions will revolve around how exactly you want to decorate your place, all while keeping in mind your limited budget. But that’s not all. Here’s what you need to know about your first apartment.
Find Lightweight Pieces
Chances are, you’ll be moving a lot in the next few years, especially if you’re renting an apartment instead of buying. If that’s the case, forget about large, heavy furniture like shelving units. Rather, focus on lighter pieces that can be easily moved. Your friends will thank you.
Welcome Hand-me-Downs, and Repurpose
One of the easiest ways to save money with your interior decorating is to welcome any hand-me-downs that people offer. Don’t quite love the look of the dresser your aunt gave you? You can refinish or paint it a new color to make it your own.
In the same vein, keep an eye peeled at flea markets and garage sales for pieces on the cheap. And not all items have to be “furniture,” per se. Rather, think outside the box and repurpose these hand-me-downs and vintage items. For example, vintage trunks or suitcases can work great as a coffee table.
Be Creative with Space Saving Techniques
Your first apartment may be small, but that just means you have to get creative with the space you have. For one, utilize cube stools that function as places for people to sit while they visit, but also act as storage for things like blankets, DVDs and books.
Add Adult Pieces to your Decor
In other words, don’t treat your first apartment like you did your dorm room. You’re done with school and are embarking on a new chapter in your life. As such, spruce up your living space with more “adult” pieces to reflect that. This doesn’t mean you’re changing your personality or who you are. But it does mean making your place look more put together.
One way to do that? Rather than just tacking up your old movie posters, get them framed (if you’re that intent on keeping them). Additionally, you can repurpose your old dorm pieces to look more adult. You can keep that bulletin board, but make it look more refined by covering it with linen, for example.
Do Something with your Flooring
First apartments aren’t known for having granite countertops or newly-finished hardwood flooring. But you can make that flooring look a little bit better, even if you have ratty carpeting. This one is simple really: just invest in a nice rug to cover up the troublesome spots.
Forget Placeholder Furniture
While you don’t want to throw all your money towards furniture when you have to pay for things such as utilities, don’t waste your money on furniture that is just good enough for “now.” After all, you don’t want a dinged up piece simply because you got a bargain for it, nor do you want something you’re just going to be tired of in a year or two. If you find a piece, like an extremely comfortable couch, invest the money in it. Chances are, the furniture will last a long time, making it a worthwhile purchase.
Last but not least, every couple months reconsider your furniture’s layout. By moving your couch to a different area, or even relocating some of your framed photographs to another corner, you can make your space feel new again – all without packing everything into boxes and moving into your next new place.