Decorating your first apartment can seem daunting. Big budget items such as a mattress, bed frame, couch and dining table can add up quick. And that’s without adding decor that’ll bring your first very own space to life.
I thought I knew exactly what I wanted/needed when it came to apartment shopping in the few short weeks between graduation and my start date, denying my Mom’s suggestions to get a larger couch and a larger dresser (not sure what my infatuation with small furniture was).
Clearly I didn’t get it completely right the first time around, but I’d like to think I’ve figured out a thing or two in my first year of living on my own. So here are my (and my Mom’s – because lets face it, Moms are always right) suggestions for furnishing your first apartment.
I went with a West Elm loveseat. Two mistakes here, the size and the fact that it’s not a sleeper. My apartment is actually relatively big for a first apartment, therefore I have room for a much larger couch, which would provide seating for more people. I’ve had to resort to buying more furniture for extra seating when I have guests over. Opt for the larger couch, and if it’s an option, get a sleeper. You’ll undoubtably have guests visit and consequently crash at your place.
Listen to your mother when she tells you that you need things like a fire extinguisher (your apartment may come with one – check before), a plunger and a tool kit. All of these things don’t seem like necessities until you actually need them. Yikes.
I go to Home Goods at least once a week, and if you want to get the good stuff you have to. Though it’s hit or miss, sometimes you walk out with the best pieces for your new little home. Picture frames, wall art, lamps, serving bowls/trays and food storage containers are some of my best finds. They also have a pretty good pet section and the cutest stationery products.
Take what you can from home. I bargained with my parents to take my bed headboard, a lamp and a random ottoman that was in my bedroom that I now use as a coffee table. But I have friends that got their entire dinnerware sets, or dining sets from their parents/grandparent’s basement. I also used my bedding/towels from college which spared an expense there.
Splurge vs. Save
Decor: When shopping for trendy, bright pieces that you love at the time, but may not love years down the road, save. Target is great for fun, inexpensive throw pillows, door mats, place mats, and wall decor.
Furniture: The essentials are worth the splurge. Mattress, headboard/bed frame, couch -will hopefully be with you for a while so get high quality, neutral furniture that you won’t hate a year down the road. West Elm, Pottery Barn, and even IKEA have some great pieces.
Need more inspiration? Here are a few favorite pieces from my apartment.
What are some of your favorite first apartment furnishings? Let me know in the comments below.