Use these 10 tips for decorating your first apartment and make your new home a reflection of your interests and your personality. Decorating your first apartment can be intimidating but you can have a stylish apartment on any budget.
- Find the right furniture placement. Since an apartment can be boxy don’t just line up your furniture against the wall. Try a diagonal placement with a rug to anchor the furniture. Put the couch out in the room with a walkway behind it. Make sure that you have arranged the furniture to encourage conversation.
- Use restraint with color. One good way to pick colors when decorating your first apartment is to pick a color that you like and add a neutral as the second color. Then choose a contrasting color for a pop of color in the space. Find a combination you like perhaps in a piece of fabric or a print.
- Make your large furniture pieces neutral. Then you can add pillow, rugs, prints and accessories to get more texture and color. These items are more easily replaced if you decide to make a change in your apartment décor.
- Make a creative headboard. You can make a statement in the bedroom by decorating with a unique headboard. Turn an interesting door sideways to make a headboard, cover a sheet of plywood with batting and stretch fabric over it, stapling it to the back for a custom look. Use something unusual like a wrought iron gate or an Oriental screen as the headboard.
- Create a guest room. Part of the fun of getting your first apartment is having guests visit. Modern sofa beds are more comfortable than the old style. Store the sheets and towels for the guests in a trunk that doubles as an end table.
- Consider a table with fold down leaves. A first apartment rarely has the dining space you really want. Get a table with a fold down leaf that fits easily in the space and when you move to a bigger place you can pull the leaf up and have a bigger table to use.
- Artwork doesn’t have to be framed. Think outside the box when you decorating your first apartment. If you are a wine lover then frame wine labels and group them in a collection on the wall. Buy art books and take them apart, put them in frames and make a display to show your interests. Photos, student art paintings and things gathered while traveling also make interesting wall art.
- Buy double-duty furniture. For example, a moveable footstool can be a table if you put a tray on top or give you extra seating for guests. A bench that could be a coffee table or be pulled up to the dining table is another example of multi-purpose furniture.
- Buy it used. Buying some used furniture pieces can extend your apartment decorating budget. Items like tables, shelves, lamps and desks are easy to find and don’t require fabric cleaning to make them useable. Look for used items in online classified ads, at consignment stores, or at garage sales.
- Hide your clutter. Everyone has clutter and it can be difficult to hide it in an apartment. Store your papers, supplies, and odds and ends in matching boxes, or baskets and put them on shelves to keep your apartment looking its best.
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