Transitioning into Your First Apartment: How to Create a Beautiful Space on a Budget

Filed under Be Creative Decorating Ideas on Jul 16 13 by


The road to having your own apartment is a winding one. You grow up with your parents. Then, college gives you a taste of the independent life with dorm room living. Graduation sneaks up on you, and you may live with your parents once again, saving up in anticipation of the coveted “first apartment.” The time to move out comes along, and you realize that you’re expected to pay rent and furnish an apartment?

Fortunately, it’s totally possible to get your desired design on any budget—you just have to get creative. Here are five tips for preparing for your first apartment and creating a space that both you and your budget will be happy with!

1. Hone Your Style

Decorating a space is infinitely easier when you know what you like. Create a Pinterest board. Read a few interior design blogs. These simple and relaxing tasks will give you a head start when the time for your first apartment comes.

To help you get started, here are a few of my favorite design blogs:

2. Pick Higher Quality Pieces When Dorm Shopping

Too often, college students ere on the side of low quality when decorating their dorm room. This makes sense in the short run. However, investing in a few classic and well-made pieces for college means less decor that you’ll need to buy after college. Consider investing in a great bed spread, a durable futon, or a stand-out piece of wall art.

3. Be a Gatherer

The time to start collecting goods for your first apartment is now. Snatch up that accent throw that your aunt is throwing away. Save the cute end table you see on the side of the road. Now, this doesn’t mean you keep everything that comes your way. Remember step one! Make sure it’s true to your style.

4. Get Thrifty

When the time comes for you to buy furniture, be sure to stop at thrift shops. You can find well-made furniture that may last longer than the trendy alternatives. Beyond thrift stores, check out garage sales and websites like Freecycle or Craigslist.

5. Practice Patience

Rome wasn’t built in a day. It will take a while for your apartment décor to feel complete. That’s a part of the process. Make a conscious decision to enjoy the current moment and your increased independence. Your apartment will come together eventually.

For even more inspiration, check out my Pinterest page!

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Taylor Elyse
Taylor is a student at Vanderbilt University studying Human and Organizational Development and Spanish who moonlights as a lifestyle blogger. You’ll find her taking pictures, watching old Audrey Hepburn movies, sipping tea, and enjoying warm bubble baths with a good book. At this point, the future really could take her anywhere. If you’re interested in following the adventure, check out her blog, Live and Move.