It’s a sweet, sweet feeling the day you receive the keys to your first apartment. But those keys come with great responsibility. Those walls aren’t going to decorate themselves. While it’s easy to create the apartment of your dreams on Pinterest, finding the funds to actually carry out a living room filled with chic lighting, designer furnishings and elaborate artwork is a whole other story. But don’t get discouraged! There are still plenty of ways for you to make your Greystar apartment a stylish retreat that reflects your personality — while still being able to afford rent at the end of the month.
Check out these tips for furnishing and decorating your first apartment on a budget:
Something old, something new
Before you start swiping that credit card, take inventory of everything you already have that could add to your dream quarters. Maybe Mom gave you the old table and chairs from the den, and though you would rather eat every meal on the floor than display old, faded furniture in your chic retreat, you can work with this. Repurposing old pieces not only saves you some serious bucks, but allows you the opportunity to create something nobody else has. Stock up on some spray paint, invite a few friends over and have a DIY party. Got a piece of fabric furniture that doesn’t match? Reupholstering can get pricey, but slip covers go a long way in spicing up an old style. Finish it off with a few decorative pillows and you’ve got yourself a completely new piece.
If you’re starting from scratch, consider sprucing up someone else’s former finds when furnishing your first apartment. Hit the secondhand thrift stores, look in the newspaper for local garage sales or check out Craigslist. You’d be surprised at the treasures you can discover.
Put your pieces in the big picture
An important thing to remember while decorating your first apartment is to think long term. When you do decide to splurge on big investments like a living room couch, make sure you’re selecting pieces that are adaptable to different apartments. As much as you love your Greystar apartment, that particular floor plan might not be your home forever. You may start off in a studio and eventually upgrade to a one-, two- or even three-bedroom apartment. Avoid buying furniture that will only fit in rooms of specific shapes or sizes.
Style is another important consideration. Ask yourself: Is this piece going to work when I decide to go in a different decorating direction down the road? Neutral tones without patterns are always a safe investment. Let pieces that are easy to replace be your pops of color, such as throws, pillows and lamp shades.
Use your interests as your inspiration
The most exciting part about moving and decorating your first apartment is making it all about you. Create a unique style by dressing your space in details that speak for you. This can be done with small touches such as displaying coffee table books on hobbies you enjoy, decorating with maps of all the places you’ve explored, framing your favorite album covers or making coasters from photos of your friends and family. Not only will these details be easy on your wallet, but they’ll make your apartment feel more like a home and less like a museum or sterile hospital room.
Be sure to check with your community manager before making any changes to the walls, lighting, fixtures or other elements that came with your apartment.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out these sites for additional decorating tips.