Your Guide to Decorating Your First Apartment on a Budget
Whether you’ve just graduated from college or you’re finally able to live without a roommate, moving into your first apartment on your own is a pretty awesome experience. What’s not awesome? Burning through your bank account to furnish your first apartment.
The good news is that you don’t need to take out a loan or drive up your credit card debt to make the most of your space. Here are a few ways you can boost the aesthetics of your new digs.
Don’t buy everything all at once
It can be tempting to buy a lot of things to fill the empty space in your first apartment. But before you go crazy scrolling through Pinterest boards, remember that you’re not on a schedule and it’s okay to decorate your space gradually.
The items you need the most during the first few weeks include a mattress, bed frame, lighting, and dishes. After that, focus on finding a sofa and window treatments. If money is really tight, you can buy a loveseat instead of a full-size couch. Items that can wait until later include side tables, chairs, art, and a dining table.
Customize inexpensive furniture
It’s no secret that rent can be expensive, especially if you live in a big city. For a condo in Manhattan, the average sales price is $1.9 million as of 2017. Fortunately, you don’t need to be rich to have nice things.
Visit your local thrift stores and antique shops. Look for neutral furniture pieces like coffee tables, dressers, dining tables, and headboards. Inexpensive furniture pieces can always be sanded down and stained or painted to look like new. Thrift stores are also a great place to find inexpensive art frames you can use to frame DIY pieces.
Change your wall color
If your landlord gives you permission to paint your apartment, consider switching up the wall color. Interior paint typically lasts about three years. Of course, you don’t need to get wild with the paint color you choose. Just changing your walls from beige to a soft gray can make a world of difference.
Don’t let a color palette control you
Choosing a color palette can help you narrow down your choices when it comes to interior design. But when you’re on a budget, a color palette can actually hold you back.
Use color as an accent in your space rather than a focal point. For instance, instead of being dead set on buying a brown leather couch that could take a massive chunk out of your budget, opt for brown leather throw pillows instead.
Fill empty spaces with plants
When you have spaces around your apartment that are missing something, but you don’t know what, don’t splurge on decor you don’t need to fill them. Instead, opt for plants. House plants are a timeless trend that add a lot to a space just by growing.
House plants can also have a lot of benefits for the people who live with them. In fact, there are written records of using plants for treating various ailments that date back 5,000 years. Plants can help to filter indoor air and can even boost productivity.
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to make your first apartment really feel like home. By focusing on what you need and sprucing up inexpensive pieces, you can furnish your apartment without breaking your budget.