This past month, I have been planning my move into my very first apartment in Nashville. From looking at over 30+ apartments, I finally found my perfect home. I thought that the apt search was hard, but what's even harder is figuring out 1. What you need in your apartment and 2. How to make it YOUR home. Check out my article here which details out a comprehensive checklist to get you started in your new home. Today, I am writing about how to make your apartment your home (without spending an arm and a leg). Bye bye small college dorm rooms, janky college houses and hello home sweet home. Below I spelled out some steps that I went through and hopefully by the end of this read you'll have a better idea on how to make your apt your own.
1. Figure out YOUR style
Whether you like the more modern style with eclectic shapes and non traditional colors or you like the more traditional homey style that makes you feel warm every time you step through the door, finding your own personal style is key. It's not your parents home, it's not your friends home, it's your home. Personally, my style is a mix of modern and industrial. I love different shapes, pops of color, and that wood/metal look. Below are some different styles you may like and from there you can start planning out your apt!
Also, furniture isn't the only thing to showcase your personality, kitchenware and decor are also fun ways to showcase it too! When it comes to glassware and kitchen items, I like items that are simple, but yet, I don't mind the occasional color pop. Once I found these Pantone Mugs, I fell in love. These mugs are so fun and a great way to brighten up your morning.
2. Be realistic and BUDGET
My first step was to make an excel sheet and write down everything I needed. You can pull from my comprehensive list here. From there, I wrote down the prices of each item and I totaled it all up. If it's over your budget, look at the list to see if you can take some things off or see if you can get creative. I was lucky enough to be able to take some things off of my parents hands (which saved me $$$). My parents were looking to get a new dining room table and bar stools so I was able to move those over to Nashville. Along with my bed, an older TV, bed sheets, towels and some kitchen items, bringing things from home instead of buying new, overall saved me about $1500.
Moving into your first apartment is fun and exciting. But, it is also darn expensive! Below are some great websites and stores that I looked at when picking out pieces of furniture and decor.
Better yet save some money and DIY! I got some cheap frames off of Amazon and printed my own artwork using google images and word. Putting it all together, I got some cute and personalized wall art on a budget. I would also check out Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace to see if anyone in the area is giving away furniture that you could take off of their hands.
3. Be creative
With a tight budget and probably not so large first apartment, you will need to get creative on how to fit a lot of things into a tiny space. If you are at all like me, then you have more stuff then you realize. So, before your big move I recommend getting a box and a trash bag.
- First go through your stuff and recycle/donate everything you no longer use or need. That sweater you've worn once? Donate. The random pairs of sweats you've accumulated throughout college? Recycle.
- Second, grab that trash bag and start throwing things out. I'm talking about makeup that has expired, that t-shirt with a large pizza stain on it, and all the other things that you won't even touch in your new home. I had to do this with a ton of clothes I no longer wear and I used the app Poshmark to sell! With the rest I just went to my local Goodwill to donate. If you don't have a car, there are a ton of donation companies such as Salvation Army that will come to your house and pick up!
With so much stuff and so little space it is time to get creative! Here are some of my favorite space organizers to make your first maybe not so big apartment feel a lil bigger.
One thing I kept in mind while looking for furniture, was to look for pieces that had more than one use. Some examples are:
- Storage Beds
- Futon couches that double as beds
- Any seating that could double as a storage piece
In the end, you are going to be the one living there. Coming home from a long day of work, your apartment should be a place where you can relax and be comfortable. No matter what your preferences are, just remember to get creative. You can save a whole lot of money by buying pieces with dual uses and really planning out your space before moving in.
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