By Jennifer Woodruff
You’ve walked the stage, received your diploma and gotten your first job. But what’s the most exciting part of adulthood? Getting that set of keys to your first grown-up apartment.
If you’ve been dwelling in dorms or even a college house, you know how wonderful this transition can be! Even if you still have roommates, this newfound sense of independence inspires change and action.
But before you go hammering nails or slapping paint on the walls, be sure to read your lease agreement and talk to your landlord about what changes you’re contractually able to make. Often times, minor changes are permitted and if you have a good relationship with your landlord, you may be able to get away with more serious upgrades.
Don’t let your lease hold you back – your first apartment is still a place full of wonderful opportunity. The fears of not getting your security deposit back or going broke while furnishing can be
daunting – but you should embrace the moment and make this space your own. There’s plenty of inexpensive fixes to help your first apartment feel like home.
If you’re unsure about where to start when it comes to a little short-term retouching, take a look at these tips for the five best decorating hacks for your first apartment!
- Stay Organized
Organization can lead to beautiful spaces. This decorating hack can be tedious but it’s fairly cost effective. Make sure you have plenty of storage that will manage any messes that will inevitably build up over time. Shelving is helpful when organizing books and knick knacks, while pieces with built-in storage or baskets are able to hide unsightly belongings.
If you’re less inclined to do the heavy lifting yourself, there’s a bunch of amazing organizing businesses, like Shelfie NYC, that will help with all your decluttering needs.
- Furnish with Budget-Friendly Options
Furniture can be expensive and after rent deposits, student loan payments and other living expenses, it’s likely not in your budget to shop from high-end retailers. Nevertheless, there’s still an amazing selection of high quality furniture from discount stores that will aid in decorating your space.
Look for sofas in unique colors or styles that correspond to your personal flair and help elevate your space. Mix and match seating is one way to create an individualized sense of decor. Choose from sofas, sectionals, chairs and ottomans that provide plenty of space for guests and housemates to relax.
- Play with Lighting to Affect Atmosphere
Lighting is a subtle yet fairly inexpensive element that you can easily alter to make a space feel brand new depending on your mood. There are so many combinations to choose from, ranging from the base of the lamp (floor lamps, table lamps string lights, candles) to the shade style (minimalism, bohemian, geometric!) The options are endless so go with whatever inspires you at that particular time.
- Utilize ‘Peel and Stick’ for Chic Upgrades
Peel and stick adhesives are a great way to hide blemishes throughout your apartment that may otherwise be difficult to replace. From stainless steel peel and stick appliance covers, subway tile kitchen backsplash patterns, granite countertop covers or even temporary wallpaper alternatives, there’s plenty of choices to consider when upgrading your space.
Each of these peel and stick selections may require a bit of maintenance over time. However, if you continue with upkeep, very few visitors will be able to distinguish peel and stick adhesive from the real deal. And besides, what people don’t know won’t hurt them!
- Go Green and Accessorize
Have you ever heard of the trend biophilia? If you’ve never heard this term before, it most closely translates to a person’s desire to be more connected to the living environment surrounding them. More specifically: foliage.
House plants are integral to this type of home decor. Try using small pots filled with herbs to start your own garden that provides fresh ingredients for your favorite meals. With a little bit of upkeep, your apartment will be flourishing in no time at all.
But not everyone has a green thumb. If you’re more likely to kill than bloom your favorite flora, there’s a bunch of easy to care for plants that even the most cynical grower will get behind. If you want to avoid the work altogether, head to your favorite grocery store and pick up a fresh bouquet for a DIY floral arrangement that’s sure to tantalize your senses.
Decorating your first apartment doesn’t have to be too complicated or break the bank. Stay true to your style and passions for a daily look that’s sure to satisfy!
Jennifer is a home decor and design fanatic with a passion for DIY. In her spare time, she enjoys antique shopping and trying to find the best new uses for old home wares.