Your home should support you, help you relax at the end of a busy day and, when you’re a student, keep you going through long study sessions. But when it’s your very first apartment we’re talking about, creating a space that feels like home can be a challenge. If you’re reading Houzz, it’s not going out on a limb to say you would like your rental to look a bit more polished and personal than the average dirty-laundry-strewn dorm. No matter your budget, these 10 tips are a good place to start.
1. Buy in pairs. Make the most of inexpensive finds by buying multiples. One vase, lamp or ottoman is OK, but a pair makes it look like an intentional decorating choice. In this living room, a pair of simple floor-length mirrors hung side by side makes the small room feel more spacious, while a pair of stools creates an inviting spot for guests. Small, flexible furnishings tend to be less expensive than larger pieces, and they can easily move with you and be used in different ways in the future.
Here a pair of basic Ikea metal cabinets in red creates the look of a longer sideboard. The illusion that they are one piece is reinforced by the pair of matching lamps set on each end.
2. Splurge on bedding; save on furniture. A basic bed frame will do the job, and a handy side table from Ikea should set you back only a few bucks. You can save on these items and spend a bit more on bedding. What’s on your bed then will become the focal point of the room. You sleep there, so it’s a worthy place to splurge a little.
10 Tips for a College Apartment That Says ‘Home’