A Grown-up's Guide to Decorating Your First Apartment

A Grown-up’s Guide to Decorating Your First Apartment

Moving into your first apartment is an exciting milestone — no denying it, you’re officially adulting. You probably got a taste of living on your own when you went away to college, but this is the real deal now — not a college dorm. 

The first thing you may want to do is deck out your pad like an Instagram influencer. But if you’re like most Millennials, you also realize your current paycheck isn’t enough to cover an apartment furnishing spree and pay the rent. No worries, this article is written just for you! Use the following tips to pull together a smart, affordable decorating plan that will impress your friends and prove to your parents you'll be just fine on your own.

Tip #1: Make a Decorating Budget and Stick With It

Probably the numero uno mistake made by most first-time apartment renters is overspending on furnishings and essentials — then realizing there’s not enough money left to cover rent. Stop. Well before you sign your rental agreement, or even begin apartment hunting, know your exact net income over a 30-day period. Your net income is any money left over after employer withholdings and paying all of your monthly expenses. 

Once you know this amount, you’ll be able to safely create your decorating budget. When you determine your budget, don’t be tempted to go over it. Unlike during your college years, there’s no scholarship fund to fall back on, and mom and dad probably won’t be bailing you out every time you spend beyond your means. Keep in mind it's fine to take things slow and buy new pieces as you need them. Additionally, decide early on if you want to invest in quality furniture to last a long time or if you'd rather spend less and replace furnishings after a few years.

Tip #2: You Can’t Go Wrong With a Theme

If life is like a video game, having a color theme is most certainly a cheat code for decorating your apartment. If you're not overly confident about your decorating skills, a thematic pallet will come to the rescue. However, avoid going overboard (do the walls, sofa rug, and drapes all need to be that same shade of purple?).

After you pick your theme color, use shade variations of that color throughout your decor to add depth, and remember to add a complementary color or two for a touch of sophistication. Starting to sound too complicated? Luckily there's an app for that! Color Hunt has done all the mixing and matching for you, so all you have to do is pick a swatch collection and roll.

Tip #3: When It Comes to Furniture, Focus on the Must-Haves First

It's totally expected you won't have a huge budget for furnishing your first apartment, but that doesn't mean your abode has to be a showcase of cheap particle board, assembly-required, faux this and that. Luckily, Jerome's has furniture at price points that will fit anyone's first-time apartment decorating budget.  Focus on acquiring these must-have pieces first:

  1. Acomfortable bed. Without a good night's rest, you can't bring your A-game to work, and if you can't bring your A-game to work, it kind of puts the whole dream apartment thing at risk.
  2. A single sofa. Save the five-piece sectional for a future upgrade, but invest in a nice sofa that won't degrade into an embarrassing eyesore in a few years.
  3. A stylish coffee table. Be smart here. Invest in a coffee table that also has extra compartments and drawers to extend your available storage space.
  4. Bookshelves. Bookshelves are an easy and attractive hack for extending storage space and showing off collectibles.
  5. A bed and side table. These give you space to put your stuff so it's not just sitting on the floor like in college.

Tip #4 Use Accessories to Fill Space

Once you have your first pieces of furniture, accessories are another nice trick for making spaces look pulled together. Throw pillows, wall hangings, lamps, and mirrors are an easy and affordable way to fill in the gaps until you're able to add more furniture.

Reach Out to Jerome's

There you have it, your own personal plan for winning at first-time-apartment-decorating. Congrats on the big move! And if you'd like some one-on-one help with picking out your furniture, reach out to us, we're happy to assist you.