My First Apartment: Decorating Tips

So you’re moving into your first apartment, a major milestone in anyone’s life. Maybe you’ve been saving up for some time, or you’re a recent college graduate starting a new job. Whatever your circumstances are one thing is for certain, once the rent and security deposit is paid the next step is going to be decoration.

Chances are if you’ve never had a place of your own before then you’ve never put much thought into apartment decoration. The majority of apartments are rented out in a completely unfurnished state, requiring the tenant to provide all their own furniture. If the idea of decorating an apartment seems like more of a chore than anything, it might be a good idea to find a furnished unit. Otherwise, we’ve provided a guide below to turning an apartment into an environment that really feels like home.

Step 1. Getting Organized

The first step in decorating is coming up with a plan. Take a look at the money you have set aside for your move and figure out how much you can spend on things like furniture and art. Create a list of the things you feel like need and want and put them in order from most important (bed, dresser) to least (wall hangings and houseplants). This will help you to prioritize your purchases. Finally, double-check what amenities the apartment comes with. Is there a Microwave or a Washer and Dryer? Knowing how much you might have to spend on appliances can be a major factor in how much you are able to budget for decorations.

Step 2. Talking to the Landlord

When you own a home, you can decorate it however you want. However, before you paint the walls or change the light fixtures in a rental it is important to make sure making these changes will not violate your lease. Sometimes even small holes from nailing a painting into the wall can cause you to forfeit your security deposit so it is important not to forget this step before you make any serious alterations to your living space.

Step 3. Look for Inspiration

Just like a hairstylist might ask you to bring in a picture of a certain cut that you like to an appointment, pictures can be a great way to find ideas for a look for your new apartment. Check social media platforms like Pinterest or Instagram for ideas and make sure to pay attention to what you like. Is it certain colors or materials? A type of furniture? Keeping track of these things can help you have a firm idea of what you need to tie your rooms together.

Step 4. Shop Second Hand

Thrift stores like Goodwill or the Salvation Army are great places to find unique furniture and art for your apartment at an affordable price! While some things (like a mattress) you wouldn’t want to buy used, there is nothing like having a vintage piece that you know you’ll never see at a friend’s place. Keep an eye out for couches, tables, and paintings but don’t forget that thrift stores often have great deals on dining room items like plates and silverware as well.

Step 5. Don’t Forget Plants!

While they take a little bit of extra care, houseplants bring extra life to an apartment that is just impossible to replicate any other way. When you go to a nursery to choose houseplants to make sure to talk to someone about the specific care requirements for the plants you are buying. How much sunlight and water do they need? If you have a cat or dog in your home it is also important to make sure that the plants you buy are not poisonous to animals.

The tips above should help you get started on the journey of decorating your first apartment. If you are still looking for an apartment, be sure to check our available units! Solara’s apartments offer state-of-the-art ZERO emission green-living.