Tips for Decorating Your First Apartment

Your first house or apartment is a big deal – you’ve finally moved out on your own (maybe with a roommate or two) after living with your parents or in a college dorm. It’s a big step, and while it’s always exciting, it can be a little strange moving into a new place. Unlike a dorm, it’s yours for longer than a single school year, but unlike your parents’ house it doesn’t quite feel like “home” yet, and that’s okay. It may take some time before you really start to feel comfortable and “at home” in your new place, but decorating can go a long way toward helping you settle in. Here are a few tips to get you started:


  1. Work with what you have. Yes, this means not throwing out your old dorm décor. Even if it’s not totally your style anymore, it can help liven up those bare walls until you can find something you like better. Decorations that you already have are the easiest and cheapest, so look through your stuff before you go out and buy anything new.
  2. Do it yourself. If you’re a crafty person or feel comfortable picking up the paint and the hot glue gun, making decorations yourself is another great way to decorate your new place. It definitely takes more time than digging up things you already have or going to the store, but you might find a new hobby that you never would have considered!
  3. Shop vintage. Local thrift stores and flea markets are a great place to find unique décor items for your new pad. Sure, they may need a little cleaning up or a fresh coat of paint, but with a little extra work you can have unique furniture and decorations with history and character.
  4. Ask around. If anyone that you know is moving or trying to clear out items they aren’t using anymore, don’t be afraid to ask if you can take a look. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, after all. Just because they don’t want it anymore doesn’t mean that you can’t find a use for it!
  5. Think about your budget. This obviously means knowing when to save, but it also means knowing when and where to splurge. If your buying something like furniture or a mattress that you know you’ll use long-term, don’t be afraid to spend a little more. Many times you get what you pay for, so investing a little more to get a nicer mattress, for example, isn’t a bad idea.


While it’s a great feeling to finally move out on your own, settling into your new place can be hard when the walls are bare and you don’t have a lot of furniture or decorations. But there’s no need to worry, because you have a lot of options. All you need is a little creativity!