Coordinate Your Colors
In the bedroom, keep all the pieces in matching colors. This will make it easier to style more pieces in a smaller space while still maintaining a clean aesthetic. Also, make sure the color you choose carries style versatility; neutral shades that go with everything will make it easy to switch out affordable, seasonal decor without having to worry about clashing designs.
Choose Storage Furniture
Just because something is pretty, doesn't mean it can't be useful, as proved by accent furniture pieces with storage. From luxe leather lift-top ottomans to chic coffee tables with drawers, your apartment style and organizational options just got a whole lot easier.
Incorporate 'Gathering' Designs
Embrace Your (Counter) Space
Most apartments provide little to no space for a traditional dining table and chairs, which is why counter dining sets can be a total game-changer when it comes to apartment dining style. Taller in size than traditional dining sets, counter sets take up more vertical space – and less floor space. And because they are often smaller by design than traditional sets, they often come at more affordable price ranges. If you're working with a small apartment dining area, incorporate a streamlined counter set to save you space and money – and keep your apartment style on-trend.
The 5 Zones You Need in Your Apartment
Moving into your first apartment can be a time of great excitement and great anxiety. Of course, the freedom of having a home to call your own is thrilling, but with great freedom comes great responsibility.
You want your first apartment to be equal parts practical, comfortable and personal, and you can achieve that by separating your space into 5 designated zones for sleeping, lounging, getting ready, entertaining and working. Whether your apartment is large or small, creating distinct zones for distinct purposes is key to smart space planning. Plus, this makes it easier to figure out what furniture you actually need versus what you can live without.
Your Sleeping Zone
Bed | When choosing a bed for your first apartment, you want go for a design that will last past this place . . . especially since your first apartment is very rarely your last. The best approach is to stick to a budget-friendly queen size or full size bed with clean lines, because those can evolve with your style. If you need extra space for stowing away clothes and sheets, you can even look into getting a bed with storage drawers.
Mattress | Mattresses can be a big investment, but for good reason. You spend a third of your life sleeping on your mattress, so it’s in your best interest to choose one that offers the best comfort and support for your body. When searching for a mattress for your first apartment, you may want to consider one of our Revive bed-in-a-box mattresses. They’re a great price, free to ship and easy to transport, which comes in handy if you don’t live on the first floor.
Nightstand | There are some things you can’t go to sleep without having by your side: your phone - most importantly - your water bottle, and perhaps a book and a reading light. To make sure all of these things have a place to land, you’ll want a nightstand. If you don’t have a lot of square footage to work with, you can look into smaller accent tables and stools. Even wall shelves are a great alternative if you’re seriously lacking space.
Getting Ready Zone
Clothing Storage | We can also call your getting ready zone your primping or grooming area, because this is where you undergo all preparations for making it out of your house stylishly put together and ready to take on the world. For some people, that means having a walk-in closet or a vanity, but you can create a getting ready space by simply adding a storage piece for your clothing and accessories.
Mirror | Checking yourself out in the mirror is another crucial part of getting ready. After all, you have to approve your look before you walk out the door. Whether you want a full length floor mirror to see your entire outfit, or just need a wall mirror that lets you confirm you’re the fairest of them all, any looking glass will do.
Your Lounging Zone
Seating | Every apartment needs a lounging zone where you can chill out on a loveseat, sofa or sofa chaise and have more friends come join you on accent chairs or extra poufs. It’s important for you to measure the space for your lounging zone and ensure you pick a design that is the proper size and scale.
Coffee Table/Ottoman | Whether you prefer to have a coffee table or large cocktail ottoman, your lounging zone should have some type of surface for storing/displaying essentials and decor. If you want to go for a multipurpose piece, a lift-top coffee table can act as a desk and dining table, so your lounging zone can instantly transform into working and entertaining zones too.
Media Center | No lounging zone is complete without a TV, and you can find a modestly-sized, modestly-priced design to hold your screen and media equipment.There are even options with additional storage if you want the extra room for books and decorative accents.
Dining Table | You don’t need a “dining room” to create an entertaining zone. With a small space-friendly round table, square table, triangle table our counter-height table, you can dine and entertain easily. And if your kitchen has a breakfast bar, that can be an additional meal destination.
Dining Chairs/Stools/Bench | You can get as fun and eclectic as you want with dining chairs, stools and benches. Take advantage of the fact that this is your first apartment by mixing and matching different styles, colors and designs. This will give your entertaining zone a more hip, playful feel.
Bar | You will truly be the host or hostess with the mostess when you incorporate some sort of bar setup in your entertaining zone. Whether you get a bar cabinet or bar cart, this little spot will become the hottest place in your space. Just add your favorite liquors and mixers to get the party started.
Desk | Having an area where you can be productive - whether that means paying bills, answering emails or working on your side hustle - will allow you to better tackle your to-do list. As long as you have a desk with enough room for a laptop and notepad, you’re golden.
Desk Chair | Because this is your first apartment, feel free to think outside of the typical desk chair box. Your working zone is likely located in your bedroom or living room, so you can choose a side chair or accent chair that’s stylish, comfortable and flexible enough to use multiple ways.
Bookcase | Storage for important files, documents, and office supplies doesn’t have to be boring or utilitarian. You can fill a bookcase with decorative boxes and baskets that hold all of your paperwork, and group those together with photos and objects that inspire you and make you smile.
Living in an Apartment . . . with a Furry Friend? Try These Ideas.
Rental Apartments on a Budget
Decorating a rental apartment on a budget comes with its own set of dos and don'ts, since the property technically belongs to someone else. When decorating a rental, find ways to swap out permanent fixtures for temporary: on walls, use adhesive strips instead of nails, and opt for area rugs instead of carpeting. While it can be frustrating not being able to go all-out, the benefit of a rental is that it gives you a chance to "practice" or experiment with budget-friendly styles before you settle into a more permament residence.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.