This post was written by Michelle, a new contributor to Genpink.
If the best four years of your life have passed in the blink of an eye and you’ve entered the real world, you know it’s not easy. If you’re lucky enough to have gotten a great job and are finally moving out of your parents house, furnishing and designing your first apartment can be stressful and overwhelming. However, there are simple ways to make this process more exciting and fun.
Here are some tips — and one item you need to have — to outfit your first post-college apartment.
Before blowing your paycheck on new, expensive furniture see what you can get for free. Ask your relatives and family friends if they have any furniture they would be willing to give you. Chances are they have something, whether it’s a chair, lamp, dresser, or even kitchen appliances or utensils and they would love to help you furnish your new place.
Once you’ve pooled your resources and gotten furniture and household items from your family, it’s time to fill in the gaps. Instead of buying everything else full price (after all, you still have student loans to pay back), check out the merchandise at your local thrift shop. You can find furniture, kitchen supplies, and decorations for your new place all for a fraction of what you would pay at any other store.
Once you’ve moved into your place, it may feel difficult to make all of your mismatched furniture look good. This is where you need to be creative. Search for ideas on Pinterest for how to re-do or “up-cycle” furniture you have acquired to make it more your style. One of the best ways to do this is with spray paint. You can spray paint just about anything, from wood to metal to plastic. To make all of the furniture in your living room look like it came together, spray paint with coordinating colors. Another way to make your mismatched furniture look more like a set is to cover them the various pieces with similar colors.
After paying first, last and security on your new place, your budget for decorating may be pretty small. However, by being crafty, you can add flare to your new home without breaking the bank. Buy funky picture frames from the thrift shop and spray paint them the colors that match your theme. Try decorating with burlap or other cheap fabric from a craft store. Try to save any decorations from college or re-do them to fit your more mature place. For inspiration, Pinterest always has great ideas for projects to decorate your apartment. Most projects have how-tos and instructions, making crafting super simple.
Every Apartment Needs A Place for Guests to Sleep
If you’re the first one to move out, your friends will want to visit or stay over. As your apartment most likely won’t have a spare bedroom, a sleep sofa is a key piece of furniture. Use it as a couch when having company (or watching How I Met Your Mother marathons on Netflix) and convert it into a bed when your friends stay over. This may be one of the pieces you buy at a furniture store; however, it’s one of the best investments you’ll make in your new place. If you’re on a tight budget, you can always get a futon instead. Futons aren’t typically as comfortable as sleep sofas, but they do offer the same multi-functionality and tend to be a bit cheaper in price.
Starting your adult life with a new job and new apartment can be a stressful and expensive endeavor. However, by pooling your resources and being thrifty you can greatly reduce the cost. By being creative and crafty with your décor and always having place for friends to stay, your new apartment will soon feel just like home.