Whether it’s your first apartment or your fifth, the thrill of filling it with furniture and all your things never gets old. If it is your first apartment, though, you might find the prospect of purchasing everything from paper towels and dish soap to a sofa, bed and chairs a bit daunting. Although deals on furnishings aren’t hard to find, you still have to make the effort to look for them, to visit the stores, to sit on all the different couches. And all of that is without taking the unique features of your apartment into account! Here are ten tricks for finding the perfect furniture to complement your personal style and make your first apartment feel like home.
Start with the Basics
When you’re buying furniture for your new pad, start with the most obvious elements, like your sofa, your bed, and your table and chairs. These items will shape the space and give each room its purpose; once you know how each room will be used, you can decorate them accordingly. Part of this stage is figuring out what you really need: with limited space, would you prefer a formal dining area for entertaining or more space around the TV for late-night Netflix binges? Do you work from home, when a desk and storage might be a priority, or does your place become the weekend hangout spot? Focus on furniture that will help your apartment become the space you need to do what you love!
Storage space is easily accomplished with floating shelves, which can be positioned somewhere reachable on your otherwise unadorned wall space without taking up any real estate on the floor. These shelves are perfect for showcasing photos, books, vases and other things—basically, anything your bookcase can hold can also be displayed on the walls.
As space starts to run out, remember to use your corners. For example, a bean bag chair in the corner of a room will be enough space to serve as a cozy nook for reading or studying. The corner of a room is also a great place to store the television, tucked out of the way and unobtrusive when not in use. You could even place a funky chandelier or a potted plant in the corner to liven up the space.
It always helps maximize space when your furniture has multiple uses. A day bed that turns into a sofa, or an end table with a perch underneath for book storage, is a great way to make the most out of your space, for example. Together, these things provide for a more open, airy space.
It’s alright to spend a bit of extra money on the larger items, with an eye toward both function and form to help beautify your apartment, but know where to cut back. Things such as shelves can be found cheaply and without sacrificing functionality, and the arrangement you ultimately settle on goes a long way toward determining the roominess of your place.
Make the Space Your Own
Bookcases can be quite inexpensive, yet add loads of flair to your apartment. Use them to display your eclectic tastes by placing artsy objects, decorative accents and pottery on the shelves.
Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors! Not only do these make the available space appear larger, they’re also great for that last glance before dashing out the door to work in the morning. Mirrors also come in a variety of sizes and shapes and with a wide range of border decorations to fit the general theme of the room.
Add Some Color
Runners, mats and rugs are excellent ways to personalize your apartment. They also minimize the amount of dirt that tracks into the inner spaces. If you’ve got nooks and crannies in a wooden floor, cold tile or just want to give the room a pop of color, stylish rugs solve these issues completely.
In general, lighter colors tend to expand a room. Whether your walls be white, beige or eggshell, high-gloss or matte finish, opt for a lighter shade to brighten your home and take advantage of natural light. Even if you’re not allowed to paint, you can use wallpaper to add a splash of a bold color to the backs of your bookshelves, or just to one accent wall. Make sure your window curtains are the same color as the wallpaper or walls for a more coordinated, spacious feel.