Moving cross-country after college meant there was no time to apartment shop before arriving. My current roommate (also named Maddi) found our apartment online. We trusted our instincts and signed the lease the day we arrived.
It took us about six months to fully decorate our place. It is only 600 Square Feet of coziness, but we had to budget and research the best prices to fill our space while being on an entry-level salary.
I am writing this post for my younger sis, Ali. She just accepted her first big girl job in St. Louis! Congrats, girl. She asked for me to start looking for stuff in her style. I thought I would share my tips to decorating while I am at it.
1. Decide on a color palette. The key to interior design coordination is to pick a color palette. Next, create a Pinterest board of colors that you love. Then start pinning home décor that matches. This is the easiest way to stay on color-matching target. Save the color palette to your phone so that you have it in your back pocket while shopping.
Create your own color palette with colors.co.
2. Ask mom and dad what they don’t want anymore. Maybe they feel like re-decorating? You could get some free hand-me-downs out of the deal. But, chose wisely. Don’t take just anything. My mom tried to pawn these gold and red swivel living room chairs off on me (don’t take them, Ali! Unless you like cherry red).
Out of the options, they give you pick things that are already in good shape or that you can repaint or reupholster.
Tip: Ask for kitchen supplies!
3. Make a list of what you still need. A lot of stuff goes into decorating and stocking your first apartment as an adult. Make a list of you still need - down to a wooden spoon or mixing bowl.
Tip: Have a roommate? Make a list of the things that you brought into the apartment. That way when you move out you know whose is whose. This helped my college roommates and me when trying to divvy up kitchen utensils and smaller decor items.
4. What do you need now? What should you save up for? Plan ahead. Necessities include – mattresses, couch, one TV, nightstand and kitchen supplies. Décor, a new rug, bar stools and outdoor furniture can wait. Know your budget and spend accordingly.
I had – Couch (parents), coffee table (parents), bar/dresser (parents), kitchen supplies, bed, nightstand, TV and bar stools (gift).
I saved for – Area Rug, décor, sitting chairs, side table, knickknacks.
5. IKEA will be your best friend! Shop at the right places.
West Elm – LOVE. But, too pricey for regular household items. However, their bedding gets me. Wait for a sale on their bedding that happens about once a month. I love their duvet covers, euro shams and throw pillows.
Target – A college dorm room staple is still a must-go in adult life. I got all my cleaning supplies, wall and door hooks, hangers, organization bins … all the things you don’t think about until move-in day arrives.
Home Goods - The best place for the rest of your bedding. I am a sleeper, so a comfy bed is my number one priority – duvet, pillows, sheets, mattress topper.
IKEA – Cheap. Cheap. Cheap. Buy kitchen supplies, possibly décor and maybe furniture such as a dresser or coffee table. But, saving up for quality might be better when it comes to furniture. Be patient!
Etsy – Oh Etsy how I love you... always has some great artwork, small décor items, and undiscovered treasures.
A Peak Into My Home
Scroll over the image.
Always, Maddi B.