Tips for Making Your First Apartment Home

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This post is sponsored by Target, all opinions are my own.

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It’s been about 15 years since I was searching for my “first apartment,” but I can still remember the anxiety and excitement around the whole process!! I was young, energetic, and couldn’t wait to get out and grab the world by its horns! I had grand plans for how I’d paint the apartment and style it, but I look back now and just shake my head at my own choices! HA! Maybe you have a son or daughter that’s venturing off on their own for school this fall and you’re gearing up to get them into their first place…and you don’t know where to start. What to consider. How to plan?? Today I thought I’d reminisce a little about my first apartment and go back to the inner 20 something in me and help myself along a bit with things I struggled with back then!!

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Functionality

As a young adult, you want to have the cool place…let’s be honest! You want your friends to come over and want to spend time there. But if you are anything like I was, you have a small place with limited seating and limited storage. My first piece of advice? Find that nice mix of functionality with something that both STORES and SEATS at the same time.

17316734_Alt02This awesome storage ottoman from Target is perfect…you can use it to kick back and relax, you can move it off to the side for added seating or you can lift it up and store things inside of it. Every first apartment needs affordable furniture items that can double for storage and seating.

The “Homey” Factor

One of the first things I noticed when I got my first apartment was that it didn’t feel like home. When you live in your parents home as you grow up, it’s easy to realize that your family makes things feel more homey and it’s hard to get that sense of warmth and comfort back quickly. I think sometimes the younger generation is quick to pick up on the modern and fun items for their first apartments, but don’t overlook the little elements that add a homey and more adult look to your space.

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Going back to functionality…pick up some items for your counter tops in your kitchen that are both practical, functional, but also add an intended design element to the space. These cute little canisters could be filled with pastas like I have or other items like candy, cookies, coffee or more…the varying heights add a fun display item and the wood on the tops really adds that homey feeling…which is so great in a kitchen. Plus, if your first apartment was anything like mine…it didn’t have much storage as far as a pantry went…so this gives a unique and pretty way to store food items that also act as decor.

Other ways to make your new place more homey:

  • Add a cute little wax melter and choose your favorite scents to freshen up your space
  • Set out some pretty hand towels in your bathroom or in your kitchen on the oven
  • Buy a few pretty throws and drape them in a storage basket next to your couch to cuddle up with
  • If you’re low on seating, don’t hesitate to buy some large pillows and make a little seating area on the floor or in the corner of a room that’s cozy for your friends to hang out with you.

Consider mixing traditional and bold in your decor

With your first apartment, you’re likely trying to find your style still, which is completely understandable. You don’t have to be one way or another though. Find those traditional elements and mix them with bold ideas. Dare to think outside the box and go big with patterns and colors on the inexpensive decor ideas, but while keeping larger items like couches and tables traditional so that you can easily switch styles as you go.

If you’re entertaining on a budget in your new place, for example, it’s traditional to want to put maybe a plant or fresh flowers out…but why not consider the everyday as part of your design, as well? For example, I picked up a simple brass bowl from Target’s kitchen area and bought seven bright green apples to put in it. It’s an intentional design idea that is also something we can EAT instead of throw away once guests leave!!

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The bowl is gorgeous and could be used to hold fresh peaches, applies, cherries, grapes…limes, lemons. You name it. Going back to the “homey factor” this is a fun way to use things you already would buy to double as decor!! Decor on a budget and with a dual purposes–being pretty and edible!

Being Practical.

Finally, don’t skip over those important must-haves with your first apartment…consider a futon for a couch so that you can have guests visit if needed. Consider doubling a storage system as your media console so that you have more added storage areas (you can get really cool storage cubes these days for cheap and that make a big statement).

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And don’t forget simple items like bath and kitchen towels. Fun and pretty kitchen towels can really spruce up a kitchen or bathroom and make it feel warmer and more welcoming.

And most of all….

Make your first apartment all about you. This will likely be one of the few times in your life where you’ll have 100% control over what you put where (at least if you intend to get married or have kids). So take this time to style things the way you like and represent yourself the best you can. Your decor doesn’t have to be fancy and Target has tons of options to make your space your own without dropping tons of money. Enjoy the time to showcase your own style!!!

Find your style @Targetstyle

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