College Apartment Decor: Furnishing on a Budget

Moved into a new place and want to make it feel like home? It may be time to get out there and search for the perfect college apartment decor to fill your apartment. However, there are both positives and negatives to pimping out your new pad.  The bad news: quality furniture and decorations for your new place can be very expensive. The good news: there are many ways to save money and still make your place look like what you’ve always imagined. Here are a few tips on making your place look great for less!

Know the layout of your apartment

Make sure to know every inch (literally) of your new place in order to know what you are looking for when you search for the perfect couch or kitchen table. Take measurements down of every room and make sure to have them with you while shopping. You don’t want to buy a couch that won’t fit you and your roommates comfortably while lounging on a weeknight.

Make a list of the essentials

Before you head out on a shopping spree with your roommates, sit down together and make a list of what you need for your apartment. It’s good to have in mind the things that need to be bought first like the couch, television, kitchen table, coffee table and so on. It’s nice to get the big things out of the way first. This way you will know what to look for while out on the hunt for the ideal college apartment decor.

Bargain shopping

Finding household items for less can be daunting at first, but don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to find deals for less, whether you are looking for a lamp for your bedside table to the perfect picture to hang on your main wall to catch every visitor’s eye. Look in the local paper for flea markets or garage sales; these are places to find unique pieces for huge bargains. A go to-furnishing superstore is IKEA, which has great deals on anything from bedding to dinnerware. There are also Internet sites such as Etsy ( and Craigslist, where people sell items of all kinds for generally lower prices.  Additionally, there are many different furniture and household decorating stores for less in every city, so ask around and see what you can find.

Everything will come together over time

When starting the task of finding your college apartment decor, have patience and understand that it’s a process and it won’t be completed overnight Just take the process one step at a time. It might be too expensive to buy every little thing you want for your bedroom or bathroom all at once. Space the process out and you will not only save money, but you will also have more time to find different stores and wait for sales as well.

When you move off campus into an apartment, just keep in mind that you can find every last thing you have in your head for so much less and to take it one step at a time. Your new home will look great!


Living Off Campus


I personally have not had my own apartment (I have lived in the residence halls for my whole college career) but I have helped my sister out and your tips are great. When looking for large furniture items like couches or dining room tables another great place to look is parents. Maybe they have some extra furniture in a storage shed or the garage that you can take or they might be looking for a reason to get some new furniture of their own. If your parents do not have any ask them to talk with their friends, more often than not someone has a couch that they are not using anymore and really want off of their hands. When trying to decorate with others, I would suggest to start off slow with a few pieces at a time so you are all able to get your style into your new digs. Great post!

Thanks, Renee! Appreciate all the additional tips you provided too. Definitely going to relay to students in the future.

Another option is renting furniture (e.g., - great alternative as well.

Thanks again!

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