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Tips for Decorating a College Apartment

Updated on May 6, 2014

Decorating a college apartment, isn't as easy as it looks. Especially if you're like me and haven't had decorating experience before. Fortunately, my roommate and I found a way to make our apartment look nice without spending too much money!

The living room
The living room


This was one way that my roommate and I could compromise on our different tastes. We each picked our own picture and frame so our wall reflects both of our styles. When it came time to hang them, we both agreed placing them randomly like we did would be way easier for us than actually lining them up. Could you imagine two 19 year old girls trying to hang a picture exactly in a line? Let's just say it wouldn't have been good!

Corner next to the front window
Corner next to the front window

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

This adorable bookcase and the plant above it actually cost us nothing! If anyone ever offers you decorative pieces, TAKE THEM! You never know if you'll use them.

The bookcase came from my mom's house. She had it sitting in a room serving no purpose at all, so one day I asked her if we could take it. The bookcase works perfectly because the corner of the room was kind of an awkward space with that window, but now it has a function. My roommate and I just pile all of our school notebooks and textbooks on it to get them off our kitchen and coffee tables. This was perfect for helping us to keep our apartment clean!

When I was beginning to move into my apartment, my sister-in-law started giving me some decorations that she no longer used. That plant on top of the bookcase was one of them. Most people wouldn't put a decorative plant on top of a bookcase, but I think it works perfectly in our apartment.

Above the kitchen table
Above the kitchen table

America the Free

My roommate is obsessed with anything American Flag. I mean she's even got American Flag shoes! So when it came time to pick something to hang on the wall above our kitchen table, of course she wanted to hang an American Flag. At first I wasn't really into this idea, but once I saw that we could get one for only $15, I was sold! It actually turned out really well too. It takes up most of our wall space, so we didn't have to worry about getting something else to go with it, and it's really cute. We get a lot of compliments on it! So if you need something to cover a wall space, try a flag! You can get them in a bunch of different sizes, and it can be any flag you want. It's a great way to express your personality.

Above my bed
Above my bed

Unconventional Wisdom

So I had no desire to go out and buy a headboard for my bedroom. I didn't know how long I was going to be staying in this apartment, so I didn't want to spend a ton of money on something I wasn't sure if I could keep. Also, my bed is kind of a weird size, it's in between a full and a queen. While my mom and I were in Vienna over the summer, I picked up this tapestry to hang on my wall. I didn't know where I was going to put it, but when I got here, I realized it goes perfectly over my bed. I know many people can't go to Vienna to buy a tapestry, but there are plenty of local places that sell patterned fabric or maybe even a sheet that you could hang. I just hung mine with some thumb tacs above my bed, and I was done. Took 10 minutes tops and cost me only $25!

Above my desk
Above my desk


My final tip is to buy things you can personalize or change up! I got this chalkboard from TjMaxx for $6 and some chalk from Walgreens for $3. This is perfect for my room because I can put whatever I want on it! When my mood changes, I can change the quote, or get someone to draw a picture for me. It's very versatile. I put it above my desk so when I'm studying for a test, or doing homework, I'm reminded I can get through it. It's also at the end of my bed, so it's the first thing I see when I wake up!

So decorating an apartment doesn't have to be difficult. Don't forget to personalize you're items so you can let your personality show through you're apartment. Just remember that sometimes the cheapest things can make for cute decorations!


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