Decorating Your First College Apartment


The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

When you finally have your first apartment in college, decorating can be both exciting and intimidating. I moved into mine over a year ago and it’s still a work in progress. I’m no expert and still have a lot to learn, but here are some tips I’ve discovered for decorating college apartments! 

Save Space However You Can

It’s more likely than not that your first apartment isn’t very big, so saving space is going to be necessary. There are a few ways you can save space. First off, large, bulky furniture will make rooms feel much smaller, so finding smaller pieces will help. On top of that, tables like the one pictured below are perfect space savers. I have these exact nesting tables in my apartment, and they are one of my favorite pieces. I can pull them out whenever I need them, but when they’re not in use they sit in the corner and barely take up any space at all. 

IKEA’s Nesting Tables

Find Things for Cheap (or Free!) 

Saving money is on everyone’s mind, but especially in college. When looking for furniture, try to find deals whenever you can. Always check second-hand stores, cheaper places like Ikea, or go shopping on holidays known for their deals, like Black Friday. I have a bookshelf in my apartment that I was able to grab for free because a neighbor was moving out of the country and needed to get rid of all their furniture. Always keep an eye out for opportunities to save on new pieces. 

Wall Decor

When you don’t have a lot of room for furniture, decorating your walls is a perfect way to express your personality and add color to a space. Obvious choices include posters and photos, which can be more spaced out around your walls or a collage of photos/posters of varying sizes is also a great way to do a lot with a smaller wall. You can mount plants, hang flags or tapestries, and (as shown below) use floating shelves. The image below is a wall in my apartment that is a mixture of shelves and frames and, although it’s not too complicated, it expresses many elements of my personality in a small space. 

IKEA’s Wall Shelves 

Make Progress Over Time

One of the most important things to remember is that there’s no need to rush! You never know when you’re going to stumble into something perfect for your apartment, so always keep your eyes peeled and don’t buy something just because you feel like you must if it’s not quite right. Even if I’m not always able to buy new things, I find myself rearranging what I already have somewhat frequently to test different design ideas and revitalize my space. Your apartment should be a sanctuary, so remember to have fun with it and do what makes you happiest!