Your baby bird is leaving the nest! Now you want to know how to furnish your child’s first apartment in a way they’ll love that’s also manageable for your budget and makes moving day easier. Read on for 7 of our best tips and ideas for budget-friendly furniture, handy storage must-haves, and smart decorating tips to create a cozy nest for your child.
1. Shop Must-Have Items First
To keep everyone on track, make a checklist of the bare necessities that make an apartment functional. At the top of the list should be a sofa (or loveseat if the rental is a small space), dining table set, bed, and mattress.
These essential furniture pieces are often more expensive but investing a little more helps ensure they are comfortable, which is especially important for something like a mattress. Plus, if you buy higher quality items, like a sturdy dining table, they will last longer and may even be something you can resell when your child moves on to their next place.
2. Embrace Multi-Purpose Furniture
Or “feed two birds with one scone,” as the kids say. Being able to buy one piece that has multiple uses is ideal for a first apartment. It means you’ll have less to buy (and less to move) which can already be a budget-friendly hack. It’s also smart because apartments are often small so you need to be strategic with how you use square footage.
Speaking of space, since storage is worth its weight in gold in a small rental, look for items that pull double duty, like a storage ottoman that can be both a coffee or side table and a place to tuck away items. A cute pouf can be used as a footstool, for extra seating, or even as a side table. C-side tables can also snuggle up under the side of a sofa and become a mini desk or dining table. Some even have charging ports!
3. Use Rugs to Tie the Room Together
Area rugs are another must-have for apartments (yes, even those with carpet). Rugs help reduce noise and can protect wood floors from scratches or keep carpets from getting stained. After all, you want to keep as much of that deposit as possible. Some leases may even require that tenants cover a certain percentage of the floor with rugs.
More than just practical, a rug is a fantastic design tool for turning any space into a cozy, defined room, which is essential for making it feel cozy. Two great rug options for more budget conscious shoppers are indoor/outdoor rugs and natural fiber rugs like those made of jute, sisal, or seagrass.
4. Multiple Lamps = Cozy Vibes
Some apartments don’t have overhead lights in the living spaces or if they do, they don’t provide nearly enough light or any kind of ambiance. By contrast, having multiple light sources in a room is one of the best and easiest ways to create an inviting and well-lit space. Consider outfitting your child’s first rental apartment with a handful of table lamps and a floor lamp or two.
5. Cover Their Walls in Tapestries
Tapestries and wall hangings are the perfect wall decor for first apartments. They’re on-trend, a step up from posters, and more affordable than framed art. Tapestries are also incredibly easy to move and you can usually hang them with simple thumbtacks or command hooks, which is great as rental apartments don’t often let you nail things into the walls.
6. Embrace the Power of Plants
Plants are great for decoration—they break up all the straight lines and angles of an apartment and bring life and color to the white walls. Plants are also known to have a positive effect on mental health as the act of caring for one can help instill feelings of wellbeing and responsibility. This is especially nice if you’re worried about your child feeling homesick and lonely in their first apartment.
No green thumb in the family? Don’t worry, faux plants are a totally acceptable alternative that still look good but require virtually no maintenance.
7. Life Hack: Easy-to-Assemble and Easy-to-Move Furniture
Apartments often mean navigating furniture up a few flights of stairs and down narrow hallways, and then doing it all again when you move out. Take some stress out of the process by considering modular furniture with multiple, individual pieces, stackable dining chairs, and furniture that’s easy to assemble. How do you know if it’s easy to put together? Read the reviews to see what others have to say. Then, be sure to have your child (or you) keep the instructions and tools so that they can un-assemble and reassemble their furniture later, when needed.
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Make their first rental experience stylish and easy, from move-in to set-up to move-out.