Apartment Adventures | Decorating Stylish on a Budget

Over the past week, I have been busy collecting items for my first apartment! I am absolutely blessed and excited for this new chapter in my life. I've lived with my folks until age 20, and I'm definitely ready for this major change! Before starting the process, the boyfriend and I discussed colors schemes and decor styles (utilizing Pinterest inspiration, of course!). We came to a decision of aiming towards a more modern, simplistic vibe, using black and white as core colors (with silver accent decor and some gold exceptions here and there).

To begin the furniture hunt, we visited our (semi-local) IKEA store. This was my first time at IKEA, and I was floored by the ease of the store's layout. We had researched most of these pieces on the IKEA website prior to traveling to the physical store, and were pleasantly surprised when they showed up there as well!

First off, we picked our coffee table. We went with a simple, black-brown wooden model (the larger of the two sizes offered). I love the extra storage space beneath the table, it seems like it'll be handy for homework assignments, magazines, and other miscellaneous goodies we have lying around.

Secondly, we came across the perfect shower curtain to match the color scheme, a simple white curtain with a black layer on the bottom. Pair this with a liner and you've got yourself one snazzy shower!

While browsing the store, we also found our dining room table (unexpectedly, to say the least). Matching the coffee table, we chose a dining table perfect for two to eat at comfortably, with easily enough room for four. We haven't quite figured out the seating situation yet... stay tuned!


Lastly, I scrounged up these visual accents from different sites and pinned them to my wishlist! We ended up buying two of the indented glass white lamps from IKEA (bottom righthand corner in above photo). The white has a striking amount of light in comparison to the black version of the same model. These lamps we have planned to rest on our bedside tables, perfect for late-night reading.

I'll admit: the other items in the above photo are on the pricier end, but nothing like you might find in a wealthy home that you absolutely cannot afford as a college student! I'm a little obsessed with items from the Threshold collection at Target. The first piece I chose is a white lattice tray, followed by a silver serving tray, and finally a white faux fur throw. Last, but not least is a silver crackle applique pillow from T.J.Maxx's Thro by Marlo Lorenz collection!

Personally, I love the trays, and I think they would be perfect for gathering up clutter around the living room. Perhaps the lattice tray could be used as a magazine holder, as well as a space to put a vase full of flowers during the warmer seasons. The throw and pillow would add a nice touch to what we hope will be a black faux leather couch.

I feel as though you can make cheaper (but still wise) choices about your bigger, focal pieces, and spend a little extra dough making sure the apartment truly speaks to who you are. During this process, it is essential that I let my boyfriend's self be shown in his home, and design a look for our shared space that is somewhat gender neutral. So, naturally, we came home with a pretty large Seattle Seahawks canvas to hang above the couch, and other accessories that were to his liking.

The last thing we want to end up with is an apartment that doesn't speak to our personalities, or becomes a place that we avoid rather than rush home to. This is the space that combines the best of both of us: our likes and dislikes, our design preferences, and our necessities. I am so excited to continue this process and see how the end result turns out!

Kathryn CoffmanComment