The good news: You have your very first apartment. Cheers to that! Now the reality: The apartment looks nothing like the pictures you saved on Pinterest and you barely have enough in the budget to buy pizza, let alone invest in any serious home decor projects. Before you commit yourself to a life of stealing hand-me-downs from Mom, check out these 14 super easy decorating ideas (and these first apartment DIYs!) that will make your first apartment feel more mature in no time.
1. Update Your Hardware: Doing updates in a rental can seem pointless, (especially if the landlord’s favorite word is “no”) but switching out the knobs in the kitchen and bathroom to something a little more glam (hello, gold) can make a huge difference. You can always switch ’em back when your lease is up — but we’re betting you won’t have to. (via Miss Moss)
2. Put Your Pantry Staples in Glass Jars: Stock up on clear glass jars to store ingredients you use frequently. It’s a beautifully functional way to decorate *and* it will help you keep inventory of your goods so you can make a note on your totally mature to-do list for when you need to go grocery shopping. (via Simply Spaced)
3. Add Lighting With Personality: Statement lighting isn’t just about that urchin pendant light you’ve had your eye on for months. Bring in that yard sale table lamp that makes you laugh, or DIY a marquee light to put over your coffee bar. Lighting makes a place feel like home and is a great way to add personality. Plus, you can take it with you when you move. (via A Beautiful Mess)
4. Organize Mismatched Dishes: Even when your dishes aren’t a matching set, they’ll serve to define the space where you store them. Pick out your favorite pieces to display and keep similar items together. (via Jelanie Blog)
5. Beautify Your Booze: Nothing says “I’m an adult” quite like having a cart of (mostly) full alcohol in the living room. You’re still down to party hardy, but also prepared to entertain. (via The Everygirl)
6. Give Your Art a More Formal Arrangement: It might be time to peel the posters off the wall and take down the unframed photos. Upcycling an old yard sale frame or finding creative ways to display your art will definitely boost the style of your space. (via Deko)
7. Style Your Coffee Table: Think back to high school math class for a sec. There is actually a mathematical equation for the perfectly styled coffee table: One tray, one plant, one candle and a few personal knick knacks and books. Now if only there was an equation for finding parking… (via The Glitter Guide)
8. Throw Down an Area Rug: Whether you have wood floors or shag carpet, an area rug is always a welcome addition to the living room. It defines the space and gives you a chance to show off some of your personality and home decor aesthetic without redecorating the entire place. (via Brit + Co)
9. Style Your Bookcases: Classy doesn’t have to mean stuffy — or overstuffed. Upgrade your burgeoning book collection with boxes for storage and add colorful backing to your shelves. Quirky bookends are a great way to showcase your style. (via Love & Renovations)
10. Add a Plant: Until your boo starts bringing you flowers on the weekly, give your space a boost of greenery with a plant or two. Keeping a plant alive is the ultimate sign of maturity, right? And no, it’s not cheating if it’s an air plant. (via Brit + Co)
11. Update Your Bathroom Towels and Rug: It’s time to bid adieu to those towels covered in last month’s hair dye and get yourself a set of matching towels and rug. Go bold with a color you’d never put anywhere else in the house. After all, towels are not permanent, and you can always pick a new color next year. (via Domino)
12. Add Colorful Throw Pillows: Replacing your whole bedding set can be a pricey commitment, so start out small by adding throw pillows. You can always switch out the cover when you want something new — adults are allowed to change their minds too. (via Refinery 29)
13. Declutter Your Dresser: There’s no such thing as too many trinkets and baubles — you just need more space to store them. Untangle those necklaces once and for all with a jewelry organizer on your dresser or vanity. What happens behind closed drawers is totally your call though. (via Enthralling Gumption)
14. Color Code Your Closet: It might seem a little over-the-top, but having your closet organized is a great way to know what you have and to help you get rid of anything that you don’t absolutely love. If color-coded isn’t your thing, you could always organize by clothing type or another system that works for you. (via Homedit)
Decorating a first apartment is so much fun! Make sure you follow us on Pinterest for even more home decor inspo.