17 Home Decor Upgrades from Your First Apartment
Moving into your first apartment is such a huge milestone, and it’s usually marked with the purchase of tons of inexpensive decor basics (and lots of hand-me-downs from helpful relatives). As much as you’ve loved the stuff from your first place, if you’re working on your second or third apartment — or even your first house — you might be thinking of stepping up your home decor game. After all, this might be the place you plan on making your home for a long time. A brand-new “investment apartment” isn’t really complete without some solid “investment housewares,” so here are some options to upgrade those old first-apartment basics.
1. Furniture of America Nara Contemporary 6-Shelf Tiered Open Bookcase ($288): Your tiny old bookshelf is probably overflowing by now. Instead of lugging it to a new home, replace it with some more elevated shelving that’s big enough for your books and your tchotchkes alike.
2. Ruan Hoffman Jardin Des Plantes Shower Curtain ($108): Toss out that old shower curtain liner and make your new bathroom the oasis of your home with a charming, sophisticated curtain.
3. Crate and Barrel Malvern Cheval Floor Mirror ($499): As much as that over-the-door mirror was economical (especially if your first place was low on space), you probably have a little more square footage to play with now. Choose a mirror that makes you feel like a queen.
4. Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set ($210): If your collection of pots and pans is sparse or getting too old to use, it might be time to upgrade. This stainless steel set is beautiful, functional, and high-performance, so you’ll be able to take full advantage of your brand-new kitchen.
5. Sur La Table Modern 16-Piece Dinnerware Set ($200): No more mismatched plates for you. Your tiny starter set — whether you opted for ceramic, plastic, paper, or a mishmash of whatever you could find at the thrift store — has probably run its course by now. Invest in some stylish new dinnerware for all those parties you’ll be throwing at the new place.
6. Artaste Rain Copper-Finished Stainless Steel 36-Piece Flatware Set ($126): Of course, new dinnerware probably calls for some new silverware as well. At your new, more functional place, think about buying a flatware set that’s big enough to entertain guests — and wow them with your good taste.
7. Anthropologie Tasseled Araya Duvet Cover ($248+): Save that old bed-in-a-bag for when overnight guests come over, and redo your bedroom with bedding that’s comfortable and makes a statement. A duvet is great for switching out with the seasons and gives your bed a luxurious feel.
8. Anthropologie Daisy Sconce ($128): String lights looked adorable in your first place, but if you’re looking to trade up to something more sophisticated for your bedroom, wall sconces provide perfect lighting for reading and relaxing.
9. Willa Arlo Interiors Montpelier Silver Area Rug ($41+): Area rugs are great for pulling a room’s decor together. Trade in an old rug for something more luxe — like this soft, shag pile carpet — to turn your living room into a cozy retreat.
10. A&J Homes Studio Mendosia Sectional ($770): Say farewell to your trusty old futon. Parting is such sweet sorrow, but moving to your next place is the perfect opportunity to invest in a quality couch that you’ll love for years.
11. Bluettek Modern Geometric Throw Pillow Covers ($23 for four): Add some throw pillows to your new couch as design accents and to bring an extra level of comfort to your living room. You can play with textures by opting for velvet, silks, or fur. Or choose some funky prints, like these sleek geometric ones.
12. Artfully Walls Echo Park Wall Art ($388): The true hallmark of a full-fledged grown-up home is framed art on the walls. Give away your old, worn-out posters in favor of some substantial hangings that will start a conversation.
13. Crate and Barrel Glass Canisters ($17+): Even the most grown-up apartment will need bathroom storage. These glass canisters give a beautiful vintage feel to any bathroom counter and make a pretty alternative to plastic bins.
14. Utopia Towels Premium 8-Piece Towel Set ($22+): Are your linens feeling threadbare? Stock up on premium towels for your new place that will make you (and any overnight guests) feel like you’re at the spa.
15. Stanley 65-Piece Homeowner’s Tool Kit ($50): Just like at your first apartment, you’ll be needing some tools to help keep your home in tip-top shape. But now that you’re in a brand-new place, upgrade your old hammer and screwdriver for a multi-piece set that will get you ready to tackle whatever maintenance needs might pop up.
16. Langley Street Carlton Desk Chair ($113): Chuck that old, uncomfortable desk chair you’ve been dragging around since college. Even though it’s served you well, it’s time for a chair that’s not just comfortable, but also attractive — so you can stay productive all day and look good while you’re doing it.
17. Anthropologie Footed Bowl ($32): Decorate your new place with some elevated odds and ends, like this footed bowl. It’s perfect for the center of your coffee table, on the corner of a shelf, or even as a high-design key bowl.