How to Decorate Your College Apartment

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In the chaos of moving into your first college apartment, you may have haphazardly purchased a few staple furniture items and then left the rest to casually acquire along the way. Now that you’ve settled in and decided on what’s necessary and what isn’t quite working, you’ll want to really get into the nitty-gritty of decorating. To help you decide what you actually need and what’s best left to stay on the shelves at IKEA, here are a few decorating tips

1. Get a Statement Rug

There’s not much a rug can’t solve when it comes to decorating. With college apartments, whether it’s on-campus or off-campus, there are a lot of people trekking in and out, which means scuffed and marked-up floors. To help alleviate this problem (or cover it up) consider picking up a small rug to place in your main traffic area to act functionally as well as aesthetically to brighten up your space. Keep in mind, small throw rugs are great for high traffic areas, like entryways and kitchens, and larger throw rugs are perfect for under sofas and coffee tables or next to your bed.

decorating college apartment - adult bunk beds

2. Make Use of Multi-Purpose Furniture

Multi-purpose furniture like bunk beds, loft beds and pullout sofas are ideal for making the most of a small space.

Bunk Bed: If you share a room with your roommate, you may want to consider an adult bunk bed instead of two twin beds. Not only will you save a ton of floor space, but if you choose the right bunk bed, it can also be more comfortable than a standard bed. Bunk Beds, like this one, are made for adults and can hold up to 2,000 lbs. You can also customize them to the size and with the accessories of your choice, which will help to optimize your comfort.

Loft Bed: If you have your own room, you may want to consider switching out your bed for a loft bed. You’ll be able to free up some floor space and give yourself an extra area to relax, study or store items that were taking up space in the hall closet. The best part is they are easily transportable, so you can move them to your next apartment without worry.

Pullout Couch: Whether it’s a friend visiting from home or local friends looking to crash in the living room for a night, you’ll want to have a space for them to sleep. This is where a pullout sofa can be your best-kept furniture secret. It won’t take up any extra space and it’ll give you a place for your friends to stay. Plus, they are typically inexpensive so you won’t be spending too much extra money.

3. Look for a Bookshelf

As any college student knows, you’re going to acquire a lot of books in your four years. This is where a bookshelf really comes in handy. Not only will it give you a place to store textbooks, but you can also decorate it with knickknacks to keep it visually interesting. Be sure to check places like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp and local flea markets for good deals on used bookshelves. 

decorating college apartment - adult bunk beds 

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4. Add Some Artwork

Nothing brightens up a room like a colorful piece of art. Look for bright photos that can make your wall pop without breaking the bank, or take it upon yourself to get crafty and look at it as a DIY project. Grab a canvas and paint at your local art store and get ready to get creative.

5. Embrace Clip-On Lights

Light fixtures can get expensive and your college budget doesn’t always allow for that extra expense. Clip-on lights are a convenient way to add light without breaking the bank. You can use them as bedside lights; clip them to a bookcase, in your closet, or above the kitchen counter 

decorating college apartment - adult bunk beds

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6. Consider Chalkboard Decals

Nothing says a college apartment quite like a chalkboard wall. If your apartment doesn’t allow you to repaint the walls, you can always opt for a chalkboard decal instead. This will give you and your friends a fun way to get creative with your home.

7. Opt for Adhesive Strips

Just because your lease doesn’t allow you to put holes in the wall, doesn’t mean you can’t still hang things. Consider using adhesive strips to hang things like artwork or mirrors without damaging the walls.

decorating a college apartment - adult bunk beds

8. Consider Hanging Shelves

Not only do they add interest to your room, they also make storing things in a tight space a lot easier. Make it a do-it-yourself project like this one from Brit+Co, or check out places like Urban Outfitters or Target for other options.

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