Adulting - How I Decked out My First Apartment on a Budget
At some point we all have to take the plunge into adulthood and do the one thing millennials are notorious for delaying: moving out of our parents’ house. It’s a rite of passage for many. Some may fly the coop right out of high school, while others choose to wait it out a bit longer. After enjoying free rent and food through college and a couple years post-grad, the time had come for me this summer. I took to the internet, found an apartment, and signed the dotted line for my very own place (well, mine, and my roommate’s).
Thankfully, being the youngest of the family, I am #blessed with all the lovely, gently used hand-me-downs from my relatives. And when it came to furnishing my own place, I was going to take what I could get for free, and in the words of Tim Gunn, “Make it work.”
Pro Tip: Take the free stuff, take it with a smile, and accessorize to make it your own.
Starting with the living room, I opted to save money by purchasing a secondhand loveseat and sofa from a friend; and when my siblings upgraded their end tables and coffee table, I gladly inherited the old ones. Since the furniture was taken care of, my roommate was keen on getting a modest TV. She landed on a Smart TV for easy access to Hulu and Netflix. It’s also been great for playing background music when guests are over.
The room that had the longest list of necessities was the kitchen. I was in need of all the ‘wares: dinnerware, silverware, cookware and bakeware. Per the advice of my mother, I sought stainless steel silverware, and landed on this Cambridge Silversmiths set that included an organizer. As for dinnerware, I fell in love with the simple design of this CCA International set, with delicate pearl detailing. (You know you’re growing up when you get excited about dinner plate designs.)
When shopping for my kitchen, I also purchased nonstick pans, a 9” x 11” glass baking pan, a cast iron skillet, and a muffin pan. The beauty of moving in with a roommate was sharing the load of furnishing our kitchen. She purchased a glassware set, cooking utensils and super legit Ninja blender. One other necessity I didn’t think of was a water pitcher with a built-in filter. Since our apartment refrigerator doesn’t include a water dispenser, we opted for something like the PUR pitcher to always keep filled and chilled.
Last, but not least: the bedroom. While I was able to take my bed when I moved out (a kind donation from my brother when he got married), I knew it was time to upgrade my purple, flowery bed set to something that spoke to my new season of life. This time, instead of choosing a multi-piece bedding set, I decided on this down alternative comforter and a basic white sheet set to match. Since my bed takes up most of my new room, it was important to methat the bedding was not only comfortable, but looked fresh and put-together. Plus, without a lot of natural light in my room, an all-white bed really brightens up the space.
After I combined my old room’s basics, free or cheap pieces from friends and family, and these key apartment essentials, I was pretty set. The only things that were missing were a few personal touches: framed photos of loved ones on the end tables, cutesy quotes hanging on the entryway wall, and of course, a freshly-stocked refrigerator. Apartment, sweet apartment.