Creating a Stylish First Apartment on a Budget - Part 1


Two of my good friends just got married (yay!!) and are now ready to move into their first place together. :) I'm super excited for them and can't wait to watch them grow more in love as the years go by.
They reached out to me because they're just not sure what they need to buy for their first place. They will first be moving into military housing together, and really have no idea what their new space will even look like. They want to buy furniture and decor that is versatile enough to move with them to new apartments, and eventually a more permanent home down the line (totally a smart move!).

I've put together a list of things that I think would help make their new house feel more like a home! And since the list is super crazy long, I thought it might be less of a holy cow why am I reading a novel kind of feeling to break it out into a few posts over the next couple days! Hopefully these posts can also be beneficial to other young couples who are moving into their first place together! 

Obviously I'm not an all-knowing home decor genius, so here's where I need input from you guys (because together.. we are geniuses!! Let's take over the world! MUAHAHA!). Please! Over the next few days, leave any additional suggestions for the newlyweds in the comments! Especially if you have dealt with military housing/transitioning from an apartment to a more permanent home before! I'm sure they will be super grateful for your advice! :) They're a wonderful, stylish couple and I know their new place together is going to be amazing!

Today I'm not even going to start with the list of home essentials. Instead, I'm going to share a few words of wisdom that I wish someone would have shared with me a few years ago before I got my first apartment. :)

That being said, my first suggestion to young couples moving to their first apartment/home together is to spend some lots of time on sites like Pinterest, Apartment Therapy, Houzz, etc. And spend the time on the sites TOGETHER. Try and figure out what your design styles are! Maybe you'll get lucky and both love traditional/eclectic/modern/etc. But chances are, you both will have differing tastes in the style you love most. Sit together and figure out how you want your home to look. What feelings do you want to convey when friends come over to visit? Do you want a space that is really neat and organized? Or something that is more organic and eclectic, lived-in? This would be the first, and probably most important step; that way you don't buy furniture just to fill the empty space, and then later down the road think to yourself.. what the heck was I thinking buying an overstuffed armchair when I REALLY love the look of a mid century modern plycraft, etc.

Okay, so after you have your favorite styles narrowed down, and you've really solidified your ideas for your new home, it's time to buy some furniture! Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. Making your space really feel like "you" will take time. It's okay if right away you only have an awesome couch and no chairs in the living room. It may take a few months to find the perfect piece! Everything will come with time. Patience is a virtue (and I am not patient so I have suffered from this many times in the past...). Don't rush and buy something that you don't LOVE. Because what you do love is out there waiting for you. :) You may just have to stalk craigslist/flash sales to find it. :)

So first and MOST important things to remember when creating a beautiful new home.. 1, Figure out your design styles and how you'd like your house to make you (and your visitors) feel. And 2, don't rush and buy any old furniture just to fill the empty space. Have patience and your house will truly reflect the look you're striving for!

What other advice do you have for young couples looking to move into their first place? Any of you have specific advice for military housing? Please share!

Tomorrow I'll share my list of essentials for the living room and dining room! :)

xx, Shannon

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  1. This is some great advice! Looking forward to reading what else you have in mind for stylish apartments since I will be getting my own soon! Living with roommates isn't the same as decorating your own space!


  2. I definitely second being patient. We lived with a hand-me-down free couch we hated for nearly two hears, then finally found our dream couch on craigslist for half the retail price. It was well worth the wait!

  3. Where did you get those 4 flower prints above your couch? Very pretty room!

    1. Hi Jenna, thank you! :) The prints were actually from a One Kings Lane sale BUT I was browsing Papyrus a few weeks ago and came across a calendar that has very similar prints in it (for a fraction of the price, too!)! The quality isn't as nice but 12 prints for $17 bucks isn't bad! Plus they fit well in the Ikea Ribba frame! I've hung some in my dining room, hopefully I'll share how they look next week! :)

      Here's the calendar if you're interested!

  4. Hi! Where did you find that large print over the turquoise side table? Is it a garden plan? Thx in advance!

  5. Did you ever end up making a part two or three, i'd love to read it !


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