How to Take the Frat out of your College Apartment
Don’t want to spend a fortune on updating your college furniture? 5 tricks to transform your apartment into one for grown-ups.
1) Slip Cover Your Couch
Your couch is the focus of your room, and having one that’s plaid with cigarette-burn accents won’t set the tone for a grown-up apartment. Buying a slipcover is an inexpensive solution to a pricey problem. The slipcover above is from Target, other stores to check-out are Wal-Mart and IKEA.
Tip: Don’t forget to take note of the size and shape of your couch before purchasing a slipcover – square verses rounded couch-arms require different covers.
If slip covering isn’t an option, then remember a couch is an investment—keeping with neutral colors and classic shapes will take that couch from your young-adult apartment into your family one.
Painting sounds like a pain, but in reality it’s easy and can add a lot of life to an otherwise bland room. Craving a dark color? Consider painting the focus wall dark and leaving the rest light—dark paint tends to make a room look smaller.
Keep in mind that painting walls isn’t the only way to utilize its transformative power. Painting furniture is an easy and economical way to modernize a dated piece of furniture.
Tip: If you weren’t aware, spray paint is now available for interior and furniture painting. It’s a great and easy way to paint furniture, try Krylon’s Interior-Exterior paint.
Recommendation: Don’t know a lot about choosing paint? Go to your nearest Home Depot or paint store (i.e. Behrs or Sherwin Williams), there you can bring home a paint fan deck before committing.
3) Frame your artwork and photographs
The ultimate sign of a college or transient apartment is a lack of artwork or framed photographs. Snapfish.com is a great website to upload your photos and have them printed and delivered to your doorstep.
Ikea is the god of furnishing on a budget, and one of their best offerings is home décor. IKEA’s chunky silver frames can work for both a masculine or feminine apartment, and add great substance and luxuriousness to a bare space.
Tip: Don’t be afraid of creating a large collage of frames and artwork like the image above.
4) Accessorize. Accessorize. Accessorize.
A great room is all in the details. Don’t worry, guys, I promise that buying interesting lamps and decorative pillows will not turn your apartment frilly. Look towards the accessories to add touches of color to your neutral frame.
Marshall’s Home Goods is my go-to for decorations—they are inexpensive, but have the expensive look we are all trying to find. Unfortunately, you can’t shop the store online, but search for the store nearest to you—it’ll be worth the commute.
Tip: Like I mentioned above, IKEA is fantastic for accessories—if you aren’t the best at envisioning how to piece together decorations, the Ikea showroom is a great place to get ideas on how to use mirrors, organization boxes, pillows, and much more.
The key to maintaining this great, new apartment you created is keeping it clean. While you may be able to get by with a smelly, dirty college apartment, it’s not as socially acceptable after the age of 22.
Lucky for us, P&G and several other brands have made this easy with fantastic inventions like Swiffer and Febreze.
The Basics: 1) Broom or Vacuum, 2) Swiffer Wet Jet or Mop, 3) Multi-surface cleaner for countertops and the bathroom, 4) Clorox Wipes, 5) Bounty, 6) Toilet bowl cleaner (YUMMY!), 7) Febreze