Hey, girl, the time has finally come for your first apartment — congrats! While being granted your new set of keys is exciting (just don't lose them!), the list of essentials can be rather overwhelming. Making style the main priority (as always), we set out to prove that you can do it on a budget. Sticking with necessities — like plates that aren't paper — we found you ways to save without sacrificing style. And for the times when only the best will do? Well, we found those options too. Sure, welcome the hand-me-downs, but with a little savvy shopping and this guide, you can furnish your apartment with enough cash to spare for that security deposit.
Those beach towels may have worked well through college, but it's time to add a little luxury with actual bath linens. Just don't forget to have a spare set handy for guests or those days you don't want to do laundry.
- Save: Hand Towels  ($5, originally $7)
- Splurge: Guest Towels  ($9, originally $16)
For your first place, you're allowed to showcase your college posters — just frame them first! Adding a frame will instantly upgrade your favorite art and add visual interest to your new "adult" walls.
- Save: Gallery Frames  ($20-$40)
- Splurge: Lee Gallery Frames  ($39-$129)
Now that those long, lean, and awkward dorm beds are a thing of the past, celebrate with new bedding. Go all out with a fun pattern that welcomes a variety of throw pillows to mix and match.
- Save: Duvet Set  ($50)
- Splurge: Watercolor Duvet Set  ($215-$350)
No need to settle on unflattering vinyl curtains! For your first place, pick a curtain with texture but in a neutral color. This way, they can easily blend with your decor and newly acquired pieces.
- Save: Linen Stripe Panel  ($49-$70)
- Splurge: Kendal Laurel Curtain Panel  ($109)
Poufs are perfect for apartments because of their versatility. They can be used as an ottoman, a coffee table (with the addition of a tray ), or extra seating.
- Save: Dhurrie Pouf  ($249)
- Splurge: Lattice Pouf  ($264, originally $310)
Time to ditch the red cups . . . for good! Every girl's apartment needs a set of barware. Wineglasses are a good place to start; you can slowly build from there.
- Save: Wineglass  ($8)
- Splurge: Wine Tasting Glass  ($140)
The "Everything" Tray
A simple tray has so many uses: side table, minibar, or nightstand. Since they are rather small in size, they are a versatile first-apartment piece.
- Save: Tray Table  ($50)
- Splurge: Tray and Stand  ($595)
Finally, you can accent your first place with your own personal touches — not your roommate's. From sentimental pieces to quirky accents, allow your decor to showcase your personality!
- Save: Gold Animals  ($38)
- Splurge: Gold Bird  ($128)
It's time to recycle those cardboard boxes. For extra storage, opt for grass baskets. They are a versatile option for any room, and they can store everything from magazines to laundry.
- Save: Curved Storage Basket  ($54)
- Splurge: Sea Grass Basket  ($105-$122, originally $150)
Now that you have your own digs, go from paper plates to porcelain. These white plates are a versatile option that can be used for casual dinners or fancied up with a colorful top plate when entertaining guests.
- Save: Corelle Dinnerware Set  ($27)
- Splurge: All-White Dinnerware  ($56-$200)