First Apartment

My niece just graduated from college and is leaving the nest. She is setting out on her own and looking for inspiration for her first apartment.

Something New

Given that many of the things that will fill your first apartment are vintage or more specifically family castoffs, it is always nice to have at least one new piece of furniture  A good place to start is the Ektorp sofa from Ikea. The price is right and the size is perfect for an apartment. To add that extra vib add one of these chic Belgian linen slipcovers that are made to fit Ikea's sofas from Bemz. I prefer the loose fit as shown in the picture above but the slipcovers come and a large variety of fabrics and styles.

The above photo features an ikea dining room chair in a Bemz loose fit slipcover. Again, a great fresh look for a reasonable price. This chair would make a great dining room chair but could easily double as a desk chair or be pulled into the living area for extra seating.

Something Old

I think it is very important that the first apartment have at least one piece that is old. The age adds charm, texture, personality and warmth and keeps the space from looking like the Ikea showroom floor.
Suzanne Kasler's new line for Ballard Designs offers some incredible accessories at very reasonable prices. I especially like the starburst mirror and chandelier pictured above.

Something Modern

Keep things fresh and young with modern accessories, clean lines and bold color. Striped rugs in bright colors are fun and add a dash of modern to an otherwise neutral room.

{image via Desire to Inspire}

Something Personal

Now is the time to express yourself with fun DIY projects. An old picture frame painted white makes a great memo board when wrapped with bright ribbon or string. The chest below is a simple Ikea style chest that is adorned with a wall sticker and new pulls.

{image from skona hem}

Paint is the easiest and least expensive way to personalize a space, but most first apartments will not allow you to paint. The image above shows the bed in front of a folding screen. To create your own folding screen, purchase inexpensive bi-fold closet doors and adorn them with a painted finish, wall stickers, vintage wallpaper or a graphic fabric.

I love the combination of turquoise and orange for a young apartment. The look above is high end but provides great inspiration ~ neutral furnishings with pops of color in the accessories; fun graphic shape and zebra print x-benches at the foot of the bed; modern gourd lamps in turquoise and my favorite the image over the bed that could easily be achieved with wall stickers.

{image from decor pad}

I love the image above featuring a mother's completed design for her daughter's first apartment.
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