Tips On Decorating Your College Apartment: Living Room
: When you’re a kid, there is nothing worse than summer coming to an end. When you’re in college, summer is merely a three month resting period from a 24/7 schedule of partying with a few classes in between. Summer is by all means wonderful, but it comes every year for the rest of your life; college on the other hand is only the most glorious time of your life that comes and goes faster than a keg at an overcrowded frat party. And while the little kiddies have nothing to look forward to other than a new pair of kicks, a fresh stick of glue, and some glitter pens if they’re lucky, you pretty much get everything freaking thing else. As if college alone isn’t great enough, you get the added excitement of finally getting your own pad. Moving in to the big leagues: out of the overcrowded dorms, away from your ‘friend’ the RA, and into your rule – free stomping ground. As a recent graduate from ZooMass (or as it says on that $100,000 piece of paper that has yet to make it on to my proud parents’ wall “the University of Massachusetts Amherst”) I have some advice that I can pass on to those of you who are still living the dream. Oh, and by the way, those of you checking this out for some quick tips on moving into your new place, congratulations you are a slacker. Doesn’t class start like, tomorrow? You must take special thought and consideration when furnishing and decorating the room where all the magic happens … the living room. The living room is the space where you can crack a cold one in front of the TV and *poof* all your homework disappears (for the night, anyway). The living room can magically convert into a second bedroom when your roommate is having a, um … slumber party. AND the living room is typically the space for entertainment where you take X amount of friends and turn them into X times 10 amount of friends! Magic! With that said, take some time to think about how you want this space to look. For the love of God, don’t let it look like the dump my ex-boyfriend and his 5 roommates tried to call a “living” room. The only thing living in there was the funky stuff growing on the walls and behind the couch…To avoid this catastrophe, try some of these tips: 1.) Seating: Don’t try to save a couple of bucks by getting your couch off the side of the road next to Billy Bob’s house. Talk to your relatives and see if they are looking to get rid of anything; if you pull the “poor college student line” you’d be surprised what people throw your way. It doesn’t matter how banged up it is – at least your know where it’s been, and it’s a super easy fixer – upper. All you need is a slip cover (which comes in pretty much every color and design, typically ranging in price from $15 - $50) and a bottle of fabric Febreeze and the couch is just like new! If you want something brandy spanking new, see if any of your roommates are willing to pool some dough to buy a futon. These typically go for a bit cheaper: they are equally as comfy and stylish, AND as said above, come in handy when your living room needs to become your bedroom for the night. 2.) Wall Decor: Chances are you can’t paint the walls of your rented apartment. That doesn’t mean you cannot have a little fun with them. Steer clear of nails and tapes of all kind, and stick (literally, ha) with 3M products. 3M has a line of cheap products to stick all kinds of stuff to the walls; each hook holds up to 5 pounds. The best part? When you’re ready to take everything down they come off super easy without damaging the walls. Next tip: Before hanging posters, frame them first. If you look around you can buy them super cheap, and they make the walls looks 9 million times better. In my college pad, I framed 20 records and covered the living room wall with them in a 4x5 design – it was a huge hit. If you like the idea but don’t have records, you can do something similar with CD’s, flowers, magazine covers, collages, etc., use your imagination!
3..) Curtain Magic: No matter what the size of your windows, throwing up some nice curtains can add some color to the room and spice it up. My roommates and I made the mistake of covering our 20 foot window with sheer curtains. While it looked beautiful, it allowed every person walking by to see in, ultimately leading to a police invasion and $300 fine: rookie mistake. So we went out and bought some killer tapestries and hung them as curtains. They tied in perfectly with the record décor, added some color, and kept prying eyes out of our place.
Check out my post tomorrow as I'll share with you some tips for your first college apartment kitchen!
- Adam Hanin