best furniture to buy for apartments affordable furniture

How to Furnish Your First Apartment on a Budget

So you're finally out of your parents' place/dorm/shoebox you've been calling home and ready to take on the world (or at least your own studio apartment). Congratulations! While this milestone comes with a lot of new responsibilities, it also means you get to pick out your own furniture! However, before you go full Pinterest-boards-worth of inspo and blow your budget on a mod sofa and an antique armoire, take a deep breath.

You can make your first apartment look great without going broke in the process. Here are some tips and tricks for furnishing your first place on a budget.


Start with the Basics

Every room needs a few key pieces of furniture, so start there. If you're furnishing a bedroom, you'll need a bed, dresser, and nightstand (at the very least). If you're furnishing a living room, you'll need a couch, coffee table, and end table. Once you have these pieces in place, you can build around them with smaller items like lamps, rugs, curtains, and wall art.

round counter height dining table for apartment, and counter-height stools

This is our Studio Counter Dining Table, featuring a satin walnut finish, a fixed round top, "X" style center stretcher, and a stylish mid-century modern design. It's paired with the Studio Gray Counter Stools, and is perfect for an apartment because of its size. It's big enough to comfortably dine, sipping a cup of coffee in the morning, but small enough to fit in the nooks of your apartment.

best sofas for apartments affordable sleeper sofas
This chic and stylish sofa is actually a sleeper sofa! It's our Ladybird Queen Sleeper, and you may want to consider a sleeper sofa if you want to save costs on a bed and a sofa. Or, if you moved away from family and friends and are expecting them all to want to visit in full force, it's best to get a piece of furniture they can sleep comfortably on.
If you would like some suggestions on the best sofas to buy for your apartments, read here.

Get Creative with Your Furniture Choices

Just because you're shopping on a budget doesn't mean you have to settle for boring, cheap-looking furniture. Get creative with your choices and look for unique pieces that will add personality to your space.

This is the Chester TV Stand that puts a retro spin with its simple, sleek hardware. This TV Stand is eye-catching and spacious. The small shelf is perfect for decorating and displaying some accessories that show off your personality.

Here are some ideas to get creative:

  • Fill vases with a bouquet, a single flower, seashells, etc. Or, let a unique vase be the focal point and let it stand alone.
  • One of the best things about decorating with photographs is that there are no rules! So don't be afraid to mix and match different styles and sizes of photos. You could even combine traditional framed photos with more creative displays like Polaroids or instant camera prints. The possibilities are endless, so have fun with it!
  • Shelving units are always great, creative ways to display items that reflect your personality. For example, if you're a cottagecore girly, there are plenty of DIY tutorials for covering shelves with crafting moss. Put your favorite book series on display and use a figurine as a bookend. There are so many fun options.
  • Throw pillows are a great way to add a pop of color or pattern to your couch or bed. They can also be a great way to show off your personality. If you’re feeling crafty, you can even make your own throw pillows using fabric scraps or old clothes.

Think Multi-Functional

When choosing furniture for your first apartment, look for pieces that serve multiple purposes. A coffee table that doubles as storage, a futon that can be turned into a guest bed, or barstools that can be tucked away under the kitchen counter are all great examples of multi-functional furniture. Not only will these pieces help save space in your small apartment, but they'll also save you money since you won't have to buy as many individual pieces overall.

Small dining table with storage for apartments
This is the Rockwood Counter Table at Couch Potatoes, and as you can see, it's super cool. Made from solid acacia, with modern iron hairpin legs, this table acts as both a place for dining and storage. This is a perfect example of furniture that is both multi-functional and perfect for the smaller space of an apartment.


poufs, ottomans, or footstools for the living room

This Carlton Square Pouf is also a perfect example of multi-functional furniture. Not only does it add an accent of texture to the room, but you can rest your feet on it, use it as a chair, or use it as another surface to place some décor.

Get Creative with DIY Projects

If you're feeling especially crafty (or just very thrifty), try tackling some easy DIY projects to spruce up your place on the cheap. Creating simple slipcovers for existing furniture, painting old picture frames, or even just hanging some curtains can totally change the look and feel of your space without breaking the bank. And don't forget—the internet is full of step-by-step tutorials for just about every type of DIY project imaginable, so you're never more than a few clicks away from completing your latest creation.

Apartment Sweet Apartment

Furnishing an apartment on a budget may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be! With a little bit of creativity and perseverance, you can find everything you need to make your first place feel like home sweet home—without breaking the bank.

Couch Potatoes is a local furniture store located in Austin, Texas (which is also where we build all of our furniture). If you need affordable, stylish furniture, and need it fast, it may be worth it to check out one of our stores. We also have a website. Best of luck with your new chapter!

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