4 Design Tips for the Recent College Grad

No one wants to break the bank when decorating our first post-grad space, but we certainly all want it to look cute enough to impress our friends!

For most of us college students, we never spent much time or effort in making our college living spaces look on point (Well, Jamie did, but that’s why she’s the future Interior Designer out of the two of us!). But leaving our college towns not only means putting your grown up pants on for that first big job, it also means having a grown up-ish apartment! Jamie here to the rescue to bring you 5 inexpensive, doable, and not to mention adorable tips to make your first post-grad apartment look BOMB.

1. A Good Rug Goes a Long Way

Think about your college apartment. Did you have an area rug? Okay, but did you have a nice area rug? Most people don’t immediately think of RUGS when re-doing their apartment (again, I do!). But, let me tell you it can do wonders to bring color and fun texture to a room!

Oriental and Moroccan rugs are my fave, or anything with a cool geometric pattern! And lucky for you, I’ve found a few affordable, while still being good quality, options below:

nuLOOM 5′ x 7’5″ Distressed Diamond Medallion Delena, $169


nuLOOM 5’3″ x 7’6″ Stasia Diamond Shag, $159


nuLOOM 5′ x 7’5″ Persian Vintage Arla, $169


nLOOM 5′ x 8′ Hand Tufted Aguirre, $289


I mean, come on! That’s a lot of cute for a little investment. I even own one of these nuLOOM rugs and it looks just as vibrant in person. I suggest purchasing a 5’x7′ rug, which should work for most small spaces. Trust me peeps, real oriental rugs can cost upwards of $10,000 (at least!) so you’re definitely getting a deal with these ones.

2. (Other than the Rug) NEUTRAL is key!

So you’ve got the rug with a pop of color down. Great! Next step: no more crazy colors! People often abuse the use of pattern in color to try to make a space look better. Stick with neutrals! Neutral sofa, neutral linens, neutral furniture, with subtle hints of color in between, and you’re set! Of course, it’s fun to add a hint of color here and there, but neutral staple pieces can save you lots of $$$ and time when wanting to re-decorate.

No one knows better than IKEA how to play the neutral, modern Scandinavian style game. Be sure to check out the “Ideas” section on their website for more inspiration on how to use their pieces. There are even some simply DIY’s that you can do to make their products look even better, like replacing boring knobs with adorable Anthropologie ones, or adding gold paint to a cabinet to add some flair.

Below are some neutral looks that can totally be recreated with IKEA’s furniture, found on Pinterest! Click here to see more of my Pinterest-inspired ideas.






3. Nate Berkus for Target

Everyone knows that Target rocks with their designer collaborations, and this is true in the home decor department especially! Nate Berkus is a designer with a modern style and loves using pieces with geometric shapes and fun materials like gold metal and leather.

Check out some of Nate Berkus’ pieces used in action below. Now go to your local target and get you some!!

Metallic Woven Basket, $24


Leather Tassel Garland (in stores)


Textured Stripe Pouf, $41

Pillow seat

4. Home Goods is Your New Best Friend

Please tell me that you’ve been to Home Goods?!! If not, you’re missing out my friend! I’m telling you that I could enjoy a solid 2+ hours in a freshly stocked Home Goods.

This store has many convenient locations and affordable, cute items, from wall art to accent furniture! If you go right before the school year starts, expect total chaos. But, if you’re lucky enough to go into a newly stocked store, it’ll be a dream. You cannot beat the cheap prices on their home decor! You may have to do some digging around, like in the wall art department, but this is the perfect spot to find those “finishing touches” for your new space.

We hope you enjoyed these post-grad decorating tips! Let us know if you’d like to see more design posts like this one in the future.



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