How To Design Your Perfect Modern Apartment On A Budget

By Amanda Cohen on October 15, 2016

Decorating your apartment can be a struggle, especially as a college student. Most college students, including myself, start living in apartments by their junior year, which is a time of lots of stress and questioning. Now, how does this stress apply to decorating your apartment? Well, I’ll tell you!

Junior year is your first year as an upperclassman and most of us are turning 21 around this time … we are officially real people everyone (let that sink in for a moment). When it comes to designing your apartment, you are stuck between your kind-of adult mentality and style and your actual adult mentality and style. The perfect way to combat this is by making your apartment modern. Modern-style apartments are the perfect way to combine the sophistication of being an adult with accents that are more childlike and colorful.

When people think of the word “modern” they usually associate it with neutral colors, lots of harsh and sharp edges, and very open space. Some of this is true, but having a modern apartment can be taken in so many different directions (and can be done so on a budget). When designing an apartment on a budget, there are a variety of websites you can search (my favorites are listed below)!

Urban Outfitters
West Elm
Society 6

Okay, I know that Amazon may not seem conventional, but half of everything I bought for my apartment was from Amazon and (1) my apartment looks great, and (2) so does my bank account!

So, let’s start out with what a modern apartment looks like and how you can jazz it up to bring out your more childlike personality. Definitely use neutral colors for the main “events” of your apartment. Cream, light grey, and white are always great options because you can easily find decorations that will complement these colors. These colors will come into play when you are choosing furniture and bedding.

When buying a couch and/or chairs for the living space, definitely go for light grey or white (or a combination of both). This sticks with the modern theme and will allow you to have silver and metallic accent pillows that are present in every trendy modern apartment. Have no fear, I know this sounds expensive, but you can find all of this on Wayfair for a pretty decent price. When it comes to buying pillows and throw blankets, Amazon and Etsy will become your best friends.

When choosing a desk, side table, and coffee table, go for a clear glass or metal look. The silver and clear tones stick with the modern-style apartment. On top of your side tables, put a white vase with a couple flowers and a cute candle set from Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters (your apartment will not only look modern, but also smell modern too)!

Now, let’s get to the part everyone hates talking about … prices (yikes)! I promise you there is a way to decorate your modern apartment without breaking the bank! Well, I did some research and I think you will all be happy with what I have found.

Wayfair Coffee Table: $28.99

Wayfair Sofa Set: $569.99 (sounds expensive, but I promise you are getting a lot of bang for your buck):

Amazon Metallic Pillow: $8.00

Amazon Area Rug: $60.48 – $193.73 (depending on size)

Society 6 Sunflower Tapestry: $39.00 – $79.00 (depending on size)

Urban Outfitters Shot Glass Candles: $10.00

These are only six of the thousands of low-cost options to use to design your perfect modern apartment! You can even go beyond these websites and literally just do a Google search of “cheap modern apartment designs.” Also, if you want inspiration, hit up Pinterest (a personal favorite of mine) and I promise you they will have millions of ideas on how to make the perfect modern apartment.

When browsing for modern décor that also has more color in it, I suggest buying pillows and blankets that sport a fun, modern pattern. Find pillows and blankets with sharp, cutting-edge designs, and that are also colorful and will give your apartment some pizzazz! Don’t be afraid of color when decorating a modern apartment, as you want to walk into your apartment and feel at home, not like you’re in an insane asylum. I personally used light pink and white to accomplish somewhat of a modern look. The white definitely helped to make it more trendy and less childlike.

So, I am going to leave you with a few final words of advice.

(1) Browse, browse, browse! Do not buy the first thing you see. You want to make sure you are getting the best deal possible and you want to make sure that you love what you are buying.

(2) Don’t be afraid of color. Unless you only like neutral colors, don’t be afraid to add color into your apartment. My room is pink and white and it is extremely modern and cutting-edge.

(3) Decorations are key. Furniture is obviously important, but the décor will ultimately give your apartment an ambiance. You want the décor to be comforting, yet cool. Happy decorating everyone!

I am currently a junior at the University of Michigan.

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