19 Home Decor Tips for Anyone Who Just Got Their First Place

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Your home is your castle.

Not only does it provide a place for you to sleep, eat, and play video games; it’s also the place you probably spend most of your time.

But, it might look a little lived-in right now.

Not that there’s really anything wrong with that! However, if you’re looking for some ways to take your home from a bachelor pad to “a place where an actual grownup lives,” we’ve got some great tips for you.

First of all, get some rugs.

And not just any rugs. Get the right rugs for your space. This handy graphic shows you the shape, size, and placement you should be aiming for.

Also, hang some curtains!

Hanging curtains is probably the No. 1 thing you can do to make a huge difference in the way your home looks. Get rid of the Venetian or vertical blinds that came with your apartment and opt for windows instead. Remember: Hang them high and wide (as seen above) to make your windows appear larger.


Get a matching set of dishes. You don’t need 12 place settings. Between five and eight is probably a good idea, depending on how many people live with you and whether you entertain often. I recommend going with plain, white (cheap!) dishes. They’re the easiest to replace in the event of breakage.

Get some art!

Or make some! It doesn’t have to be fancy art that costs you thousands of dollars but hanging something that you like on your walls is a huge mood booster. As a general rule, everything should either be printed on canvas or placed in a frame. Now is not the time for poster putty. In fact, next up is a handy tip for hanging art on your walls (or anything else).

This hack is brilliant!

Use a piece of tape on the back of whatever you’re hanging in order to make sure you put the nails or screws in the right spot. (Now’s also a good time to get a level!)

Do you like wallpaper?

If so, put some on your wall! There are all kinds of temporary wallpaper designs that you can get for pretty reasonable amounts of money. It’s a great way to bring some color to the walls without having to deal with messy paint.

Upgrade your furniture.

There’s nothing wrong with furniture you got second-hand (or from IKEA), but there are a few things you can do to make it look a little more custom. For instance, cool drawer pulls are available for a couple bucks apiece and can easily be installed in about five minutes!

Get a couch.

Not a futon. Not a futon. I repeat: NOT A FUTON. You’re ready to upgrade. Again, it doesn’t have to be super fancy. It can even be used! (But make sure you thoroughly inspect for structural damage and bedbugs if you go the used route!)

Throw pillows!

A collection of throw pillows can take even the ugliest couch ever to a more acceptable level. You can get them at Target, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, or other similar stores. A variety of colors and textures keeps everything looking fun and eclectic. And once you have throw pillows…

…You should also get some throw blankets!

Grownups have blankets in their homes. It’s just a fact. Get a bunch, fold ’em up, and stick them in a basket. People will be awestruck.

Buy a bed.

If you’re still rocking the “mattress on the ground” look, it’s time to get a bed frame. It doesn’t necessarily have to be wood! Just something to get you up off the ground. You can find a good wire one on Amazon for $60 or so (like this one!).

Also, a duvet cover is another good investment.

They look nice, and they’re easy to wash. What more could you want?

You already have sheets, right?

That’s good. Just make sure to keep them clean! You might consider getting a couple sets so you can switch them out. If you go with white sheets, you can bleach them! Just saying.


Adding some plants to your home is a great way to bring in some life and color (while also making you feel very Martha Stewart-y). Succulents, snake plants, and pothos are all good options to start with! And if you’re looking for a way to upgrade your plants, well, we have a tip for that too. It’s coming up next.

Get yourself some planters.

Putting your plants into actual planters (rather than leaving them in the plastic planters they came in from the store) is super impressive and fancy. It makes the plants look so much more polished and intentional, plus you can match your planters to the rest of your decor.

Let there be light.

It might be good to get a few floor lamps (depending on the space available). It can be super cozy to keep the ceiling lights off and just have your place lit by softer lamplight.

Mirrors are magic!

Mirrors lighten up a room and make it look bigger. They’re also a great place to check yourself out before you hit the town.

You’re gonna have to clean.

Oh, yeah. I know it’s probably not exactly what you want to hear, but keeping your place clean and tidy is a big part of being a grownup. It doesn’t mean you have to spend hours scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees. The tidier your place, the happier you’ll be.

Finally: Candles!

Every home should have candles. They’re even cozier than just relying on lamplight. As a general rule, you can never, ever, ever have too many candles. Share this with someone who just moved into their first home away from home!