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Your First Place: What To Buy

interior of an apartment's living roomMoving into your first place in Saratoga? Discover exactly what to buy with this first apartment checklist. Sill looking for your first place? Browse Saratoga apartments here »

Moving out on your own is a one-of-kind experience, filled with much excitement, new hopes and just a touch of sadness. In the midst of it all, you've got to find time to pack, buy necessities and find furnishings for your new apartment. Luckily, Saratoga apartments are just a quick drive to downtown stores and other businesses where you can get what you need.

The Essentials

It's hard to know where to begin when you first set out on your own. There are so many items that you'll need for your first place, and many that you'll probably forget about until you go to use them and find that they're not there. Here are some things to think about when buying the essentials.

  • Buy a bed and mattress that will fit into your new bedroom and your new budget. Be sure to measure the size of your new bedroom to determine how big your bed can be. And keep in mind that sheets and bedding get more expensive the bigger the mattress size! TIP: Search local outlet stores and scratch-and-dent warehouses for discounted mattresses and appliances like Sears Outlet Store in Amsterdam NY.
  • Purchase furniture that is sized right for your apartment. Large sofas may be comfy, but can be overbearing in a small space and make it feel cramped. The same goes for tables, chairs and other furniture. If your apartment is on the second or third floor (or higher), you'll want to choose lightweight furniture that is easy to maneuver up stairwells, into elevators and around corners. Don't forget to measure doorframes as well!
  • Choose window treatments wisely and with purpose. Add privacy to your space with thick curtains or blinds covering the windows. If privacy is not a concern, let the natural light stream in with sheer curtains. Blinds and shades cost less to buy than fabric curtains but are less appealing to the eye. Fabrics also tend to hold in heat better in the winter months, keeping your apartment cozy and saving you money.

Furniture Matters

It is important that your furniture fit into your first place comfortably and attractively to create a truly relaxing space.

  • The layout of your furniture is especially important. Concentrate on creating an attractive flow from room to room. Imagine open pathways around the furniture pieces in your home, creating a free-flowing "H" or "8" in each room. Having couches set away from the wall exposes the lines of your apartment and can give the appearance of a bigger space.
  • Before moving furniture, draw a sketch of the apartment's floor plan and create a list of your major furniture pieces. Arrange the layout of each space by sketching in (with a pencil) where you want each piece of furniture, easily erasing and repositioning as you see fit. This saves much time and energy when arranging your furniture and helps to avoid scratching up the floors…or spraining your muscles!

Inexpensive Decorating

bright home accessoriesAfter accounting for rent, gas bills, electricity, cable, phone bills, new furniture, groceries and dry cleaning, there's usually not a lot of free cash left to play around with. Luckily it's relatively easy to get a designer look on a limited budget. Minor changes and a few new accessories can make a big impact on the high style of your apartment-even if you aren't allowed to put paint on the walls!

  • In the bathroom, change out the shower curtain, toilet seat cover and bath rugs for new ones to quickly change the look of the space and bring in more color. Don't feel confined by the color scheme that's on the walls or in the floor tile. Bring in any color you like that coordinates well, and punch it up with some colorful accessories and plush new towels.
  • In the living room, add a few throw rugs to break up the space and define certain areas. Rugs are also a great way to bring in more color or disguise unattractive flooring. Customize your first place easily and affordably with old artwork and picture collages. Toss a few throw pillows on the couch in bold colors to really make your space pop.
  • In the kitchen, don't be afraid to use bold primary colors. Start out with basic black or white, and bring in color with dish towels, lighting fixtures, small appliances, bar stools, artwork and other accessories. Hang old pieces of china on the wall to create a unique focal point and to free up storage space. Fresh fruit on the countertop can also be a great way to bring in color and add consistency to your kitchen.
  • In your new bedroom, add color with your bedding, and accent the space with decorative pillows. Create a focal-piece headboard by covering your existing headboard with fabric to bring drama and new life to your room. Paint the inside of your bookshelf a different color to add depth to the room. Hang fabrics or large art canvasses on the walls to bring in color without using paint. Large photographs are also a great way to add dimension and personality to your room and draw the eye beyond the white walls. Decorative vases and tabletop lamps add sophistication and complete the look of your new space.
  • Think garage sales, even if you've never dreamt of going to one before. In the spring and fall, lots of people get the urge to redecorate. You would be amazed at the new or like-new items you can find for a fraction of the price.
  • Stroll downtown Saratoga Springs shops. Even if you can't afford many of the items, you can get an idea of the type of accent pieces or eclectic items you would love to see in your own apartment some day. And, you never know when you will find 'just the right' vase on clearance!

Decorating your first Saratoga apartment will be an adventure you can enjoy over and over again… every time you redecorate!

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