7 Places to Shop for Your First Apartment

Getting your own place (adios, dorm life!) is one of the first major steps to entering adult life. Once you’ve finally completed all the housekeeping to-dos like finding an apartment and signing the lease, you can move on to the more exciting part—decorating! Furnishing your apartment is not only necessary, but is also an opportunity to hunt for cool and bold pieces that will make your new place feel homey and let your personality shine through.

IKEA is most likely many people’s first go-to destinations since they offer a huge variety at great prices. But there are tons of other brands and companies you should also check out. If you want to wow your friends at your housewarming party, try these brands for unique, affordable apartment goods:

1. Flying Tiger

If you’re in New York, then you’re in luck! Tiger (Flying Tiger in the U.S.) is a Danish company that sells fun, trendy design, and decor goods. There are about 500 stores around the world, but there’s only one in the U.S. and, believe it or not, it’s in the Flatiron district—just a few subway stops from NYU. They offer not only unique decorations in bright colors, but also essentials such as plates, mugs and even coffee tables. And if you’re not already sold, just remember that 90 percent of the products here cost less than $15.

Mason Jar, $3; Broom, $8; Banner, $2

2. H&M Home

H&M recently launched a homeware line that (like the store’s clothing and accessories) has tons of hip pieces at equally awesome prices. Their collection has everything from bold, colorful products to more chic, minimalistic ones. Not all H&M stores offer home products, but the location at 48th and 5th in Midtown has a whole floor dedicated to the home collection. To add, everything can be purchased online at a $4.95 flat-rate shipping cost. 

Pillow, $10; Plates, $6.99

3. Target

If IKEA is #1 for college dorms and apartments, then Target is a close second. While the store always stocks a diverse variety of home goods, there’s also a collection geared towards college students in the late summer and early fall. They offer essentials for kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms in bright colors and playful patterns.

Duvet cover set, $19.99; Cereal bowl set of 4, $24.99

4. Urban Outfitters

If you want a more hipster, boho-chic vibe, then Urban Outfitters is the place to shop ‘till you drop. While it’s a little pricier, you’ll be sure to find pieces that stand out. Highlights include the bedding and tapestries, which might be worth spending more on since you can use them year after year.

Duvet cover (full/queen), $89; Tapestry, $39

5. Modcloth

For gorgeous but edgy pieces, check out this retro-inspired online store. Once you have all the basic necessities, this website is perfect for adding cute, personalized touches to your new home. Everything from the store is online only, but shipping is a flat-rate of $4 and it’s free for orders over $75. Count us in! 

Duvet cover set, $119.99 Wall decor, $29.99

6. Art retail websites (Society6, Etsy)

If you want some finishing pieces, a few art prints are an affordable way to add some color and feeling. Check out the thousands of pieces offered on Etsy and Society6. Not only will you get something completely unique, but you will also be supporting small businesses and independent artists. Two birds one stone. 

Society6 print, $18; Printable Etsy print , $3