College Apartment Must-Haves: I Moved into my First Home!!!

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Sweet Home Alabama!!! I'm officially back and could not be more excited to start sophomore year. Three other sorority sisters and I have moved into a town house right outside of campus and it has been so fun getting to decorate and make this place our own. I wanted to share with y'all what my room looks like and all of the "must haves" when living in your own apartment, college dorm, or even a house. I'm no interior design major or anything, but I loved picking things out and envisioning how they would look altogether.

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I am so in love with my bedding and the way this entire space came together! My bed is from Pier 1 Imports that we got ages ago, but I just got a new mattress from Ikea and am loving it so far. One of the most key things for me in my own space is to have a comfortable mattress because sleep is so essential, especially in college. When I lived in a dorm my mattress topper became my most favorite thing in the world. While a mattress topper isn't necessary now since my mattress is so comfortable, I totally recommend it if you are living in a dorm. I got my bedding from Overstock and the pillows from Costco & Target! The throw at the end of my bed is also from Ikea, as well as my elephant stuffed animal. I loved picking out bedding that was going to create a homey space for me to be able to relax in, but also represent my style and personality. 

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Deciding to put a nightstand on each side of my bed has been a game changer for me! The nightstand is from Ikea, and even has a little shelf underneath the top to set even more things. This is where I leave my phone and apple watch charging while I sleep so it doesn't clutter up the top of my nightstand but is still readily available. The lamps were super cheap from Target and have worked great so far! I used one in my college dorm last year and it was perfect for that as well. Also, if you know me you know that I LOVE candles, and this candle is one of my very favorites. It's called "Pink Champagne" from Pier 1 Imports and it smells so similarly to the Volcano candle that everyone loves. On the other side of my nightstand I keep a wire basket that I got from Marshalls full of extra blankets and such! I'm typically cold and love to cuddle up with a bunch of blankets, but I also love having these for anytime guests are here to stay. One of my best friends,  Jordan, is currently crashing on my futon since her apartment will not be ready until the middle of August so it's been really nice to have extra blankets for her to sleep with. A definite must-have.

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This is the futon Jordan is sleeping on for the next two weeks! I was so lucky to have gotten a big enough closet that I didn't need to have a dresser in my room and was able to put a futon in it's place instead. I got this from Ikea for relatively cheap and it has worked perfectly so far. I love being able to have this option for friends from other schools to come visit and stay with me, and it makes my room feel even more homey. The pink fuzzy throw is from Target and is so soft!! The large wall mirror is from Marshalls and makes my room feel so much bigger. If you're living in a smaller space like this, a big wall mirror is key so that the room doesn't feel as tight and compact! Another absolute must have. In addition to the wall mirror, I love my full length mirror that doubles as a jewelry box. It is so convenient to look at my outfit in the mirror, then open it up and pick out which jewelry will go best with it. This one was from Walmart and I got it last year for my dorm, but can't say that I would recommend this specific one. It had to be delivered three different times because every single time it arrived with a crack in the mirror. Once I did finally get one that wasn't in pieces, the lock broke about halfway through the semester and would no longer stay shut. I did some engineering on it with velcro to keep it shut this year, but if you are interested in a mirror like this I would recommend finding it elsewhere!

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I love this little side table next to the futon! My grandma passed it down to me as it was something that used to be in my room at her house when I was little. The diffuser has been amazing, especially when I was living in the dorm. I use Young Living essential oils and they make the entire room smell so good! There are specific oils that also relieve stress and fight off germs. I honestly don't know what I would do without this, it was crucial for me staying healthy and relaxed all through my freshman year. The fun succulent is fake and from Target!

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I absolutely love my desk space! This desk was passed down to me from my grandparents, and it was my great grandmother's before that. I never had the chance to meet her, so using her vintage desk is so special to me. The chair is also a hand me down from my parents & my mom was sweet enough to paint it to match the rest of my room.

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The bulletin board filled with pictures is from Marshalls and is one of my favorite things about my room. It makes me so happy to see familiar faces from home and even serves as a good reminder to text my home team and check up on them more often. The other decoration is one that I made! I got the mason jars and flowers from Hobby Lobby and then painted them as well as the wood. My dad helped me fasten the jars to the wood and they turned out super cute!! DIY projects are always fun and add a unique touch to any space.

I recieved the pink salt lamp as a gift and I absolutely love it! When the lights are off and just the salt lamp and my other lamps are on, it makes for such a chill and comfy atmosphere. It will also be great for some additional lighting at my desk when I am up late studying & I love that it helps tie in the blush pink accent color. The pencil organizer is from Target and is super helpful in keeping all my needed supplies readily available to me when I am sitting there working on papers and projects. 

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This book shelf sits on the opposite side of the room from my desk. We have had it forever and my mom refinished it before coming to school so it would match the rest of my room and I am so happy with how it turned out. The canvas print above it is from Hobby Lobby which I got on sale for only $13!!! Hobby Lobby always has such good deals on stuff like that and you can find some really cute decor there! Most of the things on my shelves are from my dorm last year, but a new decor item I am loving is the little succulent from Target on the first shelf!

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On this side of my bed I have a cross that Joe made for me during welding class in high school and I love having it displayed here. I never had a place big enough to put it in my dorm but this wall is the perfect spot. The curtains are from Target and give my room privacy without making it too dark. I love the touch they add to the room!

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The other side of my bed is yet again another bulletin board! These pictures make me so happy and I love how it really makes this space feel like my own. If you're moving into a dorm, buy lots of pictures! A dorm room can sometimes be hard to make feel like home, but pictures of your favorite people around you will certainly help.

I am also loving the way my bathroom came together. These shelves above my toilet are from Ikea and offer such a great option for additional storage. This way I can keep all the products I use on a regular basis available and handy without having them clutter up my counter space. I got the elephant from Ethiopia when I went there on a mission trip and I love having it here as a reminder as that special trip.

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In addition to the shelves above the toilet, I got so lucky to wind up with a lot of counter space! This way I have been able to keep my makeup on the counter and it has made getting ready in the morning super easy. I definitely miss my vanity at home, but this bathroom has such great lighting it has worked out well so far. My acrylic makeup organizer is from Amazon and I love it! Since the drawers are clear it's easy to see the products inside. 10/10 recommend. My toothbrush holder is from Target and is super cute. For some odd reason I've never used one growing up but I love that this keeps my toothbrush and toothpaste out on the counter but in an organized way. My mom got me the adorable letter board for Christmas and I have had the idea to change the bible verse on it every week to learn more scripture. This is one of my most favorite verses and the perfect one to start out my day by looking at.

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I got creative with how to store my makeup brushes and palettes! I bought mason jars and painted a piece of wood. I need to get little beads or marbles to put at the bottom, but so far it has been so convenient to have them right there and easily available. For the palettes, I bought letter holders from the office section of Target and keep the ones I use most frequently in there! It has made it so easy to see what is there and looks much more organized than just keeping them in a big stack. The hand towel is from Ikea and the little grey basket is from Target! I keep all of my hair stuff in there since I wear headbands & fun hair ties so often. 

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My closet ended up having so much room for extra storage which has been key to keeping my room decluttered! I keep all of my extra craft supplies, bedding for guests on the futon, and random bags & suitcases on the top shelf. I wanted to find a way to make the plain white wall a little more fun, so I got these twinkle lights and put my Zaps on them from freshman year. I can't wait to take more Zaps throughout this year and add them to the wall! I want to get a cute picture frame to put in the cut out in the middle of the wall to add even more decor and fun.

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I keep a shoe organizer hanging on the back of my door which freed up a lot of space underneath my hanging clothes. I have extra plastic storage drawers as well as my laundry hamper there so that they are out of the way. If you're living in a dorm, these plastic drawers are lifesavers! Since there is such limited space, it really helps add extra storage by keeping these underneath your lifted bed. I love that I have been able to use them again in this space.

I was able to repurpose the nightstand I used last year in my dorm as more storage in my closet. This is from Ikea and gave me so much extra room to store things last year living in Tutwiler. I keep the letters Joe wrote me before and during boot camp sitting on top of it and even more plastic drawers underneath my hanging clothes for more storage.

So far this has been the most perfect space for me and I could not be happier to be back in Tuscaloosa and out of a dorm. I have loved to decorate my room and make it feel more like home, and I am so excited to keep adding little personal touches. Here's to sophomore year!