The 7 Best College Apartment Living Room Decorating Ideas: The Ultimate Guide to Decor on a Budget

Best College Apartment Living Room Decorating Ideas,couch, furnitures, indoors

So you’ve gotten tired of living at the dorms and are ready for the real world. Moving into a new college apartment can be hard work and decorating the place can be even a bigger challenge. This college apartment living room decorating ideas articles will make furnishing your new place a breeze while keeping you under budget. This way your apartment is setup to host parties or just have relaxing nights!

Living Room Decorating Idea #1: Comfy Couch

A comfortable couch goes a long way after a long day of classes and studying. Whether you want to just sit and relax or take a nap a comfy couch is a must. You also want to be practical about it as well. Maybe you want a couch that turns into a bed for guests coming to visit. The size of the couch will be determined by the living room space.

Other things you want to consider is your color choice for the room. If you are going with a leather couch then most come in brown or black. As a college student I would not expect many to be going for the luxury option. However, microfiber or cloth couches get the job done and in most cases are more comfortable than a leather couch.

Usually a darker color such as gray, brown, or blue are the best options. The color helps hide any stains that might occur from normal use. These neutral colors go well with other darker tone furniture. Especially if you want a darker coffee table and side tables. As a student you don’t have a lot of time or money to spend finding the perfect matching furniture so it is always better to go for these simpler colors as they match with any decor. We suggest the following couches based on price, color, and comfort:

A nice sectional with movable ottoman gives your more flexibility

HONBAY Convertible Sectional Sofa Couch, L-Shaped Couch with Modern Linen Fabric for Small Space Light Grey

This is another sectional with movable ottoman which also turns into storage as well

HONBAY Reversible Sectional Sofa Couch for Living Room L-Shape Sofa Couch 4-seat Sofas Sectional Dark Grey

This sofa is turns into a sleeper and comes with 2 throw pillows

Signature Design by Ashley – Alenya Queen Size Sleeper Sofa w/ 2 Throw Pillows, Charcoal

This is a nice modern and sleek looking couch with great reviews

Modway Engage Mid-Century Modern Upholstered Fabric Sofa In Azure

This is a cheaper futon option. Great for hosting extra guests and friends.

DHP Emily Futon Couch Bed, Modern Sofa Design Includes Sturdy Chrome Legs and Rich Linen Upholstery, Navy

Living Room Decorating Idea #2: Area Rug

Whether you have hardwood floors or carpet an area rug adds a nice touch to the overall room. On a hardwood floor the area rug can prevent the couch from sliding around causing scratches. That is why you want an area rug big enough where at least the front 2 legs of the couch are on the rug. An area rug size of 8’x10′ or at least a 5’x8′ is recommended, but this can vary depending on how big your living room is and how much you want to spend. As you know the price of a rug increases as the size get larger and depending on the material of construction.

For color scheme we suggest neutral colors that a darker. Given that it is a rug, spills and stains are bound to happen. Investing in a darker rug will be better for the future. It is up to you on how much design or patterns you like on a rug, but we like to keep it simple. This will prevent the design from clashing with your other furniture and decor. As you can see furnishing and decorating a college apartment is not easy. Even selecting something simple as rug can have many options that can impact someone on a budget.

A simple 5’x8′ area rug that is easy on the budget and fits all rooms

Unique Loom Solo Solid Shag Collection Modern Plush Cloud Gray Area Rug (5′ 0 x 8′ 0)

Another rug with a simple pattern and different color options

nuLOOM Moroccan Blythe Area Rug, 5′ x 7′ 5″, Dark Blue

This is an 8’x10′ area rug with geometric patterns

Unique Loom Trellis Frieze Collection Lattice Moroccan Geometric Modern Dark Gray Area Rug (8′ 0 x 10′ 0)

Living Room Decorating Idea #3: Coffee Table

A coffee table is essential to a living room. We recommend a rectangular looking coffee table to help match with the couch. You can get coffee tables with drawers in case you want to place books or candles.

This coffee tables transforms into a table for your laptop and has storage. A great overall option

Yaheetech Lift Top Coffee Table with Hidden Storage Compartment & Shelf, Lift Tabletop Dining Table for Living Room

This is as simple as you get for coffee tables and definitely your cheapest option

Ameriwood Home Parsons Coffee Table, Espresso

A nice quality metal and wood coffee table

Walker Edison Furniture Company Rustic Modern Farmhouse Metal and Wood Rectangle Accent Coffee Table

Living Room Decorating Idea #4: TV Stand

Depending on the size of your TV and the size of your room you should get a simple TV stand. This is way when you graduate and get a job you might purchase a bigger TV so you will need a bigger stand. We don’t think you should spend too much money on a TV stand right now as you most likely will buy a new one once you leave college.

A very elegant and high quality TV stand

WE Furniture Minimal Farmhouse Wood Universal Stand

A cheaper TV stand that will get the job done

FURINNO JAYA Large Entertainment Stand

A great minimalistic approach for a TV stand

Zinus Garrison Modern Studio Collection TV Media Stand

Living Room Decorating Idea #5: Wall Art

Having plain walls is boring and takes away from the feel of a room. Wall art can help accentuate the room and add an air of sophistication. It doesn’t need to be a Van Gogh or anything fancy. If you have something that you bought from one of your trips or received as a gift go ahead and put it up. Otherwise we suggest buying something simple that speaks to your sense of style. This piece can help set the tone for the room so you want something with lighter tones. You can even put up posters to your favorite artists or movies.

A simple and elegant piece

NWT Framed Canvas Wall Art for Living Room

This piece is better for a smaller wall and apartment

Wieco Art The Cloud Tree Wall Art Oil Painting

A great modern piece from Banksy

wall26 – There is Always Hope Banksy Street Art

Living Room Decorating Idea #6: Accent Chair

If you have room in your living room for an extra chair then you probably want one. This gives you an extra seat for guests or a place to put your backpack after a long day. An accent chair gives the extra feel the living room is put together.

Accent chair with storage under the seat

24KF Modern Linen Upholstered Tufted Accent Chair with Storage,Padded Chair -Dark Gray

Great value for the money

Baxton Studio Sorrento Mid-Century Retro Modern Fabric Upholstered Wooden Lounge Chair, Grey

A modern style blue chair

GDF Studio Archibald Mid Century Modern Fabric Accent Chair (Blue)

Living Room Decorating Idea #7: Awesome Blankets

No couch is complete without an awesome blanket or even blankets! This is a must have for taking naps or keeping warm on cold nights. Heck it doesn’t even need to be cold to use a blanket. We suggest having a few blankets in case guests come over. You can never have enough blankets in our opinion.

Double sided Sherpa Fleece. Super soft

LOMAO Sherpa Fleece Blanket Fuzzy Soft Bed Blanket Dual Sided Throw Blanket

Another soft blanket, but a bit cheaper

Bedsure Fleece Blanket Throw Size Navy Lightweight Super Soft Cozy Luxury Bed Blanket Microfiber

100% cotton blanket from Amazon

AmazonBasics Cotton Woven Throw Blanket – 66 x 90 Inches, Teal

College Apartment Living Room Decorating Ideas Conclusion

As you already know decorating your first college apartment can be a hassle, but it shouldn’t be stressful. Instead you should take this as an opportunity to create a living space based on your choices. This is your first chance to do something from scratch and create a place how you want it to look. Being organized helps a lot in this process so if you don’t have a college apartment checklist you should check out our checklists page for a pdf.

While we have covered just a few of the essentials for a living room you might want to check out The Ultimate First Apartment Checklist: All The Essentials and Must Haves for ideas on other rooms.