Arielle Wilkins is currently a college student, as well as a member of the Etsy Street Team, Etsy U, whose members are entirely made up of current college students. On her time off from school she works on her brand Abreaka Studios, as she creates in-your-face bold and vibrant works of art. She also spends her time doing what other college students do: going crazy while working on homework and occasionally relaxing.
Every college student has a dream of getting their own apartment. The dorms are too strict, sometimes expensive, and it’s a hassle having to move belongings in and out every year. That first apartment releases the obstacles of dorm living and is a step toward moving up in the world.
I currently attend the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, New York and the dorms in the area are way too expensive, in my opinion. So, I saved up all my money, convinced my parents (they are very overprotective, as most parents are) and rented a studio in Brooklyn. I am definitely excited about this step in life, but I am even more excited about decorating my apartment!
Currently my apartment is in prison state. White walls, no color, very bare…kind of like the dorms. I want my apartment to represent my personality and artwork. I want color everywhere! I want color on the walls, floors, furniture — basically I want people to be blinded by color when they step into my space. I also want it to be very organized. As a designer I have so many art materials, paintings and other projects that can easily become a big mess in a small space. So I need to create a psychedelic Zen with my apartment.
It will be tough to achieve my vision due to some limitations: I don’t have that much space, I’m not allowed to paint the walls, and I have a tight budget. But with some creativity, I will find a way to do it. Here are a few awesome pieces by wonderful sellers that would bring fun and excitement to any student’s first apartment — while addressing the typical related challenges: space and budget.
There are a few ways to add a burst of color to walls — without the labor of painting. One simple way is to hang up artwork. I love the urban graffiti look with bright colors, which makes a big statement on a blank wall. First is this very funky Animal Kingdom painting by mattcrump. Then, we have the beautiful pop Dancing Rosy painting by Erin Crawford (evon), and lastly, an urban punk illustration print titled Love or Bust by lindaketelhut.
Another no-brainer way to add color to walls is by using vinyl decals. They can easily be removed, come in many different designs/colors, and overall add much-need interest to a plain background. Why not frame your photos with this these Vinyl Wall Sticker Decals by SimpleShapes, or brighten your walls with these retro flower decals by byrdiegraphics? Perhaps bring some zest with this floral decal by surfaceinspired or or add a grid of colors with this geometric decal by circlelinestudio.
Good organization is key when living in a small space. Here are some awesome items that are funky yet get the job done. Why not store your coats with these refurbished coat hooks by halfpintsalvage? Next is a great way to clear up your floor with these restored display wall shelves by justmenicki3. Add a touch of simplistic beauty to the color craze with this elegant shelving unit by andrewsreclaimed. Finally, a strong conversation piece bookshelf by kiki5244.
Unfortunately, along with the white walls, my kitchen cabinetry also bears that same pale color. I decided to add some interest by switching out the doorknobs. There are many wonderful sellers who have different styles of knobs and drawer pulls on Etsy. First up are these cool colored glass drawer pulls by beachyrustica. And lastly is this vibrant rainbow of hand painted knobs by mitsel8.
The last thing you can do to color up space is with pillows. Do you have plain chairs, bedding, or a boring couch? Here are a few pillows that bring a splash of color to those low-key pieces. I am originally from Texas, so I figure why not represent with this awesome Texas pillow by lovecalifornia? If you aren’t a big fan of Texas this seller offers other state pillows as well! I love food, especially desserts, so it would be awesome to rock this cake pillow by RaineStyleHome. Finally, why not bring a burst of color with this beautiful flower pillow by dedeetsyshop?
Thanks to Arielle for sharing her first apartment finds, they’re great recommendations
for any student or young professional venturing out to live on their own.
What would you want in your first apartment? Let us know in the comments below.