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This post is all about college apartment living room ideas.

college apartment living room ideas

Are you looking for some college apartment living room ideas?

We know how expensive decorating a new apartment can be, especially on a college students budget.

Wether you are looking for college apartment living room furniture, decor, or just some inspiration, we've rounded up the best of the best for living room ideas that will look professionally designed without breaking the bank.

This post is all about college apartment living rooms.


1. Sofas

A lot of college apartment these days come full furnished but they are still a few that you have to full furnish yourself. If this is the case for you, you are most definitely going to need a sofa in your college apartment living room! Sofas can be a bit of an investment but don't go to crazy spending a lot of money on an expensive sofa if you don't have to! 

If you are sharing your apartment with roommates, you can also all pitch in on the sofa so that it costs each person a lot less!

2. Coffee Tables

Coffee tables are a must have if you plan on spending a lot of time in your living room. Having a coffee table not only makes your apartment look a lot more formal and put together, but also gives you room to store things as well as gives you a space to set down food or drinks while your lounging on the couch.

Again, if your apartment comes fully furnished you won't have to worry about this but if it doesn't these are some great coffee table options for you!

3. TV Consoles

TV consoles are so so important if you want to keep your living room looking nice and clean! Not only are they great to store things and decorate with decor, they also can hide all the ugly TV cables that may be hanging down. One of my biggest pet peeves in my college apartment living room was going without a tv console and constantly having to stare at my cable box and wires. So, this is a piece of furniture you definitely need in your college apartment living room.

4. Side Tables

Side tables are really important in your living room if you really want your space to be functional. There are literally hundreds of styles to choose from so it all depends on what style of room you are going for. After you have picked out the perfect side tables for you, decorate them with lamps and other decor!


5. Couch Covers

Okay so this one is for the people that rented an apartment that is furnished. I moved in to an apartment that was full furnished this year an it saved me so much money. But, the downside to this is that usually the furniture is pretty ugly. Since I had to work with what I got, I bought some couch covers for my furniture. You can find couch covers in all different sizes and colors so that you can completely change the look of your furniture for a fraction of the cost of buying new pieces!

Make sure you measure the size of your couches or chairs to make sure the covers will fit tightly to avoid it looking sloppy.

6. Contact Paper

Using contact paper on existing furniture that comes in your college apartment is one of my greatest tips that I think everyone should be using. When I moved in to my apartment I immediately noticed the ugly orange colored wood furniture and knew I had to change it. 

All I did was buy some peel and stick contact paper and put it on the furniture and it completely changed the look of the room. This is a super cheap way to change the look of your apartment furniture that can also be removes easily during move out!

7. Throw Pillows

Throw pillows are a total decor necessity if you want your college living room to feel nice and homey. Not only do throw pillows make your couch way more comfortable, they also add so much color and character to the space. What pillows you buy totally depends on the color scheme you are going for in your living room so which ones you buy are completely up to you!

8. Lamps

Adding extra lighting is the best way to make your living room feel brighter and more usable. You may want to do homework or eat on your living room couch and won't want to tun on the huge overhead lights so having a lamp on your side table will come in super handy. Again, there are tons of lamps to choose from so pick some that go perfectly with your other living room decor.

9. Curtains

If you have windows in your living room, curtains should be on your college apartment living room decor list. I always recommend getting long ones and hanging them up high above the windowsill to make the room look taller and bigger!

10. Rugs

Rugs are the best way to instantly make your living room feel more cozy and homey. There are tons of different patterns, sizes, and colors to choose from that will go perfectly with your living room. If you have hardwood floors or tile, rugs should for sure be your first decor purchase when decorating your living room.


11. Blankets On A Ladder 

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College apartments get chilly, no matter where you live. Thus, blankets are a necessity in any college apartment living room.

 Since you need them, turn them into a really fun part of your living room in general! Getting a wooden ladder and draping blankets over each step is a great way to do just that!

12. Blankets in a Basket

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If a ladder just doesn't vibe with the other decorations you've got in your college apartment living room, store blankets in a cute bin like this photo shows!

The best way to put blankets into a bin like this is by rolling them. It might seem like a tedious task, but it's actually very easy to do and keeps your blankets nice and organized!

13. Have A Bar Cart 

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You will most likely be keeping some liquor in your college apartment anyways so here is a super cute way to keep it all organized! Gold is always a great color to accent with and this bar cart is the perfect piece to do that with. You can decorate your bar cart with whatever you like and even change out the decor based on the season.

If you don't drink there are still plenty of ways to use this bar cart in your living room. You could turn it in to a coffee bar or even just a place to display all your fancy decor and dishes.

14. Metal Letters

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I have some of these on my walls in my own college apartment living room so I can promise that these are super cute decorations! 

They make your apartment much more personalized, and are on the cheaper side so that you can decorate your living room on a budget! Just head to TJMaxx, Hobby Lobby or buy on Amazon, and grab a couple initials for a super cute and inexpensive college apartment living room decoration.

15. Gallery Wall

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Gallery walls are SO in right now, and are a great way to keep your college apartment living room on trend! 

Gallery walls are also a great way to keep your college apartment living room more personalized. Grab some fun quotes, wall decorations and photos and arrange them in a fun way to create a gallery wall that is specific to you! I would suggest checking HomeGoods or even thrift stores to find some original and random pieces to hang up.

16. Uniquely Shaped Bookshelf

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Floating shelves are a great way to decorate your college living room while also keeping things and high and off the floor. You can either put real books on these or just use them to display fun plants, candles, picture frames, or anything else you like! 

Before you buy, make sure you know how they need to be hung up and that there wont be a problem drilling holes in your apartment walls.

17. Coffee Table Centerpieces

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If your college apartment living room comes furnished, it most likely comes with some sort of coffee table. But those can be super generic and bland, making them a great piece to add to for some decoration! 

A great way to decorate coffee tables is by adding "centerpieces" to them. The easiest way to do this is to grab a tray, some candles, flowers, coasters, and a fun game or book and place it all in the center of the coffee table. It's a great way to spice up what's regularly boring for sure.

18. Pick Out A Fun Colored Couch

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A fun couch is a key item to have in a college apartment living room that can set the tone for the entire space. 

The best way to make a couch fun is by getting one in a bright color like green, pink, orange, or blue. Doing so allows for your decorations to all be more neutral so that they tie in well! If you can get a couch for your college apartment living room, this is an idea totally worth considering. But, if you apartment already comes furnished, you can always find a fun colored couch cover to match!

19. Use Fairy Lights 

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We've talked about string lights for the bedroom and dorm room, so it's probably no surprise to you that I included them in this post. They can totally add to the vibe of your college apartment living room and make it feel 10x more comfy.

Hang them up around the ceiling or drape them over your couch. String lights are such a versatile and great decoration that you don't want to miss out on incorporating into your own space!

20. Decorate With Different Throw Pillows 

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When decorating your college apartment living room, add lots of pillows to it! Pillows and blankets allow you to add in some color if it's needed. But, they also make the entire space a lot more cozy regardless of their color! 

One of my favorite things to do when I am picking out pillows to decorate with is not only pick different colored ones but also different textured ones such as leather paired with corduroy or cotton paired with fluffy. Doing this will make the decor look much more interesting!

21. Ottoman 

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Fun fact: I use to think that ottomans were old people things because I had only ever seen one in my grandparents house, no joke! But decorating my own dorm room and apartment in college has got me changing my mind! 

Ottomans or poofs are a perfect addition to any college apartment living room not only for their functionality, but also for the decoration that they add! Get one in a fun color, or fuzzy, whatever your hearts desire.

Your living room will look so cute and your feet will thank you for such a great place to rest while you watch TV!

22. Mirror in a Gallery Wall 

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I've already stressed how awesome gallery walls are, but what I have not done is tell you how awesome mirrors look in them! 

Mirrors on walls make the whole area look bigger. This is such a good idea for a small college apartment living room space! It dresses it up and plays tricks on the mind so that you think you're living in a big luxurious space. Mirrors are especially great to put facing windows so that they reflect the light and make the space feel bigger and brighter.

23. Use Gold Decor For Accents 

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As I mentioned before, gold accents or just themes throughout the accents you choose to put into your college apartment living room are a great idea! They make the entire space look much more cohesive, cute and organized. And isn't that everyone's goal for their living room?

If you aren't a fan of gold, you can always use silver or any other unique bright color in your living room!

24. Grey Color Scheme 

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Color schemes are super important to any college apartment living room if you want it to look its best. But, if you aren't a fan of a lot of color that is okay because grey color schemes count too!

Grey can make your whole living room feel really comfortable and clean. This whole picture just makes me want to curl up on that couch with a blanket and watch a good movie! So, if you want a cozy college apartment living room, definitely incorporate a lot of grey!

25. Use A Floor Mirror 

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So say your gallery wall is already full, totally understandable! But you still need a mirror in your college apartment living room, trust me.

Why? Because it makes the space bigger like I said, and gives you the perfect opportunity to always make sure that your outfit is 12/10 before you head out the door (also a great photo op for insta stories but I'm digressing) Bottom line: giant mirrors are a great decoration to add to your college living room.

26. Use A TV Console 

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If you plan on having a TV in your living room I definitely recommend investing in a tv console. This will not only give you a great place to store things or add extra decor, but will also hide all those ugly extra TV wires that can make your living room look messy.

27. Area Rugs 

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Like I said before, are rugs are the best way to make your living room more comfortable and always add a lot of style to a room. Get them fuzzy or with a fun pattern, and it can totally spice up any living room!

Also, I love the idea of adding plants in a room. It always makes the room feel much more lively so I totally recommend adding a few. You will find another example of this later in this post!

28. Accent Chair 

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Couches can only fit so many people, what are all of your other friends suppose to do when they come to hang? 

An accent chair solves all of your problems. It creates extra seating and adds to the decor or your college apartment living room. It's a win win you definitely want in your space!  

29. Use Plants

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Plants, real or fake, big or small, add such an awesome boho and trendy vibe to a college apartment living room. I highly suggest adding some sort of greenery to your space for sure!

30. Use Wallpaper

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What I find so cool about this suggestion is that a couple of years ago it wasn't an option at all. 

But now, wallpaper is an easy thing to order, put up, and take down! So much so that it won't violate your lease agreement. What a fun way to spice up your college apartment living room. Brb, ordering some now!

31. Wall Tapestries

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But if wallpaper isn't your thing, no worries! Wall Tapestries are another great option for entire wall decor!

They, too, allow you to decorate an entire wall of your college apartment living room easily and on a budget! 12/10 recommend looking into one!

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