This post is all about the best college apartment living room ideas
Moving into your college apartment is super exciting! It’s one of the first experiences being in charge of furnishing and decorating an apartment.
Deciding on the interior style, budget, furniture placement and decor for your college living room definitely isn’t the easiest task.
In the below, we’ll go over some of the most popular college apartment living room styles, and how you can recreate them on a budget.
This post is also perfect if you’re looking for great small living room ideas. Let’s get into it!
1. Cute college apartment living room ideas
A cute college apartment living room doesn’t necessarily have to be pink and bright. Except if that’s what you want, of course!!
There are many college living room ideas with a more neutral palette, that still look super cute and cozy.
Hang a simple floating shelf above your tiny couch, decorate with one big frame and liven up your walls with polaroid pictures and plants.
Recreate this living room:
2. Gray small living room
A living room with gray tones is one of my favorite ways interior styles. It’s light, yet not dangerously light to live in fear of ruining your couch!
Achieve a simple, small living room with gray tones in your college apartment with a small L-shaped couch, cute round coffee table, and two tiny floating shelves to decorate the space above the couch.
Recreate college living room with gray tones:
3. Funny college apartment decor
Want to add a little fun to your college apartment living room? Do so with fun neon signs and quotes! You can also easily create DIY decor by framing printables.
Little Gold Pixel has some really cute free printables to frame for your college apartment!
4. Homey college apartment living room
Even with simple, neutral furniture, you can create a super homey atmosphere in your college apartment.
An easy way to make your living room look homey is with wood, whether that’s with some frames, your coffee table, or small decor items.
Then, add some decorative pillows in warm colors like burnt orange, warm brown, or red. Chunky throw blankets also make your living room look homey!
Get cozy apartment decor:
5. Minimalist college apartment
Go for a minimalist aesthetic in your college apartment with a neutral couch, cozy textured area rug, and simple frames.
I personally love this living room because it’s so versatile! If you wake up one day and want to add more color, you can easily do so without changing your entire interior.
Recreate this minimal college apartment:
6. Boho college apartment
I love a good boho vibe; it’s so cozy! Create an affordable boho aesthetic in your college living room with a knitted rug, plant hangers, and wooden details.
Recreate this boho living room:
7. College living room with mandala tapestry
A cheap, easy, and renter-friendly way to decorate your college apartment walls is with a mandala tapestry. Amazon has the best prints, plus they’re so affordable.
Get mandala flower tapestry:
8. Tiny apartment living room
Many college apartments have a tiny living room, and you have to be smart about furniture and its placement. I’m a big fan of a simple, L-shaped couch because it just works in small spaces.
Pull the couch area together with a rug, add a few simple floating shelves, and of course, don’t forget the TV console.
Recreate this tiny living room idea:
9. Classy college apartment decor
Create a super classy college apartment with tones of black, gray, and silver. Decorate with a large silver tray, tons of candles, and cozy up your space with pillows and throw blankets.
Recreate this classy decor:
10. Simple college apartment decor
I love a simple living room decor that feels warm and cozy at the same time. One thing that works very well in this room is the different neutral colors. You have sand, light brown, whites, and grays.
Also, notice how all the furniture has the same shade of wood? Make sure to pay attention to that when picking out your living room furniture.
11. College living room with lights
I know this is a little cheesy, but some living rooms really need some funky lights!
Sometimes you might not be allowed to paint over an ugly wall in your college apartment, so this is a great cover-up solution.
Recreate this wall:
12. Trendy apartment living room
Spice up your college living room with some funky prints. You can make this as crazy or calm as you like. Just be sure to stay consistent.
As you can see in the picture below, this room revolves around simple geometric prints with a subtle pop of color.
The carpet, pillows, and frames all share the common theme of geometric prints, making the living room feel pulled together.
Recreate this trendy college living room:
13. Boho chic college living room
The best way to go boho chic for your college living room is with an accent couch! Or a statement couch, if I may.
Dusty pink or velvet green are great color options for your living room. You can keep the rest of your furniture more toned down for balance.
Colors like dusty pink or velvet green look amazing with neutrals and golds.
What I love about the living room below is that it stands out without being too much. The perfect balance!
Recreate this boho chic living room:
College Apartment Decorating Ideas on a Budget
Some of the bigger things in a college apartment, like a couch or bed, definitely aren’t cheap. Luckily there are a ton of decor ideas help you elevate your apartment on a budget.
Below I’ve listed my favorite expensive-looking cheap apartment decor that you can easily implement in your own college living room.
14. Bar cart
Bar carts are amazing and so affordable if you shop at the right place! I’m a big fan of Target when it comes to expensive-looking bar carts.
If you picked gold as one of your living room accent colors, this one will look exceptionally well!
Ottomans are life savers if you have a small living room and not a lot of seating space. Plus, they look super cute!
You can choose a simple neutral ottoman or go for something more eye-catching like the Moroccan style ottoman seen in the living room below.
16. Cute area rug
The right rug in your couch area instantly makes your place feel more ‘finished’ and styled. You don’t want to go for a rug that’s too large in a small college living room.
This faux cowhide rug looks expensive but really isn’t, plus it makes simple living room furniture instantly look a ton better.
Don’t worry if you can’t spend a lot of money on the best couch. Cheaper things like rugs and coffee tables have the power to make your place look a million bucks!
Get cowhide rug:
17. Decorate with throw blankets
There’s nothing cozier than a chunky throw blanket! Good thing that they’re affordable and easily elevate a cheap-ish couch.
18. Use peel and stick wallpaper
This peel and stick wallpaper is genius for those wall spaces in your apartment that don’t look so appealing. I was looking through the Amazon reviews to see if this wallpaper truly lives up to the hype, and I’m pretty sure it does!
Peel and stick wallpaper is also very versatile in its purpose. Besides using it for a wall, you can use it to cover the fridge or a drab bathroom wall.
I’m not sure if I’d use wallpaper on an entire living room wall, but if you have a small nook in your living room you want to liven up, this herringbone wallpaper is a super stylish and inexpensive way to do so.
Get Herringbone print wallpaper:
19. Decorative baskets
Decorative baskets are an insanely popular home decor item, and it’s easy to understand why! The woven fabric looks cozy, it’s perfect for some extra storage, and they’re available for each budget.
This decorative basket is great value for money! Use it to store your throw blankets, board games, books, or other things you keep in your living room.
Get cheap basket:
20. Simple floating shelves
The space above the couch or TV is perfect to add some floating shelves. I love having floating shelves in my living room, because they allow you to easily change up decor.
Play around with different frames, arts, plants, and garlands to spice up your shelves. Get a set of three floating shelves to sort out your above couch decor instantly.
21. Cute gallery wall
Creating a cute gallery wall in your college apartment is far easier and cheaper than you’d think! Amazon sells adorable gallery wall kits that come with ready-made prints.
All you have to do is pick the art and frames you look, plan how to hang the frames, et voila!
I recommend checking out the customer’s pictures for this gallery wall kit; it gives some great ideas on creating your gallery wall.
Get gallery wall kit:
22. DIY blanket ladder
DIYing apartment decor is great if you’re on a budget and if you have the time! A blanket ladder happens to be an easy DIY, and looks super cute in your college living room.
I found this post by Angela Marie Made very helpful if you want to make your own DIY blanket ladder!
There are also very affordable and cute blanket ladder options on Amazon, if you’re not in the DIY mood. 🙂
Get decorative ladder:
23. Small bookshelf
A small bookshelf is a must if you have a lot of books! I like furniture that’s both functional and cute, and this bookshelf definitely hits the right notes.
Use the top part of the bookshelf for decor and plants, and the shelves below for books. That way you guarantee optimal functionality!
24. Cart to organize college stuff
This cart is super helpful to keep your college stuff in one place, store papers and other items that easily look messy when laying around.
The great thing is that these simple carts are super affordable and also look cute.