The Ultimate Dos and Don’ts for Your First Post-College Pad

Ashley Emmons
6 min readMay 10, 2018

So, you’re finally bidding adieu to your dingy dorm room and on your way to your post-college pad? Congrats! You have a fancy new diploma in hand, landed a killer job and are ready to embark on your next journey. The only thing left to do is to find a new space to call home.

There’s nothing quite like the excitement of your first post-college apartment. Even if you lived in an apartment during your collegiate years, your new apartment will take on a whole new feel and hopefully a whole new look. It’s not only a new start for you, but its walls offer a fresh palette for you to impart your personality on.

Is your priority to create a space to get your zen on and kick your feet up after work? Perhaps you’re looking for the ultimate entertainment space for your new friends and coworkers. Maybe you’re an entrepreneur in search of a modern collaborative space to get cracking on your plans for world domination. No matter your end goal, thoughtful and innovative design is the answer.

Rent can be steep (as can the stairs to that walk-up), which often leads recent grads ditching any plans they had for a fresh look. And while you’re likely not moving into a penthouse, those plastic drawers and string lights from your dorm have no place in your new digs. So put down the polyester bed-in-a-bag set and check out my top “dos” and “don’ts” for post-grad living.

DON’T buy furniture or hang art without measuring. Buying furniture that is too big or too small for a room sets you up for trouble from the get go. The scale of furniture within a room determines the overall feel — some designers will go as far as arguing that the “Golden Ratio” (1.618) applies to home design. I don’t think the math needs to be so complicated (you just got out of the classroom, am I right?!). Common sense and a measuring tape will do.

DO put together a kit with the basic apartment/home decorating essentials. I recommend: a tape measure, level, basic tools (hammer, screwdriver, wrench, hex key),blue painters tape (great for marking off floor plans, so you don’t have to measure multiple times or drag the sofa all over the room to find the perfect spot), picture hanging kit (including bumper pads) and furniture moving pads.

Ashley Emmons

Interior design & styling at Interiosity. New Yorker, rescue dog mama & coffee addict. Always on the hunt for unique & inspiring interiors.