This article originally appeared on the Springs "You're Home Blog."
So you're ready to take a big step moving into your first apartment in one of our Springs luxury communities. It's time to move up from dorm room decor, but it doesn't mean you need a big budget to create your own style.
Here are some tips from members of our Springs on-site management teams, who have welcomed residents with a wide range of personal styles. Use these ideas to design your own individual look.1. Function Before Form
You may have your eye on those Martha Stewart 360-thread count sheets, but they won't do much good without a bed to put them on. Focus on furniture and other necessary items that will set the overall tone of your style, then you can begin filling in with artwork and other accessories.2. Take Your Time
Dealing with the must-have furnishings first gives you time to shop around for other items. You might feel efficient by staging a blitz attack at Ikea or Pier 1, but the faster you finish shopping, the more time you have for second thoughts. Don't compromise your wishes just for the sake of getting it done. In the end, you'll be glad you took the time.3. Thrift Shops and Resale Stores are Your Friends
As people become more accustomed to recycling and repurposing, thrift shops and resale stores have become great resources for quality items at bargain prices. Create a trendy retro or shabby-chic look, or customize a piece with a little DIY magic.4. Think Multitasking
Your decorating dollar will go further if you invest in some pieces that serve more than one purpose. For instance, you can find several items like benches and ottomans that provide hidden storage as well as seating.5. Lighting Makes a Big Difference
You're no longer stuck with those harsh overhead fluorescent light fixtures. Lamps are nice decorating pieces in and of themselves, plus light is an effective way to create an ambiance. Options include table lamps, floor lamps, lights with dimmer switches, string lights and colored light bulbs.6. Don't Go Overboard with Color
After the sterile confines of a dorm room, you may be just itching to surround yourself with color. You know how awkward it looks when your outfit includes clashing colors? The effect is multiplied tenfold when it involves furnishings. Stick to neutral shades for your furniture and larger items, then use accessories to add pops of color.7. Use an Online "Decorator"
What one item do you wish you had included in your first apartment? Tell us about it in the comments!