Published on April 10, 2019

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Moving into a new apartment—whether it’s with a friend or it’s your first time living solo—is, without a doubt, an exciting rite of passage. It symbolizes fresh, new beginnings and a blank slate with tons of decor possibilities. It’s your first time really getting to decorate a space to suit your style, so we know you can’t wait to get started.

However, if you’re on a budget, that gorgeous Pinterest board you’ve curated is likely more aspirational than inspirational. For example, there’s the sectional you’ve been eyeing for months (even though a sofa is more within your price range) or the sprawling dining table that seats six you’ve been dreaming of until you realize there’s really only room for a round one that accommodates four people.

Lucky for you, Walmart’s MoDRN line offers affordable options for apartments that don’t sacrifice style (or function) for savings. So let’s get down to it: Here are some key pieces that should be in every starter home.

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The Perfect Accent Chair $279

Splurge on your sofa and then save elsewhere. Accent chairs are an affordable way to add style and additional seating without breaking the bank. Look for designs with deep seats (for extreme comfort) and slim legs, which will help smaller living rooms feeling airy and open.

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A Large Ottoman $179

Versatile pieces are key to successful small-space living. Oversize ottomans offer a flat surface that can be used in myriad ways. From game nights to cocktail hours and Sunday afternoon movie viewings, this 36-inch round delivers a resting place for snacks, drink trays, or your tired feet.

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Dishes You Love $75

Dining essentials don’t have to be basic. Why not select ones that showcase your personality? This Art Deco–inspired set adds metallic sheen, painterly colors, and a sense of fun to the table day or night. And though they look precious, they’re all dishwasher- and microwave-safe.

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Elegant Everyday Flatware $40

Small but mighty, cutlery says a lot about your style because it’s used every day. Simple yet subtly enhanced by curved handles, this set comes in 18/0 stainless steel, a material that is both lightweight and durable.   

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Easy-to-Clean Rugs $150–$250

While you want your new place to be beautiful, you definitely don’t want it to feel so precious that friends aren’t comfortable. Indoor/outdoor rugs are a low-maintenance option. Not only do we adore this design because it’s handmade and full of chic Southwest flair, but it’s also water-resistant, which means no stress when it comes to housewarming party spills.

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Small Space Bookcase $279

Whether you go tall or small, a bookcase creates instant open shelving. Look for styles, like this one, that are slim enough to fit into narrow spaces or small rooms and think beyond the books. Open shelves can showcase prized possessions, house kitchen items, or even work in a bathroom for extra storage (just remember to keep the products pretty).

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A Double-Duty Dining Table $379

Rather than carve out dining space in a smaller apartment, think of the table as a surface that can serve you in myriad ways. A desk by day, a table by night, and a buffet by the weekend, round versions tend to create the illusion of more space.

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Stackable Seats $149 (set of 2)

Having your own place means you now have the ability to host friends. So being able to expand and contract your furnishings to fit your needs is crucial. When you look for dining chairs, opt for stackable designs so you can save space when storing the extra seating you need to entertain.

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Window Coverings (that look pricier than they are) $44–$54

We all need window coverings. Even if your place comes with blinds or shades, we’re fans of adding drapery for its ability to inject color and texture into a space (plus, you can take them with you when you move out). In plush velvet, these on-trend, jewel-toned panels instantly add glam as well as warmth.

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Solid Bedding $11–$55

It’s easy to want to save on items that aren’t furniture when you’re on a budget, but don’t skimp on bedding. Sheets are something you use every day, so invest in quality styles like these ones made from sustainably sourced bamboo. In white, pastel, and neutral colors, the palette is easy to mix and match with patterned duvets and quilts.

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Functional Decorative Objects $22

With all your money going to essentials, it’s likely that decorative objects aren’t high on your list. However, consider a few trays and boxes to corral things like keys and mail in the entry, jewelry on a dresser, or often-used condiments in a kitchen. This marbled beauty will add luxe sheen to any surface.

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Coordinating Bath Accents $55

Ditch old bathroom accessories and make a fresh start with a set that pulls together the look of your new bath. This industrial-chic collection blends concrete and fashion-forward brass—an unexpected combo that totally works.

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A Small But Stylish Sofa $699

A sofa is obviously a must, but most are expensive and big. This option toes the line between a loveseat and three-seater, offering just enough room for you to spread out when solo or for guests to lounge around without feeling crowded in. Armless styles also save more space than you might think.