{On My Own} College Drab to Grown Up Fab!

Congratulations!  You have just graduated and are ready to take on the World!  Job - Check!  Apartment - Check!  Now what?  Having a well organized and comfortable apartment to enjoy my precious free time was a must.  Spending my hard earned money should have been given as much care and consideration as the time I spent making it.   I've learned, the essentials are worth the investment.  Below is a list of some basics I put together for your first studio.  I wish I would have know this then.

The living room is usually a very happening place, half bedroom and half party city or the guest couch.  The living room is a place to do jus that live, entertain, and enjoy your new successes.  This space is used for everything from movie night to romantic dinner night, and of course happy hour.  The best investment besides a well constructed couch (yep, not a futon) and some great fold up tables is a rug to define the space.  I wish I would have known about the need for quality rugs; my friends trampled and destroyed several cheap rugs.  Knowing now that poor quality rugs can get worn out and dingy from to much foot traffic, I have upgraded my space by investing in a quality rug.  The Dash & Albert woven cotton rugs are a stylish essential.  These rugs come in some great patterns and could even be thrown in the wash!  They are sturdy and easy to roll up for storage or my next move!

In the kitchen a balanced life needs a balanced diet. Dining out get expensive and unhealthy fast!  Cooking in your first apartment can be a nightmare if you use the wrong cookware.  For a new chef looking for the best quality for their dollar, I invested in the Le Creuset Signature Collection 6-piece Set.  This set includes a Round French Oven that can be used for making a stew or spaghetti.  Also included in the set is a Saucier which can be used to steam veggies or to make risotto, and a Square Skillet Grill which is every grillers dream ... burgers and brats all year round.  Finally, a Roaster is also included which is perfect for great peach cobbler or roasting a chicken.  I love that Le Creuset can be used on the stove and in the oven!  It is both versatile and beautiful to look at; it can go from cooking to table with no need for an extra serving dish.  This set is great for the basics but can grow with you as those cooking skills improve and can be kept for the next forty years!

After four or five years on an extra long twin mattress with bedding from a bag, it is worth it to invest in some long term bedding.  Maybe the mattress was a steal from your sister, but the sheets don't have to be!  Invest in long-staple, 100% Egyptian cotton sheets.  The Sferra Celeste Sheets are just that, made in Italy out of the finest long-staple, 100% Egyptian cotton.  These soft percale sheets are a must have simply because the quality of this bedding directly correlates to the quality of my sleep, and in the long run a good night's sleep is priceless.  Sheets that will last and still feel so soft wash after wash are durable thanks to the type of cotton and the type of weave used to make them.  I recommend White or Ivory colored sheets for investment because they will match with any decor and will never go out of fashion.  These luxurious quality sheets are essential - no matter where else you go, what places you live, you can always take your sheets with you to give you that  'at home' feel.

         ... Lauren

On My own is written by me, Lauren a 24 year old who is figuring out what it takes to be on my own.  As a 2010 graduate, I have been through three different living situations and numerous jobs!  However, through it all I am learning exactly what it takes to make it all on my own.  Recalling my experiences from graduation to now, I reflect on my past two years and share the lessons I have learned.  I look forward to the adventures and lessons yet to come as I continue to make it on my own!

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