First Apartment Decorating Finds: The Big Box Store Edition

In the world of first apartment decorating, big box stores like Walmart, Target, and Kohl’s have gotten a bad rap for being too cookie-cutter and too expensive. It’s true that monster chain stores are often guilty of both of those charges, but they aren’t all bad for decorating your apartment. In fact, if you take a bit of time you can see a lot of the benefits of shopping at these stores. For example, they are convenient simply because of their nature — they are chain stores, which means you can find one almost anywhere. They are also great because they carry multiples of everything. Often with thrift store or bargain shopping, there is only one of an item. If you didn’t snag it first, your dreams of owning that fabulous find are dashed. But with a big brand store, you can have any item you like even if you didn’t spot it before the other customers. Plus, many chain stores have trendy and inexpensive decorating products too. You just have to give them a chance and actually look.

Just to prove my point, I did the looking for you. Check out these great apartment decorating finds from some of the big name retail stores!


black and cream rugOrian Edge Rug, 7’10” x 10’10”, $161.47

If you’ve ever gone rug shopping before, you are aware of how ridiculously expensive they can be, especially if the rug is a significant size. Having dealt with the horrors of rug shopping many times before, I was jumping for joy when I spotted this rug for a steal at Walmart (usually rugs this size can cost you up to $250 or more).


red chairs Carlise Dining Chairs, Set of 2, $75 for set

These red industrial-inspired metal chairs were spotted at Target for an unbelievable price. Definitely a great addition to any first apartment!


square mirrorMelannco Decorating Mirror, $11.69

Also falling into the “OMG! Why is this so expensive?!?” category are mirrors. For decent mirror, you most likely won’t find decent price, but this one is stylish and a bargain too.

Bed Bath & Beyond

storage bench Real Simple Split-Top Bench Store Unit, Expresso, $79.99

It isn’t easy to find affordable storage solutions that are also decor-friendly. However, this storage bench from Bed Bath & Beyond takes the cake for being all three — cute, cheap, and useful!

Kohl’skoh's reversible quilt set

MiZone Aries 4-pc. Reversible Quilt Set, Full/Queen, $79.99

I’m loving this reversible quilt set from Kohl’s! Finding affordable bedding is almost impossible at a big retail store, but this set shows that you can score affordable and cute finds if you look.


magazine room dividerRecycled Magazine Room Divider, $117

This unique piece is just right for a first apartment; not too expensive and perfect for making dividing up small spaces.


owl bankKatie Owl Bank, $9.99

It’s cute, it’s friendly, it’s cheap. What more is there to say?


teal dinnerware setGordon Ramsay Dinnerware Set, 16 Piece Set, $69.99

Let’s just face it, a full set of matching, stoneware dishes is outrageously expensive (usually priced around $160 or more). However, Macy’s proves that it is possible to not have to live your entire apartment years eating off of plastic or Styrofoam.


colorful throw pillowsNewport Espadrille Pillows, $25 each

Throw pillows also tend to come with a high price tag, but these versatile pillows from Belk are reasonable and cute too.

Got a great chain store find of your own? Share below! In the mean time, get to shopping!

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Author My First Apartment

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Audra is a recent college graduate and an aspiring writer based in her home state of Georgia. She’s a lover of the sweetest Southern tea, warm weather, and decorating with lots of color, DIY projects, and shabby chic pieces. Her apartment living journey is still young, so she’s busy navigating the ups and downs and learning along the way. For more from Audra, follow her on Pinterest or check out her website

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