How To Furnish A Studio Apartment For Under $1,000.00

By Sheryl Walters

This article germinated from a bet that I made with my nephew. He was about to go into his second year of college and had just moved from the dorms into his own studio apartment and needed furniture. After telling his parents he couldn’t possibly furnish his apartment for less than $4,000, I guaranteed him he could do it for under a grand and be happy with the results.

He and I spent an afternoon online, and voila! Here’s how we did it:

Bed. He opted for a futon. We ordered the Baja Futon package for $385.00 from Futon Creations. It included the frame, mattress, and cover with matching pillows. We picked up bed sheets and blankets for an $33.00 (shipping included) from ebay. The great thing about a futon is that because the studio is small, folding the futon into a sofa allows a place for guests to sit and makes the room feel more spacious.


Computer Desk for $278.00. We found a terrific computer desk online from Versa Products, Inc. He bought the 30″ Adjustable Classroom Table in black laminate and outfitted it with a tilting, ergonomic 20″ keyboard arm and tray. Because Versa Products ships all of its products for free, we only paid for the price of the product. We’re now up to $696.00

Table for $44.00 from the Thrift Store. One of the Thrift Stores in our area sells furniture and we found a table that was sturdy and large enough to seat two people. We bought the table for $19.00 then paid my handyman neighbor $20.00 to shorten it to the right height when seated on the floor, and to refinish it in black. Two pillows on sale from JC Penney for $5.00 give you something to sit on when eating at the table, but for the rest of the time, it functions perfectly as a coffee table in front of the futon. We’re at $730.00.

Bookshelf. Instead of purchasing premade bookshelf, we went to a local hardware store and bought unfinished shelves, supports, and a can of black lacquer. Alternating their heights, we converted one wallalbeit the smallest oneinto a “storage and display wall” for his books, CDs, sports memorabilia, etc. All in all, it cost us $64.00. Up to $794.00.

T.V. Considering we were left with a mere $206.00 for a t.v., we were a bit pressed to see if my idea about furnishing this apartment for under a grand was really going to work. In the end, it did. We bought a 20″ flat screen television from NextTag and a swiveling wall mount for a total of $200.00. The best part about the wall mount is that the television can easily be moved so it can be viewed from the futon, the table, the desk, or even the kitchenette. Because the room itself is so small, an oversized televisioneven though my nephew would’ve preferred one, isn’t necessary. The smaller television suffices. Grand total $994.00 for a fully furnished studio apartment and plenty of money left over to spend on other things. I hate to say it, but I told you so.

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