Skip to content

I'm Living Alone For the First Time—Here's How I Turned My Living Room Into a Personal Sanctuary

The formerly shared space now feels like my own.

Sponsored by What's this?

I’ve long believed that your home should feel like a sanctuary—a place that not only reflects your personal style, but your wants and needs too. Unfortunately, when you’re living with roommates that’s not always a possibility.

So, when you finally branch out on your own for the first time, getting the chance to create a space that truly feels like you is all the more special. And Walmart’s home department makes it easy to do just that stylishly and without breaking the bank. 

And I should know. After spending the last six and a half years (the entire time I’ve lived in New York) cycling through various roommates and apartments, I finally live alone for the very first time, and I couldn’t be happier about it. 

Especially when it comes to the living room. 

I’ve actually lived in my current apartment for over two years now, with two different roommates, but when my most recent lease renewal came up a couple of months ago I decided it was time to try it on my own. Which means I was able to avoid the hassle of moving, and I have the benefit of living in a space I feel familiar with and already love. 

The main difference is that now, instead of only being able to express my personal design style in the bedroom, I have the entire apartment to decorate as I see fit—without the fear of stepping on anyone’s toes. 

First I turned the guest room into my office space, then I updated the balcony, and finally I set my sights on the pièce de résistance: the living room.

While I did leave a few things unchanged (namely my sofa, an armoire my parents gifted me, and a bookcase) everything else was fair game.

Bridget Mallon 

The first, and probably most impactful change I made was swapping the dark gray rug that had previously covered the floor with a lovely jute rug that covers the entire seating area. The lighter color and natural feel immediately brightened the space and made it feel so much more welcoming, especially paired with my light gray sofa from The Novogratz (it’s available in several other stylish shades too but if gray is your preference, this sofa is a great option too). 

Seeing the huge difference that small change made inspired me to continue in my redecorating quest. I decided to embrace natural materials but pair them with a few modern glam touches as well. You could call the style Modern Boho Glam or Chic, Natural, and Sleek, but either way, I know it’s my personal style through and through.

walmart light grey sofa mydom
Walmart Novogratz Brittany Linen Futon $289.77
Bridget Mallon 

A beautiful oval mirror (this option comes in multiple finishes), sleek leather chair, and Scandi-inspired credenza turned my blank back wall into one of the biggest statement areas in the whole home. And the extra storage space afforded by the credenza is a lifesaver in my little New York apartment. I was able to use the shelves to display some of my favorite coffee table books and tchotchkes, while the door keeps my excess kitchen linens out of sight. I used these cute little boxes to keep the covered area even more organized. And while the exact piece pictured is out of stock, Walmart has plenty of similar options—I’m particularly fond of this three-door option.

Of course, living alone means I was responsible for putting together the credenza, hanging the mirror (my first foray into mirror hanging!), and getting the art up on the walls all on my own. And while it would have almost certainly been easier with another set of hands, seeing everything set up and knowing I did it all myself makes me feel so accomplished. If I can handle this, I can handle any other solo living task with aplomb.

walmart leather chair mydom prod
Walmart Safavieh Bandelier Leather Weave Nautical Accent Chair $263.23
Bridget Mallon 

Over in the main seating area, a luxe emerald velvet chair serves as the centerpiece and looks so much more expensive than it is. The seat also serves double duty as a fold out bed should I ever have a guest staying the night—you really can’t beat multi-purpose pieces. 

A pair of nesting side tables tie everything together, serve as the perfect spot to set a drink, and make it easy to get work done if I’m sitting on my sofa.

walmart green velvet chair mydom
Walmart A&D Home Tustin Convertible Chair $168.90
Bridget Mallon 

And of course we can’t talk about redecorating without talking about artwork. This neutral rainbow-themed piece immediately added visual interest to my walls without detracting from any of the other elements. Instead, it integrated seamlessly into the space but made it all feel that much more complete—plus, the boho-chic style fit right in with the other pieces. 

That art, alongside the addition of live houseplants, furthers the natural feeling of the space. Texture, color, and style all play together perfectly to create a space I really never want to leave. Every morning when I turn the corner from my bedroom hallway to the living room I can’t help but smile. It looks like me, it looks like something I want to show off to my friends and family, and yes, it looks like something I’d be proud to Instagram (what more can you ask from a room, really?). Oh and did I mention the utterly dreamy rattan lamp that sits atop my credenza? It’s another standout in the space, and I’m already eyeing this similar option to add even more rattan to the room.

Speaking of that hallway, after putting the finishing touches on my living room, I decided to think of the hallway of an extension of that room and give it a little love as well.

walmart themed art mydom
Walmart MoDRN Natural Boho Rainbow Bridge Framed Art Print $50.00
Bridget Mallon 

A smaller midcentury modern-inspired console table now sits in a previously empty corner accented by a stylish gold mirror from the MoDRN brand. The little corner now serves as an extra dose of style, an entryway table, and (of course) additional and much-needed storage. 

And don’t get me wrong, I still love my bedroom and see it as a sanctuary as well, but having that feeling extend into the living room makes my entire apartment really feel like home.

walmart console table mydom
Walmart Manor Park Mid-Century Modern Accent Cabinet $190.99