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The Best Investments You Can Make For Your First Apartment

The day has finally arrived. You’re moving out of your parents’ house–away from the lime green sponge painted walls you begged for when you were nine years old, away from the child-size bedroom set you couldn’t live without, and away from that unfortunate collection of dream catchers you needed during your “hippie phase.” Moving out is the next big milestone for you, and the cozy place you found to meet your budget is the perfect fit. The idea of furnishing your entire apartment may be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Investing in a few key pieces will transform the apartment into your own, dare we say–grown-up space.

For the Bedroom

  • Step away from the futon! You’re on your own now, it’s time for an actual mattress. There are plenty of good deals in the mattress market these days, and the one we scouted out even includes a box spring! As a young professional, it is important that you wake up refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to take on the new day. Even the world’s strongest coffee can’t make up for a bad night’s sleep. Trust us.


  • You didn’t think we would let you put that comfy new mattress set on the floor now did you? A solid bed frame will dress up your bedroom in no time. We love the nailhead detail on this wingback bed from Wayfair. Part glam, part retro, all good. Another option for all of you studio-dwellers out there is a bed frame with built-in storage. You’ll never lose your holiday sweater again with this uber-functional modern bed frame from West Elm’s website.

For the Dining Room

  • Katrina Hernandez, an NYC-based interior designer, knows exactly how to create a function-friendly space and says an important investment to make is “a great table and chairs.”  A dining set is perfect for dinner parties and casual get-togethers alike. More of a multifunction furniture lover? No problem. Think about a table that expands. We found a gorgeous drop-leaf table that has no problem transitioning from a super functional desk by day, to a swanky dinner party table by night. “Once you have a place to call your own you want to make it a home and have people over,” says Hernandez. Your table will likely serve as a desk too in your small apartment, so this way you won’t have any excuses for slacking on your work or social life.

For the Living Room

  • Hernandez suggests that the next step is a “well-defined Living Room area with plenty of seating.” By investing in a sofa covered in a neutral, durable fabric, your apartment will be ready for guests for years to come. Switch out your throw pillows to change up your look without breaking the bank, and your space will always look fresh and new. We love the combo of this sectional from Joss & Main and accent chair from Etsy. Not only will your apartment be beautiful, but your guests will also really love the fact that they don’t have to sit on the floor! Double win.

For Storage and Organization

  • “So what about storage?” you ask. “I also highly recommend taking an inventory of items you have a lot of and figuring out what storage piece would best fit your needs,” explains Hernandez. That means it’s time to take a step back and take a look at what you have. If you’re a shoe addict–and let’s be real, who isn’t–this is the opportunity for you to invest in an armoire that can handle all of those perfect pumps you’ve collected! If your serving platters and utensils are more important than your footwear, however, it makes more sense to find a hutch or credenza for your dining space. This is also a good place to tuck away your table linens and vases!

For an Impact

  • Drumroll, please. We have saved the best for last. “I always say the two things that change a space the most are: paint and window treatments,” our favorite designer adds. How cool is it that the biggest impact can be made with the least amount of money? “Painting an entire space will make it instantly yours and window treatments make a room instantly feel dressed and more polished.” Total cost of two cans of paint and a pair of window panels: just under $100–the best $100 you’ll spend on your new place.

Imagine yourself in your newly decorated space. You have all the elements of a real apartment, box spring and all! By making these investments quickly, they will act as the foundation for everything else you bring into your home. You can switch up your look with pillows, accessories, even a new coat of paint, but invest in quality pieces that you love so that your apartment can play a leading role in this new chapter of your life. Hernandez assures us, “Good times will surely follow with these items.”

Storage is everything.