Furnishing Your First Apartment

Furnishing Your First Apartment

Getting your first apartment is a milestone event in your life. It’s a sign that you are officially on your own and are able to take care of yourself. While finding an apartment or house to live in may be easy, deciding how to furnish it can throw many people for a loop, especially if they have little experience choosing furniture. There are a few basic rules when furnishing a home or apartment. The furniture needs to fit into the space. It should also work with your taste and coordinate or match in some way. Most importantly, it needs to be furniture that you can afford.

Measure Twice, Buy Once

An empty apartment looks like a blank canvas. You feel absolutely confident that you can fit a king-sized bed in your bedroom, two couches in the living room and a full-sized dining table in the kitchen. To avoid heartbreak and pain, always measure the space before you buy anything. Measure the depth and width of the room as well as the ceiling height. You should also measure the width of your doors and hallways so that you know you will be able to fit a couch or table through. If you have particularly narrow doors or hallways, consider the window as an entry option, at least when you are moving furniture.


When you move to your first place, you may be a student or just starting out at your first job. In any case, odds are likely that you will need a budget for furniture. It’s a good idea to set a budget before you start looking furniture, so that you don’t fall in love with a couch that is way too expensive. Once you have a budget, stick with it. You will have to plan carefully so that you can purchase all the furniture you need without over-spending.

Types of Furniture

Think of what you will use your apartment for and its size when choosing the furniture you need. For example, if you live in a studio apartment and plan on using it primarily for sleeping, relaxing on your own, and eating, you may wish to purchase a futon to act as both your bed and seating area. A futon is a great choice if you need to maximize space.

You will probably need a table of some sort for eating or work. In a small space, a table can perform double-duty. You can eat your meals on it and use it as a surface for your laptop computer or other work materials. If you intend to purchase a table for both work and eating, choose a comfortable chair to go with it. Working while sitting on a straight-backed wooden chair is not very comfortable.

Other furniture pieces that you may need include a dresser and bookcase. You may not need a dresser if you have ample closet storage space. In a very small space, the dresser can also serve as a television stand. Use the bookcase to hold books as well as DVDs or even kitchen equipment if you have a small kitchen area without much storage.

Life of the Furniture

Think about how frequently you intend to move and whether or not you plan on taking the furniture with you on subsequent moves. Inexpensive furniture that you put together yourself may not survive moving from place to place. Pre-assembled, high-quality furniture is more durable, but also more difficult to move as you change homes or apartments. If you intend to stay in your first place for a year or less, it may make more sense to purchase inexpensive furniture that you do not take with you.

To Match or Not to Match

Matching furniture ties a home together and sends a notice to the world that you’re an adult. Carefully mis-matched furniture adds a bohemian touch to a living space. Decide whether you want your couch and chairs to coordinate and your wooden furniture to all be the same finish depending on the style you are aiming for.

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