Getting your first apartment is exciting – and expensive. Not only do you have to pay rent and deposits, but you also have to furnish, decorate, and outfit an entire household. Most parents will help out by giving you old dishes, perhaps a spare vacuum cleaner. And your apartment might already have appliances like a microwave. Any way that you can cut corners on costs will be a huge help.
One of the things most young people find themselves needing is living room furniture. It isn’t often that a parent will have an extra living room set sitting around waiting to be used. While you can buy used furniture at thrift stores or yard sales, you run the risk of bringing roaches, bedbugs, fleas, or allergens into your new place.
Buying a new living room set isn’t going to be as expensive as you might think. Here are some things to consider that will help you choose the right living room set for you on a budget.
Choose a Style
Most young people are going for a modern minimalist or shabby chic style. These are very eclectic and give you a lot of options. If you’re beachside, consider a tropical or coastal theme instead. Rattan wicker and bamboo furniture are both durable and inexpensive, and fit both themes nicely.
Decide on What Furniture You Want
Deciding what furnishings you want and how you will arrange them is no easy task. Your primary concern is to make sure that the furniture you choose fits in the space you have. The size and shape of your living room will play a large role in which pieces you want to get, or how many. Here are a few of the things to consider as you decide what furniture to look for.
Sofa vs loveseat vs sectional
Smaller apartments and studios aren’t going to have room for a large couch like a sectional. Sectionals can also be difficult to move in and out of an apartment, particularly if you have to navigate stairs. Studio apartments and small living rooms might benefit more from a loveseat. A traditional sofa is going to be the easiest to find within cheap living room sets.
Accent chairs vs recliners
Some living room sets offer the option to choose a regular accent chair or a reclining accent chair. The reclining option won’t work for you if you don’t have much floor space. You may also have another alternative – ottomans. Most living room sets come with one ottoman, and you can add a second to balance the room. These take up less space, and sometimes have interior storage.
Coffee tables vs accent tables vs console tables
Coffee tables are convenient, but they can also turn into a catch-all. If you know you’re prone to letting dishes and pizza boxes stack up, giving yourself a place to do so might not be a good idea. Instead, consider accent tables throughout the room so that people have a place to set their drinks and such. If you get a sectional or larger sofa, a console table along the back of the sofa is also a good option.
Consider Options and Features
It is easy to be overwhelmed by the number of options that living room sets offer. Choosing a sofa can be the most difficult. You can get sofas with reclining seats, cupholders, or remote storage. There are also sets that include sofa sleepers, as well as modular styles that are easy to move.
To get an idea of all the options you have to choose from, look at these 1stopbedrooms.com/living/living-room-furniture/living-room-sets living room sets furniture.
Measure Your Space
Since this is your first apartment, chances are you aren’t going to be able to estimate the size of your living room by eyeballing it. You’ll need to actually get out a tape measure and make a diagram of your living room to make sure that you don’t get furnishings that won’t fit. Remember, you have to be able to open the doors!
When you’re done making your diagram, use it to help you figure out what living room furniture layout will work best. Use this information to create patterns on the floor to make sure it is what you want, then measure those patterns precisely to compare to the dimensions of living room sets as you shop. Using the full-size patterns helps you make sure that you’re leaving enough open floor space for people to move about the room freely.
Start Browsing Online
Even if you’re planning to buy local, you should brows online first. The largest online stores offer many brands with several collections, and will give you the most options in one search. You can easily filter search results by type, size, style, materials, and more.
Before You Buy
Before you place that furniture order, make sure that you have taken these precautions:
- Double check dimensions against your measurements
- Check brand reviews
- Check store reviews
- Prepare for delivery
Remember that if you buy from your local furniture dealer you will probably have to pay for delivery, so figure that into your budget for your first living room set. Big box furniture stores and online furniture stores usually offer free delivery on orders over a specified amount.
You’ll often find the same living room furniture sets available from multiple sources, so it often comes down to store reviews and prices. Online furniture stores will always offer the biggest selection and the best prices, with easy comparisons.
If you’re moving into your first apartment in the summertime, hitting the Memorial Day furniture sales will give you a bit of an edge so that you can look at better living room sets at lower prices. If you’re moving to start college or trade school, you might want to scrape by until the Labor Day sales in September.
All in all, if you follow these steps and tips you should be able to furnish your first living room for a reasonable budget and to suit your personal style.