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7 essential pieces of furniture for your first home

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Grace’s furniture signFollowing on from thinking about how to plan moving out of home and my admission the other day of a house magazine buying problem, I thought it might be interesting to share my list of essentials for furnishing a home. Sadly, most of these are borne from bitter experience.

I’ve also included some basic prices for brand new cheap versions of these, you might have luck with free/second-hand, but then, you might not.

  1. A bed - and now that I’m old, I’ve got to say that I’d never go back to a single bed (£100)
  2. A sofa with arms - and I know that this is essential because I’ve lived without a sofa, and currently have one without arms. Both situations suck. (£90)
  3. A table that you can eat from - it saves on laundry. I’ve lost count of the times that I have spilled all my dinner down me whilst sitting on the sofa in my old flat (no table) (£20)
  4. A chair that you can sit on to eat dinner - see above. This set up is also handy for blogging (£10)
  5. A wardrobe/closet - I don’t iron, so if my clothes aren’t hanging up they get creased and then I look a mess. These do not necessarily come as standard in British homes (£30)
  6. A bedside table - countless reasons why you use them, they’re also cheap. I think it’s better to get one with a drawer, you don’t necessarily want everything in view (£10)
  7. Window coverings in at least one room - you need somewhere to get changed where you won’t be frightening the neighbours children (£15)

The total price tag for people that can’t do mental arithmetic that quickly is £275 (approx $550).

What do you think? What are your essential pieces of furniture? Have I missed anything off? Let me know in the comments.

Image by pixeljones

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25 comments for “7 essential pieces of furniture for your first home”

  1. Yep, window coverings is a good one! During our remodel there were certainly times we were without. Even a towel will do, I suppose :)

    Great list!

    Posted by Emily | January 23, 2008, 2:15 pm
  2. If you’re really pressed to come up with the money to furnish your first place, an air mattress can be an affordable alternative to a bed. I slept on one on the dorm floor all last year since their beds were incredibly uncomfortable. A queen sized air mattress with electric pump was $30 on sale.

    In my apartment, I brought my single bed from home and lent the air mattress out to a friend who was so determined to save money for plane tickets to see his girlfriend he was planning to just sleep on the floor for a year.

    Posted by E.C. | January 23, 2008, 2:36 pm
  3. Like EC I had to go the air mattress route for several months, it was surprisingly comfortable. Initially though because of visa issues I moved by myself and almost all my money went on the apartment rent and deposit, so for a couple of weeks my only furniture was an airbed to sit and sleep on and the box it came in for a table- very ghetto.

    Posted by Looby | January 23, 2008, 4:20 pm
  4. Bed sheets are inexpensive and can be used for window coverings. No need to worry about the thread count either!

    Posted by Ron@TheWisdomJournal | January 23, 2008, 4:31 pm
  5. My only addition would be a modest desk of some sort - when you move into your own place you find that bills and other paper scraps start adding up. You need a place to put them, and preferably something with a drawer (like the bedside table you mentioned) to scrape all of your papers into quickly when your parents or a potential mate drop by, as in:

    Visitor: *knock knock* Hello?

    Me: “Angon! Just a minute! [shoveling papers into desk] Just finishing getting dressed!”

    Posted by metroknow | January 23, 2008, 5:18 pm
  6. Milk boxes make great bookshelves too, either that or the cinderblock/1×6 boards route. You’ll grow out of them, but for first apartments, they’re not too bad.

    Posted by Randall | January 23, 2008, 5:40 pm
  7. A 65″ Plasma TV :)

    A boy can wish…

    However some sort of TV for most is a must have. Given how the flats are taking over, you can get a very nice tube TV for not much cash.

    Posted by RacerX | January 23, 2008, 7:20 pm
  8. My essentials are

    1) Bed
    2) Desk that I can put my feet up on
    3) Chair to sit on while putting my feet up

    All these can currently be had for free on craigs.

    Some bookshelves would be nice too (*also free*)

    Posted by Early Retirement Extreme | January 23, 2008, 11:01 pm
  9. I do a lot of my blogging and eating on the couch. I really shouldn’t though, because we have a computer.

    You’ve hit all the basics I can think of here. Certainly enough to have a decent flat where you don’t feel too miserable about not having money.

    And I think these things can be gotten for cheaper second-hand or even free when friends upgrade.

    Posted by Mrs. Micah | January 24, 2008, 1:08 am
  10. If I had to pay, my essential furniture would be

    * bed
    * kitchen table and 2-3 chairs
    * sofa

    If I can it is available for free, anything that I can get my hand on ;-)

    I guess the bed and sofa could be combined by using one of those pull-out sofas. However, I have never found one comfortable enough.

    Posted by tehnyit | January 24, 2008, 12:26 pm
  11. I think you have it covered- all the comforts of home! I have one room that still echoes. I bought some rugs to see if that would help, until I can afford more furniture. It helped a little, and the dogs like them.

    Posted by Lisa | January 24, 2008, 11:30 pm
  12. TV’s certainly not essential… and there’s also the TV licence to pay.

    Posted by Y | January 25, 2008, 2:43 am
  13. I’ve also come to think that the tv isn’t essential, but then I spend most of my time on the computer now. I think one or the other is probably required in my house.

    Posted by plonkee | January 25, 2008, 6:13 am
  14. 100 pounds for a bed is maybe a little optimistic (unless you do go for the air mattress option).

    For me the most important piece of furniture is the mattress that I sleep on at night, because I know that I won’t be productive and hence able to do my work if I don’t sleep properly… and unfortunately I don’t think you can get that for a mere 100 quid.

    Posted by Kirsten | January 25, 2008, 6:51 am
  15. To save money. Combine the bed and sofa. :-)

    Posted by Pinyo @ Moolanomy | January 28, 2008, 3:09 pm
  16. @Pinyo:
    Have you ever slept or sat on a sofa bed for any length of time? On my list of things to upgrade in my house, is my sofa bed, which will be swapper for the most comfortable cheap small sofa I can find. Eventually.

    Posted by plonkee | January 28, 2008, 7:51 pm
  17. You will also want to check out that furniture stores policy when something comes in damaged.

    Posted by Ban jonson | November 25, 2008, 9:17 am
  18. Thanks for the information.

    Posted by mattress store | May 5, 2009, 2:57 pm
  19. i want buy best furniture, can you guide me

    Posted by doower | February 8, 2010, 5:34 pm
  20. I received 1 st personal loans when I was a teenager and it helped me a lot. However, I require the credit loan as well.

    Posted by MORTON22Cassandra | March 11, 2010, 7:02 am
  21. nice posting
    thanks for sharing and regard

    Posted by Indonesia Furniture Handicraft | May 4, 2010, 1:36 pm

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