It's surprising how little you can get by with, especially in the furniture department. If you're between the ages of 18-30 you have even more of an excuse to keep things simple. Most students and young people living on their own live with roommates, which often takes care of the furniture issue. But when it comes to a first bachelor, 1, or even 2 bedroom apartment, it quickly becomes apparent that you need more than a lawn chair and paper plate to get by.
A first apartment is both riveting and terrifying. Riveting in the freedom, quiet, and ability to wear the same clothes days on end. Terrifying in that cans of tuna and baked beans don't make for good long term dishware. In truth, what a first apartment really requires, aside from first and last, is something to sit on. And sleep on. And eat on. That means furniture. And while we'd all love a jacuzzi, lap pool, and wall size flatscreen, the basic essentials are a little less lofty; though no less important. It's with this in mind that the team at Bentall Kennedy Residential Services has put together a list of furniture essentials to outfit your first apartment.
While the question of "most important furnishing" draws debate, science - and sleeping - win out on this one. Sources say humans spend a third of our lives sleeping (30 years in a 100 year life). That's more than watching TV (9 years, 2 of them watching commercials), working (10 years), and eating (3 years). By stats alone, a bed is by far and away the most important household furnishing. While a big expense, it's well worth it. Good places to buy one include Sleep Country, The Bay, Endy (Endy Sleep), Leon's, IKEA, and even Home Depot to name a few.
A tough contender for the #2 spot, light is a pretty close second to sleep. While sunlight carries us through a good 8 or so hours of the day, at some point eating dinner by flashlight doesn't cut it. Enter the lamp. Perhaps one of the most designed and varied furniture items, lamps come in all shapes and sizes. Affordably priced lamps can be found at IKEA, Walmart, Canadian Tire, Winners, Leon's, The Bay, and Pottery Barn.
A good couch is a versatile piece of furniture. It can double as a seat, bed, shelf, storage unit, coffee table, magazine holder and more. And while a lumpy couch can be tolerated for a certain period, a good, supportive, multipurpose sofa is a thing of functional beauty. From pull-outs to overstuffed, Chesterfield, chintz, leather-bound, lazy-boy, love seats, and L-shaped, couches are a realm full of possibilities. For function on a budget, IKEA takes the cake, followed not far off by The Brick, Leon's, The Chesterfield Shop, Structube, Home Depot, and Surplus Furniture.
While a couch can be a passable coffee table, an actual coffee table works best as a coffee table. You can eat off it, put your feet on it, shelve books and magazines on it, put a TV on it -- the possibilities are endless. They also have the advantage of working well at almost any size. Coffee tables are available pretty much everywhere, and can be purchased on a budget. Winners, Canadian Tire, Home Depot, and IKEA are good, affordable options.
Dining table or Dishware
A close toss up for #5: a dining table lets you have company and not eat on the floor. Dishes and cutlery let you not eat off the floor. While all previous mentions (except lamp) can serviceably hold a plate of food, none can actually be a plate. Thus: the dishware. A functional and good looking set of dishes and cutlery can be purchased for relatively cheap, and found nearly anywhere: Walmart, Sears, Winners, IKEA, and Costco offer a host of options all at affordable prices.
The Bentall Kennedy Residential Services blog team hopes this list helps you effectively and affordably furnish your first apartment. For more information about Bentall Kennedy properties in your city, please visit our website.