For recent grads and other young adults striking out on their own, furnishing a new apartment is a big task. It can be tempting (especially with Pinterest and Instagram at the ready) to want to go all-in and make everything perfect immediately. But I tend to prefer a slower approach: Not only is it cheaper and less overwhelming, it allows young people the space to develop their own style. This more layered approach to building a home (starting with the basics and going from there with less rush) also helps a home feel more personal as you add things slowly. But some things just can’t wait. Here are my must-haves for a first apartment, and some of my favorite budget-minded options at GFM that fit the bill.

1. Couch
A couch is a must for, well, just about anything: Netflix binges, pizza night, working from home. So many of our non-sleeping, non-eating activities revolve around a couch. For that reason, I also think it’s one of the areas I would recommend making a splurge with whatever your budget allows. A lumpy, hard couch that you won’t want to sit on is almost as bad as no couch at all. Thankfully, Georgia Furniture Mart has lots of options in the under-$1,000 range perfect for a first apartment. I especially love the sleeper sofa conversion option for first homes that don’t have guest rooms: You’ll be the host with the most when your friends don’t have to crash on a slowly deflating air mattress.

https://gafurnituremart.com/product/vivian-spa-sleeper-sofa/

2. Mattress
Every adult deserves to upgrade to at least a full bed, but you don’t have to shell out to get your grad room to stretch their toes. Memory foam mattresses offer some of the best under-$500 options for sizes up through King. (And are less than half the price of those fancy mattress-in-a-box brands!) It will last for years but also won’t be a huge tragedy if a move requires it to be left behind or passed down.
https://gafurnituremart.com/product/chime-834-memory-foam-queen-mattress/

3. Bed
Yes, you can technically put a mattress on the floor and be mostly fine, but actually getting a bed or headboard is such a big step to making a room go from “post-college crashpad” to “home.” Plus, a headboard helps add visual interest to a room and gives new grads time to shop around for meaningful prints and artwork to fill their space with. Like with a mattress, it’s ok to focus on saving: I would try to spend no more than $500 on a bed, and some of my favorite at GFM are half that, like those Corbin full bed that is flexible enough to work with a number of decor styles.
https://gafurnituremart.com/product/corbin-full-bed/

4. Dining Set
As tempting as it is to just eat all your meals on the couch, a dining room table is a must. A good set also takes a lot of the guesswork out of it: You get your table and chairs, often at a savings, and don’t have to worry about matching. A four-top is usually enough for most grads, and will fit well in smaller apartments, but if you want options, you can also find a table with a leaf for the occasional big dinner party. If your first home is really pressed for space, consider getting a simple desk that can be used as a dining table. If you upgrade space, you won’t have to leave your small table behind, you can just use it for its original purpose.

https://gafurnituremart.com/product/bridson-5-piece-counter-height-dining-set/

5. Bar Cart
Ok, this isn’t strictly necessary, but it’s one of my favorite accent pieces and you can get some cool vintage-inspired ones for under $100. Nothing feels more grown-up than having a dedicated drinks station, but you don’t have to be limited by that: A bar cart can also be used to store make-up, act as a chic coffee station, or mini library. This GFM one is priced perfectly to be a gift from proud parents or grandparents and will be treasured for years to come.

https://gafurnituremart.com/product/bar-cart-2/

As always, live beautifully today!

-Mia, the Furniture Girl

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