New Home, New Furniture
Moving into a new home is extremely exciting. If you are just starting out, consider these 8 pieces of furniture you can take with you to any new home.
1. Indoor-outdoor chairs. A dining chair doesn’t have to be upholstered to be comfortable, especially if you usually have a short meal and then retire to the living room to lounge. There are many classic models of dining chair that are comfortably shaped and durable and that can work just as well indoors as out, making them highly versatile. A set of two to four sturdy outdoor-appropriate chairs can be a dining set today and patio furniture tomorrow. They’ll also have many other possible uses, such as in the bathroom (at the vanity or next to the tub), as a desk chair in a guest room or even as a casual nightstand. Look for metal or polypropylene with openings in the seat or back so rainwater can drain instead of pooling.
2. A sturdy dining table. A simple but elegant dining table is a great long-term investment because it can always be used as a desk if you upgrade later to a larger dining area. This is especially true if you tend to use tablecloths. The table doesn’t need to be ornate; it just needs to be well-constructed to last for years and travel from home to home.
3. A compact leather sofa. You may think that because your first sofa won’t be very big, it should cost as little as possible. But a sofa is an important part of your home, and it’s worth investing what you can to get one that’s comfortable now and will stay comfortable for the next five, 10 or 15-plus years. A compact leather sofa can be a perfect lounging spot for one person now and a cozy part of a den or family room later on. Leather will age well as it develops a patina, and it will coordinate easily with other fabrics as it moves from the star of the show to a supporting role in a bigger seating arrangement.
4. A flexible sectional. Sectionals can be a great choice for many rooms, but they may carry a major drawback: In your next home, you might need a completely different layout, and your L-shaped or U-shaped sectional might no longer fit. If you plan ahead and choose a reversible or reconfigurable sectional, you can avoid this problem and greatly increase the chance of finding a perfect spot for the piece in your next home. Look for sectionals that include a movable ottoman base, freestanding slipper chair components that can be used on their own or loose seat cushions that can be flipped to change the orientation from left-facing to right-facing.
5. An extended headboard. A headboard is often overlooked in first homes or apartments, but an elegant one can really dress up a room without taking up much space. Plus, if you’re going to spend time lounging in bed, especially if you’re in a studio, it helps to have a padded place to rest your back. To make sure your headboard outlasts your next move, choose one that’s one or two sizes up from your current bed. For example, if you have a double bed now, you could purchase a wall-mounted or freestanding queen headboard. The extended panel will look luxurious now and will still be usable if you upgrade to a larger mattress later.
6. Multiuse stools and occasional tables. While people often think of a “living room set” as including a sofa, a side chair or two and a coffee table, replacing the table with several flexible stools or ottomans will give you great flexibility now and later. In a small space, it helps to have less-bulky furnishings to create a little room to breathe, and in the future you’ll have many places to tuck a small table. Look for ottomans with a firm enough top to set down a tray to hold beverages and snacks, and seek out occasional tables that can double as stools. These can be used as additional seating later — or moved to various rooms of the home in groups or separately.
7. A classic sideboard. A great sideboard may provide only so much storage, but it adds a lot of functionality to any home. A low unit with shelves or drawers (or, better yet, a mix of both) can act as server and storage in the dining room, a media unit for a TV lounge, a bedside table or foyer storage. It can suit virtually any room really. A warm wood unit will last through decades of style changes, and if you choose one like this model with vented or slatted doors, it can be used to store media devices that need to receive a signal from a remote control as well as air flow to keep them from overheating.
8. A pair of chairs. Lastly, a matching pair of side chairs will always have a use in your home. In the short term, they may complete your living room suite, but in the future they might travel to a dining room, den or home office, or be broken up into different rooms, which will bring a sense of consistency and connection to disparate spaces. For the best flexibility, choose chairs in a neutral or subdued color such as navy or gray in a size that can work at the end of the dining table (30 inches wide or under), with low arms or no arms so you can tuck them under a table or desk you may have down the road. You may not know it now, but your dream home is already shaping up, one piece at a time.