When it comes to buying furniture, some pieces stay with you for a year or two, and some for a lifetime. But when it comes to buying furniture on a budget, more can fall into the former camp. And while some inexpensive options might be required to get started while you save up for more investment pieces, it’s also nice when those inexpensive pieces can grow with you. We recently teamed up with Amazon to curate first apartment essentials, and our goal was to provide a selection of items that you could buy now and still use for years to come if you wanted.
With the dining room, we went with understated pieces that are great for pizza night to even hosting your first Thanksgiving–and beyond. Here are some of our favorite pieces:
Even if you don’t have a proper dining room yet, there’s still hopefully somewhere to stick a table. This piece has MCM cred, but the all-wood construction means it will easily adapt to other design styles as your tastes evolve.
Dining room chairs can get expensive, quickly. A set of four for under $200 that still make a statement is a worthwhile buy for a new space.
If you haven’t thought about sheepskin rugs since those naked baby pictures your parents love, consider grabbing one for your dining room. The simple piece can help bring a bit of style to dining chairs or benches. It’s also a versatile piece you can move around your apartment as your mood changes, draping it on couches or even beds.
Keep all your glasses matching by buying the same glass in different sizes. Chip-resistant Duralex will stand up to the wear and tear of everyday life, and the three sizes are great for just about every beverage and cocktail you could want. The smallest is great for juice or wine, the mid-size is perfect for cocktails or water, and the large size can stand in for a beer stein.
A pretty pitcher that can easily work as a vase in a pinch–and also would make a good centerpiece on its own? This is an easy one.
While not strictly necessary, an area rug under a dining room table helps bring the space together. This is especially great if your first “dining room” is just a corner of a giant common room that also has to be the living room, home office, and guest bedroom. A bonus for this striking option: The dark color is good at hiding the occasional splash or stain.
Once upon a time, bar carts were a relic of our grandparent’s generation. Then Mad Men came along, mid-century modern become an acronym we all recognized, and suddenly even 22-year-olds were longing to have a dedicated place to stir martinis. This one is under $100 and can be repurposed for bathrooms, offices, or bedrooms when you’re ready to upgrade to a fancier option.
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