2 Tips to Buying the Right Furniture

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Furnishing an apartment is a daunting task for the first-time renter with limited space and funds, but some expert tips show that style and individuality don’t have to be sacrificed for price and functionality.

When updating your home, look for furniture that serves more than one purpose.

“You always want to look for pieces that have form and function,” says Katrina Szish, lifestyle expert and contributing editor at Rent.com

She suggests a multifunctional coffee table that turns into a breakfast nook in the morning or dinner table in the evening. An ottoman with storage is another multifunctional, attractive option that fits nicely in the smallest of living rooms.

Floating shelves are a smart choice for displaying books in the bedroom or keeping toiletries tucked away in the bathroom. These pieces take up little space and can be changed out depending on your needs.

For those with an eye for retro-style pieces, Szish says first-time renters are in luck. Murphy beds and convertible couches are making a comeback in a fresh way, and kitschy is cool again. “Sleek, modern styles don’t feel like your grandpa’s sofa bed.”

But where to find such classic pieces?

“We're huge fans of thrift store furniture,” says Sherry Petersik, one half of the wife and husband blogger duo at Young House Love and author of the best-selling book of the same name. “You can often find something that's solid wood and very well made for a lot less than something from a big box store.”

Szish agrees. “Scout out local vintage or consignment stores. You can always find amazing pieces there.” Flea markets and yard sales can also be treasure troves for affordable furniture that can be easily repurposed.

With just a few practical pieces at minimal cost, you, too, can have a beautifully functional apartment.

Tags: furniture, budget, function