By Alyssa Clough

Published on March 28, 2016

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Photography by @CB2

Furnishing an apartment—or home—in your twenties is a true challenge. Not only is your design style likely to change and evolve as you age, but you probably don’t have a ton of extra cash in your pockets to fund your dream space. Which is exactly why we made a list of all the affordable furniture you can trust to get you through the next decade. Keep reading for 12 buys every 20-something should own.

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Photography by IKEA.COM

bed frame with storage

You either love storage beds or you hate them. But if you haven’t considered the option, hear us out. If you can afford to invest an extra few hundred dollars into a bed frame, you should do it. Depending on what model you choose, you might not even need a nightstand. Plus, storage beds look way chicer than shoving bins under your bed—it’s fact.

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Photography by @CASPER

a mattress you love

All 20-somethings agree that sleep is precious, which is why you should be snoozing in a bed you really love. And as most of us know, shopping for a bed can be intimidating. The showrooms, add ons, and delivery fees can get confusing and expensive—fast. Look to Casper and Leesa, two companies who are catering to millennials who want an easier and less expensive bed buying experience. Bonus: Your new mattress will be delivered in a box to your front door. 

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a solid desk

In your twenties, it’s safe to say you’ll be doing some hustling. Which is why you need a solid desk where you can get sh*t done that also is aesthetically pleasing and has some storage. Dot & Bo has a handful of striking modern designed desks that are under $200 and are great for small spaces. (The one you see here is only $87. Yes, seriously!)

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Photography by @ROVECONCEPTS

multifunctional chairs

In your twenties, you want to be able to host friends. Make it easy on yourself and buy chairs that can work in both your living and dining rooms. It’s a truly genius space saver. Conventional wisdom tells us that chairs stay where they belong, but if you buy seating that can easily be shifted and serve multiple purposes, you’ll save space and money.

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Photography by CB2.COM

bookcase

Speaking from a storage perspective, bookcases are the best. They can hold all your books, sentimental trinkets, and also serve as storage for things like files. Bookcases usually take up a lot of wall space, too, which is key to making your apartment feel like home. Check CB2 for cool, modern designs that will make a statement. 

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Photography by ALLMODERN.COM

dresser that doubles as a vanity

If you haven’t caught on by now, we’re gluttons for multifunctional furniture. You gotta have a solid dresser, so why not choose one that is at the perfect height to be a vanity, too? We’re currently loving everything on AllModern’s site, where most designs are around $200. 

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Photography by WAYFAIR.COM

sofa

A sofa is essential for ANY home. In your twenties, bingeing on Netflix in your bed is nice, but sometimes watching shows or just hanging out with friends on a couch is better. Which is why you need a comfy couch that can seat as many people as possible. Thankfully, searching for a good-sized sofa that costs around three or four hundred dollars isn’t that hard. Ikea is a great go-to option, as is Wayfair. Another option is searching used furniture marketplaces.

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Photography by michael wiltbank

entryway organizer

Umbra is our go-to entryway shop. Their ladders, coat racks, and benches give us warm fuzzy feelings inside. Most options are under or around $100 and they’ll do wonders for your organization—and are much less boring than simply hanging a few hooks by your door. 

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Photography by WAYFAIR.COM

bathroom storage

Sharing a bathroom when you’re in your twenties is almost a given, so make sure to add some much-needed (and inexpensive!) storage. You can find over the toilet shelving units almost anywhere, but the widest selection is definitely at Wayfair. Everything is around $100, which is definitely worth the price. 

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Photography by @ARTICLE

coffee table

Must we even explain? If you have room (fingers crossed) for a coffee table, you must own one. Not only does it allow you to express your personal style—aka present an excuse to go looking for more accessories—but it provides function, too. Okay, so it mostly provides somewhere for you to put your drink and dinner while you’re watching tv, but that’s important… Right? Look to Ikea for a variety of styles at crazy low prices and definitely check Article (formerly Bryght) if you’re looking to spend a bit more.

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Photography by TARGET.COM

kitchen table

Kitchen or dining room tables aren’t the sexiest piece of furniture to buy, but you certainly need one. Don’t assume you have to purchase a regular old square or rectangle slab of wood, though. Or even a fancy marble or glass variety. Target has a large selection of tables ranging in size, shape, and finish.

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Photography by URBANOUTFITTERS.COM

nightstand

We have a feeling the nightstand is the new coffee table. Yes, it needs to be functional and house things like a clock, books, and a lamp, but what style stand you choose and what types of other special things you put on it is a reflection of YOU and your aesthetic. Since they’re usually on the smaller side, most nightstands will only cost around $100. Check Urban Outfitters for a giant selection of modern and bohemian designs.