I've been interested in décor for as long as I can remember. As a child, our family trips to IKEA would be exponentially long when I was in tow because I would have to sit in every single chair and lay in every single bed. In high school, I would mysteriously move furniture around my bedroom in the middle of the night, much to the dismay of my mother. So when I turned 20 and finally ventured out on my own, it's no surprise that I didn't take the decorating of my first apartment lightly. For years, as I moved from place to place, I accumulated a staggering amount of tchotchkes and accessories found in vintage shops, garages sales, and décor stores.
But here is the mistake I was making: By never wanting to put my money toward larger pieces, I ended up with a lot of (quite frankly) useless things: vintage vases, inlaid boxes, small artwork, more trays than I knew what to do with, and scented candles galore. I had bowls and pillows and bookends to last me a lifetime—and quite a few side tables and smaller pieces of accent furniture, but I had no piece of furniture that really served a purpose, or that I could actually keep long-term. While my shelves were expertly styled, I was still sitting on a hand-me-down sofa, and my IKEA dresser had seen better days.
When I turned 30 (or more accurately, 29), after meticulously bubble-wrapping bookends and vases for the millionth time preparing for yet another move, I made a vow to myself: I put a stop to my décor hoarding tendencies and decided to exclusively invest in larger pieces that would increase the function and comfort of my home. The result: My apartment has never looked better or felt more organized and, thanks to my 20-something habits to buying cheap thrills, I have more décor accessories that I have space to display them. Are you guilty of the same décor mistake? Invest in these sturdy pieces instead.
A small space or limited budget is no reason to skip a proper sofa. This one will fit even the tiniest of studios.
Think practically about your storage. This multi-arm hook can replace an entryway closet.
Invest in storage pieces on which you can also display your collections of trays, candles, and boxes.
It's time to get a grown-up dining table, because you can only eat on your sofa or bed for so long.
Ditch the foldable chairs in favor of a more long-lasting and elegant set.
Ditch the metal bed frame and invest in a true adult bed. You'll be glad you did.
A lounge chair will make your living room more grown-up when you want to entertain a larger crowd.
Don't rely on your rental's overhead lighting. Table and floor lamps add atmosphere and depth.
A real grown-up rug can make a world of a difference to a room. Go white before kids and pets force you to go a safer route.
An apartment-size coffee table that doubles as hidden storage? Sign us up.
A large mirror make your space look so much bigger than it actually is—and it's a great alternative to artwork.
Console table, dining room buffet, or sofa table? This versatile piece can serve many purposes and follow you from home to home.