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Renting Your First Apartment? Here’s the Furniture You’ll Need

Not sure what furniture you’ll need when renting your first apartment? Before buying new furniture, you’ll want to create an apartment furniture checklist that can help you stick to the essentials. Below, we share some first apartment furniture ideas to help you get started!

Apartment Entryway Furniture

While some units may have a designated entry hall, other apartments may open directly into a common area like a kitchen or living room—but that doesn’t mean you can’t create an inviting entryway with some furniture!

Hall Tree or Storage Bench

If your first apartment doesn’t have a coat closet, a hall tree can be a great way to get additional entryway storage for coats, purses, backpacks, and other accessories. Some hall trees also include benches, which give you a convenient place to remove shoes and outerwear before settling in. If a hall tree is too large for your small apartment, you could always opt for an entryway bench with hidden storage!

Coat Rack

No coat closet, no problem! A coat rack is an easy addition. Typically used for hanging jackets, scarves, and hats, coat racks can also support pet leashes, umbrellas, and bags. If you’re not able to mount anything on the walls in your apartment, you could go for a free-standing coat rack instead!

Entryway Table

A narrow console table provides a convenient drop-zone in your apartment foyer for mail, phone chargers, keys, and other items you normally set down after coming home. Some console tables also include drawers or shelving that offer additional storage space for items you need to tuck away.

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Apartment Living Room Furniture

When furnishing your first apartment, you can purchase a living room set or mix-and-match pieces to get the perfect layout for your style. Don’t be afraid to check out antique stores for more budget-friendly furniture!

Entertainment Center

Ditch the basic TV stand for a more versatile entertainment center in your apartment. This functional living room piece typically comes with open-faced shelving or cabinet storage, allowing you to store video game consoles, board games, movies, routers, and even unsightly electrical cords.

Couch & Chairs

There are plenty of options for apartment living room sofas and chairs. It just depends on how much space you have! You might consider a sectional couch to get more seating or a convertible sofa to accommodate overnight guests. For a smaller living room layout, you could opt for a love seat with an accent chair. And don’t forget about ottomans—these can be used as footstools, additional seating, and even hidden storage!

Coffee Table & End Tables

A coffee table is an essential living room furniture piece. Not only does it provide you with a space to hold drinks, books, magazines, remote controls, and more, but coffee tables often come with additional storage space as well. Depending on your living room layout, you might also look at getting end tables to set beside a sofa or chairs, where you can set up phone chargers, lamps, and more.

Room Divider

If you’re moving into a studio apartment, a room divider might be a worthwhile purchase. These tall partitions can help create privacy and even section off areas of your home to make them feel more like separate rooms.

Apartment Bedroom Furniture

Modern bedroom with bed in bed frame, decorative pillows, and wallart

Photo via @alexanwp2

Stylish but practical bedroom furniture is necessary for getting a good night’s sleep and staying organized in your apartment. Look for functional pieces that work well for creating a restful space!

Bed Frame & Mattress Set

For most first-time apartment renters, a bed is the most important purchase. You can find all kinds of bed frames, including platform bed frames, trundle bed frames, lofted bed frames, and more. And depending on how much space you have, you’ll have your pick of mattress sizes like queen, king, and California king. Look for headboards with storage, too, as this can help you get hidden bedroom storage.

Nightstands

A small nightstand may not seem necessary at first, but having a space within arm’s reach to keep items like phones, books, and lamps will definitely come in handy. Keep an eye out for nightstands with drawers or shelving that provide additional storage space.

Dresser

Don’t have a bedroom closet in your apartment? A dresser will be an essential item. This bedroom furniture gives you a convenient place to store clothing, accessories, and more. Many apartment-dwellers also use dressers for bedroom TVs or as a place to store bedroom decor.

Apartment Kitchen Furniture

Modern apartment kitchen with bar island and leather bar stools

Photo via @meridianslc

Whether your new apartment has a galley kitchen, one-wall kitchen, or anything in between, choosing the best furniture for your space while meeting your needs is important. Some small kitchen layouts don’t have enough space for every piece of kitchen furniture, so measure your area and decide what works best!

Dining Table & Chairs

A small dining set in your kitchen provides space for meals, working from home, and entertaining space. Make sure the set doesn’t take up too much space so you can still comfortably move around your kitchen. Consider a two-seater dining table or a small, drop-leaf table that folds down to creates more space when not in use.

Bar Stools

If you have a kitchen bar, stools can help create a dining area that doesn’t require a table. Consider which type of bar stool suits your space best. Backless bar stools may be easier for smaller spaces since they don’t take up as much room and can be stacked when stored. But low-back or high-back bar stools offer more support.

Kitchen Island or Cart

Don’t have a lot of counter space in your first apartment? A portable kitchen island or kitchen cart can be a great solution. Equipped with a usable top surface, below-counter storage, and wheels, a mobile island is ideal for small apartment living.

Bar Cart

Similar to a portable kitchen island, a bar cart is a good addition to your kitchen if you need somewhere to store glassware and your favorite spirits. You can also create a coffee station with a bar cart by setting up a coffeemaker, mugs, and more. There are all kinds of budget-friendly bar cart options, including DIY bar carts!

Apartment Den Furniture

If your first apartment comes with a bonus room or flex space, or you lease an apartment with an extra bedroom, you might need some furniture for a home office setup.

Desk & Desk Chair

Setting up a workstation in your new apartment is important if you’re still in school, work from home, freelance, or have creative side projects. Choose a small functional desk and supportive chair to make completing tasks easier. Or go with a standing desk to increase production and decrease time sitting.

Bookcase

Perfect for storing books, displaying home decor, housing plants, storing important documents and files, and more, bookcases are a functional addition to any home office or den. If you don’t have a lot of room in your apartment, look for bookcases for small spaces or find bookcases that can double as an entertainment center.

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Apartment Balcony Furniture

Modern apartment balcony with wicker chairs, area rug, and outside plants

Photo via @viagiulian

Balconies and patios are a popular apartment amenity. Whether you plan to use this space for urban gardening, eating meals outside, or simply getting some fresh air, you’ll need some basic patio furniture!

Outdoor Seating

Just because you have a small outdoor living space doesn’t mean you can find cozy seating. With outdoor lounge chairs, armchairs, and even small loveseats, you can create the perfect apartment patio space for relaxing outside!

Outdoor Bistro Set

If you plan to eat or work outside, a bistro set may be the solution! These sets usually come with a small table and two chairs and are specifically designed to be used outdoors. Bistro tables and chairs are often stackable and foldable, too, which means they’re easy to store when you don’t need them!

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Moving into your first apartment? Extra Space Storage has convenient self storage facilities throughout the country that can help with your move. Find a storage unit near you!

Close up of bedroom furniture featuring a bed, cool colored pillows, a nightstand, and metal lamp
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