Two Sides: Furnishing the Apartment

Hi everyone, I hope you all enjoyed the weekend! It was very nice out here for a change, but there’s rain in the forecast for the next two days. R is away for a company-related trip until Wednesday and it feels a little odd to be here alone. We successfully survived our first week in the new apartment, but we are still getting some routines down. I’ve heard that people change things around a lot until they feel comfortable, especially with how they arrange things in the kitchen. I haven’t gotten that far yet, but I do think that thankfully after today’s trip to the store, we’ve (for the most part) finally finished “preparing” the apartment. Except for one thing…

The Issue: Furnishing the Apartment

Since I enjoy he said/she said types of posts on other blogs, I figured I would give it a try!

Before we had even moved in, R and I were discussing how we would arrange our existing furniture, and what we thought we should add. The only items we were bringing with us were a bed, futon, kitchen table & chairs, TV stand, bathroom set and dressers. Our living room was largely lacking. I agreed that we needed coffee tables or trays to put on either side of the futon, to put food/various items on. R wanted to get a coffee table, and possibly upgrade the futon with either a nicer mattress or a couch. I didn’t think either of these were necessary; I was fine with how things turned out.

His Take

Coffee tables are a staple in the living room – what is a living room without this center piece? We can use it to display things, we can put our feet up on it, and use it for storage.

The futon is cheap. While it serves its purpose, it’s not very comfortable, and I would rather have a nice couch to relax on. I would be okay with even getting the futon a thicker mattress – right now it’s too flat and just a mess in general.

Our Living Room Dilemma

My Take

Coffee tables are not necessary, at all. At my parent’s house, I had my own bedroom, plus the extra bedroom I ended up taking over once my parents moved their computers into the den that we weren’t using. I pretty much treated this extra bedroom as a living room/entertainment room of my own. My TV went in here, along with the futon and the TV stand. I never felt the need for a coffee table in here (though it probably wouldn’t have fit properly), and I still don’t feel a need for it. While it would be a nice addition later on, I think we should save our money for now. I would rather get a really nice quality coffee table for over $200 than a cheap one that might get damaged in a year for $70-90. The side tables are enough for now.

As for the futon, my mom purchased it as a graduation present for me two years ago. For $99 it is very minimal and I knew that beforehand. It was meant for simple TV viewing, which is what it’s used for. I don’t find myself thinking it’s uncomfortable, and I definitely don’t want to pay another $100-$200 for a new mattress; forget about a couch! Again, while there might be $300 couches out there, I’m not sure if it’s worth buying right now. I would rather save up for a really nice couch that will last us for years. Most of my family members have kept the same living room sets for as long as I can remember, and similarly, I’d love to make a great one-time investment down the road.

We honestly aren’t sure how long we will be staying in this apartment, and if we will be moving in a year or so, I’d rather have less to take with us. As it was, my stuff barely fit into a 10′ moving truck, and adding more furniture will require a bigger truck. As a slight side note, we were considering yard sales, but unfortunately, we do not have access to a car big enough to transport these large pieces of furniture.

Who Do You Agree With?

What do you guys think? Is it worth it to invest in cheaper alternatives for comfort and convenience, or should we wait it out? Is a comfortable sitting-area a must for your living room, or do you spend most of your time in your house elsewhere?

Photo Credit:

Erin M.

Erin is a personal finance writer and virtual assistant who loves talking about money and how to use it as a tool to get what you want out of life. When she's not obsessing over numbers or working (which is rare), she can be found messing around in Photoshop, laughing at her cat, watching YouTube videos, playing video games, chair dancing, or any random combination of the above.

13 thoughts on “Two Sides: Furnishing the Apartment

  1. I don’t really think you need to spend/waste the money on new furniture but again you are living with someone and you two have to come to some agreement the works for the both of you. Maybe allow the purchase but set a spending limit. Or agree that if you are there for xxx amount of time you will replace it. People will agree with you and some will side with him but this is not a win or lose so make sure you work together.
    Thomas | Your Daily Finance recently posted: The Best 12 Money Saving Tips To FollowMy Profile

    1. Well so far he has suggested that he spends the money on it, as he is hoping to get a bonus sometime soon, but I don’t necessarily want to view bonus money in that light. I’d rather save if we can for actual necessities.
      It’s actually not that big of a deal, I just figured it would be fun to see other people’s opinions. We will likely end up getting a less expensive model from Target and hoping that it will last a while to make it worth it!
      E.M. recently posted: Two Sides: Furnishing the ApartmentMy Profile

    1. My thoughts exactly. My parents have had the same coffee table since I was born. I’d rather make the purchase once. If we do go the inexpensive route, I’m hoping to at least get 5 years out of it. And they ARE practical – I like the extra storage they provide.

      Interior design seems like so much fun, I definitely want to do projects down the road when we actually have a house, but it’s not worth it right now.
      E.M. recently posted: Two Sides: Furnishing the ApartmentMy Profile

  2. When I moved to Palo Alto I bought really nice furniture because I felt finally wealthy to do so and it was my reward for the hard work. But, I was never in my apartment so I never got a chance to even enjoy the 60in TV, the leather couches, etc. I do believe people should live in comfortable bliss that fits a lifestyle they can afford. I just no longer hold the belief that we need various types of furniture or X number of rooms to make a home.
    The Phroogal Jason recently posted: Credit Unions: 5 things everyone should know about credit unionsMy Profile

    1. That’s true too – if you’re not home that often then what’s the use? We are very much homebodies but since we more than likely won’t be at our apartment for longer than a year, I just don’t see the point in upgrading right now. Plus, a full furniture set would definitely not fit in any of our rooms. We have mismatching furniture all over right now instead, which doesn’t bother me.
      E.M. recently posted: How I Stopped Spending So Much on Beauty ProductsMy Profile

  3. I love love love furniture and nesting, so I say ‘splurge’ :p. But I say that from my experience, which was without student debts (they are so small here in Australia). I also didn’t buy my sofa til I bought a place (and used my room mates when I was renting).

    On coffee tables, I side with you though! I have a side table (which is really a coffee table) and a perspex arm I’ve added to my sofa, and they work. My space would be too skinny for a ‘centrepiece’ coffee table. My bf’s house has one (I bought it with him), but to be honest, I’d just as happily not move it into ‘our’ house of the future :p But then again, I’ll probably compromise and let it in… so yeah
    SarahN recently posted: The cost of being vain…My Profile

    1. We have two really nice side tables that I am happy with for now. I actually asked him yesterday after 2 weeks if he thought we still needed a coffee table, and he reluctantly said “I guess not.” We have a little TV tray and an ottoman as well, both useful for holding things.

      Our living room is also pretty skinny, and I like the openness that we have now. I’m not against getting one when we have a more permanent place with more room and more saved up. For now I’ll entertain myself with helping my parents pick out furniture for their new place!
      E.M. recently posted: Using Personal Money for Your BusinessMy Profile

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