Apartment Purchases I'm Glad We Invested In

5 Apartment Purchases I'm Glad We Invested In

When you move into your first apartment the “to buy” list is seemingly endless; everyone has an opinion to share on what the “absolute must-have essentials” are for your new home. It’s only when the dust has settled and you’ve decluttered for what feels like the hundredth time that you realise some of those essentials weren't really essentials at all. It becomes apparent what you would have saved by not buying certain items could have been spent on investment pieces.

Whether you upsize, downsize, or simply move, there’s a learning curve to making your space feel like your own; it takes a while to figure out what essentials really are essential to you and your lifestyle. Over time, it becomes apparent what so-called essentials are worth skipping and which items are worth investing in.

These are the items I’m glad we investment in buying for our apartment:

1 | A Coffee Table

You never realise how much you need and use a coffee table until you don’t have one. In our previous apartment, there was very little space to spare; like most living rooms, the focus was centred around the seating area and two flimsy IKEA tables we’d purchased our of desperation from someone on Twitter. They were fine and served a purpose but they looked ugly and out of place. A knock or gentle kick (which was easily done in a 500 square foot apartment!) and the pair would go flying.

A coffee table was our first "big ticket” purchase and an investment piece that kickstarted the interior styling of our home. We spotted a fully restored Ercol Originals Coffee Table in a Margate vintage furniture shop and had to have it. It was a steal at well over half the retail price yet, at the time, was a pricey investment for us. Getting it home was tricky but 200 miles and two trains later it was in our apartment. It’s one of those pieces you get so used to seeing and use all the time that you forget to appreciate it but it’s the first thing people always compliment.

2 | A Projector

We haven’t ever owned a television set; neither of us watch television in the traditional way of switching it on and flicking through channels to stay entertained. That’s not to say we don’t watch television because we do, we’re just very specific about the programmes we watch and when we watch them. More specifically, we’ve never liked the way a television set tends to become the focus of any room it’s in with all the furniture is pointed at the screen and everyone looking at it.

For us, the best alternative was a projector. They’re not cheap and require a fair bit of wall space, which not every home has, but the trade off is the versatility. We invested in an LG Minibeam. It’s like having a cinema screen in your home without having to permanently dedicate wall space to a huge black screen. Opting for an ultra short throw model means it can be positioned in several places in our home. It’s ideal for watching films or catching up on Netflix series, and when it’s not switched on it doesn’t dominate the room like a television set would.

5 Apartment Purchases I'm Glad We Invested In

3 | A Rice Cooker

Knowing which gadgets will benefit your life and which will just eat up precious space on your countertops is a bit of a learning curve. The typical basics in a UK kitchen is a kettle, toaster, and coffee grinder (or machine) at the very least; perhaps they’ll be a food processor, juicer, or blender. These gadgets often get bought without a second consideration. Most of the time that works out just fine but when you’re struggling with limited space sometimes it’s best to find alternative solutions and invest in more useful gadgets.

In our apartment’s kitchen, counter space is limited. We got rid of a household staple, the toaster, to make room for a rice cooker. Having to use the grill to make toast is a fine compromise for such a useful gadget. We eat rice every day; having a gadget that can make perfect rice (and keep it warm for 12 hours) has been a huge time saver. It’s not an investment every home needs to make but it was definitely worth it for us.

4 | A Dining Table

When we moved into our new apartment we had to repurpose our dining table as an office desk and so we lost our favourite spot to eat together. Sharing food is a big part of our life so not having a proper place to dine was a problem. Eating off our laps wasn’t fun. Although it wasn’t expensive, investing in the right table was important; picking the right one was an investment of space and we had to get it right.

The Made Fjord Gateleg Table and matching Fjord White Oak Chairs was the perfect fit. It sits neatly against the wall as if that spot were made for it. Choosing a gateleg (drop-leaf) table means it folds up neatly into a tiny sliver of a table if we need the space for something else or folds right out to seat four guests.

5 | A Diffuser

I’m pretty sensitive to scents and I like our home to smell good. Food, pets, and general life makes it unavoidable that your space is going to smell.. funky, sometimes. Candles are great and I used them a lot in our old apartment but they quickly become expensive the more rooms you have. The scent doesn’t linger quite as much as you’d hope it would and if you want your home to smell amazing all the time, there’s a better solution.

Diffusers appear to be a pricey investment at first glance. Considering some candles are upwards of £30, £50 for a diffuser (and some cheap oils from eBay) isn’t so bad. The aroma a diffuser kicks out is far greater than reed diffusers, candles, or wax melts ever are, and the scent lingers all day as opposed to quickly dissipating within the hour. A diffuser isn’t on everyone’s list of household essentials but for me it’s a worthwhile investment.

5 Apartment Purchases I'm Glad We Invested In