You found your first place, you signed the paperwork and now you have the keys. Congratulations! You are ready to make the big move into your first place – so you think. Before you make your move, you need to furnish it with everything you need because you can’t really do much in an empty space! So the question is what do you need?


To start things off, you’ll be working with a blank canvas that gives you the ability to personalize every room in your place exactly how you want it. But, you should realize that you need to first focus on the essential furnishings and understand that smaller, personal touches will come with time. As many of us are always concerned with budgets, Express Furniture Warehouse has made a room-by-room guide to help you figure out the basic building blocks of a completely furnished home. Whether you are moving to Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens or Midtown Manhattan, get ready to follow this helpful guide on your shopping trip to the most affordable furniture stores in NYC!


Living Room

One of the many benefits of moving into a new space is that you have a nearly limitless amount of options to choose from in terms of furnishings! That means if you like traditional, contemporary or modern styled furniture, you get to pick and choose which styles best fit your tastes. With that said, your living room will likely be the place where you relax after a long day and it will serve as the fundamental space for entertaining guests.

Since that is on your mind, the seating arrangements will play a vital role in the function of the living room. Traditionally speaking, you will want to have a sofa, love seat and recliner that are complemented by end tables and a coffee table. However, if your living room is on the small size, you may find yourself thinking of a more practical solution that combines all those pieces of furniture into one: a sectional. Whether you choose a sectional or go the more traditional route, it is important to have comfortable seating in your living room. Also, remember to put a TV stand on your list of furnishing essentials because you’ll need an entertainment center for your TV, which can also serve as the focal point in the living room. Lastly, don’t forget to light up the living room with table lamps and floor lamps because some apartments lack centralized lighting fixtures.

Dining Room/Kitchen

While a lot of us may like to snack on the couch in the living room, it’s not the most ideal space to eat a meal every day, which is why you need to utilize a designated space for eating. Dining room furniture is necessary, regardless of how much (or little) space you have. There are plenty of dinette sets that can fit into small areas and others that are big enough to host a large dinner party. The take away here is to find appropriately sized dinette sets that can give you the ability to sit down and eat at a table. Also, if your new place has an open-concept floor plan, you can create the illusion of a separate eating area by placing the dinette set on an area rug.



When it comes to the bedroom(s), you will most get the most bang for your buck by looking at complete bedroom packages that include everything you need for a comfortable and functional room. Check out bedroom packages that have a chest of drawers, a dresser, a nightstand, a headboard/footboard/rails and a mirror. These bedroom essentials immediately create a cozy and relaxing environment for you to unwind because they fill the space with everything you need.



Keeping in line with the bedroom, don’t forget you will need a mattress! Whether you choose a memory foam, pillow top or traditional spring and coil mattress, it is an absolute necessity. This is when you want to spend some time laying down on some floor models because you can get a feel of the differences between ultra firm, firm and soft/plush mattresses. Most often, those who sleep on their back or stomach tend to have better sleep quality with firm mattresses because they provide ample support and those who sleep on their sides tend to prefer soft/plush mattresses because it helps conform around the body. One of the best things about choosing a mattress is that they are offered at numerous price points, so you’ll be able to find one that perfectly fits your budget.

The above furniture essentials will give you a good start for your first place because you’ll have the main ticket items crossed off your list. As time goes on, you will grow into your space and make it more personal by adding artwork, decorative accents and other adornments! Once you’ve got the big stuff out of the way, make sure you have food, cooking utensils, cleaning supplies, linens and toiletries ready for move in day.