As a 20-something, creating a comfortable and functional nest out of limited space and, not to mention, a tight budget, can certainly be, well, difficult. Seemingly frivolous items get pushed to the bottom of the wish list to make room for more practical and inexpensive ones, like salad spinners or bedside tables. But, being a 20-something myself, and passionate about making my little nest as cozy, practical and aesthetically pleasing as possible, here are a few of the things I have splurged on... and my life has been changed for the better!
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It need not be expensive, assuming or front row and center, but to me, it is important that every home have a dedicated space for meals. Living in NYC where many apartments are too small to accommodate large tables, I know how difficult and crazy this may sound. But that's when you choose the appropriate table for your space: think versatility. Look for a table that can be used for other things like for work, meetings, or crafting.
Photo Courtesy of Brown + Brown Architects and Nigel Ridgen Photography
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A beautiful bold rug can make all the difference to the feeling and look of a room. It should tie together all the decorative and design elements of the space, complimenting all the pieces, while giving it some context and warmth. One of the first pieces I purchased when moving into my first home was a blue and white area rug – I moved in just with suitcases and a rug, nothing else! But it is the highlight of my space and every time I look at it, it makes me smile.
Photo Courtesy of Schappacher White Architecture DPC and Laura Moss Photography
Gone are the days of twin college beds where, The Princess and the Pea in you would slap on layer after layer of mattress pads. So, celebrate your newfound liberty by splurging on a comfortable bed, with all its accouterments. Juggling long hours of work and your social calendar, sleeping becomes a much welcomed necessity, and in a cozy bed, you'll get all the beauty rest you need.
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A set of curtains in your bedroom or living room immediately warms the space, making it feel, well, just like home. If you really would rather not splurge on pre-made curtains, invest in a beautifully patterned fabric and learn to sew them yourself.
Photo Courtesy of Sister Parish Design
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Not only are they sustainable and better for the environment, but non-disposable hangers scream "adulthood". Outfit your closet with matching hangers, whether they are wooden, felt or plastic, and your clothes will hold their shape for much longer. And, you won't feel as though you're living in the depth of a dry-cleaner's!
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With your graduation come a bigger bed and the removal of boy-band posters and wall tapestries. One your first décor splurges should be on a piece of art you absolutely love. Again, it need not to be expensive -- I've fallen in love with a huge painting created by my niece, but it should be framed and placed above a prominent wall in your home. If you are artistic, spend a rainy Saturday amongst your acrylics and brushes!
Photo Courtesy of Rikki Snyder for Cristina Soriano Lifestyle
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Gone are the days of red plastic cups and boxed wine! So, your first purchase, as an adult living on your own, should be a set of beautiful wine glasses. The stem-less glasses are so practical because you can pop them into the dishwasher without fear of breakage, but the stemmed ones are so elegant and refined as well. Once you've made this leap, you'll cheer's to life in your 20's!
Photo Courtesy of Villeroy & Boch
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Sharp, Long-lasting Knives
Knives are the most important tools you can have in the kitchen – if you've ever tried cutting a tomato with a dull blade, you'll agree. So, as someone who's mediation is to be chopping and julienning, I made the splurge on a good set of knives. Remember, tools require care and maintenance as well, so never put them in the dishwasher and from time to time, sharpen them well.
Photo Courtesy of Shun
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Invest in a set of dinnerware that you absolutely love -- go bold and bright or purchase something versatile and neutral, but whatever it is, make sure it's dishwasher safe! You'll no longer be eating from a university cafeteria and even though you may be ordering takeout, you'll be able to enjoy your pad-Thai on real, porcelain plates!
Photo courtesy of Rikki Snyder for Cristina Soriano Lifestyle
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