The moment you've been waiting for has finally arrived—you're moving into a cozy little love-nest with your significant other. Congrats! As exciting as this time is, you will soon come to find out (if you haven't already) that cohabiting comes with a whole new set of challenges. Not to burst your bubble or anything—yes, letting go of the logistical nightmare of planning ahead constantly will be such a welcome relief when you combine households.
But what about the challenges you face with this exciting new phase? For instance, when you do a quick inventory of your assets together, and there are bound to be multiples, who's stuff do you keep and who's do you toss? How do you gently convince your partner that the...erm...unattractive clunky dresser they've had since college has gotta go? And that all of your beautiful linen bedding is to stay, and their weird jersey sheets need to be put to rest, once and for all?
Sadly, we wish we could give individual advice to each and every couple, but since every relationship is a unique snowflake, we are going to do you the next best thing. After you purge your combined belongings and re-assess, we've rounded up exactly what to splurge and save on for your new place! Because although your vintage vanity may be staying (forever as far as your concerned), some items will need to be replaced.
Save: Kitchen Utensils
The fact of the matter is, if they can hold onto their finish and are food safe and you're doing basic cooking, you don't have to drop a ton of money of kitchen utensils. We do like the idea of them being pretty to look at, however, so that you can display them by hanging or in a utensil jar on your counter if you want.
SHOP NOW: Anthropologie, $16/each
Splurge: A Comfy, Pretty Sofa
We can all pretend we are constantly out and about and never watching 10-hour long marathons of The Wire on a Sunday, but if we're being honest with ourselves...those days happen. So don't get a sofa you don't want to lounge on. What's fun about being lazy and indulgent if you're uncomfortable the whole time? And while you're at it, you may as well make it a good-looking sofa. It is an investment, after all! Don't just get something to just fill the space, get something you'll love for years.
SHOP NOW: CB2, $,1499
Don't get us wrong—we adore beautiful tableware, of all price points and styles. We don't discriminate! But when you're first moving in together, buying super pricey plates shouldn't necessarily be on the top of your list. Maybe you're going to get some fancy china for your wedding (or maybe you already did); and if not, you can always upgrade if you feel like it's something you want later in life! But for now, it's likely you'll put a splurge couch over having super fancy plates.
SHOP NOW: The White Company, $16
You've all heard the statistics on what percentage of your life you spend in bed so I won't bore you by repeating it, except to say it's a lot. And honestly, if you sleep hot and your partner sleeps cold or vice versa the constant battle over blankets can be hard enough. Make it easier by investing in cozy sheets that keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. AKA, linen! It's also a fabric that wears well and is classic, so it'll certainly stand the test of time.
SHOP NOW: Coyuchi, $98+
Rugs can really, really run the gamut in terms of price point; you can find a great area rug for under $200 that will do the job (sometimes for years, sometimes for less), or you can find one for $5,000 that's handmade and your prized possession. Either way, a rug is somewhat necessary in order to pull a room together, and also makes any space feel cozier and more lived-in. We would definitely say it's a must for your new place, but in terms of budgetary priorities, you can get a rug that you love without spending a fortune. If you really have your eye on something spectacular you can upgrade later—maybe when you move on to your next home!
SHOP NOW: World Market, $149.99+
Splurge: Pots and Pans
The truth is this: When you've had both good quality and bad quality pans, you know the difference. You probably know what a pain a really bad, unevenly heating, impossible-to-clean pan is—it's probably made you hate cooking. Take this move as an opportunity to get cookware that changes your whole world (at least in the kitchen). Believe us: it makes everything easier and the food tastes better, period.
SHOP NOW: Food52, set of 2 $100+
Splurge: A Mattress
Relatively speaking, mattresses aren't nearly as expensive as they used to be, but if it's been a while since you got a new mattress, the thought of dropping $600-$900 (easily) can seem a bit daunting. But, unless you or your partner very recently got a new mattress, we think it's good to go into your new life together with a fresh bed—one that you both love and feel comfortable with.
SHOP NOW: Allswell, $585
Save: Throw Pillows
Throw pillows can be deceptively expensive, and buying a handful of those $150-each beauties you've had your eye on can really bust your overall budget for new decor. Buy some fun ones that liven up your space without spending a ton, so if you get sick of looking at them in a few months (or just want to change things up), you can toss them in the closet and replace them with some new ones without feeling guilty.
SHOP NOW: World Market, $39.99