What to buy in your single years:
You’re fresh out of college, living in a rental, and starting from scratch in the furniture department. At this stage of the game, you can probably skip the bigger pieces like a family-sized dining table or entertainment wall, since you’ll want to avoid buying furniture to fit a temporary space. Instead, put your focus on a proper mattress and bed—complete with a headboard and frame. A standard bed size will fit any future home, and it’s the first step in creating an adult look for your space.
Bonus tip: Choose an upholstered bed. Going with fabric over wood gives you a little more freedom in terms of color when you pick a dresser and nightstand to match.
What to buy in your family years:
At this point, you’re likely settled into a permanent home and expanding your family. Now is the time to start investing in durable pieces that will last all the way from diapers to college diplomas. The first thing you’ll want is a quality dining table with chairs and a matching server. Be sure to get a table with center leaves so you can accommodate large dinner parties (or unexpected family additions).
Bonus tip: Don’t design yourself into a corner with pieces that are overly trendy. Pick items that match your existing decor, but that will stay in style for years to come.
What to buy in your retirement years:
There’s a reason they call them the golden years—the kids have moved out and taken their messy habits with them, which means you finally get to indulge in the finer things in life. Treat yourself to that luxurious leather sofa you’ve always wanted, and pair it with an area rug that wouldn’t have survived the traffic of little feet.
Bonus tip: It’s all about you this time, so pick exactly what you want and don’t hold back.