By MADELEINE LUCKEL
Your 20s can be hard. There's more than enough to worry about besides decorating your apartment. Dorm dwelling, after all, certainly doesn't prepare you to choose the right sized kilim rug--or better yet, chaise longue. So let the experts advise you on how to nail your 20-something apartment with style and grace. After all, having a beautifully decorated oasis while you're out crushing it is probably exactly what you need. Here, interior designers and industry veterans weigh in on both the essential apartment items and the little (and big) extras that will truly take it above and beyond.
"Space is usually at a premium cost for 20-somethings, therefore stylish double-duty furniture is a must. For a sophisticated look, use a single mattress banked with toss cushions as a daybed that can be converted into a bed for overnight guests. Also, get an expandable dining table that can be used as a desk surface as well."
--Philip Mitchell, interior designer
"A good Dutch oven from a brand like Le Creuset. You can cook everything in one of these--spaghetti sauces, risottos, stir-fry--or even a roasted chicken! It also looks great on the table when serving family style.
--Kate Arends, Wit & Delight
"A queen bed. A twin bed in your 20s does not seem optimistic. Also, good glassware is essential. It doesn't have to be expensive--in fact, CB2 makes one of my favorites. The rest you can wing. Enjoy the ride."
--Miles Redd, interior designer
"Good bedding, like Restoration Hardware's linen sheets, and a butterfly chair--which is iconic and movable. Also, most rentals are a horrible shade of institutional beige. A fresh coat of white paint--and halogen light bulbs--are game-changers."
--Patrick Mele, interior designer
"Curtains. After you have the essential furniture pieces, curtains are the next best way to express your design style."
--Young Huh, interior designer
"A wine glass set. Gone are the days where mismatched glasses are okay. Skip using the decanter for alcohol and fill it with your mixers instead. Nothing looks worse than juice cartons on your bar. Also, an amazing candle is one of the best affordable luxuries you can get for your home. Remember that good environments tap into each of the senses, and scent is always key."
--Alex Reid, head designer of The Studio at One Kings Lane
"It's all about love--you're never too young to buy at least one thing you adore for your home. Whether it's a piece of art, a tiny sculpture, or a piece of furniture, start to surround yourself with things that excite you. Your interests and eye will start to develop and grow from there."
--Samuel Amoia, interior designer and furniture-maker
"A quality mattress, a full-length mirror, and a cashmere throw!"
--Benjamin Vandiver, interior designer
"Get one good piece of furniture every year. My first decent purchase was a Barcelona coffee table--it made all my hand-me-downs look better."
--Emily Summers, interior designer
"I think every 20-something needs an item that's a good reminder of where she came from and another item that's a good reminder of where she's heading. For me, the 'where I came from' piece is a family heirloom, a painting from my late great-uncle. The 'where I'm heading' piece is a set of vases from one of my favorite ceramists, Gambone--every time I look at them, I'm reminded to follow my passions."
--Justina Blakeney, designer, author, and lifestyle blogger
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