Furniture specials: Making the transition from your first and second year university residence into a bigger apartment can be daunting. You are finally allowed some freedom, but with freedom comes great responsibility, and many, many costs, especially in terms of furnishing your empty apartment. Luckily, furniture deals can help you on your way. In a few minutes of reading, find out what you need to furnish your university apartment with the help of furniture specials.
The ABCs of furniture specials and your apartment
There is no need to splurge when it comes to furnishing your apartment. At his point in life, it is more about basic necessities than luxuries, otherwise you may find yourself either with very angry parents or no pocket money left to go out with friends. A luxury apartment is no fun when you’re experiencing it alone.
Focus first on the fundamentals – bedroom, bathroom, lounge and kitchen. Fortunately for you, the former categories almost always feature furniture specials in some way or form – meaning that you can save where it matters while still ensuring you have everything you need.
Bedroom furniture specials
The bedroom is an appropriate place to start, as you will be spending most of your time there (cherishing whatever precious sleep you can get amidst your studies). If you have come straight out of a dorm where a bed was provided, you are now tasked with the responsibility to find a suitable mattress, base, duvet and duvet cover, and pillows.
Mattresses do not come cheap. Some great news is that mattresses are constantly featured in furniture specials, and doing careful research and comparing prices across several stores can ensure you make the correct and most cost-savvy purchase.
Duvet covers are usually inexpensive, and something you can have fun with. In terms of a duvet inner, a simple polyester fibre puff inner will do the trick. This type of inner is suitable for warmer temperatures and can save you many sweaty nights in summer. Though more expensive, if you are concerned with freezing at night during winter, a down duvet is a good thing to keep in the back of your cupboard for when the time is right.
Whether you decide on a single or a double bed is up to you, and your parents, who are likely paying the bills. Keep in mind though, that beds last for years. So investing in a double may prevent you from having to buy another mattress in a few years’ time when you graduate.
When it comes to sheets, don’t miss out on bedding furniture specials. Sheets can often be bought in bulk deals, and don’t hesitate to make good on these deals. Sometimes getting around to laundry isn’t as easy as it sounds. Having extra sheets mean that you can still be hygienic as your laundry pile grows taller, though.
You will also need a desk. Prices range in this department, but you can purchase a simple yet sturdy desk using furniture specials for around R500-R600. This is where you will be spending many late nights (if you wish to pass) so make your choice wisely. Ensure that the desk is high enough for your legs to comfortably fit underneath atop the chair you choose.
Choosing a desk with drawers is advised, giving you storage space for books and stationary so as to avoid clutter taking up too much space on the surface. If you have your desk, or any furniture for that matter, delivered to you, do not be shy to ask the delivery team to help you assemble. Doing so can prevent hours of frustration and confusion over an assembly guide that makes absolutely no sense.
It is likely that your room will have in-built cupboards. But in the case that it doesn’t, there are various online stores offering furniture specials on closets and drawers for your convenience. Ensure that you purchase many hangers, to encourage you to hang up your clothes instead of tossing them on the floor in a hurry to your 8AM lectures.
While a headboard for your bed isn’t necessary, it certainly ties the room together. For a cheaper alternative, consider buying an interesting tapestry to hang behind your bed to achieve the same effect.
Blinds and curtains are seriously underestimated when it comes to improving one’s sleep. No one wants to be woken up before their alarm clock by a pesky ray of sun – especially if you have a long day ahead of you. That extra hour of sleep can really make a difference in the long-run.
Let there be light
Late nights spent in the name of studying are best accompanied by a reliable lamp to light your way. Yellow light is a more comforting route, while a white light leans toward modernity. Either way, a decent light can do wonders to give your space a homey feel.
Fairy lights are another great way to create some ambient lighting and character in your bedroom. Usually, you can get these decorations for shockingly low prices from certain bargain stores – just don’t expect them to come with batteries!
Mirror on the wall
A mirror does wonders in making a space appear larger. They do so by reflecting light and consequently offering the illusion of a bigger room. Not to mention, they are a great way to make sure your outfit is doing all the right things. Second-hand Facebook groups and stores offer great prices on mirrors and should definitely be considered before investing in a more expensive piece.
Bedroom extras to pair with furniture specials
While not completely necessary, these items can go a long way in making sure that your room doesn’t resemble a rat’s nest at the end of a stressful week.
Storage baskets – You will undoubtedly run out of space as you gather more study material and books. Having available storage can assist in keeping your space free of clutter while at the same time promoting a successful study space.
Dustbin – The walk to your rubbish bin in the kitchen may not seem so far away at first. But in a rush, you may find the distance to be too much effort. Having a small dustbin in the corner of your room is always a bonus in terms of hygiene and clean floors.
Laundry basket – This item is a great way to forgo the dreaded ‘clothes chair’ that piles up to a ridiculous height before you are too ashamed to allow guests into your room.
In most entry-level apartments, you will be lucky to have a bathroom all to yourself. For this reason, ample storage and hanging space is of the utmost importance in making sure that you don’t step on your roommate’s toes, and soggy towels. Shower shelves do not always come with a shower.
More often than not, tenants need to install some at their own cost. Doing so will mean that you can keep your shampoo, conditioner, soap and washing products off of the shower floor and out of hazard’s way. You will also need more than one bathmat.
One simply is not enough, when you consider the amount of water it needs to absorb while still remaining hygiene. It is advisable to regularly wash and alternate between bathmats at regular intervals. In the same light, you can never have too many towels.
Depending on one or two towels for a long period of time encourages bacteria growth within the fibres, potentially causing skin issues such as breakouts. Perhaps the most important of all, are your bathroom cleaning products. The fact that your bathroom is constantly moist means that it will inevitable become slimy and bacteria ridden. Here are where the cleaning supplies come in. At the very least, you will need:
- A plunger
- Toilet cleaner
- Toilet brush
- Waste bin
Kitchen nightmare… turned daydream?
Everyone knows there are large costs involved in kitting out a kitchen. Appliances, fridge and sometimes even an oven/stove need to bought at an extra cost. While you don’t technically need a toaster, a microwave and kettle are necessities in order to survive as a student.
Having your own kitchen means that you are now able to cook your own meal, this is good news for some and bad for others. You can hope that you absorbed enough from watching your parents cook, or resort to taking the easy ‘pasta’ way out. Fortunately, fridges are often included in furniture specials, as well as bar stools – which although are not completely necessary, they serve nicely to create a breakfast nook while avoiding having to buy a table.
If there is no smoke alarm, you really need to take the responsibility to have one installed, no matter the cost, to ensure your safety and that of your neighbours around you. In terms of cutlery and crockery, you can find great sets for low costs. The cheaper alternative however, is to borrow some from home and build up more as you go along. The basics you will need are:
- Basic eating cutlery
- At least one sharp knife
- A few mugs
- A chopping board
- A sieve
- Two pots
- A frying pan
- A baking dish
A word of warning – dishes pile up faster than one could ever imagine, and some nightmarish situations are known to occur in student apartments – think bugs… and mould. To avoid such situations – invest in a drying rack, which will motivate you to wash and dry your dishes as you make them, hopefully. Naturally, you will need even more cleaning supplies, such as clothes, grease-effective detergents, bleach, dishwashing liquid and sponges and paper towel, lots of it.
Simple is sensible
When it comes to sorting out your living room/ lounge, simpler items are better. A simple two seater couch in a neutral shade is something very often included in furniture specials, as well as a basic coffee table. In your start up apartment, don’t worry too much about going big in terms of decoration and multi-coloured furniture, as your limitations in budget likely mean you’ll end up looking at a very overwhelming, colour-clashing space.
If you have a TV and a console like an Xbox or PlayStation, you will need to invest in a TV stand of sorts. Having these items on the floor only spells trouble, in terms of dust collection as well as clumsy feet posing dangers. Furniture sales frequently make use of TV stands in their catalogues, which is good news for you.
When it comes to decorations, you can go for a few posters, or try making friends with an art student for some interesting sketches to brighten up your space. Tapestries and DIY decorations are also great ways to give your space some character and make you feel more at home.
Invest in some plants! Growing indoor plants is one sure-fire way to personalise your home and give it a vibrant feel. Not only is the process relaxing and psychologically beneficial, but anyone stepping foot in your home will immediately admire your efforts.
A word of warning however, many a tenant has made the mistake of making holes in walls in the name of hanging pictures up. This is ill-advised, without written permission from the owner or landlord, and may result in you losing your deposit when you decide to move on.