• The Best Investment Furniture

    When furnishing your first apartment, there can be an overwhelming urge to rush out to the nearest chain store and blow your budget outfitting the entire place.
    Resist that temptation.

    As difficult as it may be, pace yourself. Spending more time and more money on fewer items now will pay off later.
    “Instead of using your budget on items that will fall apart, invest in quality items that you can use for many years to come,” says Bethesda designer Marika Meyer.
    “It’s good to think of how you can use [something] now and how you can use it later,” says Amy Rutherford, owner of Red Barn Mercantile in Alexandria. “You want the piece to grow with you, so it needs to be timeless and multipurpose.”
    Before plunking down your cash card for a piece of furniture, ask yourself: Do I love it? Will I still love it five years from now? Is it well-constructed? Is it too trendy? Is it versatile?
    Keep in mind that it’s not necessary to buy your “forever” furniture right away or all at once. The following list is meant to be used as a guide as you plot your course. When it comes to buying furniture, spending your time and money slowly and surely is the key to long-term success.
    There are many deals to be had if you shop around, keep your eyes peeled and know what you’re looking for.
    Scour yard sales, estate sales, flea markets, antiques shops and auctions for basics and one-of-a-kind treasures, says Raji Radhakrishnan, a designer in Brambleton.
    “Go to a few and just look, don’t buy.
    . . . Get a feel for what you like, what things cost, what they are called, then hit the markets with whatever cash you have.”
    And don’t forget to keep your individual style in mind. The furniture and accessories that showcase your personality are what make your home shine.
    Here, local designers give us their picks for the best investment pieces.
    1. Sofa
    “You’re going to use it forever, so buy something good with really durable fabric,” says Gibson Island designer Erin Pitts. “Just don’t get it in a print.”
    A plain, neutral fabric may seem boring now, but you’ll be happy with the choice down the road as your tastes and color preferences change. Swapping pillows or wall color is easier and less expensive than having a sofa reupholstered or buying a new one. Even if a small-scale sofa is all you have room for right now, resist the urge to skimp on quality. Something small can be a comfortable companion in a guest room or office space when you upgrade to a larger space.
    Tip: Spend a little more for a sofa with a stain-resistant fabric.
    2 & 3. Chest of drawers
    “A chest of drawers is such a universal piece of furniture,” says Alexandria designer Shazalynn Cavin-Winfrey.It can be an entry hall table, anchor a living room or double as a wet bar and is an excellent bedside table or place to rest a TV, she says. It can also be moved into a closet for extra storage. “Mine has housed clothing to dining room linens and now holds boxes of Legos.”
    A smaller-scale bachelor’s chest is also versatile and more portable, says D.C. designer Annie Elliot. It can go in a smaller front hallway with a lamp and a tray for mail on top, in a living room flanked by two chairs or next to a bed, she says.


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