You already know what apartment essentials you need in order to fill in the new place or to give your current space a nice refresh. Maybe you’re having difficulty finding the right style (most of us do, especially for first-timers). Just remember comfort, functionality, and style. When we talk about style, try and stay with classic and sturdy pieces that will last. It’s always quality over quantity and you can find the right pieces for just about any budget.
Start from the beginning and go room by room to determine what you will need or want and the space you have for it. Don’t be afraid to mix and match colors, and textures. You can mix styles together but if you do, make sure they are somehow tied together so it doesn’t seem random or haphazard.
We’ve taken some of the legwork out of it and put together a list of six modern furniture brands that deliver on style, quality, and price.
Best Furniture Brand Overall: Article
Article’s furniture lets you choose contemporary or midcentury-inspired designs and then customize them to your own preferences. For instance, if you like the Sven sofa, you can choose its length, material (leather, fabric, or velvet), and color. The walnut Lenia coffee table comes in either square or oval.
While Article does have physical locations that let you see the pieces in person, you can also buy online if there’s no store near you. All the furniture is affordable, as well, with more expensive pieces like beds and sofas ranging into the low thousands and smaller pieces like side tables in the mid-hundreds.
Best Customizable Furniture Brand: Inside Weather
Sometimes, you love a piece of furniture, but it’s not quite right. It’s either the wrong size, the wrong color, or the wrong material. Those issues are removed from the equation with Inside Weather’s customizable furniture. The company offers furniture in more than 400 fabric choices and you can even order 10 fabric swatches to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting before you place your order.
In addition to choosing your own fabric, you can customize every aspect of the furniture even if it’s a sofa, sectional, sofette (their small sofa) or even an armchair. You get to choose the arm style, the shape of the cushions, or the pillow style right down to whether or not you want buttons.
Best Internationally Inspired Brand: Cost Plus World Market
World Market sells furniture collections from every corner of the globe. If you’re looking to create more international flair in your place, World Market delivers affordable pieces that look like you picked them up on your travels.
For a standout piece, we like the Round Wood and Metal Bookshelf, a circular piece with four dark-wood beams. A wonderful conversational piece is the Carved Wood and Mirror Almirah Storage Cabinet, a black mango wood-and-mirror storage unit that’s been hand-carved into geometric shapes by artisans in India.
Best Ergonomic Furniture Brand: Burrow
When one of the founders of Burrow was in college, he hurt his back while rowing. With this injury in mind, he created a furniture company that would allow “for multi-hour Netflix binges” without pain. Comfortable and stylish, Burrow sells affordable furniture by selling directly to consumers — a tactic that removes markups.
We particularly like Burrow’s Range Sofas and Loveseats, which come in a variety of configurations. Choose what fits your home and mix and match from a three-piece sofa with an arm on one side and a table on the other to a four-piece sofa with a footrest on one end, or even a two-piece sofa with no arms.
Best Scandinavian Furniture Brand: ferm LIVING
Scandinavian furniture is perpetually in style with its clean lines and minimalist silhouettes. But if you want to expand your options beyond Ikea, we recommend ferm LIVING. The company hand-picks furniture so you don’t have to dig through dozens of options. It also promotes sustainability and transparency with its suppliers and manufacturers.
For peak modernist style, we like the Desert Lounge Chair, an upscale cousin of a folding chair with a steel frame and a seat woven from post-consumer plastic yarn. You can also choose a patterned style or a block color – and spend less than $360.
Best Sustainable Furniture Brand: Fernish
When consumers purchased the lowest quality inexpensive furniture they could find, it was discarded because it wore down quickly. This is called “fast furniture” — and 9.8 million tons of it finds its way to landfills every year.
This trend of cheap, poorly made furniture is what sustainable brand Fernish wants to avoid. The company makes sustainable furniture — it saved 1,042 metric tons of CO2 last year – that’s designed to stand the test of time. Another part of this strategy is that Fernish offers pieces that can be bought as rent-to-own. This means you’ll be able to swap out pieces after your Fernish term, which can be as little as two months.
That mission doesn’t mean you have to forgo style or pay an arm and a leg either. The Floyd Bed and Headboard is an affordable, blonde-wood, low-to-the-ground bed frame, and headboard that would look great in any space.
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