From “I Do!” to “Did you seriously leave the fridge open again?” Newlywed life is a tangle of sweet bliss and mild trepidation, each coming in waves during that fresh season of learning how to navigate the everyday with another person. When it comes to piecing together a new home, each couple must tackle the task with an open mind, patience and, of course, a list of must-haves. Room-to-room, here are the pieces you’ll need to furnish your first place together.


For The Kitchen and Dining Room

Whether dishing up breakfast from the bakery across town or whipping up mozzarella-crusted chicken via a meal delivery kit, the kitchen really is the heart of the home. It’s where post-work vent sessions and battles over whose turn it is to wash the dishes go down. Here’s what’ll make it a cozy and functional space.


Counter or Bar Stools

Kitchen islands or countertops with an overhang call for seating. Depending on the length of the space, 2-4 stools should suffice as a starting point. If you start small, go for a style that’s easy to reorder, so that adding to the collection down the road isn’t too tricky.

Why You Need It

Not all kitchens have them, but for those that do, leaving them empty looks awkward and is a missed opportunity to create usable space.

What to Skip

Anything upholstered. While upholstered kitchen seating looks great in low-traffic homes, most newlywed homes are well-loved and lived-in. Instead, look at metal, plastic, or even wood options that are easy to wipe yesterday’s ragù splatters from.


Formal Dining Set

Forget stuffy. Modern formal dining sets can be anything from large, rustic wood tables with a farmhouse bench on either side to a small mid-century round top with a pair of matching chairs. 

Why You Need It

When it comes to setting up a new home on a budget there’s plenty that can wait - sideboards and ottomans, for instance - but a dining set grounds the furniture and decor around it. And, while it’s tempting to eat every post-nuptial meal elbow-to-elbow on the couch, having somewhere to enjoy dinner and conversation together away from the glow of the TV is a good precedent to set for the years to come. 

What to Skip

Glass. Besides having to constantly wipe fingerprints, crumbs, and all matter of dust away, glass tables are tricky to haul if a big move is in the future. Choosing pieces that blend into any space and travel well is a sure bet for those making long-term investments in their furniture.


A formal dining set gives the newlywed home an elevated feel and a place to catch up with each other over a warm meal at the end of a long day. When waffling between sets, consider the durability and go for the one that’s easier to maintain. A glass set will need to be thoroughly cleaned after each meal whereas a wood, concrete, or metal tabletop can be wiped off without hassle.


For The Living Room

Living for the weekend as newlyweds means counting down the days until Netflix and chill on the couch with two spoons and a tub of gelato. Here’s all the must-haves to create a comfortable and inviting living room.



From petite loveseats to wraparound sectionals, there’s a sofa style and size for every home and budget. For easy maintenance, opt for one that’s upholstered in microfiber or a high-performance fabric to keep pilling at bay. Or, skip fabric altogether and invest in a genuine leather couch which wipes clean with a few swipes of leather conditioner. 

Why You Need It

A living room without a couch is just a waiting room. And that’s not very homey at all!

What to Skip

Bright or patterned fabrics. When it comes to building a united style, keeping big pieces, like couches, neutral leaves more room to add intrigue with interchangeable decor. Think bold throw pillows and chunky knit blankets that can be swapped out according to the season and mood.


Media Unit or Entertainment Center

For homes without built-ins, a media unit or entertainment center not only houses the television and sound equipment, but it also serves the overall aesthetic as a place to curate picture frames, small plants, and the sweet little knick-knacks that reflect the pair who live there.

Why You Need It

Without one, the only real options for displaying the television devolve into bachelor pad status. Even with a mounted television there should be a console underneath to balance the wall. Plus, most units offer a lot of hidden storage, keeping the living room tidy and streamlined for when the in-laws drop in unexpectedly. 

What to Skip

Too much open shelving. A couple open shelves make for great decorative space but they also collect dust and fill with clutter quickly. Go for a unit with doors or one that can accommodate wire or woven baskets to create an uncluttered sightline with ample storage to hide books, pet toys and gaming systems.


Coffee Table

A living room staple of the highest priority, coffee tables are part function, part declaration of the home’s overall vibe - from contemporary and polished to modern minimalist. Plus, there’s no better place to throw down a game of Yahtzee.

Why You Need It

As a resting place for home-brewed morning lattes, the latest issue of The New Yorker, and that iconic geode coaster set from Aunt Sue.

What to Skip

Sharp edges. Round coffee tables not only balance out the boxiness of the other furniture that surrounds it, but also offer flexibility and ease when it comes to houseguests of the toddler variety.


When deciding on living room pieces, consider who will be welcomed into that space. For newlyweds with lots of friends with kids in tow, a tot-friendly home can still look and feel grownup—after the crayons are put away of course.


For The Bedroom

Nothing is more jarring to post-honeymooners than the rising sound of that morning alarm. Take the edge off with a well-furnished bedroom that’s pleasant to wake up to and even more pleasant to say goodnight in.


Bed Frame

Besides a quality mattress, a bed frame is the #1 bedroom necessity for a good night’s sleep. Go for a trendy all-wood style or a modern and budget-friendly metal platform. 

Why You Need It

A solid bed frame keeps the mattress off the floor and away from any moisture that could damage it over time.

What to Skip

Frames with a fabric head or footboard. Like any upholstery, they need to be shampooed regularly and get dingey fast.


Pair of Matching Nightstands

Add a nightstand on either side of the bed, then create a serene scene with ambient lighting, aromatherapy candles and pretty catch-all dishes to store loose earrings and bobby pins.

Why You Need It

When it comes to water bottles, Chapstick, and bedtime reading, “what’s mine is yours” is less true. Nightstands work not only to add dimension to bedside space but also to keep one another’s bedtime essentials separate and within the right person’s reach.

What to Skip

Mismatched sets. Choose and purchase a pair in one fell swoop to make sure there’s continuity throughout the room.


Wardrobe Closet or Dresser

While wardrobe closets offer extra space for hanging and hiding away seasonal clothing, dressers create bonus surface space for lighting and decor. Either way, one or the other is an essential bedroom storage solution.

Why You Need It

Though most bedrooms have at least a little closet space, combining two people’s wardrobes into one closet can prove challenging. 

What to Skip

Dressers with an attached mirror. They’re tough to move in case of rearranging and don’t always hold up well over time. 


When choosing furniture for main bedrooms and guest rooms, consider pieces from the same set. Their matching materials and tones will give the space balance. 


For The Guest Bedroom

Not every home accommodates a guest bedroom, but for those new couples who are raring to welcome extended family and far-away friends for a weekend visit, here’s the essential pieces that’ll keep houseguests comfy and well-rested.


A Bed That Fits The Space

Take into consideration the size of the room you plan to use it in. Chances are, it’s smaller than the master bedroom and probably not the most ideal place to shove a king-sized bed. Instead, a full bed or pair of twin mattresses should suffice for most guests and if space is super limited, a day bed with a trundle might be the perfect choice.

Why You Need It

Because who wants their cousin crashing on their marital couch? Besides, a spare bed is also an awesome escape from a snoring partner.

What to Skip

Loft or bunk beds, which might be thrilling for kiddos but not as exciting for grown guests who shudder at the thought of crawling down a bunk ladder before their first cup of coffee.



Give more dimension to the room by hanging a mirror above it. To make the most of limited space, stick with a smaller-footprint piece that offers just three or four drawers.

Why You Need It

A dresser gives guests a little extra space to sprawl out their belongings and get organized after a long haul. It’s also the best spot to stick a small television, store extra toiletries, and hide away spare bedding.

What to Skip

A low-profile piece that has to be moved away from the wall to reach dust bunnies with a vacuum.


Glider and Ottoman Set

Not just for nurseries! A glider and ottoman is the perfect spot for guests to rest and relax between sightseeing and dinner out.

Why You Need It

What’s the saying, houseguests, like fish, begin to stink after a few days? Something like that. Give guests a soft place to take phone calls or plop down with a good book that’s removed from the living room. This way, everyone’s getting enough space to unwind.

What to Skip

The all-wood with removable cushions type, which grows a bit tough on the posterior after a while.


Side Table

Position it next to the glider but near an outlet to accommodate a small table lamp and to give guests a spot to charge their devices.

Why You Need It

As a landing place for bottled water, eyeglasses, and novels napping spine-up.

What to Skip

Anything so art deco that it’s missing a bottom shelf. Guest rooms can use all of the extra storage they can get.


Newlyweds painting their walls in neutral white.

When decorating your first home together, keep it neutral! Choose one paint color for the entire place and agree on pieces that will complement and accentuate each other’s design dreams instead of playing against each other. 


4 Tips for Marrying Your Individual Styles in One Space


1. Choose Fewer Pieces with Higher Quality

Can’t decide on which pieces will best fit each room? Focus less on filling the space and more on what will make the best long-term investment. Pieces can be added later as the budget allows, but cutting corners will just end with replacing low-quality furniture not far down the road. Skimping could end up costing more in the long run.


2. Shop For the Space You Currently Have

It may be tempting to go all out but if the home is more urban boho than Gatsby, back it up by choosing from pieces that reflect the current vibe. It’ll be better for the overall aesthetic and help to narrow down the choices.


3. Go For Neutral Pieces That Are Easy to Decorate Around

Debating between a cherry red velvet sofa and a tan leather couch? Only one of these will be easy to change rugs, curtains, throw pillows and seasonal decor around and to be real, it’s not the cherry red velvet sofa. 


4. Use Comfort as a Tie-Breaker

Don’t let furniture shopping ignite newlywed spats. Use comfort as the tie-breaker on things like living room furniture and dining sets. If one set seems like it’ll be a comfier choice than the other, make it the winner.


Ready to start creating a home together? The experts in the design center at Designer Furniture Gallery will guide your vision with a focus on affordable style that delivers both comfort and quality. Call us at 435-673-2323 to find out how!