A long-term strategy for furnishing your place is always a good idea. You should always look to build a collection of high-quality pieces that will work from your first solo rental to a long-term home.

You want to avoid buying something just to fill a temporary space. Even when your living arrangements are in flux, you can gradually build a foundation of key pieces that will work anywhere. For these pieces, it’s worth saving for the highest quality you can afford. It will save you money in the long run, because you will have to buy only once, instead of making serial purchases of lower-quality furniture.

All of the eight pieces described here are highly portable and versatile — plus, they are design classics, so they will always work no matter how your taste evolves.

1 – An accent chair. You can easily find single chairs at antique shops and flea markets for a lower price. You can also go for something more specific and eccentric like our Ginger Rocker Arm Chair that carries a lovely shape and whose color allows you to use it anywhere in your home. 

accent chair
Ginger Rocker Arm Chair

2 – A patterned rug. A small patterned rug is ideal in any living room. Once you move to a bigger space, you can layer it over a larger natural-fiber rug to fill that space.

Choose the highest quality you can afford and think timeless. Vintage kilims and Oriental rugs are perfect, but new designs can be just as worthy.

Bar Stools

3 – An ornamental tray. A decorator essential that can be used to make just about anything attractive. Use one to keep books topped with sculptural objects, collect mail by the front door or as a bar area. You can even place one over an ottoman to turn it into a coffee table.

What to look for: Choose a tray that meshes with your design style and be sure it isn’t too big for your table.

ornamental tray

4 – Pretty textiles. Vintage linens, Kantha quilts, Suzanis, and Moroccan wedding quilts, are all worth having because you can always find a use for them. Draped over furniture or hung on the wall, textiles are an easy way to give a space a lift. Plus, you can easily fold and store the ones you are not currently using.

Bedroom sets

5 – A chest of drawers. A small dresser can work as a capacious bedside table, an entryway organizer, or extra storage in the living room.

Wood versions give the most durability. The vintage look of a Tracy Wood Dresser is sure to be a perfect fit for any space.

Bedroom storage

6 – A set of chairs with good shape. As long as they aren’t too big, a pair of armchairs will work well even in a small apartment, and they sure can make a room look finished and cozy.

Arm chairs

7 – A comfy lounge chair. The Eames Lounge Chairs are some of the best pieces of furniture because you can use one just about anywhere and it will look fantastic. You could even place one at the foot of your bed, creating the ultimate comfort zone.

Dinning sets

8 – A beautiful mirror. Placed over your dresser, it helps you as you get ready each morning. But a lovely mirror will always find a place in your home. From the entrance to the bathroom, every room could use a mirror.