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Whether you’re moving into your first apartment or a new rental, there’s always a myriad of things to consider. But perhaps the first and foremost is your budget. While your stylish eye wants all the designer pieces, your frugal purse is looking at those luxury look-alikes with an affordable price tag. But it is possible to achieve a happy compromise. Low-cost decor that looks expensive really exists.

A multipurpose table: Make sure the dining table you choose has ample room to accommodate unexpected guests, and if you don’t have the space for a large table, simply choose a design that’s extendable. Find furniture that works hard for the money and looks good doing it.

Stylish storage: Despite your best efforts to keep clutter to a minimum, life happens, and inevitably our homes fill up with stuff from the kitchen counters to the bathroom drawers. Stop your mess in its tracks with storage that looks like stylish decor and makes chaos look chic.

A chic rug: No home, whether it’s your first or not, is complete without a rug (or three). It’s the single most transformative thing you can do to any space, aside from paint. We recommend a jute or a flat-weave style. It’s incredibly hardy so it withstands any spills or wear and tear, but we love it for layering with — it’s the one home hack that transitions your home to winter. Throw a vintage or colorful small rug over the top for instant texture and visual flavor.

Sleek lighting: When you move into a new rental, the space doesn’t always come with stylish lighting. In fact, it’s typically mismatched, cheap (not in a good way), and dated. It’s one of the first things Athena Calderone switches out. “The best thing about a lighting investment is you can take it with you when you leave,” she told MyDomaine. If you can’t swap the pendant lights, purchase some polished table lamps to spruce up a dimly lit corner or side table.

Luxe bedding: When you consider how much time you spend in it, it’s pretty easy to see why luxury bedding is a prerequisite for any new home. If you love the new messy bed trend too, make sure you add linen sheets to your cart. This beautiful fabric feels just as good as it looks and adds an instant air of luxury to any boudoir. While they’re typically very costly, you can source some cost-effective sets from H&M.

Elevated dishware: Whether you plan on hosting guests for refined dinner parties or prefer to dine alone, you should always keep your buffet or kitchen cupboard well-stocked with upscale dining sets.

Clean towels: Before you move in, it’s time to toss all your tired, ratty towels and replace them with fresh ones that match your new space. While you can certainly spend a fortune on towels, there are plenty of luxe low-cost versions that look the part but won’t break the bank.

A comfortable couch: If there is one thing every living room needs, it’s a cozy sofa that looks designer but doesn’t make your credit card go into hiding. You also want it to be durable and withstand house parties and movie nights. Because spills happen.

Get the latest on home decor trends, design ideas, shopping guides and food news, and take a look inside your favorite celebrity homes on DomaineHome.com.

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