The First Home Purchases That Made Us Feel Like Adults

The First Home Purchases That Made Us Feel Like Adults

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Adrienne Breaux
Apr 10, 2016

Do you remember the first thing you bought for your home that really made you feel like an "adult"? In this post: Apartment Therapy editors weigh in on the home purchase that made them feel like an adult for the first time.


(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

Carrie: The velvet loveseat

My first post-college apartment was primarily furnished by items from my roommate's parents' basement. When I moved into a place all my own a few years later I realized I had almost nothing to bring with me except clothes, pots and pans and a kind of awful futon bed that collapsed if you stood on it. I had spent my savings on the broker's fee and security deposit so I lived there a few months before I'd saved up enough to buy something to sit on. I remember taking the free bus to IKEA in New Jersey and deliberating for at least an hour about fabric choices on the loveseat I'd chosen. In the end, I chose a custom blue velvet and when it was delivered, weeks later, I was giddy. I think it cost around $700 which felt like a fortune.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

Adrienne: The vintage lamp

When I was in my very early twenties, I was rocking the "free chic" look in a studio apartment I shared with a then-boyfriend. Everything in the apartment was stuff we got for free because we were young, furniture-less and broke. But then I saw this lamp for sale on Craigslist one day. It was like $40 or $50 (might as well have been a million back then), but I loved the size, the style and the weird vintage texture. I distinctly remember the joy of setting it down on my free table and plugging it in. It was honestly one of the first things I had ever set out to acquire—not just stumble on, accidentally. It sparked a decade-long love of collecting vintage deals and steals from Craigslist and more. I still have that lamp (though it's been rewired) and I can say it was and is still a great buy!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

Tara: A mattress (& not-free bed frame)

My first post-college bed was actually my bed from home. Granted, it was a decent queen mattress inherited from my mother, but once it started pushing two decades (and my back was approaching three), it was time to be a grownup. I found my firm memory foam mattress on Overstock, and took it to next-level adulting by scoring a platform bed frame on sale at West Elm. No more ugly metal frames and lumpy spring mattresses, here—and both were under $500 total.

(Image credit: Taryn Williford)

Taryn: Real art, like from an artist

It was a really simple moment, but I will always remember the distinctly adult-y feeling I got from handing over my credit card in a Dogwood Art Festival booth at Atlanta's Piedmont Park in my early twenties. I was purchasing, for the first time, real art from a real artist: A pair of original photographs by Xavier Nuez, part of his Alleys & Ruins series which captures strangely beautiful, bleak urban settings. My boyfriend and I picked up, unbeknownst to us until we checked the backs of the frames, photos from each other's hometowns (in my hands, Detroit, and in his, Miami). We had to have them, and we've been very adultly collecting Nuez's work ever since.

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