There’s nothing like the feeling of purchasing your own home.

For many, it’s the first time investing in furniture, color schemes, design and more — and just as it is exciting, it can be overwhelming. But no matter how overwhelming it seems, it’s something to be cherished. Interior design — whether it’s your first home as a single woman, a home you’re building with a spouse/partner, or with your family — gives you an opportunity to infuse your personality, and ultimately the home of your dreams.

Looking for a place to start? Adam Tishman, Founder and Co-CEO of Allform, offers some interior design tips for when you’re moving into your first home.

What are the first things every homeowner needs to know?

Instead of buying cheap furniture that will only last a couple of years, it’s important to be selective when it comes to investing in high-quality pieces. Allocate more budget towards furniture that will experience a lot of wear and tear through daily use like a dining table, bed set, or sofa, rather than items like lamps or credenzas.

Customizable, modular sofas are a great option that will offer complete flexibility and reduce the overall costs associated with buying a new sofa for each change in living environment over time. Your first home could be small and only fit a loveseat, but a few years later you could have a home with enough space for a 6-seat corner sectional. Choosing a modular sofa, like Allform, lets homeowners add additional modules to their existing sofa and change the configuration as they grow over the years.

What are the first 5 pieces of furniture you need to have to anchor the space?

For the living room: the sofa is traditionally the focal point of any living room, so choosing a piece that is a style you’ll love for years to come and durable enough so it won’t show wear and tear is crucial. Also, if your living room has hardwood floors, anchoring the room with an area rug can bring cohesion to the space and create a cozy environment.

In the bedroom, your bed, and ultimately your mattress is the most important piece of furniture since you (should) spend 8 hours on it each night. Allform’s sister brand, Helix makes mattresses designed for different sleeping styles so you don’t have to compromise on your sleep quality.

Wherever you dine, if it’s the counter or a formal dining room, good dining chairs or stools where you eat can be the difference between having your friends skip out quickly after dinner or staying well past dessert, chatting. Invest in comfortable chairs that will make your guests at ease from appetizers to dessert.  Lighting is often underrated but so important to the feel of the room. Whether you’re buying light fixtures or lamps, make sure to choose the right light bulbs that will help you create the environment you’re after. 

What are key tips for selecting the best pieces of furniture?

Invest in high-quality pieces that are durable and resistant to scratches, spills, and stains. When it comes to sofas, look for a frame made of solid wood that won’t warp over time, and choose a fabric that has a double rub count score above 15,000, which is considered “heavy-duty” and one that is treated against spills and stains, so it can be easily cleaned.