The 3 Furniture Essentials You Need To Set Up A New Home

Because sitting on a milk crate while eating off your lap just won't cut it.

These days it's entirely possible to go with a more-is-more approach to furniture and homewares.

All it takes is one weekend trip to IKEA and BOOM your tiny flat is full to the brim with a modular sofa, two pouffes and a storage system with a name you can't pronounce.

But with space, sanity and not to mention money all a premium for many people, we were keen to find out which key items of furniture you really need to get by when you're first setting up your pad.

To get the furniture 411 we went straight to the top and chatted with IKEA's head of design himself, Marcus Engman, who was in the country for the first-ever Australian Democratic Design Days, a three-day celebration of all things Swedish design.

Engman told ten daily that his personal approach to building a better life at home is surprisingly simple, and it doesn't involve a shopping list of products.

To get his tick of approval, things -- whether that's a shower curtain, lamp or doorknob -- must adhere to two principles: it must be functional and make day-to-day life easier, and it must have an element of beauty to  it.

With that in mind, Engman was more than happy to recommend just three pieces of furniture that he says are essential for setting up a new home.

READ MORE: IKEA Meatballs To Get Roo-diculously Yummy Aussie Makeover

Best of all, they're cost-effective meaning you can invest as little as possible but still build a functional, cozy space.

And here's a hint -- neither the best-selling Billy bookcase or Lack side table made Engman's the list.

A bed

To Engman, a bed is the most versatile item in a home.

His tip? "You can turn a bed into a sofa with cushions."

A table

You can use a table for so many different things -- working, eating, entertaining.

"Choose something solid wood so you can use it both indoors and outdoors," Said Engman.

A set of stools

A stool is one of Engman's favorite pieces because they're so versatile -- it's a small ladder in the kitchen to reach high cupboards, a bedside table or a pot plant stand.

Cluster a few around a sofa to use as a nest of coffee tables. Like we said, it beats eating off your lap.

Feature image: Getty.