Your first grown-up apartment: This is the one address you’ll never forget. It’s the place that will deliver you from the cramped annoyance of dorm life and the rules and regulations of living with mom and dad. Whether you’re moving in with friends or flying solo, your 20-something crash pad can be the most fun you’ll have in your young adult years.

I’m reliving the fun of this discovery through the eyes of my friend Josh. After a long and torturous stint with four – count ’em, four – male roommates in Sun Valley, he’s finally gotten his own place in North Hollywood.

His new place is perfect: It’s architecturally unique with its hexagonal lines and split-level floor design. But more important, it’s cheap.

Still, Josh has one major issue, and that’s furnishing his place. Where does one go for high-quality but inexpensive housewares? Well, the answer is just a mouse click away. There are a number of excellent retail outlets as well as online-only businesses that cater to all your decorating whims.

Need a good sofa but don’t want to dumpster dive for one? Try Home Reserve ( This furniture company is a blast. Home Reserve is unique because it offers high-end sofas, chairs and loveseats with built-in storage at a fraction of the cost of big chain stores.

How can they afford to sell glamorous couches for $300? Well, there’s the kicker. You build everything yourself. Yup.

Just choose from one of Home Reserve’s many styles, color and fabric swatches. Place your order and wait for your new sofa, sectional or chair to arrive – disassembled in two very large boxes.

Now, at first, this might appear a bit daunting. As a matter of fact, I ordered my sofa and loveseat from this company back in early 2008 and actually cried when I saw all the components laid out in front of me. However, in just one hour, I was able to put my items together all by myself with no help. It was that easy.

The furniture at Home Reserve is stain resistant, chic and INCREDIBLY comfortable. It’s also sturdy. I’ve done all kinds of shenanigans on my sofa (I’ll leave you to fill in the blanks for yourself.), and there’s nary a scratch or blemish on it at all.

Want to trick out your apartment with a quirky touch of cool? Look no further than Urban Outfitters ( With stores all over the city, you’ll be able to check out funky accessories up close and personal.

I like shopping on because I can peruse the various styles and put together a wild look at once. Josh likes the unisex nature of the merchandise; he can find items that are masculine, but will still be interesting conversation pieces whenever he’s entertaining the ladies.

A couple of added bonuses are that this company offers excellent sales on its items. And, whatever you purchase on the Web site, you can return at any of the stores in the event that it doesn’t live up to your expectations.

Josh is a huge proponent of sustainable shopping.

“There’s always good, cheap stuff on craigslist,” he says.

You can find deals on electronics and furnishings at the online powerhouse. If you’re into recycling old stuff instead of buying new, then this is your hub. Shopping on c-list is also a blast because every so often, you’ll find somebody who will be willing to do a trade or barter for something that you no longer want.

Finally, one must not discount the bigger chain stores such as IKEA ( and Living Spaces ( Since the economy tanked, many corporations are trying harder and harder to turn a profit. As a result, they’re dropping prices like hot potatoes.

Living Spaces has a number of wonderful deals on its merchandise. Get a sofa, coffee table, two end tables and accessories for $995. There are also steals on dining sets as well. Contact the store to see what’s been marked down recently.

Josh picked up a sick 12-piece package from Jennifer Sofas & Sofabeds ( For just $599 (plus a small delivery fee), he’s now the proud owner of a plush sofa, chair, coffee table, end tables, lamps and area rug. What’s more, he had a blast flirting with the cute sales girls who were extremely impressed with his excellent taste.