Queer Eye's Bobby Berk says these are the pieces you should be investing in at your age...

Who better to talk you through what furniture you should be buying at what stage of your life than Bobby Berk?

Bobby Berk's renovation of his childhood home
(Image credit: Design: Bobby Berk; Photography: @marisavitalephotography)

We turn to Queer Eye's Bobby Berk for many things – decor inspiration, fashion inspiration, cute dog inspiration... so when we saw he had broken down exactly what pieces of furniture you should be investing in at what age, we had to investigate. We need guidance people! Otherwise, we would be stuck with our college mattress, our hand me down sofa and thrifted dining room table forever. 

Bobby has broken it down for us – when and what should we be buying at different stages of life? What should we be collecting in our 20s, investing in in our 30s and splurging on in our 40s...

What furniture should you be buying in your 20s?

So in your 20s you might be going to college, moving out for the first time, starting a new job. Whatever your plan, it tends to be a time of change, and a time of being totally broke. So splurging on velvet sofas and rattan console tables just isn't realistic. Bobby suggests now is the time to buy a good mattress to set you up for the next decade – see our pick of the best mattresses if you need some help. 

If you have the budget for new furniture, pick pieces that are multi-functional – a dining table to double up as a desk, an ottoman with adding storage – you get the gist. Also buy pieces that can update your space easily, like bedding and towels in colors and designs that suit your style. 

What furniture should you be buying in your 30s?

In your 30s you might be a bit more stable (no judgment here if not). You might have a more permanent living set up so you can start buying pieces with a room in mind. Bobby says your 30s are the years to start investing the bigger, more important pieces  – a stylish sofa, a good quality bed, and if you are blessed with outdoor space, some sturdy garden furniture. 

What furniture should you be buying in your 40s?

Now, this is the decade you can start treating yourself – not every piece has to be super practical. Bobby says now you should be buying artwork and prints that reflect your style and bring some personality into your home. Pick up the less sensible pieces you have always wants like cream rugs and glass coffee tables. 

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Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.