10 household items you need to make your Toronto apartment legit

Having an apartment full of Ikea furniture (although there are many great hacks around), 1970s era artwork you picked up from the Sally Ann Thrift Store and everything else scrounged off a Craigslist moving ad is all kosher when you’re just getting started.

But eventually, it becomes time to legitimize your Toronto apartment with some decor that makes it look like you’ve got your sh*t together (whether or not you actually do).

These 10 household items are the trick to graduating your apartment for studentesque slum, to the respectable dwelling of an urban professional.

animal wall art

Go wild.

Wall art

Investment: $100-$800

More than anything, art makes a space look and feel complete. It’s a reflection of your personality and taste, and without it, an apartment looks barren and sad. Find unique, large pieces that reflect your style and hang them with pride in strategic areas, such as over the couch or in long, plain hallways, to add colour and visual interest.


A plant or two

Investment: $20-$100

Having something alive in your apartment makes a big difference to how it feels. Some people go for pets, but plans are easier to care for, more disposable and cheaper if something goes wrong.

A bar cart

Investment: $200-$500

Nothing says “I’ve got my sh*t together” than a Don Draper-inspired bar cart. The cart itself should match your apartment’s style, then make sure you decorate it with some crystal drinkware, accessories and a decanter that’s at least half full of your favourite spirit. The bottom shelf is a great place for a martini shaker and martini glasses, or for a table book on mixology. DIY your bar cart with this Ikea hack.

matching dishes laid out on table

Adulting done right.

Dishes that match

Investment: $100-$300

Serving dinner at a party on mismatched dishes is poor form. Just a few dollars toward a matching set is a big step toward having a put-together household.

A complete set of glasses

Investment: $100-$300

You can’t keep drinking out of plastic cups, or serving wine in the Minnie Mouse coffee mugs you got at Disneyland when you were 12. Pick up a set of water glasses, wine glasses, beer glasses and maybe martini glasses, depending on what you and your crew like to drink.

A complete set of cutlery

Investment: $80-$200

Four forks aren’t enough when you’ve got friends coming over for dinner, and plastic forks aren’t appropriate as stop-gap measures – especially when you’ve been in your apartment for more than three months. Get a complete set of stainless steel cutlery and give any one-offs or mismatched forks, knives or spoons to charity.

A hella good mattress

Investment: $1,000-$3,000

There are so many reasons to get an awesome mattress: 1) You spend 1/3 of your life sleeping. 2) Getting a good night’s sleep will help you perform better at work, school and after hours. 3) If someone comes for a sleep over of sorts, they’ll respect you for your quality mattress choice.

ninja coffee maker

A true essential.

A coffee maker

Investment: $150-$400

There comes a day when morning pit stops at Tim Hortons are more hassle than they’re worth. Having your own coffee machine not only gives you control over the type of coffee you can get (hello, espresso!) but you can enjoy a cuppa on the weekend without getting out of your PJs. Plus, it means you can serve coffee to guests.

Matching towels

Investment: $100-$250

Mismatched towels scream disorganization, whereas a matching set will class up your bathroom in a heartbeat. Get at least six bath towels with matching hand and face towels, and a matching bath mat.

High quality bedding

Investment: $150-$250

Get at least two full sets of sheets with a high thread count. They’ll be soft, they’ll last long without pilling, and they’ll make your bed look gorgeous, inviting and put together.

More tips on making your Toronto apartment the place to be:


Born on the Prairies, Erin Cardone grew up knowing there was more to life than canola fields and AAA Alberta Angus. So she escaped, living in Europe and Australia, white-knuckling it through plates of calf brains and raw horse meat, and learning languages she can't remember anymore. After a stint as a jaded, skeptical journalist, she changed tack and began writing rather awesome blogs and showing businesses that advertising is dead, so long live social media, with her businesses Legendary Social Media. She now splits her time between various Canadian cities, Costa Rica and wherever else the wind blows.

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