Nesting with Intent– Setting Up a First Home in Style

Cassandra Turner

Interior Designer

The end of the year is calling. University semesters are almost complete, school only has 5 weeks to go… and there’s a big chance that there’s more than a few baby birds ready to leave the nest.

We have all done it at some stage and most of us know there are a few different paths to setting up a first pad. You can collect unwanted pieces from family and friends, (in other words, raid Mum and Dad’s house for the best pieces), scour Ebay and its companions for items that have done it all before, or hit the old faithful’s (I’m looking at you, Ikea) to get the look-for-less. The great thing about all these tried and true options is they work. With time, energy and persistence you can pull together enough pieces to pad out your floorspace and rock the “I’ve just moved out of home look”. And that’s not to say it can’t be done well.

However, there is another option to consider.

I call it “nesting with intent”. Rather then piecing together items that you know either a/ you don’t like now or b/ you wont like in 12 months, recalibrate your short term budget focus and consider the time and money you will save in the long run by purchasing quality pieces that are both transportable and multifunctional that you can use for years to come as your little nest grows and your floor space expands. I don’t believe in the unwritten rule (that we all seem to accept) that first homes should be piecemeal and eclectic. It may come down to the old idea of living with less. Don’t forget that all the items you collect at this point just become clutter as you purchase more items down the track.

Because I want to see every little bird fly in style, I’ve scoured the hood to find items that will more than satisfy your inner desire for beauty, functionality and longevity – not to mention potentially lowered stress levels (I’m looking at you again, Ikea), as well as a few first-home items that might otherwise find you spending hours trudging through supermarkets and hardware stores. Bor-ring.

And, Mum and Dad, if you just want the best for your (not so little) little one, consider the gift of quality, longevity and an item or items that will be treasured for years to come.



The Malle W Trousseau is the ultimate one-hit kitchen fairy. Presented in a cardboard display box that looks good enough to keep, it’s filled with a section of the most beautiful, high quality, cutting, cooking and containing items you could need in one kitchen. Sourced from the best suppliers around the world and collected into one beautiful pack. Kitchen, sorted.



A modular sofa, such as Koskela’s Quadrant, can be altered to fit your now space and your later space. The individual sections are so stylish they also work as occasional chairs without looking lonely. Designed and manufactured in Australia, available in fabric or leather. Like all Koskela products, it’s made to last and keep forever. Single seat from RRP$1450 from  www



Dining tables are where we gather to feed our bodies and our souls, come together with friends and family, talk, laugh and debate. Buying a quality dining table that will stay with you for years means you take the beautiful energy it carries with you.   To overcome any size issues, an extendable dining table can alter its dimensions as required for not only the occasion, but the space, meaning it’s a great option for both small spaces (just open it for entertaining) and fitting into a new space sometime in the future. Pictured here, the Milano table from Bo Concept. RRP $4,429 



This Australian designed and made shape shifter is only limited by your imagination and your needs. Also available as a dining table (yes a dining table that pulls apart!), the coffee tables are sold as individual wedges, which you can lock together to adapt as you require… make them into a large coffee table, change its shape, pull it apart, use the smaller wedges as occasional or bedside tables. Its an item that can be with your forever, in all its different forms. Fractal Coffee Table from RRP $245



Not every home has built-in wardrobes. The Loop Stand Wardrobe by Hay will rescue you in every way, including adding a cool, minimal feel to your space. Use it as everyday clothes storage or in addition to a wardrobe to plan outfits or display your favourite pieces. It’s the sort of stand that wants to be on show and be in your life for a long time.RRP $530 



Uashmama Laundry Bag – So laundry bags aren’t major furniture items, but we all need them and who wants an ugly, throw-away laundry bag? These ingenious laundry bags, made in Italy from 100% washable paper, look gorgeous and are designed to fit into all manner of tight and tricky laundry and cupboard spaces. Buy single bags and grow the collection as your home or wardrobe gets bigger. The interlocking system keeps them neat and allows for sorting colours or fabrics, or keeping your flatmates clothes separate to yours. From RRP $79.00


Good art is an investment, as it should be. And, it’s something that definitely should be with you through life.   Art brings colour, mood and emotion to a space and works to imbue the space with the personality of the owner. However, buying great art takes time. Rather than live with blank walls, Artbank leases Australian artists’ works in the same way you would lease a car. It means that you can have original art in your home without the commitment, time or up-front investment. When the lease is up, you can choose another piece. Genius. From $165 per year.


Sagitine Storage – One of the keys to making a space look and feel good is lack of clutter and well-organised storage. Sagtine produce some of the most stunning storage solutions I have seen. Made from coated FSC certified and acid free paper they are designed to last and to care for beautiful clothes, shoes and accessories. Stack the individual boxes as you choose, or select the shoe or box storage stands to use in the bedroom or hallway. They have a luxe leather look, that gleams in black and pops in white with contrasting handles and timber tops on the stands. Multi-purpose, easy to transport and ridiculously beautiful. From RRP $45



Murchison Hume Home Starter Kit – Everyone needs to clean. And whilst you can’t pass these down or keep them forever, you may find you never want to switch brands. They look beautiful, smell beautiful and are full of good-for-the-environment and your-health plant-based ingredients. Escape the drudgery of selecting cleaners for the whole house and grab a starter pack for every area. Use the time you have saved enjoying a glass of champagne in your new home. RRP $92.55



Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of these three laser cut aluminium plates, they may just become the most functional piece of furniture you own. Cleverly tiered at seat, bench and workspace height, the three levels swing out around a central pole to create anything you can imagine. Use it as a sideboard, a bookshelf, a workbench, an entertaining servery, a storage unit, a dressing table, a desk or a seat flanked by plants. It’s the sort of piece you would always find a use for. And its called Beryl. Everyone needs a Beryl. RRP$2660


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