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Design Tips Featured

Styles of Furniture: Find Your Style

How do you figure out your style?

Many of us struggle with figuring out the technical term for furniture design style or styles we like. We may know which styles we like by appearance but cannot explain this when in a conversation with a furniture sales person or in a casual conversation. Do not fret! We’ve identified the six main styles that will help you figure out what you like and put a name to it. 

We have created a quick and easy quiz you can take to figure out which style or styles best suits you! 

The Six Main Furniture Styles:

Here you can learn a bit more about each style before you begin the Find Your Style quiz!

Bohemian

About This Style:

You love a relaxed, personal, and eclectic aesthetic, with global influences. Layers of earthy colors with jewel tones on top of natural textures and interesting patterns are a recipe for perfection. For you, more is more, and you never want two rooms to ever feel the same.

Contemporary

About This Style:

You love simplicity yet love your space to have a subtle sophistication to it. Whether it’s the paint colour, art on the wall or furniture within your room, you embrace the use of bold stylish elements within your space. You appreciate the use of texture and clean lines throughout. Whether it’s bold colours or neutral tones, there is always a stand-out piece in your space. You want to create a comfortable yet sophisticated place with high impact to entertain your guests. 

Glam

About This Style:

You love a room that screams drama and sophistication. You prefer luxurious fabrics, metallic, lacqured, and mirrored surfaces, combined with bold accent colours, ornamental details, and geometric patterns. Your space is upscale and elegant but creates a feel that is still refined.

 
Industrial

About This Style:

You love the idea of combining the old with the new by mixing streamlined and vintage decor in open concept spaces that still feel lived in. You like to be surrounded by raw and distressed materials that include wood, stone, leather, and metal. You prefer exposed elements with an unfinished feel. Your ideal colour palette is dark with rich, warm hues that is still neutral and simple.

Modern

About This Style:

You embrace functionality but still want your space to feel stylish. You are drawn to clean lines with minimal embellishment. You either love the feel of a cool minimalist modern design, the simple neutral aesthetic of Scandinavian design, or the sleek and warm organic shapes of Mid-Century design. Overall you desire your space to feel symmetrical and cohesive, creating a feeling of simplicity and calm where you can relax after a long day.

Traditional

About This Style:

You love timeless design that incorporate elements from different styles, with a focus on creating comfortable yet elegant spaces. There is a focus on warm and organic materials, blending together sophisticated and contemporary pieces with more comfortable and relaxed elements. You want your space to feel inviting and a place where you can put your feet up but also entertain your friends and family. 

Ready to figure out which styles you are?

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Airbnb Furnishing Design Tips Featured Furnishing 101

The Cost of Furnishing an Apartment: A Step-By-Step Guide With Breakdown Of Furniture Costs

Planning a big move? The cost of furnishing a home from scratch might not be what you expect. Whether you’re relocating for work or finally making the leap to live on your own, you have a lot to consider. Your moving budget has got to cover all those pesky move-in fees: the increased costs of rent, utilities, and internet.

And what about furnishing? If you have furniture but can’t decide which furniture to bring with you, read our post Three Ways to Decide Which Furniture to Bring When You Relocate. If need to buy everything from scratch, need some help what furniture to buy, then read on!

This post takes you step-by-step through the entire process of how to furnish an apartment from scratch. We even use a real case study from to illustrates the common benefits and pitfalls of furnishing an apartment. 

Key Topics About The Cost Of Furnishing An Apartment

Want us to furnish your apartment in a day? Click here to submit a design request

 

Where to start? The REAL cost of furnishing an apartment.

We’re about to break down the cost of furnishing an apartment from scratch. But first, some real talk.

 

Open living dining room with white walls, New York Apartment

You’re probably thinking, sofa, TV, mattress — easy! Shouldn’t cost more than a couple hundred here and there. 

The truth is that you need more than just these three items to live an adult life. How your home is set up has a huge influence on your lifestyle and social life!

A truly upgraded and adult space should have a few more furnishings, such as an armchair, a coffee table, a dresser, sturdy and stylish dining set for entertaining to feel like a home. But we’ll cover essential and bonus furnishings in a bit.

 

Okay, now let’s think through the entire moving process. Not only do you need to buy furniture from stores with quality stuff, you will also need to coordinate the move and assemble it all. 

Ultimately, no matter how much you plan for it furnishing is no easy task! The last thing you want is your TV sitting on the floor for 2 weeks because you forgot to buy a TV stand that matches your living room décor. Or to discover that your closet space is actually too small so you end up living out of your suitcase until you get a dresser. EVERYONE has been there!

This guide will show you how to prevent a worst case scenario by avoiding the biggest moving mistake of all, which is UNDER-budgeting your furniture + move-in costs. 

 Your Budget vs. Cost of Furnishing

The cost of furnishing the entire apartment or house varies a lot based on room sizes and your personal style. Nevertheless, everyone can get a nice home in a reasonable budget. We have built a budget calculator for furnishing a home based on room sizes. Try it out and see what type of a design you can get within these budget ranges. 

To shed some light on the true cost of furnishing, we invited one of our recent customers, Lucy, to share her journey with us. We had a detailed chat about her experience through the “Three Stages of Moving”: confidence, anxiety, and finally, relief! (Spoiler alert: Lucy was super happy with her new place, which was actually furnished in a single day.)

 

At the beginning of her planning process, Lucy felt armed with her knowledge and experience from previous moves. She made a realistic “furnish from scratch” budget based on shopping only at IKEA. Sure, the store wasn’t Lucy’s top pick in terms of quality, but she wanted to avoid the stress of searching at multiple stores for coordinating furniture. Do you think her budget is realistic?

Here, you can see our case study client Lucy’s first draft of a moving budget. At this stage, she hopes to furnish her apartment from scratch for a total cost of $1,985.

Furniture Budget for a 1-bedroom apartment

 Definitely a modest budget. Plus, she’s moved before… no sweat! Right??

Unfortunately, this budget needs some changes. Take a breath and bear with us. The costs of furniture on her list may have been accurate during Lucy’s college days, but inflation, labour and gas prices have all increased since then. Even Lucy was surprised once she began to shop online.

When she started adding items to her virtual shopping cart, her total estimated cost came in OVER BUDGET by 55%  — and that was just with IKEA furniture!

Even if you’re a thoughtful planner like Lucy, you might be shocked by the total price of furnishing an apartment. But if you want to do it right, you need to ask yourself which kind of furniture you want. High-quality, stylish furniture that will last is a smart investment.

Okay, so what IS a reasonable budget for furnishing a studio or one-bedroom apartment?

studio layout

First, let’s find high-quality furniture. You need to graduate from your IKEA days! The furniture in your new home should be stylish and high-quality, especially if you’re making a big move or starting a new job.

The way you live is dictated by where you place the furniture. That’s the beauty and power of interior design. If you place a chair by the window, you’ll sit by the window and enjoy the view. If you use broken hand me downs, you’ll never feel like an adult.

PRO TIP: Plan your furnishing budget around high-quality basics.

 

We’re going to review the 3 – 4 pieces of essential furniture for your living room, plus 3 essential pieces for your bedroom. Then we’ll show you the cost breakdown of bare basic items for furnishing both a living room & bedroom.

Let’s get started with cost specifics!

Cost Breakdown Of Furnishing Your New Living Room

Average Retail Cost to Furnish a Basic Living Room?
$2,050 – 3,150

Here’s a breakdown of essential living room furniture (sofa + coffee table + floor lamp) and their typical retail costs. Remember, this is brand new furniture directly from the retailer.

  1. ITEM ONE. Sofa + Accent Chair, or Sectional Sofa: $1800-2600

    • Your layout determines which item you need.
    • If you have a wide living space, use a 3-seater sofa and an accent chair to create a conversational seating arrangement. Generally, people don’t like to sit next to each other in a sofa even if it’s a wide one.  Therefore, adding an accent chair opposite to the sofa will create a conversational environment. Try mixing different fabrics/textures to make the setting more intentional and ‘designer’.
    • Otherwise, if you have a small living space, use a sectional sofa. Remember, the smaller the space you have, the fewer pieces of furniture you should have!
  2. ITEM TWO. Coffee Table: $120-260

    • How do I choose a coffee table?
    • A coffee table provides a necessary surface area to place drinks and snacks. Many coffee table designs have additional storage. Try to use as much multi-functional furniture as possible!
    • Keep in mind that cost will increase as the piece shows more style and function. If you’re excited about multi-purpose furniture, look for lift-top coffee tables that become workstations or dining tables.
    • Another thing to keep in mind for multi-purpose furniture is that most people get lazy in changing the configuration of the furniture, so make sure your multi-purpose furniture is easy to change into its different purposes.
  3. ITEM THREE. Floor Lamp: $130-290

    • This is a big one!
    • Many apartments don’t come with ceiling lights. Whether you get much sunlight or not through the windows, you will need at least one floor lamp. Trust us on this one!
    • PRO TIP: Note the locations of all your outlets to help you plan your lighting scheme.

Your total cost to furnish a living room will be between $2,050 – 3,150 if you use traditional retailers. Sticker shock? Here’s a secret…

Full retail cost is actually more expensive! You can save loads of money by cutting out the middle man, and going directly to a furnishing company. 

Want to see an example of what we mean? Check out the table below.

Here’s a price comparison of how much cheaper your living room could be (on the left) if you buy from a direct furnishing company like Furnishr versus more expensive retailers like WestElm or Crate & Barrel (on the right side). These are the average prices for products with decent quality.

 

cost of furnishing a living room price comparison table

Cost Breakdown of Furnishing a Basic Bedroom

Average Retail Cost to Furnish a Basic Bedroom?
$880 – 2,300

You’ve planned your living room, so now you need bedroom furniture! Here’s a breakdown of essential bedroom furniture (bed frame + mattress + nightstand) and their typical retail costs. Remember, this is the cost of brand new furniture directly from the retailer. 

Essential Bedroom Furniture and Typical Retail Costs

  1. ITEM ONE. Bed Frame: $400-800

    • Obviously this is an unavoidable cost! There are many options for bed frames, like storage drawers or lift-up under-bed storage. Again, the more storage, the more you’ll pay.
    • A bed should be made to last, so consider it a key investment piece. Don’t skimp!
    • A nice headboard can also serve as a statement design item in the bedroom, so it’s important that you love the headboard!
  2. ITEM TWO. Mattress: $300-1200

    • A good mattress is the key to a good night’s sleep, so definitely don’t skimp here either.
    • There are many different kinds, like memory foam and spring mattresses. But don’t worry, mattress technology has advanced so much over the past decade that it’s actually difficult to find an uncomfortable mattress unless you’re an extremely picky sleeper.
    • Choose a mattress (and bed) size that fits properly in your bedroom. You want plenty of room to sprawl out in bed, naturally, but remember that you also need enough space to move around the room comfortably. Nothing creates dead energy in a bedroom quicker than a poorly sized bed.
    • Make sure your mattress is at least 8″ thick to ensure all the foams and padding are thick and high-quality.
  3. ITEM THREE. Nightstand(s): $180-300 each

    • You need at least one surface area next to the bed for a table lamp, an alarm clock, your phone or a book.
    • PRO TIP: Check for outlets! Place the nightstand closer to the side with an outlet for charging all your electronics.
    • Nightstand sizes vary. Pick one that fits with the size of your bedroom, and also that will fit everything you typically keep beside your bed.
    • If your bed is not against a wall (or window), use two nightstands (one for each side of the bed) to create a symmetrical look.

Now let’s do a price comparison. How does the cost of bedroom furniture change if you buy it from Furnishr versus a retailer? 

Cost of Furnishing – Bedroom Furniture Price Comparison

bedroom furnishing table

(P.S. When choosing your furniture, make sure you choose pieces that “spark joy”.)

Wait! Remember, you do need to plan for some additional furnishing costs to help get that “Designed” look.

Bookshelf with tree accessorized to achieve a Now you know how to budget for the essentials when furnishing an apartment from scratch.

So once you cover the basic pieces (bed frame and coffee table), you’re free to add more style and more function to your space. So let’s level up. You may as well plan for your best life if you’re planning a move anyway!

In this next section, we’ll cover the items that can transform a house into a home.

These items are optional, but they definitely level up your space in terms of usability and aesthetic appeal. For these items, the interior design “rules” become a bit trickier — for instance, how on earth do you choose the correct size for an area rug?

You definitely want to avoid a mismatched set of furniture in your home.

Need some visual inspiration first? Go check out these beautifully styled rooms that can be achieved with high OR low budgets:

  1. A snow-white LIVING ROOM from $2400 to $9100
  2. An elegant contemporary BEDROOM from $3800 to $10,000
  3. A simple eclectic DINING / BREAKFAST NOOK from $1400 to $10,700

Excited yet? Feeling overwhelmed? No worries! Get a free design proposal from Furnishr to see 2-3 design options for your whole apartment.

Just answer a few questions about who you are and what your space is like, and you’ll get a custom proposal in 1-2 days. Each design includes all the furniture for your entire home. They also set up the whole home in a day, just like a home make-over show!

If you are committed to a picture-perfect apartment, then you’ll need some extra furnishings to take it up a notch. Now let’s get back to the bonus furnishing tips.

Non-Essential Furniture and Their Typical Retail Costs

Here’s what our interior design team recommends for optional, bonus furnishings.

  1. ITEM ONE. TV Stand (or Sideboard): $400-700

    • For small spaces, a TV stand can be the only storage piece you have. Because of this, invest in one with ample storage compartments.
    • However, if space is really limited, do without the TV stand. Get a storage coffee table instead and mount the TV onto the wall.
  2. ITEM TWO. Side Table(s): $100-200 each

    • Give yourself more places to put lamps, glasses, and decor items!
    • Each side table should be at least 18″ wide to hold everything safely. You need room for a few small knick knacks, and several drinking glasses.
  3. ITEM THREE. Area Rug: $290-500 (depending on size)

    • The standard size is 5×8′, then the next size up is 8×10′.
    • In living rooms, the rug size should be proportional to the size of your living area. Measure your sofa and coffee table and make sure both front legs of your sofa can be on the rug. If your coffee table is centred on the rug, have at least 18″ of walkway between the coffee table and any surrounding furniture.
    • For bedrooms, the rug should be near the foot of the bed with at least 30% of the rug under the bed. Just like in the living room, both legs of the bed should fit comfortably on top of the rug.
    • Bedroom rugs should be gentle, both in texture and color. You want to feel softness on your feet every morning when you get out of bed. You also want to see enough of the rug so you can really appreciate the patterns and colours on it!
  4. ITEM FOUR. Dresser: $400-800

    • A dresser should have at least two drawers.
    • In small bedrooms, you could use a small chest of drawers to serve as your nightstand. This saves you the cost of a nightstand and saves space while providing more drawers for storage.

If your budget and/or space are limited, that’s okay!

Just make sure that you have covered the 3 – 4 pieces of essential furniture for both your living room and bedroom. The rest can follow later. It takes time to furnish a space from scratch if you’re doing it yourself.

 

To review, here are the cost breakdowns of living room / bedroom, and essential / nonessential furniture for your new place:

 

• Total costs for essential living room furniture will be: $2050 to $3150

• Total costs for essential bedroom furniture will be: $880 to $2300. 

• Total costs for nonessential furnishings will be: $1190 to $2200.

 

OVERALL FURNITURE costs for JUST ESSENTIALS:  $2930 to $5450. 

OVERALL FURNITURE costs for ESSENTIALS + NONESSENTIALS: $4100 to $7600.

In short, $3500-5800 should be the total range of cost of furnishing an apartment with just the essential furniture.

Living Room Essentials
Bedroom Essentials
Bonus Items
Sofa $1800 – 2500Bed $400 – 800TV Stand / Sideboard $400 – 650
Coffee Table $120 – 260Mattress $300 – 1200Side Table(s) $100 – 200 each
Floor Lamp $130 – 290Nightstand(s) $180 – 300Area Rug $280 – 480
  Dresser $400 – 800
$2,050 to $3,150$880 to $2,300$1,180 to $2,130
Okay, one more thing to consider. What about the cost of your time?

Don’t Forget the Time & Hassle of Moving!

Remember our case study, Lucy? All she wanted to do was prepare for her new job.

But there are additional time and energy costs associated with furnishing.

DELIVERIES

How much is your time really worth? What is your plan for handling furniture?

You could rent a truck or get some friends to help you with the moving, setup and cleaning. You could also get it delivered in multiple shipments. You will need to coordinate each delivery with your new building, and remember to book the service elevator.

• Did you know most furniture stores can’t guarantee your furniture will arrive all at once? 

• And your delivery costs could range from $150 to $300 per item per store

Before you buy, remember that most delivery services drop off items on different days, and many don’t include assembly. 

ASSEMBLY

Once you finally have all your unassembled furniture, then you have to assemble it. Doing it yourself is time consuming, and hiring a handyman to assemble your furniture can cost you an additional $30-50/hour. And when assembly is done, what about the boxes and clean up? You would have to cut up the boxes or fold them down in order to fit them into your building’s recycling bins.

But there is an easier way.

Ultimately, Lucy found a way to furnish her apartment completely from scratch and all in a single day, with no need to assemble anything or clean up.

You don’t need to take vacation days to stay home and wait for multiple furniture deliveries!

Your new job is starting soon, and your official move-in day is rapidly approaching! You know what you want your new apartment to look like. You’re feeling ready. Well, almost.

How can you make this move easy for your future self? Your future self probably wants to start a new adventure without the stress and anxiety of managing all this annoying moving stuff. We’ve got your back.

Ready to see how Lucy solved all her moving & furnishing difficulties with a single, comprehensive solution?

CASE STUDY: Lucy’s Studio

Lucy ended up using Furnishr and purchased a comprehensive furnishing package, completely avoiding the stress of furnishing her studio apartment alone. She spent a few minutes gathering accurate measurements of her new space, and then took a brief style quiz for her designer.

She was paired with Elle, one of Furnishr’s dedicated designers. Together they chose the perfect items to fit Lucy’s budget and her style preferences.

  • Size of Lucy’s studio: 350 square feet
  • Lucy’s furnishing budget: $2900-3200 USD

Lucy’s living space is small, but it’s a good rectangular space that can easily be segmented into a living room and separate sleeping area.

Just 15 days after placing her order, every single piece was delivered and set up in Lucy’s studio, all in a single day.

Here’s how Lucy furnished her studio, from empty room to mood board to finished and styled!

Empty and dark studio apartment, unfurnished
Lucy’s Empty Studio Apartment

Studio furniture board

Lucy received all the above items in her $2999 USD Furnishr package. She was super happy to pay for a comprehensive service and save time and money on the furniture, delivery, and assembly.

“I can’t believe I furnished the whole apartment for just $3000 without doing any work.The transformation was miraculous!

Studio of Lucy
Here is the final layout of Lucy’s studio space.

The biggest lesson? Lucy realized her time is actually worth more than a bit of savings, especially in the midst of a big life change. Maybe it was on moving day that somebody coined the phrase  ‘Time is money!’ 

Whew! What have we learned?

Moving is stressful — but that means that you’re trying something new and exciting. So congrats! You are well on your way to furnishing an amazing apartment.

Moving and furnishing an empty apartment is no walk in the park, but Furnishr can make it easier.

SUMMARY of the best ways to furnish your space:

First, save money by furnishing with a single company. The retail costs of Lucy’s furniture would have been at least 20% more if she went elsewhere.

Second, collaborate with a trained designer to save time and prevent mistakes. Lucy got the added benefit of working with a trained interior design consultant to create her perfect apartment, wrapped into the cost of finding furniture. There are a lot of surprising hidden perks to working with an interior design consultant.

If you are planning a move, bookmark this page and get a custom proposal for furnishing your own space. (It’s right over there, where it says “Get Started” —>).

Furnishr wants to help you save time and create a nicely furnished home with high-quality furnishings.

Our goal is to make your move easy, wherever your next adventure takes you. So do right by your future self, and go check out your options to Get A Custom Design ASAP.

Good luck!

Want us to furnish your apartment?

Complete a design request and we will show you design packages that fit you!
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Design Tips Other

Best ROI on House Renovations

Every part of your house has a different value, according to the real estate market. If you are thinking about renovating, you should start to research the ROI (return on investment) for different parts of your home. For instance, will a new bathroom or a new kitchen have a bigger impact on the value of your home? This article is going to cover the best ROI on house renovations.

a plastic covered windowsill holds paintbrushes, tape, and a paintroller

If you’re a first-time home buyer, then you should use this article to help you assess potential properties. Buying a house is considered one of the most important financial decisions in an individual’s life. It’s not just about investing money, but also your time and your effort! Maybe you want to buy a house with a lesser quality kitchen, and plan to renovate it yourself. Remember that a simple paint job and high quality furniture can make any home comfortable.

Or if you are already a homeowner, you can make plans to increase the value of your home!

Why should I renovate?

A house is a reflection of the people who live there. If you move into a new house, it’s unlikely that it will perfectly meet your needs or reflect your style. And on the other hand, if you have been living in the same house for many years, then your taste has probably changed!

It takes a lot of effort to convert a house into a home, and that’s the ultimate reason behind renovations and home makeovers. You’ll feel more at home while you live there. And if you ever decide to sell, a renovation will increase your home’s resale value.

What factors affect a house’s value?

It’s a little complicated. Some elements are fairly static and can be predicted well by the market and real estate agents.

  • Location
  • # of rooms
  • Size of the rooms
  • # of bathrooms
  • Additional features: garage, patio, extra storage space

Other elements are a bit subjective. We’re talking about interiors.

  • Condition of the walls
  • Lighting
  • Flooring
  • Layout
  • Materials used

How do I know which interior projects will give me the best ROI?

A better interior is more valuable than a shabby interior! But how do you know which give the best ROI for house renovations? Should you just paint the walls white and call it good?

One thing you can do is hire an interior designer.

a floor plan for a renovation by an interior designer

Lots of people resist doing this because they’re afraid of wasting money on something they could do themselves. Unfortunately, these people are shooting themselves in the foot. There are a lot of things that interior designers know that you probably don’t.

Not only do interior designers have technical knowledge, but they also have connections to suppliers and manufacturers that can actually save you money in the long-run. Plus, they are experienced project managers. They can assist you in negotiations and bidding. They can help vet and manage contractors, and ensure your renovation project is finished within the stipulated timeframe.

Some projects are too complicated to DIY. Hiring a professional can save you from making costly mistakes!

How do I plan the renovation budget?

Ask your friends and neighbors who have done similar remodels. They can give you insight into local pricing and connect you with trusted business partners and contractors.

a man in a neon yellow shirt paints a wall in a house undergoing renovation

Costs depend on which room you are renovating, how big it is, and what quality of finish you’re aiming for.

Average Range for Kitchen Reno: $13,059 – $37,044

  • Budget Reno ($10-$15k): sink upgrade, painting kitchen walls, installing tile backsplash, refacing cabinets
  • Luxury Reno (+$50k): high-end appliances, hardwood flooring, granite counters, customized cabinets

Average Range for Bathroom Reno: $5,957 – $14,833

  • Budget Reno ($10k): new fixtures, new flooring, new paint
  • Luxury Reno (+$54k): new shower/bath, expanded layout, fan installation, custom vanity

Average Range for Bedroom Reno: $7,880 – $30,000

  • Budget Reno ($15k): new furniture, painting walls, new light fixtures, new trim
  • Luxury Reno ($1m): top-end finishes, smart technology, high quality soft furnishings (bedspreads), walk in closet

Average Range for Living Room Reno: $6,700 – 7,900

  • Budget Reno ($6k): new couch, new paint, TV console
  • Luxury Reno (+$15k): new flooring, new furniture, paint the walls, recessed lighting, console

Sources here and here.

How does the billing process work?

Talk with your interior designer. Most designers charge fees based on hours. If they are handling the purchase of materials and furnishings, they may ask for a mark-up or percentage. However, some designers prefer a flat fee.

Be clear and upfront with your requirements, and establish good communication with your designer. If you are planning to DIY your renovation, you might just want to hire a designer for an hourly-based consultation fee.

Keep in mind that interior designers have access to trade discounts that can save you a lot of money. Almost all major home decor websites and hardware stores have trade programs. By working with an interior designer, you can save money on materials and furniture that justify the price of hiring an interior designer.

So what interior areas offer the best ROI for house renovations?

If you’re only looking at interiors, then a minor kitchen or bathroom remodel will offer you the best ROI for house renovations.

a bathtub in the center of a bathroom in front of a faux stone column

If you are willing to consider exterior renovations, then you should consider a roof replacement, siding replacement, entryway revamping, or patio / deck additions.

I’m still not ready for a reno yet. What can I do right now to make my house feel nicer?

Good for you! It’s never smart to rush into a renovation.

If you are dreaming of a reno but you’re not ready yet, there is one perfect way to update your space: new furniture.

Check out some design-and-furnish companies!

a living room with dark grey couch, black midcentury chair, and glass coffee table in natural light

These companies take your floor plan and create a custom design just for you. You get all the fun of doing a DIY design, but you also get the added bonus of working with a professional! They ensure a cohesive, stylish design and they measure everything to your layout.

One of these companies, Furnishr, will even order, ship, and assemble the items for you. Talk about one-stop-shop!

It’s free to request a custom room design, so what are you waiting for? The home of your dreams could be only two weeks away!

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Design Tips Furnishing 101 Other

How to Decorate a Studio Apartment on a Budget

Living in a small space can be fun, affordable, and downright cozy. But decorating and making a small space comfortable can be a challenge for even the most design-oriented person. You don’t have to be an interior designer to know how to decorate a studio apartment on a budget.

However, if you’re short on time or moving soon, then it might make sense to use a design-and-furnish service rather than DIY-ing it. Don’t worry, if you work with a furnishing company, you still get to play designer!

You start by requesting a custom room design. Then you collaborate with a trained designer to choose a layout and furnishings for your unique floor plan. You can actually get a better price than sticker price because furnishing companies have direct relationships with suppliers. All you have to do is pay a flat fee and they handle delivery, assembling, and set-up for your stylish new room.

Here are some simple guidelines to get you started. Keep in mind that rules are meant to be broken if the final outcome isn’t appealing.

Turn on an episode of a home design show on Netflix while you decorate your studio, and have fun! It’s your space. You have to live in it.

Choose the Right Colors

A living room with a light grey couch and two turquoise cushions.

You know that feeling when you walk into a room or bathroom with dark walls or lots of dark furniture? You feel closed in. Maybe even a little claustrophobic. That’s not how you want your guests to feel when they enter your place. That doesn’t mean you have to have all white walls either.

In the right place, like an accent wall behind a bed, or in the right shade, like lilac or seafoam green, light or dark colors can be used to make your small space more inviting and livable. But before you pick up a brush, check out some pictures of rooms painted in colors decorators think are ideal for small spaces.

The most important part of choosing a color is finding what you like. Start by looking at your wardrobe to get an idea of what colors appeal to you. Do you wear lots of pastels? Or are you more attracted to earth tones? Do you wear a lot of denim and t-shirts? Or do you feel your personality shines best in brights and neons? Whatever colors you choose, make sure they make you feel at home in your space and spark some joy.

Select Multi-functional Furniture

Your furniture will be used to help you relax, sleep, and eat. You also want to be able to entertain guests and maybe even work from home. Choosing furniture that can serve numerous functions in your small space will not only save space but fewer pieces will make your home easier to navigate.

A convertible sofa

A convertible or sleeper sofa is a smart choice for the main piece in your living/entertaining area. There are several furniture brands that make sofas for small spaces that range from the sleek and simple to the plush and luxurious. Or just use a design-and-furnish company to help put together a complete floor plan for you, and ask for a convertible sofa.

During the day you can use it to read or watch television and in the evenings it can be used as a guest bed. Whether your style is strictly traditional or leans more eclectic, choosing a sofa that is proportional to your space is key to keeping your space from feeling crowded. This may mean selecting a sofa with low or no arms and in a light color and fabric type. 

When choosing a bed to decorate your studio, select one that can be used as additional seating. A futon sofa bed is a great option when you don’t have a lot of space or money. They may seem outdated, but futon sofa beds have come a long way since they were developed in the 1980s, now available with durable wood frames, plush mattresses, and removable covers. The mattress and frame can be bought together saving you some money. Futon sets are widely available from numerous retailers ranging from online discounters to big-box furniture stores.

A coffee table with storage

One piece of furniture you shouldn’t pass on is a coffee table. You may think you don’t need or have room for one. But the right coffee table can actually save you some space. A simple ottoman topped with a tray can be used as a small coffee table and doubles as seating for guests. Or elevate the look with a small square or rectangular coffee table with a storage shelf, drawers, or cubbies.

Prefer a coffee table that can be stored to give you extra floor space? Look for folding or nesting tables. A “C” table is a great option if you want something stylish to slip over your sofa or chair arm. Convertible coffee tables are the latest in multi-purpose furniture. Many of these pieces have one or more lift tops so they can be used as a desk or eating tray. Some have wheels so, when moved into the center of a room, they look and feel more like a traditional dining table.

Stylish Storage Solutions

A living room console with multiple forms of storage including drawers, shelves, and box inserts.

Once you’ve decided on your furniture placement, you need to consider how to incorporate storage solutions into your space. Options abound so take into account how much storage you need, how much floor and wall space you have, and how you will style your storage.

If your studio apartment has a closet, you can maximize the space with inexpensive wall-mounted shelves, wicker baskets, and shoe racks. The space on and behind the door is ideal for hanging jewelry, scarves, and handbags. If you don’t have a closet, decorate your studio with storage units that have vertical and horizontal storage options. Home improvement stores, big-box discount stores, or online will have affordable modular shelves or closet systems.

Without a lot of floor space, you need to think vertical when determining how to decorate a studio apartment on a budget. Solutions such as floating open-air shelves will draw the eye upwards and make your apartment appear less crowded. You should also think of all of your unused space for storage. Turn the empty space under your bed into a dresser, book storage, or overflow from your bathroom. Why not add a great bidet to save paper? You can either purchase a bed with drawers or fashion your own from inexpensive under-the-bed containers

Accessories and Lighting

A bright bokeh effect photo of Edison light bulbs in the foreground and blurry bright lights in the background.

Your home wouldn’t feel like a home without the added touch accessories will give. Items like candles, framed photos, and plants are not required but can be an inexpensive way to personalize your space.

Keep in mind the designer’s rule of three when styling your shelves, walls and table surfaces. Try to create vignettes of three distinct items. Don’t be afraid to mix high-end items with thrift store finds. Try to balance your space with books, candles, small storage boxes, baskets, bookends, and clocks of varying shapes and sizes. This will prevent your space from feeling over-cluttered and will make it look like you hired a professional designer. 

Even if your apartment has wall-to-wall carpeting, try throwing down a patterned or colorful area rug in your living or sleeping space. It’s an easy way to define different zones in a large room without using dividers or screens. Don’t forget to continue the color and pattern throughout your apartment with thoughtfully-placed pillows and throw blankets. 

Installed in the right locations, the light fixtures you use in your small space can make it look larger. Fixtures come in a variety of styles so try to stick to your design style and not get overwhelmed. Try placing wall sconces and tall lamps in corners or behind large pieces of furniture. This adds height to your space while adding warmth.


If you’re looking for a more comprehensive budgeting guide, then check out our post, “The Cost of Furnishing an Apartment: A Step-by-Step Guide With Breakdown of Furniture Costs.”

Want to book a free design call? Go here to claim your spot.

This has been a guest post by Steven Wood of Swankyden.com

Categories
Design Tips Other

Spring Art Projects to Tackle While You Shelter in Place

Are you spending more time at home these days? Here are some spring art projects to tackle while you shelter in place.

Due to shelter in place orders around the country, there are now millions of people who have had to forfeit the normalcy of their day-to-day schedule. If this sounds familiar, then you’ve probably realized that this extra time brings unique challenges and unique opportunities. 

Why not consider some spring art projects? School is out indefinitely, and most workplaces have offered options for their employees to work from home. A global pandemic is not necessarily the time you need to pressure yourself to be productive. But this moment does present a prime opportunity to focus a bit deeper on your living space – and just maybe make a few small updates. 

Small projects can be a great way to keep kids involved and occupied. In addition, you will get to check off some boxes from your Spring Cleaning to-do list! 

Here are some excellent family-friendly spring art projects to tackle while you stay at home and help flatten the curve. They all have a creative element and will make your home more comfortable.

Freshen Up Your Walls

Wall updates are a simple task that can be completed in under a week. If you own your own home, you don’t have to answer to anybody! If you’re a renter, just make sure you get permission from your landlord first. Painting can be fun, creative, and fulfilling – the perfect spring art project! Most hardware stores have kept their doors open to the public during this pandemic, so you should be able to place orders for curbside pickup or home delivery. 

We recommend that you compare color swatches online to figure out which color shade is best for you.

If you feel like you need a full interior design consultation before getting started, try booking a free design call with the designers at Furnishr. They look at your floor plan and recommend layouts, furnishing, and accessories to meet your needs.

  1. Select an appropriate paint color.
  2. Order the paint & supplies from your local supplier (delivery or curbside pickup).
  3. Protect your floors, tape it off, and get painting!
A pair of hands in yellow work gloves is holding a can of white paint and a paintbrush dripping white paint.

Painting the walls is a great opportunity to get the children involved. This is especially effective if you can give them some say in the decision-making process! One way to do this is select shades that match throughout, and then give the children the option to pick their colors within the scope of your design taste.

Let the child choose a brush and paint their own room. This can be a great activity for older children that will keep them busy and assist the time frame of your overall process for spring art projects.

Create Art Together with Spring Art Projects

If you do not own your home, arts and crafts can come into the picture. Spending time at home might give you a new perspective on the landscape of your walls. Maybe it’s time to replace those old picture frames or rearrange some paintings. You could also take this time to create art with your family and hang it up on the walls. The Internet is full of free and easy spring art projects to help you create gorgeous, abstract art. Just choose a color scheme that matches your home, and you’re good to go.  

a woman and child paint together doing a spring art project

Need materials? Blank canvases and poster boards remain inexpensive from craft stores or dollar stores. Or you can buy them online and have them shipped or schedule for curbside pickup. 

  1. Collect art materials from around the house (paints, markers, paper, tape, scissors, clay).
  2. Decide if you need other materials, and order online or from local art store.
  3. Choose a color palette that complements your home design.
  4. Look for an online tutorial – especially good at engaging elementary-aged children.
  5. Display your gorgeous, custom artwork.

Not only can this brighten up your home, but you’ll be investing in your child’s artistic skills by creating opportunities to be creative. Each of these activities can be completed within a limited time, and you can have new paint or new art on your walls in just a few days’ time.

Spruce Up Your Backyard

More and more research points to the benefits of green space. As a result, more people are investing in their everyday living spaces as opposed to taking lavish vacations to get their dose of greenery. Outdoor living space is definitely a red hot renovation idea, especially during a period of shelter-in-place when outdoor amenities like parks and playgrounds are closed!

Of all the spring art projects, this one might have the biggest impact on your daily life.

  1. Figure out what your yard is missing, and see what you already have that could be used.
  2. Decide on a budget and enlist help from the household.
  3. Tidy the yard first, then drop in furniture or decking.
  4. Accessorize to perfection.
  5. Enjoy your outdoor oasis!

If you have a yard, there are many things you could do to make it more appealing. Consider adding a deck or a concrete pad, or extending your existing patio slab. Creating an outdoor oasis is easier than you think, and it’s nice to think of the day when you can finally entertain guests again. You’d be surprised at how a few simple touches can totally transform the backyard appeal of your home.

two Adirondack type white lawn chairs sit on a grassy lawn beside an old stone house

The cost of decking is also flexible. A smaller, minimalistic deck averages around $1,200 for supplies and labor. If you’ve already got some type of space in your yard, the cost of adding some character to it is minimal. You can add some lighting accents, or mount some speakers, all for less than $100. 

Rejuvenate Your Balcony

If you have a patio or balcony, now is a good time to look for some potted plants. You could also grow some from seed by ordering from your local hardware store. A little greenery goes a long way on a patio or balcony, and it’s even better if you grow edible plants!

Now that the weather is warming up, you might want to recreate the layout of your outside space. Look for an outdoor rug that can handle the elements. You’ll also want a small table and place to sit. Mood lighting, like twinkle lights or standing lanterns, create ambiance that can make any small outdoor space feel special. If you need ideas for using natural elements to make your home feel more cozy, start here. Spring art projects should be fun, so get creative!

  1. Clean your patio thoroughly to rid it of dirt and leaves.
  2. Figure out where the sun comes from, and design a layout accordingly.
  3. Find lighting, seating, and plants to make your space feel cozy.
  4. Enjoy fresh air from the comfort of your own newly styled balcony.
an older woman sits on her balcony beside potted cacti in a salmon colored building

Think about your daily routine and look for an activity that could be made better by doing it outdoors. You could turn your outdoor space into a meditative morning yoga lounge with room for a yoga mat and a small table for your laptop. Or maybe you’re an extrovert and you’re having an especially hard time with quarantine. So make your balcony a happy hour spot, with bright pennants hung up as a nice backdrop for Facetiming with your friends and family.

Organization Projects 

During this time, the whole family has probably been home a lot more than usual. So, it’s likely that there are some piles of clothing, an accumulation of random toys, and lots of other things that remain out of place. Despite what the younger members of your household might think, organization time is an activity that all family members can (and should) partake in. 

a messy white children's room with papers and toys everywhere

This is another great opportunity for children to service the needs of their own room or playrooms. Plus, they can sort out their favorite toys from unused items as they organize. This means less clutter, and they just might discover a new excitement for a forgotten item found under the bed. A great method for keeping playtime fresh is to batch your kids’ toys into several baskets, and then rotating them every few days or once a week. This way, you have less clutter out at once, and the kids are excited to see new items and be inspired to new creativity.

What kind of organizational strategies and materials can you use? We recommend storage totes for this activity because they allow children the opportunity to store the things that they are not using, gifting additional space. Something stackable is even better. 

  1. Gather up some sorting containers and organizing boxes.
  2. Decide on categories (keep, store, giveaway).
  3. Go through one room at a time and sort everything.
  4. Celebrate and mark your progress – especially important for children.
  5. Set aside items to donate when thrift stores reopen, or post for free online.

The adults can do some sorting, too! Go through your dresser drawers and your closets and you might find some extra space. Sort through your kitchen and garage and look for items that no longer serve you. Maybe you’ll find some things that could be used for spring art projects.

Unfortunately, thrift stores aren’t accepting donations right now due to public health concerns. But you can still set aside items you wish to donate. You may even post them for free to your neighborhood exchange group, since there might be someone nearby who could use those items. Just make sure you have a sanitization process in place if anyone in your house has been sick.

Hour-Long Bursts of Productivity

This is a classic technique promoted by lots of entrepreneurs and busy people. Setting a timer for just one hour can help you overcome procrastination and start to see some visual progress on any of these tasks. You can fight cabin fever by starting with a few small projects.

a close up of a watch face on someone's wrist. The watch face says "better times."

Plus, you probably don’t have hours at a time to spend on spring art projects. Most people are still working from home, and now they’re balancing childcare with housework and their employment. So, it’s okay if you don’t feel any desire to improve your home right now. You need to look out for your mental health, and that’s should be your number one priority. 

But, if you’re starting to feel stir crazy, just look around you. Finding smaller house projects can help you make a major dent in your overall home redesign plans. And investing in your home right now, during this time of global crisis, is a great way to stay connected to gratitude and what’s important. 

  1. Set a timer for a short period of time, maybe 25 minutes.
  2. Start a task that you’ve been procrastinating on.
  3. Stop when the timer rings and take a break.
  4. Congratulate yourself on making progress and breaking the ice!

Finally, if you’re exhausted, it’s totally okay rest. We all need time to recuperate and take care of ourselves right now. But if you find yourself feeling bored, then you may want to tackle one of these projects! 

By doing any one of these spring projects, you (and your children, if you have them) will be even more thankful for your home when the work is finally done.

a father and child playing on a bed in a brightly lit bedroom with white walls and a wooden pallet bedframe

So whether you are focused on making your home more enjoyable for yourself, or whether you’re preparing your space for entertaining guests when all this is over, we hope you find joy in your home.  And remember, if you need help we’re here for you.

Categories
Design Tips Furnishing 101 Office Furnishing

Pinterest Worthy Desk Ideas & DIY Home Office Tips

It’s only April, and already 2020 has totally changed the lives of millions of people. Chances are you are going to be working at home for a while. For some of us, working from home has been a reality for years, but for many others it is a new and scary challenge. Your home office is probably sparse and impersonal, and not a space you enjoy spending time in. Or maybe you don’t even have a home office at all, let alone a Pinterest worthy desk.

The next few weeks offer you a chance to change that. You can commit to some DIY crafts projects to turn your home office into a personal haven. Or if you want it done and dusted in just a few days, use a design-and-furnish company to create a stellar workspace from scratch.

Why not create a space you actually want to be in, rather than a room you just want to escape from?

Here’s some inspiration. Read the following tips for transforming your home office and soon you’ll be full of Pinterest worthy desk ideas. Good luck!


Upcycled vision board

a homemade collage vision board made up of magazine cut outs. Some phrases include "life in the city" and "my world."

Vision boards have known benefits on productivity and motivation. The process of planning out your vision board gives you more clarity on what you want out of your life, particularly in the near future. Even better, you can create a vision board from your own upcycled materials!

Start by finding items you are considering discarding, and see what you can do with them. You may want to check the recycling bin or use an old cereal box to start out. An old calendar can provide you with ample space to design or collage, while also reminding you of a significant time in your life. Scraps of clothing can be used as design elements on the board, using your aesthetic sensibilities to motivate you to sit down and bring your vision to life.

A homemade laptop stand

a man with dreadlocks leans over a laptop

Unless you have incredible craftmanship skills, you should probably not attempt to make your own office chair. After all, an office chair needs to be comfortable and should be designed to give you the support you need. A DIY pallet bench or something similar may look like a Pinterest worthy desk idea, but it might actually cause you more harm than good.

But a nice piece of carpentry you could create for your home office is a homemade laptop stand. Standing while working is both healthy and a good way to keep focused. If you want to work standing up, you will need a platform for your computer. Trust us, a pile of books just doesn’t cut it. Adding your own sweat and labor will make you feel good about yourself every time you stand to work.

Personal art

a double exposure photograph that shows the photographer and an image of the city overlaid

Many working people don’t have time to pursue their own art projects. They love to paint or take photographs and they have quite a bit of skill, but just aren’t able to get around to displaying their work. This is the perfect opportunity to dedicate some time to bringing your art into the world. Create the painting you have always dreamed of. Write up the poem that is tumbling around in your head. Print off some of your favorite black and white photos that are sitting on your hard drive. And then, hang them up wherever you work. Now that’s a Pinterest worthy desk idea!

Your office space should remind you of your own creativity. Seeing your work on the wall is much better motivation than any inspirational poster. Whenever you feel worn out, you can look at your work and get a boost thinking about the hard work and creativity it took to create that art.

Natural light and greenery

a small plant on a table with a laptop, black notebook, and camera lens

Studies show that having some plants and access to natural light can actually boost your productivity. If you can, look for some small potted plants (fake ones are good too). Arrange your furniture around the availability of natural light and make sure to open the blinds when you’re working.

Whether you have a specific home office space or not, a little bit of fresh air and natural décor can make a huge difference to making your workspace feel inviting.

If you’re at a loss for how to style a desk, just pop over to Pinterest or Instagram. There are plenty of examples of desk styling and Pinterest worthy desk ideas on both platforms.

Ergonomics and taking breaks

a black woman talks on the phone and smiles while working on her laptop

The trickiest part of working from home, apart from maintaining focus, is how to keep your body happy. People without a home office set up often find themselves sitting on the couch or slouching over a dining table. It’s easy to damage your spine, neck and shoulders with bad posture. 

One way to solve this is to order an ergonomically designed office chair for your home. There are special sit/stand desks you can buy that you can program to exactly your preferred height. Another way to combat body pain is to take regular breaks from working. Stand up regularly, even if it’s just to walk to the kitchen for a glass of water. 

Overall, working from home can be a blessing in disguise, as those who have been doing so for years will tell you. If you spend some time creating the ideal work space for yourself at home, you will find it easy to reap the rewards.

And if you need help creating a work space at home, our designers are ready to assist with plenty of Pinterest worthy desk ideas! It’s free to start a room request. All you have to do is tell us about your space and your style, and we’ll take care of the rest. 

This guest post was written by Josh Mishin.

Categories
Design Tips Furnishing 101 Other

How to Survive Quarantine As an Extrovert

If you’re reading this, then you’re probably anxious to leave the house and you haven’t seen your friends for too long. If that’s true, may we be the first to say — thank you! Thank you for doing your part to flatten the curve and save lives during this pandemic.

Now, we know you’re here for tips on surviving a quarantine as an extrovert.

Extroverts need other people’s energy to survive! They need adventures! Quarantine means isolation, silence, and sitting still and slowly dissolving into a puddle of boredom …right? WRONG!

a woman in a fedora looks longingly out a window

We’ve got six actionable ways to stop feeling like a dud and start feeling better.

Here’s how to survive a quarantine, extrovert edition. (Psst, pass it on)


Panic #1: I won’t see my friends & family for months!

Well, actually: They aren’t unavailable to hang out, you’re just temporarily stuck in different buildings!

a young man in a turtleneck and glasses sits on the floor and smiles at his laptop like he is video chatting with someone

Here’s how to solve this. Switch to virtual hangouts!

Firstly, if you are under quarantine, please please DO NOT try to meet up in person and attempt to maintain social distancing. Someone will forget, someone is bound to touch a door knob, and then all those people stuck inside with vulnerable immune systems will stare at you through the windows and judge you.

Got a standing date with a friend? Keep it! Just switch it to online. Post-work happy hour at the pub near the office? Get everybody on Google Hangouts and BYOB. Missing your gym buddy? Schedule a home workout on Skype for the same time you’d normally be at the gym. Call your grandma on Fridays like you usually do. Keep it as close to normal as possible.

If you didn’t have anything planned, but you’re craving some socializing, reach out and offer to ‘host’ a virtual dinner party. Look for multiplayer games that have online versions. Find pals with complementary talents and make something together.

Panic #2: I feel so claustrophobic! My home is boring.

Well, actually: You’re right. But let’s not focus on what you can’t change. Focus on what you can.

beside an open window is a maroon pillow and a tray with a candle, mug, and books

We get it. Being stuck inside is not fun for anyone. But it’s ESPECIALLY hard for extroverts to survive quarantine because they thrive on new experiences. So how can we make quarantine more exciting?

First, do not spend the entire day in the SAME spot. Of course your home feels boring and claustrophobic if you stare at the same four walls every day. Don’t stay in bed from morning to night. Don’t sit on your couch for 12 hours. And don’t just sit at your desk or dining room table.

Move between the available spaces! Your body and your mind will thank you. Try choosing a different spot for each part of the day. Mornings on the couch, afternoons at your desk, and evenings in the kitchen. Think about where the best natural light is, too. Make sure you can enjoy that sun on your face at the time when it’s coming through the window. Coffitivity is a free app that generates ambient noise like you’re in a coffee shop. Figure out what helps, and plan for it.

You can also rearrange your space. Swap out some art work! Move your sofa. Start using your coffee table as a Japanese-style dining table. Get out your old acoustic guitar and lean it against the wall. Enjoy the freedom to experiment with your interior design. Now’s the time to make a change and figure out what you like, since you can always switch it back later.

Panic #3: Cooking for myself SUCKS.

Well, actually: If your biggest food worry is lack of cooking skills, then you have a lot to be grateful for.

a man cooks something over a stove in a kitchen with white tile

After nurses and doctors, the people on the front line of this pandemic are grocery store employees and meal delivery workers.

Uber Eats is amazing, we agree. It’s essential for a lot of people, too. Meal delivery helps get food to people who work long hours, live in food deserts, or have accessibility challenges. Meal delivery folks are especially vulnerable during this time, but many keep working because they need the income. Lots of businesses have switched to take-out or delivery only.

To survive quarantine as an extrovert, you have two food options.

Option one, if you’re determined to order delivery, try to switch to a local business that might be hurting. Rather than ordering Dominos, look for a neighborhood pizza chain. And keep in mind that the virus can still be transmitted on plastic containers and delivery bags, and occasionally on food if it’s not heated thoroughly. Here’s a comprehensive guide to food safety and COVID-19. Option two, try to see this as your opportunity to learn more cooking skills. Odds are, your favorite dish isn’t too tricky to cook at home! There are a ton of amazing tutorials online, including some by master chefs. Or call up your mom and ask her to teach you her secret recipe. You have plenty of time to perfect your technique.

By cooking at home for just a couple weeks, you help minimize the exposure for everyone around you. You also help lessen the overall time we need to spend in quarantine. And hopefully, you gain a new appreciation for the act of feeding yourself.

Panic #4: I feel like I’m going to die without fresh air!

Well, actually: Depending on your area and what kind of quarantine you’re under, you don’t need to stay indoors 100% of the time.

a person in a ponytail wears a virtual reality headset in front of a blue sky with clouds

This is a touchy topic. It’s absolutely true that people under 30 who don’t show symptoms are the biggest group currently spreading COVID. We feel fine, so we go out like normal. But unfortunately, non-symptomatic doesn’t mean you aren’t contagious. The virus takes time to make you sick, and you can even have it without showing symptoms, and then pass it on to someone else.

So use your best judgement here. If you have a patio or a backyard, then get your fresh air at home where you’re not putting anyone else in danger. Sit out with a chair and take deep breaths and soak it up. If you can go to a park or walk around the block alone while still keeping 6 feet away from other people, you might still be able to get fresh air and move your body. It’s harder in busier neighborhoods.

If you can’t go outside, then as a last resort you can fake it. To survive quarantine as an extrovert, sometimes we gotta do weird stuff. If you have a VR headset, thrown on a game that simulates a forest adventure or arctic exploration. Or just play an hour long video of waves crashing at a beach or a rushing river on your laptop. Throw open a window or turn on a fan! Sniff some sunscreen and imagine you’re outside.

Research shows that sensory stimulation like this can actually trick your brain into releasing the relaxing chemicals associated with being outside.

Panic #5: My partner / roommate / pet is annoying.

Well, actually: They’re stuck with you, too! Try to find a way to get some alone time inside the house.

a person sits at a dining table and holds their head with one hand in distress

This might seem like odd advice for an extrovert. But when you’re forced to socialize with the same one person for days on end, it can start to grate on your nerves.

Schedules are your friend right now. Let your housemate know that you’re not available between 9 and 5 because even though you’re home now, you’re still working. Tell your partner that you love them, and then tell them to go to the bedroom to take calls with their friends. Practice setting some boundaries of your own, and invite your housemates to do so with you, too.

And as all stay at home parents know, sometimes you just can’t escape the person in front of you. You’re stuck together and you have to make the best of it. Can you make it a game? Could you learn a new skill together? Can your relationship grow? Find some curiosity and have some grace – for them, and for yourself. Remember that it’s a trying time and we’re all just doing our best.

Panic #6: I have too much free time.

Well, actually: Lots of people need help right now. People with accessibility needs, parents struggling with childcare.

a woman with long black hair sits at a table with her laptop and coffee. she is holding her phone and smiling at it.

Free time can feel scary. This can be doubly true you have a mood or personality disorder, and it’s exacerbated during self-isolation. But if you are an extrovert trying to survive quarantine, free time doesn’t have to be scary!

If you function better with a schedule, then make one for yourself. Do you need accountability? Get your housemate onboard or schedule stuff with friends. If you’re new to working from home, start with these tips. Or if you’ve been laid off, schedule a couple hours each day toward looking for a job or skill building.

You can also start on projects that have been on your to do list for months. Tidy the desk, clear out that closet, mend that shirt, read that new book. Redesign your apartment. Or look for volunteer opportunities, whether virtual or close to home. Maybe you have elderly neighbors who need groceries delivered, or maybe someone with depression needs help meal planning with what’s in their cupboard.

Take care of your mental health, and take care of your community. A global pandemic is not the time to force yourself into intense productivity. Just because you’re an extrovert trying to survive quarantine doesn’t mean you should destroy yourself just to keep busy.


The world is going to look different when this is all over, and in some ways, that might be something to look forward to. Remember to be as generous as you can, with yourself and others. Who will you be when all this is over?

Categories
Design Tips Other

Work from Home: Furnishr’s Top 5 Tips

You might be surprised at some of the benefits you can reap if you work from home.

For instance, did you know that, if you work from home, you can deduct square footage and office supplies when you file your taxes?

Well read on, because we’ve got a lot of great tips for you, whether or not you’re new to this whole work-from-home situation. Remember, YMMV depending on if your business is actually based out of your home (like crafting or counseling) versus if you telecommute for a corporate job. If you’re an entrepreneur considering your next move, a shared office space could be the right fit.

Either way, these tips should help!

And if you need help configuring a home office for yourself, we’re the pros. Here is our article about how to budget for a home office. And it’s free to see what a custom home office would look like in your space. Talk to one of our designers today and we’ll take care of you.

1. COMMUNICATE

This one is key. And it solves a major worry for both employer and employee. You, the employee, are probably worried about your own productivity at home. You might also be worried how your employer will know that you’re actually working.

By communicating with your boss or colleagues regularly, you demonstrate that you are in fact putting in the same hours as everyone else. You show you are still engaged and contributing to the company’s projects, and you show that you work a full day. Make sure you check in with your boss and your team about how they prefer to communicate. Do they want mid-morning checkins on Slack? Zoom voice calls once a week? Email reports on Fridays with a breakdown of your work?

In unpredictable economic times, it’s super important to focus on showing value at work. So if you’re working at home, make sure to communicate regularly so your team knows you’re in the trenches with them, too.

2. MAKE YOURSELF A HOME OFFICE

a home office desk with a large desktop screen displaying a clock and a vase with yellow flowers beside a bookcase

If you’re a long-time telecommuter, you know this already. But for people who are new to working from home, it can be tempting to just sit on the couch, or even climb back into bed with your laptop! We’ll admit, it is a major benefit of working from home that you can move around and adjust your body to more physically comfortable positions than you might otherwise do in an office.

However, eventually the temptation (and neck cramps) get in the way of your to do list.

So, choose a spot right now which will serve as your home office. It can be a nook, a small end table cleared off in the living room, or your spare bedroom. Tell your partner or housemates so they can leave you alone while you’re working. Consider using a blocker or signing out of social media accounts during work hours. Set up your space with office accoutrements and things that make it feel focused and professional.

Your home office should feel comfortable but not too comfortable. You should imagine having a Zoom meeting your boss without being totally embarrassed by the decor.

If you need help figuring out how to decorate or organize a home office, Furnishr can help.

3. LEAVE THE HOUSE AT LEAST ONCE DAILY

a person wearing shorts and a tank top walks down stairs to the street. she is holding a phone.

When your work is at home, and your life is at home, and there’s no commute to give you fresh air or a change of scenery – well, you can see how easy it could be to get trapped indoors all day!

Some of our favorite ideas are to take a short afternoon walk to a nearby park. The NY Times recommends this as a way to combat the sluggish afternoon hours when most people get tired and distracted. Or you could take your lunch outside to your yard or patio. Remember, you should only do this if you can still practice social distancing! If it’s too crowded outside, try opening a window and breathing some fresh air.

Not only is it a good idea to try to leave your house once a day, but we also recommend finding someone to chat with outside your work group. It helps you disconnect, so you can come back refreshed. Why not take a virtual lunch break with an old friend?

4. KNOW HOW TO SIGN OFF

Patio furniture on deck of cottage

For people who work at home, it can be difficult to separate work from home. For instance, in the office, you have all the normal cues where people start to pack up around 5p.

But at home, it can be easy to just keep working, just for a few more minutes… until suddenly it’s 6:30p.

Don’t let working from home turn you into a lazy employee, but don’t let it turn you into a workaholic, either.

A lot of telecommuters have some kind of ritual that helps them close out their work day. It can be an alarm and something as simple as sending a final message via Slack to your team and then closing the laptop and getting up.

5. ENJOY YOUR FLEXIBILITY

Man working on the floor

Remember that not everyone has the option to work from home! It comes with challenges, true, especially if your home environment is not super conducive to focusing.

However, you have a lot of flexibility compared to most office workers. There are a lot of benefits to working from home, and you should try to enjoy them.

For instance, you can hydrate as much as you want (and pee as often as you want!) without incurring the suspicion of your coworkers.

You can stretch out and do yoga, or sit in positions that work better for your body than stuffy old office chairs.

You are more in control of the soundscape of your work environment. You could blast Rihanna all day and no one will ever know!

You’re also better able to feed yourself home cooked meals, which saves on money and is usually healthier for you than eating out.


We hope you put these tips to good use!

If you’re ready to explore what a home office could look like for you, schedule a free consultation with our designers. Here is the easiest way to get started.

Categories
Design Tips Furnishing 101

Looking to rent furniture in NYC? Think again.

Ahoy! Is your apartment empty? Are you looking to rent furniture in NYC? Then welcome, you’re in just the right place.

At first glance, choosing to rent your furniture may seem like a perfect solution! After all, most digital nomads and millennial workers prefer to own less and experience more. Lots of people imagine that renting furniture is obviously better because it costs you less money up front, and ultimately someone else is responsible for it. Sounds good, right?

However, before you rent furniture in NYC, there are a few things you should know first. Renting is not always the best way to save money or build the lifestyle you really want! It may solve some of your problems at first, but in the long run it may not be the ideal solution it, either for your apartment or your bank account.

small studio layout with a messy bed and a big bright window with two chairs

Our Evaluation Process

So, here is an overview of all the pros and cons of different furnishing companies. Four are rental companies and one is not.

We review offerings from Feather, Cort, Furnishr, Mobley, and Fernish. Unfortunately, Fernish does not cover NYC, but all the other companies do. Each company offers a unique blend of three factors: price, quality, and efficiency. Ultimately, the choice to rent or buy will depend on your budget, how relatively stable your housing is, and how much time you have to oversee the furnishing process. Take into account how long you can commit to renting the furniture for, as shorter leases are costlier. And be sure to take into account your personal squick factor, and read each company’s sanitization guideline thoroughly.

We hope this guide helps you make an informed decision! Whether you buy or rent your furniture in NYC, we’re excited for you to find some awesome furniture for your new place.

 

How long are you thinking of staying in the city?

a chart showing where each brand lands on the chart. best for short term are Cort, Mobley and Fernish. best for long term are Feather and Furnishr.
Cort offers the most flexible furnishing packages, whereas Furnishr makes the most sense if you plan to stay put for more than a year.

How much money are you prepared to pay out?

lowest cost options are Feather and Furnishr. highest cost options are Mobley, Fernish, and Cort.
Our cost index is an overall calculation of how much you end up paying for your furniture. Cort is the costliest, because of added fees and higher rent-to-own retail price. Feather and Furnishr are the most cost-effective choices for renting and buying your furniture.

What kind of quality do you want in your furniture?

lowest quality items are Mobley and Feather. Highest quality items are Fernish, Cort and Furnishr.
Mobley’s selection of furniture lots of veneered MDF and polyester upholstery, which do not hold up well under daily use. Furnishr gets you the highest quality furniture for two reasons: they purchase directly from trusted manufacturers, and your furniture is 100% new and not used like rental furniture.

How easy do you want the furnishing process to be?

chart of ease or difficulty to rent furniture in NYC. hardest are mobley and feather and Fernish. Easiest are Cort and Furnishr.
Mobley’s website was the most difficult to use of the companies we tested. They also offer less value for customers when it comes delivery and set up. Fernish, Feather, and Cort offer similar processes where the customer selects individual pieces of furniture to create a room. Furnishr’s consultation process is a bit sleeker, and their white-glove delivery and 24 hour installation is hard to beat.

Finally, what are your sustainability values?

lowest environment impact are furnishr, Fernish, and feather. highest environmental impact are Cort and Mobley.
Mobley and Cort are the least environmentally friendly companies on our list, due to the materials used as well as sanitization and shipping practices. Furnishr only requires a single delivery, since you’re purchasing the items outright, which reduces packaging and shipping impacts. Feather and Fernish are committed to reducing plastic packaging and reusing furniture at the end of its lifecycle.

Okay, so let’s break this down even further.

Four of these companies offer furniture for rent, with the option to rent-to-own. If you want to rent furniture in NYC, then only three of those companies will cover you (Feather, Cort, and Mobley). The final company, Furnishr, covers most of North America and offers outright purchase of furniture. Most of the rental companies have fair policies around damage. Most will be happy to fix up small scratches and get out stains, and all rental furniture has to undergo a robust sanitization process between rentals.

So now that you know the basics, let’s see if any of the scenarios below apply to you.

If you just moved to the city and started a new job, you might be a Type One: You are fairly location-insecure, and you don’t mind medium quality furniture with a fairly low monthly cost. If that’s you, then you might like Mobley or Feather. The major con is that you’re putting money into someone else’s pocket. Another drawback is that the lower quality furniture might make you feel like you’re living in an IKEA house, except the furniture doesn’t even belong to you. Pros? By renting furniture in NYC, you spend less money up front. Plus, someone else will take away your furniture whenever you decide to move.

Here’s another type of customer. Type Two: You like to keep a low environmental impact, but you’re working with a moderate budget. In this case, you should check out Feather or Furnishr. Feather is a rental company, but they’re committed to reducing plastic packaging and keeping furniture out of landfills. Furnishr is a comprehensive furnishing company, so you work with a designer and then purchase your items upfront. If you’re not sure about living in NYC in the future, then look at Feather. But if you aim to stay in the city, then choose Furnishr. Buying furniture can actually have a lower net environmental impact than renting. That’s due to the repetitive shipping, packaging, and sanitization processes required by rental companies. If you wanted to rent furniture in NYC to reduce your environmental impact, you may want to see how Furnishr compares.

Type Three: You’re busy, you’re ready to invest in quality pieces, and you’d rather spend a little more money upfront than deal with returning your furniture in the future. If this is you, Furnishr is the company for you. Whereas all companies on our list offer some kind of style consultation and set-up, Furnishr is the only one that works off your actual floor plan. They also coordinate a white glove delivery and clean up. Another perk? Furnishr works directly with manufacturers, so you get the absolute lowest price on the items you choose. Companies like Mobley and Feather base their rent-to-own prices on retail price, rather than manufacturer price. So, you’ll probably end up paying more for your items with rent-to-own than if you buy outright with Furnishr.


If you’re still feeling unsure, just think about what your future self wants. Big lights, big city….

Will your future self want to move cities every six months, leaving everything behind? Rent furniture in NYC.
Will your future self want to own high quality furniture, with the option to resell it if you move? Buy furniture in NYC.

A living room with big windows, yellow couch, gold coffee tableland assorted seating

Overall, rental companies can be a great stop-gap option for furnishing a place on quick notice. But “furniture flexibility” can also be overrated, especially if you don’t feel like putting money into someone else’s pocket just to have nice things. It can definitely start to feel a bit soulless to be surrounded by what is technically someone else’s furniture.

If you’re feeling the financial stress, we get it! You want to invest your hard earned cash in stuff you can actually afford, which will actually serve you in the long-term. So if you can’t afford all new furniture and you have the time to look around, then there’s no shame in thrifting. But if you don’t mind spending several hundred dollars a month to temporarily own nice-looking furniture, then have at it and don’t look back.

Either way, best of luck with your move!

Categories
Design Tips Furnishing 101

Small Living Room Layouts: 7 Interior Design Tips to Maximize Small Spaces

Small-space living is pretty much the new norm for most people in 2020. It seems like units keep getting smaller in order to accommodate more people moving to urban areas. But how do you design a small space or decorate a tiny house? Good news! Living in a small space doesn’t mean you need to feel cramped or cluttered. By applying interior design principles and choosing the right furniture, we can help your small space feel big. Furniture should spark joy, right? This article focuses primarily on a small living room layout, since that’s where people spend most of their time at home. But these layouts and space-saving tricks can be applied to small studio apartments, or even small master bedrooms.

From storage units to coffee tables, from task-based lighting to clever furniture arrangements, take heart! We’ve got interior design tips that can help you make any small space feel bigger. Use this list to help you make the most of what you’ve got. How do you make the most of a small master bedroom? What furniture should you get for your studio apartment?

We’ve got you covered, whether you’re moving into a new place or just feeling smothered by your current layout. Scroll to the bottom for specific layout ideas, or read on for general tips on maximizing any small space.

If you’re furnishing a space completely from scratch, then give us a call for your complimentary consultation. Our team of designers can combine your floor plan with your style preferences. We order, ship, and set it all up for you, all in a single day. Seriously, it’s as amazing and easy as it sounds.

1. Work vertically

Minimalist bedroom with tree and stool

Less is more! Please don’t cram a bunch of wide, bulky furniture inside your small space. You can use one or two larger pieces to anchor your space, like a low comfy sofa or your bed. But too many chunky pieces and you’ll start to feel like the floor is disappearing. So keeping that idea in mind, look around your space. What pieces of furniture could you replace with a more lightweight version? Is there anything taking up horizontal space that could be reconfigured or replaced with a vertical version? Consider downsizes your bookshelves, choosing drop-leaf tables, selecting smaller coffee tables, or swapping out for smaller lamps.

Many small-space dwellers have folding or stacking chairs on hand, which can come out when needed but stow away minimally otherwise. Nesting tables achieve the same effect; they appear when you need them, but hide when you don’t. Another good trick is to hang your curtains from the ceiling, and not from the window frame top. This helps the room feel larger. To maximize space, make sure your small space layout includes furniture with storage. More on that later.

2. Use light materials for a small living room layout

Transitional living room in ParcGrove Connecticut
A glass-topped coffee table, white walls, and light fabric on the couch and curtains help the small space to feel larger.

Glass or open shelving are classic interior design tips which can make small spaces feel bigger! If all your furniture is made of dark wood or black metal, you may start to feel closed in. In a small living room layout, consider using lighter materials to lighten the sensation of furniture on your eye. Glass, light colored wood, open shelving, and light colored metal like copper or silver are all great ways to keep the air flow moving.

Reflective surfaces help bring more light into the room, too. They can also help with clutter because all your stuff will be more visible! If you’re a messy person (no shame!), consider using some stylish banker boxes to categorize and contain your items. Additionally, look for furniture with exposed legs rather than pieces that are flush to the ground. Floating shelves have the same effect. This can help your room feel more spacious and balanced.

3. Use appropriate patterns and textures

Large bedroom with patterned rug
Check out the neutral pattern on that rug! The lines create a sense of order and roundedness, but the slightly organic wobble and the color palette keep the room feeling warm and welcoming. It’s important to use pattern sparsely in small living room layouts.

Vertical stripes can be a good choice in small spaces because they create an illusion of height. Dark colors can make spaces feel smaller, because they swallow light. Wanna hear a clever interior design tip? Paint your ceiling a slightly lighter color than your walls. This creates a feeling of lightness overhead. Keep darker colors closer to the ground, or at least below eye level. An oversized, bold print can do wonders for a small space. Something like a large poster, magnified typography, or even a big cut of fabric or wallpaper framed. Remember that when you work too small, and bring in too many small knickknacks, it just creates clutter. Try to balance big with little in your small living room layout.

4. Storage units, or furniture with compartments

Glass desk with white office chair and white bookshelf
Furniture with built-in storage is an efficient and stylish help for small living rooms, especially if they provide additional seating.

Look for ottomans with storage, and you can easily sock away blankets, books, and living room clutter. We love shelving units that have open shelving on top but enclosed storage on the bottom. There are even some couches that have storage beneath the seat! End tables are a great way to create more storage. For example, rather than choosing a table with a heavy top and a drawer, choose a side table with a slim top and a second low rack underneath. This open structure allows you enough room for a lamp and a cup of coffee on top, and plenty of room below to keep your reading materials or even your laptop.

Coffee tables are a really challenging (but exciting) opportunity to nail your small space living room layout. Look for a tiered coffee table (one that has a second level of storage), preferably open and not closed. The exception to this is if your side table is against a wall. Otherwise, a glass top or light colored wood can help expand the feeling of space, while still offering more spots to keep things. As a last result, you can just stack things underneath your existing side table or coffee table, whether you have a second shelf or not. Store books, a basket for electronics or blankets — corner shelves are also a great way to utilize otherwise empty space. Say it with us: no more wasted space!

5. Task-based lighting can make a small living room feel large

Luxury cottage living room
How many light sources can you spot? There is a lamp for task lighting by the two arm chairs and another by the keyboard. Plus, see the two mood lights by the sofa and the general light source in the chandelier.

Interior designs are really good at layering lighting. But you can learn how to do it, too! There are several categories of lighting: general, ambient, task, mood, and accent lighting. And don’t forget to incorporate natural light! Think about how you currently use your small space, and let your own living habits to guide your lighting design. Are there areas where you need focused light, perhaps for reading? Are there any special architectural features in your space that could be highlighted with some accent lighting?

Using wall sconces is a great way to free up floor space, but check with the building first about drilling. There are plenty of good temporary options for mounting light fixtures, like stick-on hooks or command strips that could easily hold a minimal light and cord. For general and ambient lighting, look for lamps that direct light upwards and spread the light around the room. But to make the most of small spaces, look for ways to layer your lighting. Layered lighting offers a complexity of texture while also creating specific, private-feeling areas in which to do your tasks.

6. A small living room layout is better with zones

Contemporary dining room with walnut dining table and tufted velvet green dining chairs
This small living room layout features a built in counter, but in a studio space it would be easy to use a low cabinet to create a separate kitchen and living room. By orienting the sofa away from the kitchen, you create a different zone for lounging.

You really can create smaller nooks within a even a small space. Clever furniture arrangements and rug placements help designate specific, separate areas for activities. You could even utilize furniture on wheels if you’re the sort of person who will happily do a bit of rearranging before a party. For example, a bar cart on wheels could move from the living room to the kitchen to make room for guests. A side table with wheels could be moved from beside the couch to in front of it, providing you with a mobile desk when you work from home.

What furniture should you get if you’re in a studio apartment? Look for tall open bookcases like IKEA’s KALLAX line. You can use these to create a separate bedroom zone! The main benefit of open bookcases is that they still let in natural light. They also offer storage from both sides, so you could designate some shelves for living room displays and others for your personal items. Lighting can help you create specific task zones, too (see above). If you’re in a studio apartment or bachelor, use a couch or open shelving to separate the kitchen area from the sleep zone. Low cabinets around the outside of your sofa could even double as a dining table or desk.

7. Invest wisely in essential furniture

Couple watching a movie
Back view of couple watching wildlife movie on television in living room

Our main tip for furnishing any space is to invest in the essential furniture. What do we mean? It’s a good idea to spend more money on pieces you will have for 10+ years, like your sofa and a bed frame. Spend a bit more for higher quality materials and a timeless style.

That means you can afford to spend a bit less on accent pieces, like side tables and lamps. These don’t need to be as durable, and you can feel free to swap them out every few years as your taste changes. If you have kids or pets, you’ll definitely want to invest in durable pieces with storage since smaller pieces may get knocked over or knicked. If you want to know cost specifics, check out our comprehensive post about how to furnish an apartment with price breakdowns.


Specific ideas for your small living room layout

If you want floor plans, check out The Spruce for some cute illustrations of different ways to layout a small living room. Forbes also has some ideas about how to layout furniture in a small living room.

Otherwise, peek through the gallery of ideas for small living room layouts for inspiration!

And if you are relocating and need some help, our company can create a layout for any size space. Our interior designers get you the best deals on high-quality furniture, and they know how to maximize small spaces.

Drop us a line at Furnishr, and we promise to make it worth it!

If you are preparing for a move, you may also like these posts:

How to Move to the United States from Overseas
A Moving Out Checklist: The Painful Furniture Decision