Furnishr’s 2019 Year in Review

Furnishr lookbook

Furnishr is a startup company, which means that we are constantly striving to tweak and improve our services! Our goal is that each and every Furnishr customer experiences delight, ease, and a highly personal touch. And over the last 12 months, we have made some truly awesome improvements to the Furnishr customer experience. So here is our 2019 year in review!

We can’t wait to share with you all the ways we’ve made it better to do business with Furnishr.

1. NEW STYLE DISCOVERY PROCESS

We ask a variety of questions in 10-15 different ways to understand our customers’ style profiles. You know those ‘What’s My Style?’ quizzes on Buzzfeed? Well, the Furnishr version is a legit upgrade! We show you real rooms with real furniture that you can buy. And we use branching logic in every quiz, so you never get some random result. The best part is that every customer has a slightly different result. So, you’ll never get exactly the same room as someone else! Your space is different, and your style is different. This tweak to our process has been amazing, and that’s why it has the #1 spot in our Year In Review. We love starting off the consultation process with a treasure chest of rich, personalized style info directly from our customer.

2. NEW PEEK-INSIDE LOOK BOOK

We showcase different look book photos to see what appeals to users. This gives our customers a sense of what different items and arrangements can look like in real life rooms. You can review Furnishr’s previous projects to judge our style for yourself. You can point out furniture items you really love and would like us to incorporate in your own room. The look book is a great way for customers to quickly, and on their own time, evaluate their design options and figure out their own style. Plus, anyone can click on a look book photo to peek inside the back end! You can see a price breakdown for each object in the room, and read about the manufacturer and dimensions of each piece. How’s that for an inside look?

3. INDUSTRY RELATIONSHIPS AND SELECTING THE BEST PRODUCTS

Furnishr co-founder Karen Lau.

This year, we visited lots of manufacturers in person to source the best quality products and newest styles for the upcoming season. What does this mean for customers? Our direct and exclusive relationships with manufacturers allow us to offer our customers up to 20% off the MSRP (or sticker price) of furniture. Plus, our firsthand research means that we can find the most trustworthy and reliable industry partners to produce and deliver your furniture. We’re really proud of this one. In 2019, it’s pretty rare for a furnishing company to have personal industry relationships. Most companies nowadays are comprised of a large warehouse and a fulfillment center. But not Furnishr. We get to know the people we do business with. This helps us stay ahead of the curve and deliver the best customer experience available in the market today.

4. QUALITY CONTROL EXPERIMENTS

We improved quality control by testing products over a 1-year period to see how they held up. This is another way that a startup company like Furnishr gets the edge on bigger, warehouse companies. We want to ensure that every single product we bring into your home is built to last, as well as stylish. You deserve more than laminate bedside tables that crack when you put too many books on top! We are committed to continuing our quality control experiments in future years, as we add more manufacturers to our list of trusted partners.

5. BLOG AND INSTAGRAM DESIGN TIPS AND INSPIRATION

Visit us on Instagram and get design inspo tips for every room in your house!

We kicked our blog and Instagram feed (@furnishr) into high gear and began providing in-depth designer-approved tips and inspiration. Because we believe in good, accessible design for everyone! Whether you’re ready to work with Furnishr, or whether you’re just interested in design — you are welcome in the Furnishr family. Check out the blog for top quality advice, ranging from how to start renting out an Airbnb to easy-to-implement furnishing trends from the 1970s. Same deal on insta. We’re here to inspire, and we’re so happy to be growing our online community of design-minded pals!

6. BETTER SEGMENTING OF CUSTOMERS INTO EMAIL GROUPS

Okay, this may seem boring, but it’s actually super duper cool! We are now sorting Furnishr customers into better lists, so that we only email you with relevant info.

For instance, maybe you took our style quiz but you’re not actually moving house yet. In this case, you’ll only get the fun design inspo content and an occasional invitation to start your custom room process. On the other hand, perhaps you’re already enjoying the Furnishr room you bought earlier this year! In that case, we won’t try sell you another room. Instead, you’ll receive a referral code and an insider peek into Furnishr’s upcoming developments (hint: we’re moving into commercial spaces!). We may even invite you to be featured on our blog!


If you’re reading this, we are so grateful for you. Startup companies like us rely on having good relationships and good service records to grow. Furnishr’s commitment to you is that we will always keep learning! We promise to improve every day, every year, and to deliver the absolute best furnishing experience on the market.

And that’s our 2019 Year in Review!

We love hearing about your best moments, too. Feel free to share your 2019 Year in Review highlights in the comments below, and we might feature you over on Instagram.

Have a safe and happy new year, and see you in 2020!

With love,
The Furnishr Team

The best home design shows on Netflix: a complete ranking

Amazing Interiors on Netflix

No matter your home design kink — renovations, home improvement, interior design, or simply snooping on other people’s houses — we’ve got you covered with our complete (and highly unofficial) ranking of the best home design shows on Netflix.

Criteria, you ask?

Our main criteria is whether the show is actually enjoyable to watch. As a result, this list includes both binge-watching pleasure and popcorn-throwing criticism in this criteria (but not whether it offers actually useful home design advice). We personally watched at least two episodes from each show listed below. However, not all shows will be available in every region (some are only available in the USA and not in Canada, for instance).

So, cozy up, queue these up, and start scheming about your dream home!

Our team will be waiting on the other side to help with all your furnishing needs. Velvet sofa? Check. Hammock chair? Check. The best home design shows are only the beginning of your journey.

—-> Oh, and if you want a FREE interior design video consultation – then head here to schedule your 15 minute slot with one of our designers. All you have to do is show us around your house with your smartphone, and we’ll give you actionable design tips for improving your space.

1. The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes

The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes

If you’re at all interested in architecture and travel, you will love this show. It is the perfect way to start off your home design binge with some inspiration. Each episode features a top-to-bottom exploration of four extraordinary homes around in the world. The unique angle of this show is that the architect is interviewed, along with the owner. Therefore, you’ll get a glimpse into the jungle homes of famous cinematographers, and oceanside dwellings of reclusive designers. Piers Taylor (architect) and Caroline Quentin (a comedian) host the show, and it’s actually delightful to see them explore and revel in each new space. This is definitely one of the best home design shows on Netflix.

2. Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

Now that you’re all fired up and filled up with beautiful imagery, it’s time to ease your transition back into reality. What better way than dear, gentle Marie Kondo? Each episode features Kondo helping someone tidy up their home, and in the process their life. As a result, it’s surprisingly poignant, and it’s a great way to begin growing curiosity and empathy for your stuff. From the grieving widower in a huge messy house to the family cramped in a small apartment, you’ll find tearjerkers and tidying tips in each episode.

3. Grand Designs

Grand Designs

This show, amazingly, began production in 1994 and is still going strong. It’s hosted by Kevin McCloud and each episode follows people in the process of building their dream home. In addition, this show features a great diversity of locations and designs, and it’s a great peek into the challenges and triumphs of managing a renovation process. However, McCloud can get a bit annoying to watch, especially in the earlier seasons. But it’s worth it to see the family pull through, solve problems, and discover that their house building process is actually a home building process. As far as Netflix’s offerings go, this is one of the best home design shows.

4. Amazing Interiors

Amazing Interiors on Netflix

This is an American reality TV show. Keeping that in mind, this show is actually a really sweet reminder that it’s okay to let loose and be yourself in all your weird wackiness. Firstly, each episode features three different spaces that may look ordinary on the outside, but have a uniquely quirky interior hidden within. Secondly, there’s something for everyone, including baseball aficionados, medieval LARPers, and cat-lovers. The home owners are full of passion, and most have no design training whatsoever. In addition, there’s no host or narrator so it’s easy to binge and scrub ahead to the bits you actually want to watch.

5. Interior Design Masters

Interior Design Masters

This is a British reality TV show, so expect something a bit more refined than the American counterparts. It is honestly so fun and stressful to watch! Amateur interior designers compete against one another for a chance to win a commercial design contract. There is such a huge variety in personality and skillset, and it is nail-biting to watch them try to collaborate and finish their rooms by the deadline. It’s an elimination series, so at the end of each episode they send a designer (or two) home. The briefs are always interesting, and the hosts are encouraging but critical. It’s a great show for sparking your own inner designer. Make sure the fridge is stocked before you start this series, as you’ll want to watch them all in a row.

6. The Apartment

The Apartment

This is the longest running reality competition show in Asia! It’s a little like Big Brother meets Interior Design Masters. Most the contestants are influencers, not designers. If you’re into a little drama with your design, you’ll like this show. It’s worth watching just to immerse yourself in a totally different world where the coveted prize is a luxury apartment in Kuala Lumpur. The details are less important than the drama in this series. Because of that, The Apartment is fun to watch with friends or just to have on in the background while you do other stuff. It wouldn’t normally fall under a best home design show ranking, but it’s too fun to leave out.

7. The Great Interior Design Challenge

The Great Interior Design Challenge

Similar to Interior Design Masters, this show pits budding interior designers against each other to win a major design contract. But there’s a fun addition to their challenge. In each episode, each designer is surprised last-minute with an object that they must upcycle and then incorporate into their schemes. Like The Great British Bake Off, it is delightful to watch contestants help and encourage one other while under major stress. Judges Sophie Robinson and Daniel Hopwood hit the perfect tone which balances mentorship with tough love. Another one that’s easy to binge watch and shout at, we highly recommend this series as one of the best home design shows on Netflix.

8. Fix It and Finish It

Fix It and Finish It

This is a home reno show with a heart. Plus, it features the sweet (and easy on the eyes) actor and host Antonio Sabato Jr. As a result, this series is a fun and low-key way to enjoy some rapid-fire transformations and feel-good finishes. It follows the classic TV reno process, even though some spaces are not houses but RVs or cabins. First, homeowners talk about their needs and then a team of builders and contractors swoops in to quickly transform the space. The reveals are nice, but don’t expect to feel highly motivated to take on your own projects after watching this show.

9. Cabins In the Wild

Cabins In the Wild

This four-episode series has a bit of an odd premise: designers compete to create designs for themed, portable pop-up hotels in the wilderness. For instance, the first episode is all about dragons, where a “cabin built to resemble a dragon’s eye faces off against a dragon’s claw.” But if you’re interested in more quirky spaces, or wide open spaces, then you’ll probably like this show. You never know what to expect and the final designs are guaranteed to surprise and delight.

10. Reno My Reno

Reno My Reno

Pure catharsis. This series features Dave Depencier (and his team) who swoop in to rescue amateur carpenters from their building mistakes. It’s not as mean as it sounds, though. Most of the guests are happy to have help and gracious about learning the correct way to drywall or insulate their cottage. This one is a good mix of practical reno tips, non-toxic masculinity, and a good ole dose of DIY spirit. The best part of Reno My Reno is that the original ideas come from the owners themselves, and the hosts are just there to help them bring their dreams to life.

11. Instant Hotel

Instant Hotel

An Australian reality TV show, Instant Hotel is a competition where homeowners have to turn their homes into instant hotels. Having someone else live in our homes is an idea which most of us have considered at some point, whether for income purposes or the pure satisfaction of offering good hospitality and design. However, this show takes it to a whole new level. TV Guide described Instant Hotel as one of the “pettiest” reality shows — so if you’re in the mood for that, then buckle up and get ready to cackle and groan. Everyone’s a little bit annoying, and the points and the judging structure are illogical. But if you like your design shows to have a bit of personality, then check out Instant Hotel.

12. Stay Here

Stay Here

Okay, we know this is a controversial last-place ranking, as a lot of people actually love this show. Stay Here is about makeovers, or how to turn a space into a profit-generator. It features well-known designer Genevieve Gorder from Trading Spaces, and it’s one part design show and one part business consultation. That being said, the home design element of Stay Here is actually quite weak. Most of the makeovers are quite quick and simplistic, and geared towards curb appeal and making money quick from the mass market. Frankly, it made my stomach turn to see someone get so little joy from design and focus so much on making a profit. If you want to transform a space of your own, you’ll find actionable tips on this show. But if you want to be delighted by innovative design and ingenious creativity, you may want to look elsewhere.

Honorary Mentions

In addition, we couldn’t fail to mention these delightful shows, which don’t fit squarely into the ‘home design’ niche.

Check out these shows if you’re a sucker for transformation, both personal and literal. Each series is highly enjoyable and easy to watch. You’ll be left with a natural high and a gentle determination to transform the world, starting with yourself.

Love Your Garden
“Alan Titchmarsh surprises deserving people across Britain with transformations to their outdoor living spaces. Alan and his team of experts nurture neglected grounds and turn them into stunning gardens while shoveling out handy hints and advice.”

Big Dreams, Small Spaces
“Monty Don works with amateur gardeners to help them create the garden of their dreams.”

Queer Eye
“More than a decade after the original series went off the air, Netflix reboots the “Queer Eye” franchise with a new Fab Five and a new setting, trading in the concrete jungle of New York City for communities in and around Atlanta. The style experts forge relationships with men and women who often have different beliefs from them, leading to moments of social commentary interspersed with style advice. Advising people in need of lifestyle makeovers are food and wine specialist Antoni Porowski, interior designer Bobby Berk, grooming consultant Jonathan Van Ness, fashion designer Tan France and culture expert Karamo Brown, who reality TV fans may recognize as one of the housemates on “The Real World: Philadelphia.”

How to Live Mortgage Free with Sarah Beeny
“Sarah Beeny meets inspiring people who’ve escaped mortgages quickly by using some clever and simple tricks.”

Money for Nothing
“Winner of `The Great Interior Design Challenge’, Sarah Moore gets brought into more renovation projects on the show ‘Money for Nothing’. In this series, Moore meets different people up and down the UK who are throwing out what they consider to be worthless goods. In each episode, the designer takes three of these worn-out, overused goods and gives them a new life. The items are transformed beyond recognition and given a bespoke edge, which in turn gives them a higher value. Any profit made on the products sold is returned to the original owners.”


Happy binge-watching! In conclusion, remember that if you start to feel inspired, we are here to help. Take our style quiz or get a custom room design from Furnishr’s interior designers with all your fave prints and textures.

It’s a Wonderful Life: Everything You Didn’t Know About the Furniture from the Classic Holiday Film

The movie It’s a Wonderful Life is a holiday classic, re-watched by millions of people every year. Set in the 1930s and 1940s, it wasn’t actually a box office success during the time of its release. But now, it’s seen as a quintessential holiday film with lessons about the meaning of life and the role of community in lifting one another up.


Donna Reed, Jimmy Stewart, and Karolyn Grimes, in the roles of Mary Hatch, George Bailey, and Zuzu.

Need a plot refresher?

The film is about George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart), and set in the fictional upstate New York town of Bedford Falls. We follow George as he grows up, falls in love, and has a family of his own. Meanwhile, he struggles to keep his father’s small business up and running. But circumstances lead to George finding himself on a bridge making a suicide attempt on Christmas Eve. However, George’s wish to no longer be alive summons his guardian angel, Clarence, from the heavens! Clarence gives George a glimpse of what the world would look like if he had never been born.

The production design and set dressing for It’s a Wonderful Life is a fantastic feat of world-building. A little known fact is that the special effects team won an award for their noiseless “chemical snow” recipe. At that time in Hollywood, most fake snow was made with cornflakes which crunched. This required that actors dub their lines later on. It’s a Wonderful Life was filmed on a set in California during a heat wave, so they really needed a realistic, quiet snow!

A sign with drifts of snow announces “You are now in Bedford Falls”

But back to the furniture.

The crux of this film is the relationship between the Bailey family and their community. And we’re about to explain how the furniture deftly illuminates this theme. It’s a Wonderful Life is about the complexity and richness of small town relationships. It’s also about how to make the best of life when times are hard, like during the 1930s and 1940s.

George Bailey’s Childhood Home

George Bailey sits with his parents at a dining table, where a beaded pendant lamp hangs.

He grew up in the 1920s, and the furniture in his childhood home reflects this era. Or rather, it reflects the Victorian-style design elements that George’s parents probably inherited from their parents. We see two beautiful beaded hanging lamps, one in the living room and one hovering over the Bailey dinner table.

They are most likely made of slag glass, and resemble the popular Tiffany lamps of the time. We don’t see much of the elder Bailey home, but it does feature sensible, solid wood furniture. We get the feeling that their style is definitely a holdover from Victorian “country-style” decor.

Another example of a hanging pendant lamp, with beaded string and slag glass.

Mr. Henry Potter’s Office

Mr. Potter is the nemesis and polar opposite of George Bailey. Potter is a greedy banker, hoarder of wealth, and ignorant of his community. His office is full of ostentatious displays of his money. It includes two busts of Napoleon, one portrait of himself, statuettes, books, and ornate wood furniture. The height and build of Mr. Potter’s desk accommodates his wheelchair. On his desk, you’ll notice two telephones, assorted papers and pens, and an odd-looking contraption that is actually an old-fashioned letter sealer.

Henry Potter sits at his banker’s desk, as George Bailey gestures angrily at him.

But the major design element in Potter’s office, visible in almost every frame with him, is Potter’s ornate office chair. In fact, this style of chair is actually known as a “throne chair.” This is a clever nod by the designers to Potter’s elevated sense of self. This banker’s chair is French-style, 19th century, and probably carved out of oak or walnut. The chair’s high back and ornate design commands attention and intimidates whoever is sitting across from Potter. This is especially visible when George meets with Potter, who offers him a high-paying job in exchange for liquidating his family business.

This is a brilliant example of how It’s a Wonderful Life uses furniture to contrast George Bailey’s humility and Henry Potter’s excess.

  • A red velvet example of an antique “throne chair”, similar to the one seen in Mr. Potter’s office.
  • Another throne chair example, with ornately carved wood.

Mary Hatch’s childhood home

George and Mary sit together on a low settee, in Mary’s childhood home.

Mary’s childhood home is delightfully airy, and features several really evocative pieces of furniture from the time period. The first is her carved wood sofa, or settee, in the living room. This is a Rococo-style piece which became quite popular in the 1920s and 1930s. The lace doilies pinned to the back cushions give it a homey feel, and it sits quite low to the ground.

Take a look at the scene pictured above in It’s a Wonderful Life, where George and Mary are sitting together on the settee. You can see that Jimmy Stewart’s knees actually come up much higher than his waist!

An example of the style of carved sofa visible in the scene above, featuring ornate wooden carvings on the back and arms as well as a low, open seating area.

The second major setting in the plot is the telephone area in Mary’s home. At the base of the stairs, we see a marble-top wood table beside a floral armchair. It is here that Mary receives the phone call from Sam Wainwright while George is moping in the living room. This style of marble-top wood end table was a very common piece in homes from this time. And as the 1940s rolled around, florals quickly came back into fashion. We’ll highlight more floral motifs in the new Bailey family home further down (Zuzu’s petals, anyone?).

Mary speaks on the telephone. Around her, we can see the carved settee in the background. Next to Mary is a marble-top wood table and a floral armchair.
  • A similar floral armchair.
  • A round, marble-top wood table similar to Mary’s.

“That drafty old house!” – Honeymoon Edition

320 Sycamore is the address of the abandoned, grand old Granville house. This is where George and Mary first throw rocks through the windows and make wishes after the dance.

George and Mary stand outside what will become their future home, 320 Sycamore.

Later on, the couple chooses to give up their honeymoon savings to keep the Building & Loan business afloat. Mary gathers some accomplices, and surprises George by transforming 320 Sycamore into an impromptu bridal suite. The home is still dirty, drippy, and mostly unfurnished, but Mary sets a beautiful dinner table and lights a fire. She sets up a bed with two pairs of slippers, and turns down the blankets.

It’s a pivotal moment in the film – George shows up miserable, and keeps referring to it as “that drafty old house.” But Mary eventually wins him over with ingenuity and love. They enjoy a staycation honeymoon together in Bedford Falls.

Mary waits for George in their “honeymoon” suite at 320 Sycamore.

It’s not clear how long the house has been abandoned. We can clearly see some outdated design elements during these honeymoon scenes. Mostly though, Mary has probably scrounged clean furniture from around town. It’s a Wonderful Life is full of moments where a character relies on their community. They also re-use objects around them to solve a problem.

The Bailey Family Home – It’s a Wonderful Life

Spoiler alert! 320 Sycamore eventually becomes the new Bailey family home. They work together to clean and update the home, and soon Mary has three children, Janie, Zuzu, and Tommy. George is still in a miserable state trying to preserve the family business and resenting his more successful friends. For him, 320 Sycamore is still a symbol of everything that has gone wrong in his life. When he’s frustrated, he still calls it “that drafty old house”.

The loose filial on the newel post on the Bailey staircase is a plot device in the film. Whenever George climbs the stairs, it pops off in his hand and he hatefully jams it back on. But his perspective changes after Clarence shows George what life would be like if he’d never been born. In a poignant moment, George returns to the family house and races up the stairs to see Mary. As he does, the filial once again pops off into his hand, but this time he grins with joy and kisses it gratefully.

George smiles joyously as he replaces the loose filial.

This location serves as the heart of the rest of It’s a Wonderful Life.

It is here that the Bailey family prepares for Christmas eve together. This is where Mary is seen calling the police to look for George when he goes missing. And it’s here that the community comes together to help save the business and celebrate George Bailey.

Mary speaks on the telephone, and the three children are seen playing in the living room.

There are some really cool furnishings here!

First we can spot a lovely 1930s-era radio cabinet over by the Christmas tree. There is an Anthropologie-style butterfly collection mounted above the radio cabinet. The overmantel by the fireplace is a classic feature of homes from earlier years. It has clearly been lovingly restored by the Baileys.

A 1930s style radio cabinet that resembles the Baileys’ cabinet.

We see a sweet toile-style wallpaper throughout the house. Capra gives us a glimpse of Mary applying the wallpaper atop a ladder in a reno montage.

Mary applies new wallpaper to their new family home at 320 Sycamore.

The couple’s bedroom features a classic 1930s-era wrought iron bed frame.

Mary and George lay together in their bed, and she’s about to tell him she is expecting their first child.

In the rest of the house, there are several hanging lamps. These resemble slightly updated versions of the ones in the elder Bailey family home. And there are several highly unique carved wooden display cabinets in the lower level of the Bailey home. They also have a piano, on which Janie practices Christmas songs during the tense family confrontation before George leaves.

Mary rushes up the stairs, past the group of men who want to arrest her husband. A carved wooden shelving unit is visible.

Zuzu’s Bedroom

In Zuzu’s bedroom upstairs, we see flowers almost everywhere. In the scene where she asks George to paste the petals back onto her dying flower, we can see a floral motif throughout. There are flowers on her bed frame, on her bureau, and even on her wallpaper.

  • Zuzu smiles in bed, holding her flower with the pasted petals.
  • George stands in Zuzu’s bedroom, surrounded by flower motifs.

The overall theme of the furniture in It’s a Wonderful Life is to make do with what you have. The film takes place during in 1930s and 1940s, as World War Two was dominating the social, cultural, and economic dynamics of the country. Many materials were diverted to the war effort, so people made do with hand me downs from previous generations or DIY projects.

The Bailey family were clearly heroes in this effort. Even though the final scenes takes place in the 1940s, much of the Bailey furniture looks like it’s from the 1930s. Another example of this theme is when George sent his brother to school and stayed behind to run the family business. The Baileys lived small but they were generous, offering up their personal savings to keep the community bank afloat. Mary embodied this theme when she fixed up an old abandoned house for their honeymoon, and eventually it became their permanent home.

The finale takes place on Christmas Eve 1945, after World War Two has officially ended. The Bedford Falls community got news of the Bailey family’s situation with the Building & Loan, and on Christmas Eve they flood their home with well wishers who come bearing cash gifts.

The Gift of Community

A bell hanging on the Bailey Christmas tree is about to ring, signaling that Clarence has finally gotten his wings.

The film ends with a bell ringing, and Clarence the angel gets his wings. George reunites with his family, the community saves the business, and George rediscovers the true meaning of life.

Indeed, It’s a Wonderful Life!

Do you like this style of furniture? We foresee a lot of 1940s style elements coming back into style this year, and the DIY trend will simply never grow old! Let us know in the comments if you learned something new.

Moving Checklist: 6 Ways to Handle a Cross-Country Move

planning a move

You’re about to move across the country! And with our help, you’re gonna handle this like a boss. You got this.

Here are our Furnishr’s top six tips for an easy, breezy, beautiful moving process.

1. Ignore unhelpful backseat drivers.

This is your time, your move! Your mom and your best friend may have their own opinions, but it’s time for you to step into the driver’s seat. You need to decide which apartment to rent, which movers to hire, and which items to keep and which to toss. These are important decisions that can make or break your transition into your new home! Ease the transition into your new home and have some faith in yourself. After all, it’s you that has to live with the decisions.

2. Get multiple quotes.

a person sits with a planner and pencil in their lap planning a move

You know what bosses do? They ask for the best deal. Bosses shop around. And they stay organized. But if you’re going to handle this move like a boss, you should anticipate some tough decisions. Sometimes the cheapest option isn’t the best option. Do a cost-benefit analysis and ask future-you what she wants. It might take you some time but it’ll be worth the hassle in the long run!

3. See if your company will cover some costs.

Many companies offer some kind of relocation package. Even if you weren’t offered this, it can’t hurt to ask. It shows the company that you value your time, and that you’re not afraid to speak up for yourself. Who knows, maybe they have a couple of hundred bucks to help cover a few boxes? Why not get a head-start on your new life and be the boss that you are!

4. Sort your stuff before you pack.

a blonde woman holds a cardboard moving box in front of a yellow wall

Now is the time to Marie Kondo your possessions. Don’t waste energy schlepping stuff that doesn’t make you happy. If you’re making an epic move, it’s probably for a really cool reason. You’re chasing your dreams, and that’s awesome! So take the time to sort your things out before you go. Everybody loves a “take my stuff” party. Oh, and don’t forget to bring sharpies.

5. Plan your future space.

Knowing where you’ll be living is a huge stress-reliever. No one wants to land in a new country with no sense of where to go. Take the time and imagine the best you that you can be, and design your new space accordingly. Pinterest can also be a great way to find the best design inspiration that suits your needs. This is not something you have to plan all by yourself. Feel free to ask a friend to help you plan your new pad.

If you really want to start fresh, use a company like Furnishr that takes your floorplans and completely furnishes your new space in a single day. But if you’re struggling with long-distance apartment hunting, here’s a pro tip. Look for a short-term sublet just to get your feet in the ground. In saturated real estate markets, this option gives you time to meet with landlords in person, even though moving twice sucks.

6. Take care of yourself when you get there.

a woman in shorts stands in a park

When you arrive, walk around as much as you can for the first few weeks. If you drive everywhere, you may struggle to get your orientation. Try to figure out where you’ll most likely be hanging out the most, like the local grocery or dive bar down the street. Don’t be discouraged if you’re feeling homesick! Remember that the discomfort you’re feeling is a totally normal part of reinventing yourself. If you’re really feeling down, don’t be hesitant to call up old friends or treat yourself to dinner if you need a boost. And remember that your friends miss you too. But once you get to know your new neighborhood, we promise you’ll feel right at home.

And that’s it!

If you manage to complete six of these steps while planning a cross-country move, then you are definitely a boss.

You’re headed for great things, and the future is looking up. You’re a boss, remember? If you need some help planning your new space, remember to call on your friends (Furnishr can help, too).

What An Interior Designer Knows That You Don’t

parcgrove apartments party room

Over the last two decades, popular design trends have shifted, moving away from faux DIY chic towards sleek and authentic. After all, the year 2000 was twenty years ago! Much has changed, especially when it comes to how people choose to design their homes. You may think you have the necessary skills for picking out your own furnishings. But you might not know certain things that only a trained interior designer would know, as I=it is difficult to keep up-to-date with all the industry trends on your own.

So, when is it sensible to hire an interior designer rather than doing it yourself?

Well, the Furnishr team is a bit biased. If you’re not doing a big renovation and just need some nice furniture, we believe that the easiest way to furnish your home is to hire us! If you want to give your space a facelift, you might choose to do a renovation. That process can be very time-intensive. For instance, here is how that process could look if you hire a consultant.

For pricing, some designers will charge by the hour plus the cost of materials, whereas others charge a fixed project cost including all materials and labor. They might begin with an on-site consultation to understand your needs and requirements, budget, timeline, etc. Then they come back to propose a few design concepts and bring some samples of materials. Some interior designers will draft a few drawings of your living spaces.

After the design is finalized, you might spend a few days or weeks shopping with the designer. Alternatively, the designer could choose everything for you and have pictures and samples for you to approve. After all the materials, products, and plans are finalized, then the contractors will start working. The furniture selecting process may come at the very end after all the renovations are done. As you can see, hiring an interior designer can be an extensive and costly process.

If that sounds like overkill, perhaps you just need a furniture facelift! This process is much simpler and faster. At Furnishr, we do a free design consultation, followed by a brief collaborative process with your floor plans and your design preferences. The best part? In one day, Furnishr delivers, sets up, and cleans up your entire space. That’s our promise to you. Furnishr is the one-stop shop for all your furnishing needs.

Whether you hire someone for a renovation, or you just need a furniture facelift, you may find that some expertise is worth the investment. If you’re still unsure, here are five aspects that interior designers know that you might not.

1. Access to Suppliers

Everyone likes a good discount! You may consider yourself extremely good at bargaining or couponing, but sometimes those skills may not be enough. Often times, you end up settling on a less attractive piece of furniture that is cheaper than the one you had originally hoped for. Not only that but as much as you are able to scour websites or flea markets for a good deal, an experienced interior designer will have connections to suppliers that can ultimately save you more money in the long run.

Additionally, some stores and suppliers work exclusively with designers and trade professionals. These are items that you can not just walk in and purchase. This gives designers special access to pricing as well as particular styles. An interior designer can find what you need while potentially saving you time, money, and novice mistakes in the process. Renovations can be expensive so don’t settle for less and consider reaching out to a professional.

2. Product Knowledge

You should pick an interior designer who has either training or work experience. This gives them knowledge that an average Joe like you may not have. For instance, what do you know about the durability of different materials? An interior designer worth their money will have worked with existing brands and products. For example, did you know about smart glass film for windows? They’re an easy to implement solution for controlling daylight without having to install curtains. They will know which items hold up over time and which ones use cheap paint that chips off. You might like the look of a rug, but you may not have the trained eye that can spot a cheap material that will wear out within six months. A trained professional is also able to find the right material that will match the tones and functionality of your ideal dream house. After all, aesthetics should be the least of your worries if all your furniture isn’t lasting as long as you hoped it would.

3. Technical Knowledge

Especially if you’re doing a renovation, a designer can help with the necessary technical knowledge and industrial experience to deliver the space of your dreams.

They know about the functional aspects of a space and structural standards (eg. How deep should a counter be in a kitchen? How many pot lights to install for a 600 square-feet space?). Trying to guess at these figures yourself could become a costly mistake later. If these aspects have not crossed your mind, perhaps it’s a better idea to hire some professional help. A designer who has studied specifications and designed 20 kitchens will be able to tell you, from experience, what works in spaces like yours. This can be a huge time saver rather than performing tedious measurements yourself.

4. Outside Perspective in Design

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, especially when it comes to interior design. Once you choose your furniture and paint, it can feel intimidating to redo anything, even though your tastes and your life are totally different now. If you’re designing a new space for yourself, it makes sense to have help getting out of your own head. 

An interior design consultant can help you imagine a new space with new designs that reflect your current interests. It sounds counterintuitive, but a good consultant can help you design something better and more personal than you could imagine yourself.

Pinterest can be a really great platform to spark creativity and inspiration in creating your own room design. However, you shouldn’t try to recreate these rooms. At the end of the day, this is your home. Rather than striving for a room that looks like an Ikea showroom, interior designers have the expertise to create a unique room layout that matches your individuality and needs. Their extensive experience allows them to have a greater idea of the style you are looking for, even though you may have trouble articulating it at first. If this sounds appealing to you, consider investing in a design consultant.

5. Project Management

Many designers can handle or arrange for the installation of your furnishings if desired. Just imagine if someone else could handle the entire delivery, rather than you bouncing from shop to shop trying to cram pieces in your rented moving van. This alone could be worth the price of hiring a design consultant.

They will also handle the coordination of multiple design aspects if you’re doing a full renovation. That is to say, certain things must go in a specific order. The floors should be installed before all else but may go in parallel with lighting installations to shorten the schedule. An experienced interior designer will know all that and their close working relationships with contractors and suppliers is often beneficial to scheduling flexibility. They know how to plan the paint schedule, and will keep detailed floor plans to make sure nothing goes awry.

A major perk of hiring help is that your design process can be done in a single effort, rather than drawing it out over months and slowly losing interest. With an interior design consultant on board, you can briefly concentrate all your energy on designing your space and then reap the rewards. An interior designer will be your single point of contact for every part of a redesign.

They can hide a lot of the chaos and headaches from you so you can enjoy the process and the result. If you’re someone who doesn’t need to be overwhelmed by additional decisions and chaos in life, then a designer is almost always necessary.

So, what should I do?

It’s a big commitment to redesign your space, we get it! You’re balancing cost against the outcome, and you want to come out ahead in the end. This generation has been lucky enough to benefit from amazing design inspiration, from Pinterest to interior design & renovation reality TV shows. Some designers, like Design*Sponge’s Grace Bonney, are fervent defenders of trends.

But design is not just about having a good eye. A good designer has a good eye, but also access, knowledge, and connections beyond your experience. So before you plan your big move, think about the strengths that an interior design consultant could bring to the table. Is a renovation really necessary? Could a high-quality furniture facelift do the trick?

Check out Furnishr’s solution to “enjoy your dream home, set up in just a day” — you can book a free call with one of our designers to learn more. And good luck with this very major step in your life! We know you’ll do great.

>> Maybe your space isn’t in dire need of a facelift after all. Try some of these DIY projects to refresh your space instead. Please leave a comment down below! We would love to hear about your experience working with an interior designer or home renovation! Thanks for reading!

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

Furnished Studio with grey sofa, white bed and star mirror

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 our help to furnish your apartment?

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

 

Read on to learn more about the cost of furnishing an apartment

Get out your pen and paper! We’re about to break down the cost of furnishing an apartment from scratch.

Open living dining room with white walls, New York Apartment

But first, some real talk.

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.

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 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

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 ended up super happy with her space, 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 sat down and 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.

Here, you can see Lucy’s first budget. At this stage, she intends to furnish her apartment from scratch for $1,985.

Furniture Budget for a 1-bedroom apartment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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. She started adding items to her virtual shopping cart, her total estimated cost came in over budget by 55%  — 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. It’s also worth asking yourself which kind of furniture you want.

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

First, let’s find some quality stuff. You need to graduate from your IKEA days! There, we said it. After all, 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.

Plan your furnishing budget around high-quality basics first

So let’s start with Furnishr’s guide to basic living. We recommend 3 – 4 pieces of essential furniture for your living room, plus 3 essential pieces for your bedroom.

Here’s the breakdown of bare basic items for living room & bedroom.

Cost Breakdown Of Furnishing A Living Room

Essential Furniture and Their Typical Retail Costs

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

    • If you have a wide enough 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. Also, try mixing different fabrics/textures to make the setting that is 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. Coffee Table: $120-260

    • A coffee table provides a necessary surface area to place drinks and snacks. And 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. 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.
    • Take notes or pictures of the locations of all your outlets to help you plan your lighting scheme.

Cost Of Furnishing – Living Room Furniture Comparison

Here’s a quick easy guide from Furnishr on how much a living room would cost from retailers like WestElm or Crate & Barrel. These are average prices for products with decent quality.living room cost comparison

studio layout

Cost Breakdown of Furnishing a Bedroom

Essential Furniture and Their Typical Retail Costs

  1. Bed: $400-800

    • A proper bed is essential. There are many options with storage drawers or lift-up under-bed storage. Again, the more storage function, the more costly it is.
    • A bed should be made to last, so consider it a key investment piece.
    • A nice headboard can also serve as a statement design item in the bedroom, so it’s important that you love the headboard!
  2. Mattress: $300-1200

    • A good mattress is the key to a good night’s sleep, so definitely don’t skimp. There are many different kinds, like memory foam and spring mattresses.  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. 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.
    • Place the nightstand closer to the side with an outlet for charging all the 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), it’s best to have two nightstands (one for each side of the bed) to create a symmetrical look.

Cost of Furnishing – Bedroom Furniture Comparison

Bedroom furnishing comparison

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

Other Furnishing Costs To Get The “Designed” Look

Bookshelf with tree accessorized to achieve a Alright, now you know how to budget for the essentials when furnishing an apartment from scratch. Once you cover the basic pieces, like 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!

Next, 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?

After all, you want to avoid a mismatched set of furniture in your home. Here are a few beautiful 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 area from $1400 to $10,700

Still overwhelmed? No worries! You can get a design proposal from Furnishr to see 2-3 designs for your whole apartment. Just answer a few questions about who you are and what your space is like, and you’ll get a 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!

Non-Essential Furniture and Their Typical Retail Costs

Whether you use Furnishr or not, we’d still like you to have a comfortable home to live in. Here’s what the Furnishr interior design team recommends for optional furnishings and their costs.

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

    • For small spaces, a TV stand can be the only storage piece you have. Because of this, consider investing 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. 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. Area Rug: $290-500 (depending on size)

    • An area rug adds softness and visual appeal, so you’ll appreciate it especially in cold winters.
    • 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. 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, take a step moment to ensure that you’ve covered the 3 – 4 pieces of essential furniture for your living room and bedroom. The breakdown of total costs for all the essential furniture will be:

Living room furniture of $2050-3150 + Bedroom furniture of $880-2300 = $2930 to $5450 in total. 

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

Living Room EssentialsBedroom EssentialsBonus 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

But, what about your time?

Don’t Forget the Time & Hassle of Moving

Remember Lucy? All she wanted to do was prepare for her new job, but she also needed to coordinate with her new building to book the service elevator. Did you know that many furniture stores can’t even guarantee that all your furniture will arrive at once?

And what about the assembly? All of a sudden, Lucy began thinking about having to coordinate the actual transfer of furniture to her place, as well as assembly. And when assembly is done, what about the boxes? Lucy would have to cut up the boxes or fold them down in order to fit them into her building’s recycling bins.

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

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

Next up, what is your plan for handling furniture? Will you need to rent a truck or rent some friends to help you with the moving, setup and cleaning up? If you’re not picking up the new furniture yourself, your delivery costs could range from $150 to $300 per item per store.

Remember that most delivery services drop off items on different days, and many don’t include assembly. Hiring a handyman to assemble your furniture can cost you $30-50/hour. How much is your time really worth?

Don’t take vacation days to stay at home and wait for furniture deliveries.

We’re trying to help out your future self. If you’re like Lucy, your future self probably wants to start off their new adventure without the stress and anxiety of managing all this annoying moving stuff!

We’ve got you. This is how Lucy managed to solve all her moving & furnishing difficulties with a single, comprehensive solution.

Lucy’s Studio

Lucy ended up purchasing a Furnishr package and completely avoided 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.

Lucy was paired with Elle, one of Furnishr’s dedicated designers, to collaborate on choosing the perfect items to fit both budget and style preferences.

Her living space is small, but it’s a good rectangular space that can easily be transformed into a living room with separate sleeping area.

  • Size: 350 square feet
  • Budget: $2900-3200 USD

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

Let’s take a look at all the items Lucy got in her Furnishr package for $2999 USD.

Empty and dark studio apartment, unfurnished
Lucy’s Empty Studio Apartment
Studio furniture board
Furnishr’s design for Lucy’s Studio

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

studio decorated on budget

The biggest lesson learned? Lucy realized her time is actually worth more than a bit of savings, especially in the midst of a big life change. Maybe the old saying ‘Time Is Money!’ was coined by someone managing an epic move!

Moving is stressful — but stress means that you’re discovering new information that can actually help you out in the long run. So congrats! If you’re stressing, you’re well on your way to furnishing an amazing apartment.

Let us help

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

Firstly, the retail costs of Lucy’s furniture would have been at least 20% more if she went elsewhere. Secondly, 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 for a move, bookmark this page and get a custom proposal for furnishing your own space. Furnishr helps you save time while creating a nicely furnished home with high-quality furnishings.

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

And good luck!

Want us to furnish your apartment?

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