Categories
Airbnb Furnishing 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!
Categories
Featured Furnishing 101 Other

Tips for Moving During COVID

Planning to move or relocate soon? Some of your plans may need to change. But we’re here to provide you with up-to-date information so that you can still successfully plan your move and stay safe and healthy. Moving during COVID takes good planning ahead.

Most moving companies and furnishing services are still operational.

The good news is that most moving companies and most supply chain services are still operational. The reason Furnishr is still operational is because our furniture suppliers and delivery partners are part of the Supply Chain sector. Their warehouses are available to ship and receive products. That said, they have moved all non-essential staff to work from home so there is bound to be some communication delay. Warehouses are also restricting hours, so they are requiring all logistics providers to route their shipments more efficiently.

We at Furnishr also continue to help those who need to move by providing regular design services and restricting our time spent at customers’ homes during the home services.

a clip art image of someone carrying a box and wearing gloves doing a delivery while moving during covid

CHECKLIST: PLANNING YOUR MOVE

  1. Start by asking your old & new buildings about move in/move out policies.
  2. Check with your moving or furnishing company about availability and protocols.
  3. Find a floor plan for your new place to help the movers.
  4. Write any special notes about furniture assembly / disassembly.
  5. Add any info about pets or kids on site, and parking and disposal of moving materials.
  6. Set aside some hand sanitizer or soap for your movers to use.
  7. Pack up as much as you can beforehand and clearly label all boxes.
  8. If you’re moving to the U.S. from overseas, start with this article to get prepared.

CHECKLIST: ON THE DELIVERY DAY

  1. Have a copy of your floor plan out and available for the movers, if possible.
  2. Set out the hand sanitizer and soap.
  3. Practice social distancing by staying 6 feet away from the moving team.
  4. You may wish to give your phone # to the team lead. This way, they can text you with any questions rather than needing to speak to you face-to-face.
  5. Keep a garbage bin out for movers to dispose of masks, gloves, and other materials.
  6. If you’re doing an absentee move, check in with your property manager before and after.
  7. Hydrate!

CHECKLIST: AFTER DELIVERY

  1. Wash your hands and sanitize doorknobs and other highly trafficked surfaces.
  2. Spritz your furniture with a 70%+ alcohol spray. There shouldn’t be anything there, since your movers were wearing gloves and masks, but it can put your mind at ease.
  3. Confirm with your property manager that you’re all moved in.
  4. Tidy up – here’s how to clean your whole place in 30 minutes.
  5. Send a thank you note to your delivery team.

Now that you know COVID-19 restrictions don’t apply to essential services, we can get to planning. Most moving and furnishing companies have implemented very strict sanitization and social distancing protocols. 

So while this epidemic may slightly alter your upcoming plans, you should still be able to make your move if you plan ahead and communicate. Just expect some delays because of the added restrictions to normal operations, and you’re ready to start planning.

Did we answer all your questions?

Here are answers to other frequently asked questions about moving during COVID. 


HEALTH AND SAFETY

a woman wearing safety glasses and orange gloves smiles in a warehouse

Q: How are moving & delivery companies adapting their services to protect my health?

A. Each company is responding to this crisis differently. Many moving companies are scaling back their operations and adjusting to the circumstances with new protocols to protect their clients’ and employees’ health. Some companies are asking their movers to practicing social distancing. Others are sending hand sanitizer, gloves, and masks onsite with their employees. If you are planning a move, make sure to ask your movers beforehand what additional health and safety precautions they are taking.

For Furnishr customers expecting a furniture delivery, we will ask our delivery team to assemble as much as possible at the warehouse prior to delivery. On the delivery day, we will blanket wrap each item and move in each piece to each room. Our goal is to limit the number of hours we spend at customers’ home. (Normally, we would assemble everything at customers’ home after we arrive.)

While our team is on site, we ask customers to keep a 6-feet distance from our team members. When each room is completely set up, we ask customers to walk through the home before we leave.

Q: What’s an example of a health & safety protocol that moving companies are taking?

A: To understand how moving companies have responded to the crisis, we reached out to Oz Moving & Storage to learn how they are implementing increased health and safety measures. Oz is following social distancing by instructing all their non-essential employees to work from home. They are also adjusting how they set up their moving crews. Their movers are now working in small teams, which means each mover works with the same group of people, equipment and trucks on every job. This practice limits unnecessary contact and reduces the risk of contamination. 

When it comes to the safety of the movers, Oz is monitoring and screening the health of their staff. They are advising their workers to strictly monitor their own health and to stay home if any symptoms appear. Oz movers are wearing masks, gloves and booties as needed. 

Moreover, movers are working diligently with buildings that have implemented additional precautionary measures to ensure that they can safely complete moves during this time. 

clip art showing hand sanitizer bottles on a purple background

PREPARING FOR THE MOVE

Q: What information will the moving company need from me in advance? 

A: To address clients’ concerns, clients should provide as much information as possible regarding the details of their move beforehand. Be prepared for last minute changes in your plans. Before the scheduled move, clients should ask their movers as many questions as possible to ensure every step is well communicated. You should discuss the anticipated schedule, vehicle parking and permits, disposal of materials, presence of pets or small children, allergies, and responsibility for any damages. Make sure that your contact information and address are up to date. Check that you have a floor plan available if the movers will be helping you at your new place.

Q: How can I prepare my furniture & personal items to make it easier and safer for movers?  

To prepare for your move, please have everything packed and ready for when the movers arrive. If you’re moving during COVID, please practice social distancing during the move. Leave soap and water (or hand sanitizer) for movers to wash their hands. 

Another popular alternative is to work with a design & furnishing company. Rather than packing up all your old furniture and paying big money to move it, design-and-furnish is a model where you start totally from scratch. You collaborate virtually with a professional interior designer. Together, you choose furniture that works with your new floor plan and your lifestyle needs. Many of these furnishing companies work with delivery & assembly partners. So, your new place will be furnished from top-to-bottom without paying any moving fees. A slightly different model is rental furniture. These companies do utilize sanitization protocols between rentals, but during a public health crisis it’s not something we would recommend. 

Overall, design-and-furnish can actually be a surprisingly affordable and efficient solution to relocating, especially during a pandemic. 

HOW TO LIMIT IN-PERSON CONTACT

a pair of hands holding a box that says 'contactless delivery' on a yellow background

Q: In my new place, will I need to be onsite with movers so they know where everything goes?

A: You will need someone who can let the movers into your space. But it’s not always necessary for you to be onsite yourself all day. You should provide a comprehensive floor-plan for the movers, instructing them how to arrange your personal items. Send this to them before the day of your move. Inform the movers about specifics regarding the layout of the new house. How should all they arrange the furniture? Provide information about assembly and disassembly of furniture. Moving is an intimate process, so providing movers with this information beforehand helps limit contact between movers and customers, to further reduce unnecessary risks. 

If clients need to schedule an absentee move, in that they have already left the unit, but did not have time to retrieve their belongings, they can arrange for movers to have access to these units and perform this move. 

Q: What is an absentee move, and what health & safety benefits does it have?

A: If you’re moving during COVID, you may prefer to schedule an absentee move to reduce contact. In these situations, you can request movers to facilitate a full-packing service and pack your belongings for you. Those who need this service must provide as much information as possible regarding the assembling and disassembling of furniture. The key in all of these situations is communication, which reduces unnecessary risks. The goal is to help both clients and movers work in as safe of an environment as possible. 

CANCELLATIONS AND DELAYS

a city scape at dusk by a large lake

Q: What if my building isn’t allowing people to move in or out because of COVID-19?

A: In these situations, moving companies should work with the building to make an exception or re-schedule the move. If this means a sooner date or attempting to coordinate with the building, moving companies will adjust for that. Moving during COVID requires flexibility from all parties. If the move cannot be completed at this time, moving companies can provide a solution for you. Many moving companies have fully operable storage facilities. They can transfer your belongings into a safe and sanitized storage unit until the situation improves and movers can gain access to the building. 

Q: If I have to cancel my move last minute, will I be charged cancellation fees by movers?

A: There are many operational challenges that have arisen throughout this crisis. A major challenge is the unpredictability of this situation. During this time, most companies understand that people might need to cancel or postpone their move without much notice. As a result, professional movers are responding to this crisis and providing customers with increased flexibility. At present, many moving companies are waiving any cancellation and rescheduling fees. To reduce uncertainty, companies encourage clients to schedule any future moves as early as possible. The situation is changing daily, and moving companies want to ensure that clients are able to safely complete their move. Moving during COVID will naturally be more complicated than moving at any other time, so be prepared to be flexible.

MAKING NEW PLANS

a busy airport scene with people and their suitcases

Q: What are some temporary housing options that are still available?

A: There are still some hotels and Airbnbs that are accepting reservations. You’ll need to research local options, and communicate directly with the front desk or property manager. It’s important to consider what safety and cleaning protocols they have in place. For instance, an Airbnb in a mother-in-law unit might see less traffic than a hotel. Many Airbnb hosts are experiencing lost revenue, due to a new policy that allows guests to cancel reservations without a penalty fee. 

Finally, remember that circumstances can change last-minute. You may think you have a reservation, but any hotel chain or Airbnb host may decide last minute to close down. If you’re moving during COVID, always have a backup plan. This could be a friend or family member who might allow you to stay over. Be sure to practice safe protocols wherever you go, including sanitizing regularly touched surfaces, washing hands regularly, and covering your nose and mouth. Some experts recommend changing your clothing and mask as soon as you enter the building. 

Q: When will this all be over, so I know when to schedule my move?

A: Experts are predicting a wide range of dates. Some think that restrictive measures will lift as early as June. They estimate the peak will occur in mid to late April, depending on your location. Historically, we have seen other pandemics last between 12 – 36 months. Vaccines take between 12 – 18 months to develop, so that is likely when full relief will come. Summer may be a time of reduced infection, as the virus can’t survive as long in hot weather. Plenty of moving and furnishing companies have already adapted their policies. So, you may still be able to schedule your move very soon. Depending on how close or far your new destination is, you may wish to wait until flights are running regularly. You may also wish to reschedule for when your new workplace begins to resume in-person office hours. 

Overall, our society is more prepared to combat the spread of COVID-19 than at any other time in history. 3D printers and collaborative manufacturing initiatives are uniting people around the country to help flatten the curve and reduce risk. It is probable that restrictions will lift gradually, as we develop systems to protect vulnerable people while industry resumes. Because moving is considered an essential service, you should be able to continue with any planned relocation if absolutely necessary.

a woman sits smiling at her laptop

We hope this guide to moving during COVID answered your questions! Please reach out if you have lingering concerns about relocating, and we’ll do our best to help you find a solution.

If you’d like to start your home design process with a free 15 minute video consultation, sign up to chat with one of our designers today.

Categories
Featured Furnishing 101 Other

Furnishr’s 2019 Year in Review

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

Categories
Airbnb Furnishing Design Tips Featured Furnishing 101

The best home design shows on Netflix: a complete ranking

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.

What’s our criteria, you ask?

Our main criteria is whether or not 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, want a FREE interior design video consultation? Then head here to schedule a 15 minute slot with our designers. All you have to do is show us 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

In first place, this is the perfect show if you’re interested in architecture and travel. 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

Netflix - 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

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 like a little drama with your design, then 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.” 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 FIVE shows if you’re a sucker for transformation, both personal and literal.

Every 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.”


Feeling inspired?

Once you’re done binge-watching, get a custom room design from our interior designers with all your fave prints and textures.

Categories
Featured Furnishing 101 Other

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.

Movie: It's A Wonderful Life
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.

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.

“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.

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.

Categories
Featured Furnishing 101

Moving Checklist: 6 Ways to Handle a Cross-Country 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).

Categories
Design Tips Featured Furnishing 101

What An Interior Designer Knows That You Don’t

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 it’s 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.

Library before photo
Before
Home Library with Wooden Bookshelves
Furnished

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.

a floor plan for use during interior design consultation

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.

two women sitting in chairs using laptop computers photographed from above

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.

An interior designer 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.

a bedroom with a concrete wall, bedside table, and warm colored painting above the bed

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. 

two women chatting with a notebook

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

furniture assembly needs 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 woman looks down at her phone and smiles

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!