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

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

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

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

Key Topics About The Cost Of Furnishing An Apartment

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

 

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

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

 

Open living dining room with white walls, New York Apartment

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 Your Budget vs. Cost of Furnishing

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

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

 

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

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

Furniture Budget for a 1-bedroom apartment

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

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

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

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

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

studio layout

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

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

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

 

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

Let’s get started with cost specifics!

Cost Breakdown Of Furnishing Your New Living Room

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

cost of furnishing a living room price comparison table

Cost Breakdown of Furnishing a Basic Bedroom

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

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

Essential Bedroom Furniture and Typical Retail Costs

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

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

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

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

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

Cost of Furnishing – Bedroom Furniture Price Comparison

bedroom furnishing table

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Non-Essential Furniture and Their Typical Retail Costs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Don’t Forget the Time & Hassle of Moving!

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

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

DELIVERIES

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

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

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

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

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

ASSEMBLY

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

But there is an easier way.

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

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

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

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

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

CASE STUDY: Lucy’s Studio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Studio furniture board

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

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

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

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

Whew! What have we learned?

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

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

SUMMARY of the best ways to furnish your space:

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck!

Want us to furnish your apartment?

Complete a design request and we will show you design packages that fit you!
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Updated Living Room: Noor’s Story

Noor is a busy entrepreneur who loves to entertain. But she struggled with an awkward living room layout in her small one-bedroom apartment in Montreal. She wanted to refresh her entertaining space while sticking to a strict budget.

Homeowner: Noor
Location: Montreal, QC
Delivery Lead Time: 2 weeks
Project Purpose: Living room redecorating
Room: 1 living room
Her Style: midcentury modern

Noor’s Apartment

I heard about Furnishr from a friend, and I hoped their designers could help me update my tiny apartment. I’m starting with the living room first and will gradually work through the other rooms. My living room is connected to an open kitchen. It’s quite a small space, but I still want to fit in a couch, a dining table, and seating for guests. I really love having my friends over, but the living room didn’t feel at all welcoming or stylish.

Over the past few months, I had looked at some furniture myself but I couldn’t figure out how to fit it together in a way that made sense for my small layout. Not only is the space small but there are also a balcony door, a fire exit and a large fridge that are limiting the ways I can place the furniture. I needed some professional help and an updated living room.

The sticky situation

I knew my design style already: mid-century modern. I had done some brief research and found some furniture I liked. The furniture I found is from eCommerce websites and local stores near me. Most of the stores offer free shipping. For items from local brick and mortars, however, I would need to pay extra for shipping or find a way to get the items into my apartment myself. All the furniture from my own sources would have cost well over $4k. The shopping and deliveries would also have taken a few of my evenings and weekends away.

Thankfully, Furnishr’s designers were very willing to look at my inspiration images. My first design call was excellent. I shared some of my furniture inspo photos with my designer Karen. I also asked her to keep the cost to under $4k if possible. She asked me for a floor plan of the space. I likely couldn’t get a floor plan of my unit since it is in an old building, so I measured every wall and door of my living room and sent Karen this hand-drawn floor plan.

Hand-drawn floor plan
Floor plan sketch with measurements of the apartment

Furnishr’s design process

Karen used my images as a guide, and she came back with three initial designs for my living room. All the designs are created based on the inspiration photos I shared. The design package prices ranged from $3800 to$5300 USD. The packages on the low range have upholstered pieces in fabric or faux-leather where the package at the highest cost has a leather chair.

Furniture board of the first design package starting at $3800
Furniture board of the second design package at $4200
Furniture board of the third design package at $5300

The live edge coffee table and walnut sideboard she chose really highlight my love for wood textures and the midcentury modern look. They both have a gorgeous shape that makes my room feel so stylish. And I really loved the blue sofa. Not only is it a nice deep blue, but it complements perfectly all the wood tones.

Since I loved some elements from each of the designs, I asked for a revision to mix and match pieces that I like. Here is the final design package that Karen made after we chatted.

Revised design package

Besides the curation of furniture, Furnishr also plans the layout for each room. Karen resized my hand-drawn floor plan so that all the walls are proportional for the living room area and presented a furniture layout for each design.

From the revised design, I can see from the space planner that the dining table and dining chairs I originally wanted might not work well in my space.

Suggested furniture layout for the last design package

I couldn’t decide whether to keep the dining set or not, so I asked Karen to remove the set for now. As a result, the layout changed to have the TV stand and sofa on opposite sides. I can also use the bench as a side table beside the couch. Now, the living area is more spacious and is easier for conversations when I have company.

New furniture layout after removing the dining table and dining chairs

Below is the collection of furniture I decided to purchase in the end. My final design had the jewel-tone couch I really loved, plus my dream wood console as well as several other unique wood pieces that wouldn’t crowd my small room.

Because I didn’t have much space nor budget for accessories, Karen chose only the essential furniture for me for the living room. The luxurious blue couch is meant to be the statement piece for the room. It makes a really great contrast to my parquet floor, the coffee table and the other wood tones in the rest of the design. As a result, I now have an updated living room that feels inviting and there is plenty of room for people to sit and chat!

Number of Items: 5
Total Project Cost: $3k USD

Final design package

Furnishr’s delivery solution

I don’t spend much time at home since my job keeps me very busy. It was wonderful that Furnishr could arrange an early morning delivery. I received the delivery before I went to work for the day, and everything was carried in and set up in two hours by just two movers.

Results

I love my midcentury modern living room! I will be getting a small dining set soon to complement the Furnishr room. Honestly it was so much easier than I thought it would be, and so much more personalized than I expected.

Midcentury modern living room with blue sofa, live edge coffee table and walnut sideboard

I was worried that I would be sold a generic layout, but it wasn’t like that at all. My designer Karen was very responsive and enthusiastic about my vision. They were happy to get feedback from me about revising their designs.

The customer experience was great! It felt like such a gift for myself to have someone else deliver and set up my new updated living room. I am especially grateful that Furnishr went the extra mile to arrange a special delivery time for my convenience. Thank you Furnishr!

Midcentury modern living room with blue sofa and live edge coffee table

Ready to see your custom room design? Start here.

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How to Furnish a Rental Property: Naveed’s Story

Naveed needed style advice and a quick turnaround to furnish his rental property. Furnishr was able to transform his empty condo into an attractive, furnished rental in just two weeks.

Homeowner: Naveed
Location: Toronto, ON Canada
Delivery Lead Time: 2 weeks
Project Purpose: Airbnb Unit
Room: 1-bedroom apartment (living, dining, master bedroom)
His Style: modern comfort

Naveed’s Airbnb Unit

I came to Furnishr with a floor plan and a two-week delivery lead time. The project purpose was to create a furnished Airbnb unit. I’m a realtor and investor and I wanted to start renting out my new condo as a furnished rental unit. I had done some research, and I knew how much I could add to rent for a furnished apartment (versus unfurnished). My target tenant demographic was young professionals who travel to Toronto for short business trips or weekend trips.

Naveed's living room with a dining table, two chairs, and two place settings. In the background is a small couch, console with TV, and a view of the city from his condo.

The sticky situation

I don’t have any design expertise. I knew I needed some style help, but I couldn’t afford to wait for months. And that’s how long most other interior designers take to complete a project. For every day that my place sat empty, I would be losing money on my investment. I needed a stylish place, but I needed it done ASAP.

And what should a furnished rental include? I did research on landlord furnishings and fully furnished apartment checklists. But ultimately, I needed someone to look at my specific floor plan. I ultimately went with Furnishr because they were able to handle everything including the interior design, delivery and set up. Their turnaround was the quickest on the market, and their portfolio showed that they know how to furnish a rental property.

Furnishr’s design solution

After our initial consultation, the Furnishr designers quickly presented me with three different designs to choose from. They covered a good range of styles and costs. Honestly, I didn’t care too much about the design. I trusted Furnishr to know what good design was.

A screenshot of Naveed's style options, including various furniture and furnishings like a sofa, carpet, console, and bed.

One thing that was really important to me was to get items that could survive a lot of wear and tear. Furnishr understands landlord furnishings, since they design for a lot of rental units. So, they only use really durable furniture that can stand up to years of high traffic use. I selected the option with fairly neutral furniture, and some colorful pops in the accessories.

Number of Items: 12
Total Project Cost: $7,236 USD

Furnishr’s delivery solution

This part was so easy. On delivery day, I just left my keys with the concierge in the morning, who let their three-person delivery team inside. When I came back in the evening, everything was completely done. The whole unit was clean, set up and ready to be photographed. I also ordered their move-in package, which included bed, bath and kitchen accessories.

So by the end of move-in day, my condo was furnished with everything necessary to start renting it out ASAP. Now that’s how to furnish a rental property!

Results

It’s clear that their designers know their stuff – my unit was rented out within one week of Furnishr’s delivery. I was really pleased with the look and the quality of all the items they picked. They really captured a style that appeals to my target demographic. Plus, the rental income I get from this furnished property is actually 30% higher than my other unfurnished units.

Overall, Furnishr’s customer service team went above and beyond to make the whole process easy for me. I would definitely recommend Furnishr to other investors. Their design-and-furnish method seems almost too good to be true, but it really does make the most sense for property managers who don’t have a lot of time but need high quality designs quickly.


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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.

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9 Surprisingly Insightful Quotes About Furniture

We spend so much time around our furniture, but we don’t really consider how deeply it impacts our lives. Whether it’s hand-me-down or fancy that you scrimped and saved for, we think it’s worth celebrating the role furniture has in improving our quality of life. After all, every piece of furniture has a story and a supporting role in your life. So here are 9 quotes about furniture to inspire you.

Do you have any meaningful pieces of furniture? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Share a picture, if you like!

Furniture and food are ways that people define their attitude toward life. – Terence Conran

It’s simple – by choosing which foods and furniture to have in your life, you’re really articulating a life philosophy. For example, if you only have slouchy gray chairs, you might need a little jolt of energy in your life. If you eat delicious, nourishing, and varied meals for breakfast, then you’re saying you have a zest for life! This quote about furniture is really a quote about making a choice about how to live your life. Choosing the right furniture can help you live the life of your dreams!

Couple assembling furniture together
Couple Putting Together Self Assembly Furniture In New Home

Your home should be a story of who you are, and be a collection of what you love.
Nate Berkus

Too many people shy away from bold, wacky statements in their home. And that’s, well, because they’re afraid of being seen as bold and wacky! But what if that’s who you really are? Your home is the one space in the world that you’re allowed to curate totally for yourself. You’re the #1 decider, and you’re the #1 priority. It’s okay for your space to be a reflection of what you love.

Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future. – Robert Peters

Have you ever noticed that certain rooms just feel really oppressive and unwelcoming? Or places that feel really exciting at first, but then feel overwhelming? That’s not entirely by accident. For instance, in the fast food industry, primary colors are used in the interiors of restaurants to encourage people to eat faster and move out quicker, increasing their bottom line. Waiting rooms in places like the DMV are designed to be calming and neutral, but they usually just come off as outdated and ignored. When we can consciously use design as a tool to shape culture, we can achieve powerful things.

The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life. – Marie Kondo

If you don’t know who Marie Kondo is, head on over to Netflix and watch her show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Her philosophy is all about sparking joy and getting yourself organized in a way that frees up space and energy to live your best life. Too often, the things around us are just holdovers from other times in our lives. We’ve all been there, holding onto that worn out IKEA couch from college, or staring at that concert poster from 2010 on the wall. Of course, it’s totally reasonable to want to save money and enjoy things from the past if they truly spark joy. But with this quote about furniture, Marie Kondo is asking us to think deeper. How do you want to live your life? Based on your answer, you’ll start to figure out what you want to own.

Living room with gallery in NYC

Furniture is meant to be used and enjoyed. – Natalie Morales

We’ve all seen those showroom posts on Instagram, where it looks like the furniture has never been used. Who are these people?! In real life, furniture should be a daily part of your life. If you’re not using in, then why is it there? No need to rush off and tell your Grandma to get rid of the fancy couches that no one is allowed to sit on. But it is important to think about if your furniture is serving you. If it looks good but you can’t enjoy it because it’s too high or too big, then it’s not really serving you. An interior designer can help you think about through this in advance.

a group of young people sit together in a living room

Have nothing in your house which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
– William Morris

This quote about furniture also applies to decor. It should either serve you, or inspire you, otherwise you should pass it on. If that sorting system scares you, just think of it this way. The more you get rid of, the more space you’re creating for truly beautiful and useful objects!

minimalist spacious living space

Underneath all I design lies the solid belief that beauty is a positive force. – Barbara Barry

The discipline of design is a blend of practicality and aspiration. Designers are always trying to make something more useful, and also more beautiful, than it was before. Beauty is a key ingredient in life, and too many people forget that. Practicality without beauty is just boring! Which makes you more excited to eat dinner, a white dining table and a plain white wall, or a gorgeous purple table and a large-scale colorful map of the world? You don’t have to make dramatic changes to your space to introduce small moments of beauty.

a full size world map adorns the wall behind a purple dining table

We need objects to remind us of the commitments we’ve made. All designed objects are propaganda for a way of life. – Alain de Botton

Consider the wedding ring. In older times, rings were exchanged to mark wives as property. But nowadays? They are seen as symbols of love and commitment. People choose to wear them to physicalize their commitment to their partner and remember the love they have chosen. Everything around us is, as this quote about furniture says, “propaganda for a way of life.” What is your furniture currently asking of you?

a green tile fireplace is in the middle of a room with armchair and bookshelves on either side

Design is coming to grips with one’s real lifestyle, one’s real place in the world. Rooms should not be put together for show but to nourish one’s well-being. – Albert Hadley

Ah, well-being. It’s a value that designers often forget about. How you ever been to a fancy restaurant where everything looks gorgeous but the lights are way too bright and the chairs are actually really uncomfortable? It’s possible to design a space that is beautiful as well as nourishing to your well-being. In fact, when your room design centers you, your health, and your personal goals, your space will actually be more beautiful because it’s tailored just for you.

a white couple lounges together on a bed with a guitar nearby

We hope you enjoyed these quotes about furniture!

If you’re inspired and want to see more furniture inspo, visit us @Furnishr on Instagram. Or if you want to see what your custom room would look like, give us a call! Our design team can help you enjoy your dream home, set up for you in just a day.

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Airbnb Furnishing Design Tips Furnishing 101

8 Tips on Furnishing Small Apartments

Furnishing a small apartment is often like playing Tetris. You sweat and you struggle to arrange a number of large and oddly shaped furniture into a very limited area.

But don’t panic! Here are a few tricks that might help you fit everything in. After all, the right furniture can totally spark joy.

1. Transformer Furniture

To meet the needs of small apartment owners, designers use tricks to create furniture that performs several functions at once. For example, there is a bench which can be turned into a large table and a few soft stools if necessary. In case of the arrival of guests, how convenient would it be to make several seats from one sofa? Other options include an armchair with built-in bookshelves, tables, and even built-in lamps. Such multifunctional pieces can be perfect for furnishing small apartments, not to mention blowing your guests’ minds.

furnishing a small apartment with big prints and transformer furniture

2. Built-in Cabinets

In a small space, you don’t want to waste an entire wall for a cabinet. If you’re furnishing a small apartment, let’s think outside the box! For example, if you can use a wall with a window on it, you get an excellent storage system and a cozy reading corner. If you don’t want to occupy the entire surface, you can place roomy lockers under the window. This helps make the room appear visually wider. Additionally, you can save space by using a storage system with your bed or sofa, either under the bed or in the headboard, or in shelving behind or beneath your sofa.

3. Folding Furniture

The problem of small space becomes especially problematic when planning a kitchen. To solve this, replace your chairs with folding ones or those that can be easily stacked on top of each other. If there still isn’t enough space, act radically and install a folding countertop. Furnishing a small apartment with folding furniture doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style! Check out some of these great examples of folding furniture.

4. Mirrors

The use of mirrors is an effective method of expanding the interior of a small room. With the help of a mirror for the entire wall, you can make a small space look bigger. Use a swing mirror instead of a normal swing door. Mirrors are one of the best ways to save space and visually expand the room when furnishing a small apartment. Or you can look for small mirrors in beautiful frames and place them where they catch the light from the windows.

furnishing a small apartment with built in storage

5. Minimalism in Everything

When furnishing a small apartment, you can make a room look as open as possible by freeing it from unnecessary objects. No bulky sofas and armchairs, numerous bedside tables and consoles. Remove massive wardrobes and replace them with built-in models with a large number of closing cabinets which can hide the items inside. In the kitchen, try to hide all your appliances inside cabinets or furniture. The same applies to our utensils: no matter how stylish and elegant your ladles are, for the sake of clutter, it’s better to put most of them away.

furnishing a small apartment with a small desk with a desktop computer in a white bedroom

6. Mobile Furniture

A great idea for a small apartment is mobile furniture. For the kitchen, choose tables with locking wheels that can be moved to a convenient location while cooking. A mobile nightstand can be used in different rooms: in the bedroom, it can serve as a bedside table, and in the living room it can become a convenient stand for books and a cup of coffee. Furnishing a small apartment with this approach allows you to easily change your interior without major renovations. Plus, it saves you money on buying additional furniture.

7. Corner Furniture

Use all the corners of your apartment. For example, you can have a corner coffee table or an armchair with comfortable armrests. A corner sofa is perfect for a small living room. Despite its massive appearance, it can be very functional, especially if you choose a model with storage. This strategy is helpful when equipping a small bathroom, too. Corner cabinets in bathrooms can help you use every free inch wisely. If you’re furnishing a small apartment, please don’t overlook the corners!

 furnishing a small apartment with a small white armchair in the corner of a room

8. Utilize Windowsills & Tabletops

Usually, window sills are occupied by indoor plants at best, and at worst, by all those other items that don’t fit anywhere else. But furnishing a small apartment presents the opportunity to be creative. It’s easy to change this problem into a solution: use the windowsills as a table! In the living room or bedroom, set up a wide wooden worktop atop the windowsill, add a desk lamp, and a comfortable chair, and voila! A full workstation is ready. You can add an extra work surface in the kitchen by using a marble or stone windowsill.

This piece was contributed by Roy Emerson. Roy is a literary enthusiast, a loving father of twins, a programmer in a custom software company, editor in chief of ReclinerFAQ, a greedy reader, and a gardener.

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Can Furniture Spark Joy? 5 Tips for Furnishing, Kondo-Style

Do you wake up in the morning and feel a thrill of gratitude and joy from looking at your nightstand? When was the last time you touched your couch and sighed happily? “Spark joy” comes from the Marie Kondo process, a home organizational method about the “life-changing magic of tidying up.”

Her basic principle is that you physically touch each of your belongings. If an item sparks joy then you may keep it, but if it doesn’t, then you must thank it for its service and pass it along.

We’re gonna take a wild guess and say most of your furniture probably does not spark joy. But you’re not alone.

Younger people are more likely to be world travelers, paying off student loans, and renting long-term. This means that we have had to think about furniture quite differently from previous generations. We often furnish our homes according to functionality, affordability, and style (and in that order).

Now, while we totally believe in affordable and useful furniture, we just don’t believe that it has to come at the expense of style. Or being environmentally friendly.

Here are five ways to spark joy with your furniture, Kondo-style.

1. QUALITY

Nothing takes the joy out of furniture like a chip, tear, or broken joint. So when you find a furniture style that sparks joy, go for high-quality, durable pieces. This way, your furniture won’t fall apart easily with use and it won’t break when you move to a new place.

spacious living room

2. EASY STORAGE

One of Kondo’s often overlooked (but excellent!) organizing tips is to make stuff easier to put items away than to get out. If we apply this to furniture, that means ottomans with storage, closets with built-in spaces, and beds and desks with enough storage to contain all your belongings easily.

3. QUANTITY

Less can be more, with the right furniture and the right perspective. We often use several pieces of furniture to try to compensate for what we really need, like several chairs when a couch would do. This leads to clutter and mismatched styles. By investing in one good piece of high-quality, multipurpose furniture, rather than a collection of lesser quality ones, you can spark joy by creating a stylish and welcoming space.

minimalist bedroom with low bed and large painting of a face

4. STYLE

The easiest way to spark joy is to have things around you that you find beautiful! Furniture is easy to overlook in this process. Maybe you have even had some furniture for years, or you look for used or IKEA furniture to save some money. Try looking at it this way. Yes, getting stylish new furniture is a financial investment, but it is also an investment in your happiness. So actually, furniture is one of the easiest long-term ways to spark joy in your home.

5. EASY SHOPPING

The worst parts of furniture are finding it and transporting it. Hunting for a good deal and evaluating different styles and measurements do not spark joy for most people. A comprehensive furnishing company is a solution you may not know about. It sounds expensive, but it actually doesn’t cost much more than the furniture itself. That’s because companies have relationship with designers and distributors, and thus can procure lower prices for you.

can furniture spark joy? A woman sits on a tufted traditional couch and looks out the window

Some people find joy in themselves for being environmentally conscious. Take a look at our tips to make your home more environmentally friendly.

If you like these tips, you might want to spark joy by working with a comprehensive furnishing company. How does it work? You’d start by talking with a designer to select a style. Next, they take the measurements of your space, and then they deliver (and set up!) your furniture for you. Some places like Furnishr even do it all in just one day.

Call us if you’d like to explore a comprehensive furnishing option. We promise to only bring you the most stylish, high-quality pieces, in a style you love. You can also start by submitting a design request.

Furniture doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, if you do it right, furniture can spark joy!

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How to Upgrade Your Home to Make It More Environmentally Friendly


Sometimes trends are just passing fads, but we’re super pleased that the eco-friendly home trend has staying power! We at Furnishr care about environmentally friendly homes, and we encourage you to give your business to designers and businesses that value our planet.

So, let’s look at a few ways that people around the world are making their homes more environmentally friendly! And be sure to look at these tips for making your home more feng shui. If you want to start a conversation about how to apply eco-friendly furnishing in your own space, then book a free consultation with us. We’d love to chat with you.

Work Towards a Net-Zero Home

california

In California, an emerging trend is net-zero homes. In fact, California’s legislature has mandated that all new residential buildings be net-zero by next year. All the energy these eco-friendly homes consume is created through renewable energy. You can take steps yourself to turn your home into a net-zero home, especially if you live in a sun abundant region. You can combine energy-efficient appliances with solar panels and other new technologies, like double and triple glazed argon gas windows. Even if you’re on the city electrical grid, installing solar panels could supply all your home’s energy needs. If your solar energy system produces more power than you need, you can send that energy back to the grid! The rates you earn for returning the extra power are generally the same as the rates you would pay per kWh to the utility company.

Even if you live in a sun-poor region, you still have many eco-friendly design options. Lots of companies can help you retrofit your home to be more energy-efficient. Check with your utility company or community renewable energy groups to explore options.

Buy Natural Recycled Furniture

a lamp made from old pipes against a brick wall - environmentally friendly home design

The environmental problems caused by cheap, fast fashion are making people think twice about which furniture they bring into their homes. Australians lead the way when it comes to buying chic, recycled furniture instead of going to big brand furniture stores. In an interview with Australian Furniture Association CEO Patrizia Torelli, she explains a growing awareness among Australians about this issue. People know more about the danger to the environment that comes with buying cheaply and poorly manufactured furniture. In response, more and more green furniture companies are sprouting up and producing furniture that is eco-friendly and sustainable. What is eco-friendly furniture? It is furniture that is made from recycled or reclaimed wood, iron, glass, and other eco- friendly materials. You’re still buying a new product, but it’s sourced from sustainable materials and free from harmful chemicals.

If you are looking to furnish a space, you have a wonderful opportunity to use eco-friendly furniture! Ask your designers to choose furniture that is environmentally friendly. That doesn’t mean it can’t also be stylish and high-quality! No matter where you are in the world, we promise you’ll find great options if you start to look under these criteria.

Replace Your Old Boilers

heating and cooling pipes

What was efficient a few years ago is probably not up to the latest standards. Many homeowners in the United Kingdom are replacing their inefficient old boilers with new energy-efficient ones. Shout Out UK explains you should take care of your appliances and replace them when they become outdated. This helps you save money in the long term to have an environmentally friendly home. UK plumbing experts HomeServe note how a common sign that a boiler needs replacing is when you’ve had the current model for a long period of time. If you have never changed your boiler, or you’ve had it for over 10 years, it is most likely not producing heat as efficiently as it should.

Install a Smart Water Meter

a water meter

Water is a precious commodity everywhere in the world, and this is especially true in places like Singapore. With water conservation as a fundamental ethos of the tiny island city-state, every effort is made to save water. This is a notion we can all get behind! Singapore’s national water agency (PUB) plans to install 300,000 smart meters so that it can keep track of water usage much more efficiently. Unlike traditional meters, the Strait Times points out that users can keep tabs on their consumption in real-time on their phones. The water agency reads the usage several times a day. You can apply this principle in your own home. A smart water meter allows you to keep an eye on your water supply and to conserve more water and cut your utility bills. It’s a great way to empower regulars folks to use water in a more thoughtful manner.

Good for The Planet, Good for Your Pocketbook

 

green home to save environment

Overall, this kind of design philosophy is good for the planet and has economic benefits, too! Environmentally friendly homes can help you reduce your energy consumption and lower utility costs in the long run, whether you’re renting it out on Airbnb or living in it yourself.

Eco-friendly homes are becoming popular all over the world as people grow more and more conscious of their impact on the planet.

The good news is that, today, advancements in technology and lower prices make it easier than ever to be eco-friendly. New, energy-efficient homes use renewable energy as well as sustainable, natural materials. In fact, we wrote a whole post about how to use natural elements to create a calming mood in your home. Natural elements also contribute to an environmentally friendly home! 

So if you’re feeling ready to have an environmentally friendly home, you’re in good company!

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Airbnb Furnishing Design Tips Furnishing 101

Making a One-Bedroom Apartment Guest-Friendly

In a one-bedroom, it can feel like you don’t have much room for guests. Whether your guests are visiting for the afternoon, or even staying for a couple nights, your one-bedroom actually has plenty of space to host visitors comfortably! It doesn’t have to be stressful to have people over.

Here are some easy ways to help keep your space guest-friendly while also being livable for you.

Food & Drink: Buy in Advance, and Stage It with Style

trader joe's

Keep some cans of sparkling water in your fridge, and buy a few bags of chips or trail mix to store in the back of the cupboard. You can easily offer these to your guests as soon as they arrive. Additionally, this is a great trick for unexpected guests. While they’re sitting down and sipping on their drink, you can subtly dash into the bathroom to wipe down the sink.

Another way to add a special touch is to use uniquely shaped plates and serving dishes. You can find lots of options at the thrift store — look for the long-narrow appetizer trays often donated by catering companies, or wood cutting boards. A little staging goes a long way to making whatever food you have on hand look special.

Coats & Shoes: Make It Obvious

Contemporary masculine living room

As soon as they arrive, most guests will want to know where to stow their shoes, coat, and bag. Having a coat rack or shoe bin right by your front door is an easy way to visibly guide people towards the right thing to do. Help them feel at home by having a clear place for their things.

Some people like to post a sign, saying something like “Shoes Off, Please”. Signs are a great way to communicate with guests, and they can save you the time and energy (and sometimes awkwardness) of asking guests to remove their shoes or hang their coats.

Bathroom: Make It Easy

This is an easy one. Of course, you don’t need a label on your bathroom because you know where it is. But your guests don’t know! After all, who hasn’t been that person wandering around, looking for the bathroom and praying you don’t open the wrong door?

Look for a discreet sign you can mount on the bathroom door. It should be something you won’t get annoyed looking at every day. The sign could be something as straightforward as a classic bathroom icon decal (get a free gender neutral one, here!), or something artsy, like a poem or sketch about the fabulous joys of taking a bath.

Another great trick is to keep a collection of travel-sized toiletries. When you’re having people over, it’s easy to swap out your regular soap for a fresh, guest-friendly one. You can also set out a set of shampoo and conditioner with their towels, which helps them to not use yours!

WiFi: Don’t Make Them Ask

a wood desk with laptop and salt lamp and plant

Displaying your WiFi code is not just a tip for Airbnb hosts! This is the ultimate way to make your place guest-friendly. It’s kind to help your guests conserve their data usage, especially if they’re coming over to work on a project with you. But for overnight visitors, it is absolutely essential that they know how to access the Internet.

Plus, WiFi networks and passwords can be a fun opportunity to share your personality! It’s fun when a visitor can guess the name of your network based on your interests. So write out and frame your network and password, and mount it in your living room somewhere obvious.

Sleeping Arrangements: Easy Set-Up, Easy to Hide

Bedroom with towels on bed

For one-bedroom dwellers, this can be the trickiest part of having guests over. It can be challenging to figure out how to provide a second bed, a set of bed linens and towels, and create room for your guest’s belongings without totally destroying your living room. Lots of people use futons or sofa beds, of course, which can be a couch during the day and a bed at night. A nifty idea is to apply smart glass film to the windows in your guest’s area. This way, they can control the flow of daylight.

But our best tips for overnight guests involve clever storage. An ottoman with storage provides the perfect way to add extra seating to your living room while also stowing guest linens invisibly inside. Similarly, if you can spare the space, it’s really lovely to be able to offer your guests part of an empty console or bureau in the living room to store their items.

This tip works in the bathroom too. By using containers in your bathroom, you can easily gather up your own stuff and set out an empty container for your guest’s items.

Your Own Stuff: Quick Storage

Finally, our best tip for making your one-bedroom guest-friendly is to have quick storage options around for all your own stuff. This way, whether you have lots of notice, or none at all, you can use your baskets or crates to quickly contain your mess and tidy up, leaving more space for your guest to feel at home.

Guests generally care more about the cleanliness of the room and bathroom more than anything else! Don’t sweat! Check out our cleaning guide for guests.

There you go! We hope these tips are useful for making your one-bedroom space more guest-friendly.

Just remember, most people aren’t coming over to inspect your house, they’re coming over to hang out with you. Being present with your guests and checking in about their needs are the simplest ways to be a good host, no matter the size of your home.

Happy hosting!

Categories
Airbnb Furnishing Design Tips Furnishing 101

Which Items to Get First When Furnishing a New Place

A lot of people get overwhelmed with the sheer density of tasks that come with relocation. Because let’s face it — moving is like 60% exciting and 40% a COMPLETE DRAG. You can only prepare so much, and for everything else, you sort of have to handle it as it comes! If you’ve already signed your new lease, congrats! This is for you. Similarly, you can also use this article if you’re in the early stages of your relocation process. We cover budgeting for the move, and also budgeting for furniture. At the bottom is the list of furniture, sorted by priority, to help you plan ahead for your relocation and for furnishing a new place.

Remember, everybody’s process will look different. Some of us order new cardboard boxes from U-Haul, and others scope out street corners on recycling day 🤷. You do you, friends. What’s most important is that you feel prepared and excited!

Couple moving into a new home

 

So, here it is! Our easy guide to making yourself at home in your new place, one piece at a time From art to ottomans, we’ve got you covered. Our tried and true list helps you organize your furnishing process by ranking items by priority.

If you furnish according to this list, you’ll start to feel at home in your new place in no time. This post is specifically geared towards one-bedrooms, but it’s easy to adapt it for bigger or smaller spaces.

FOUR BASIC BUDGET CATEGORIES FOR MOVING

First, you should start setting aside money in four basic categories. 1. Departure (packing up, moving out, transportation), 2. Arrival (rent, security deposit, moving in), 3. Set-up (cleaning supplies, unloading, acquiring new furniture, utilities), 4. Unforeseen (something breaks, someone cancels).

 

A good rule of thumb is to plan to spend up to three times your new monthly expenses on a move. However, this is just a draft! Take a deep breath, and let’s start by exploring some possible budgeting ranges for your move. Better to spend some time figuring it out now than be blindsided by it later, right?

Let’s begin with the amount you’ve allotted for rent and monthly expenses. Maybe you’re looking in the $2000 range. Put that figure down beside Departure, Arrival, and Set-up categories below, and we’ll tweak as we go along.

1. Departure Budget (est. $2000)

$0
[ ] add pack up fees like cost of boxes, bubble wrap, movers ($200 or less if you’re DIY’ing, $500 or more if hiring movers)
[ ] add clean up costs (if you’re hiring cleaners) ($0 DIY, $150 if hiring cleaners)
[ ] add transport costs for you (plane ticket or gas fees, meals)
[ ] add transport costs for your stuff (moving van, shipping fees) ($25 for across-town U-Haul van, check out Busfreighter or Amtrak for shipping long distance by freight)
[ ] subtract whatever your security deposit return will be
[ ] subtract the amount you expect to make from selling things
TOTAL Departure Budget =
a tan duffel bag on the ground beside a white chair

2. Arrival Budget (est. $2000)

$0
[ ] rent / security deposit in new place
[ ] movers’ fees ($0 DIY, $100 beer and pizza for friends’ help, $500 or more if hiring movers)
[ ] delivery food for your first night! ($25)
TOTAL Arrival Budget =

3. Set-up  Budget (est. $2000)

$0
[ ] new cleaning supplies ($50 for surface cleaners, broom, dust pan, mop, plunger)
[ ] hire help to assemble furniture ($0 DIY, $30 – 100 for TaskRabbit)
[ ] hire help to hang art ($100 or more on TaskRabbit)
[ ] find new furniture to match space ($500 -$3000)
TOTAL Set-up Budget =

4. Unforeseen Budget (est. $500 – 1000)

$0
[ ] don’t get your security deposit back
[ ] essential furniture breaks en route
[ ] flight canceled and need hotel
[ ] you break your arm and have to hire movers
TOTAL Unforeseen Budget =

Add up each total, and there you have it!

Your goal moving budget is Grand Total (Estimated) = [ ].

Now, you may notice that the “find new furniture” task in Category 3 has a huge range — between $500 and $3000. This category can be the most stressful part of any move.

Man thinking in dining room

In addition, lots of people discover too late that their furniture doesn’t fit in their new space, either literally or stylistically. For this reason, we recommend setting aside a bit of extra cash to solve these furniture dilemmas.

Okay! You’ve drafted your moving budget, so now we can look more closely at how to go about furnishing your new space.

HOW TO PRIORITIZE FURNITURE

We know it’s tempting to rush out and buy a new lamp and a new side table, but we promise you’ll be happier if you furnish your space in the proper order. Did you know it can actually be cheaper to get new furniture at your new location, depending on the distance of your move? We recommend keeping only sentimental and high-quality items, and furnishing from scratch. If you need help with the sorting process, we wrote a whole post on how to decide what to bring and what to leave behind.

Man working on the floor

Finding new furniture can be a really good option for people with a relocation budget from a job, or if you’re willing to spend a bit more to get a designer’s touch. For example, Furnishr offers a moving and design service where their designers take the measurements of your space, give you a customized style pitch based on your needs and design preferences, and then order it all and set it up for you in a single day 😲. DIY is A-OK, but interior designers actually know a lot of things you may not realize.

So, how should you prioritize furniture in your new place?

Bedroom and Dining Area

At the risk of sounding obvious, sleeping and eating are the first activities you should focus on while furnishing your new place. We don’t begrudge anyone the joy of perusing Facebook Marketplace, or taking home a new plant. But if your bedroom and kitchen don’t make you feel at home, then it’s just not worth putting any energy into other spaces! After all, you can keep your clothes and books packed away until they have a place, but you absolutely need a comfortable bed and place to eat.

a cat stretches out on a polka dot cat-sized couch

In other words, when you can eat and sleep in comfort, then you can think about setting up a home office, the living room, entertaining areas, and updating your space with soft furnishings like carpets, art, and light fixtures.

Truly the best way to furnish a space is to start with big pieces first. Then, you’ll know what sizes and styles you’re working with. Another great way to approach the furnishing process is to select one large piece of art work, and choose colors and furniture which complement it.

bookshelf with tree

The ordered list of furnishings

If you furnish in this order, one piece at a time you’ll start to feel right at home in your new place.

0. Choose a style (link: style quiz), or a piece of art (link: art article) to guide you.
1. Mattress
2. Bed Frame
3. Bedside Table
4. Bedroom Lamp
5. Dining Table and Chairs
6. Sofa
7. Other Artwork
8. Living Room Coffee Table or End Tables
9. Consoles and Bookshelves
10. Living Room Lamp
11. Carpets
12. Home Office
13. Decorative Items

Save this list to your favorite to do list app, and cross off all the items already accounted for. For instance, bringing your mattress across town but leaving behind your old bed frame? Awesome, check off Mattress and start prioritizing Bed Frame.

Bedroom with nightstands and table lamps

If you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed, a good place to return to is Step 0: a style quiz or a favorite piece of art. These can serve as your compass as you select furniture and budget for new items.

So, we’ve got you covered for everything you’ll need during your move, from start to finish. You can use our general moving budget template above, and then hop over to our in-depth, one-bedroom furnishing budget guide to see how it plays out in a real-life case study. When you’re ready, schedule a free online consultation.

We want to help make your move easy and stylish, while saving you time and money. So good luck and happy relocating