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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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Airbnb Furnishing Design Tips Furnishing 101

How to make your home more inviting

loungeAccording to the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 35 million Americans move house every year. To some the thought of moving is filled with intimidation concerning cost, labor, and leaving family. But for many, transitioning out of an old space leaves endless possibilities for how you can create your new home. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with endless design and decor ideas on what you want your space to look like. Having a starting point is essential. We’ve curated some tips on where to begin when creating your cozy and inviting home.

Make Your Home Yours

Your living room is probably where you’re going to be spending a large chunk of time while at home, so ensuring it’s an inviting and welcoming atmosphere is important. Always create a physical space for yourself to sit and quiet your thoughts, so you can relax from the stressors of everyday life. It will also contribute to better mental health.

Find the right furniture that not only fits the room well, but is comfortable and makes you look forward to relaxing after a long day. If you have company over, you’ll want the space to accommodate them also. By requesting a custom design package, Furnishr will help you choose the best combination of furniture and accessories that fit you and your space. All the furniture and accessories will be delivered and set up altogether too!

Gallery Wall

Reminder of your best memories

Empty walls can make a room feel sparse and barren, the exact opposite of inviting. There’s no better way to gain visual appeal in a room than to create a gallery wall filled with photographs. The gallery wall is where you can exhibit your own personal style by showcasing pictures in alluring photo frames that catch the eye. A gallery wall gives the sense of a lived in, homey feel. It’s not only a great conversation starter when you have company, but you’re reminded of special moments with friends and family as you pass by. Interchanging photos every so often can give your wall a refresh as well as highlighting other pictures that don’t see as much traffic.

The perfect conversation starter

Paintings and art prints are another addition to feed your gallery wall. A study published by University College London revealed that looking at art can make you happier. Art induces feelings comparable to looking at someone you love. To find art that you enjoy and is unique and personal to you, look at online shops where you can find prints that are inexpensive, yet make a statement. Artwork can evoke dialogue, and because it’s subjective, people can have different opinions on it. You’re able to gain insight on what your guests interpret from the cool print that you’ve incorporated into the space.

Homey Aromas

candles and accents to add aroma

Something that isn’t recognized often is the scent of a home. A fresh bouquet of flowers fill a room with natural perfume, plus they’re a subtle way to enhance a coffee table or counter area. Getting a candle of a scent you enjoy will set a mood when you light it. A study from the Smell Report showed that pleasant fragrances have been found to have positive effects on moods in all age groups. When picking a scent for a room, consider how the smell will compliment the space and help enhance it. Be careful to avoid an overbearing scent that takes away from the room, a clean fresh fragrance is ideal for an area such as a living room.

A Pop of Accents

Use colors and textures in pillows and throws

Pillows and throws are a home accent that can add character to a home instantly. Find pillows that contrast the furniture in the room. This will give form and flow to your furniture, a variety of textured pillows will highlight a solid colored couch. Throws are a great addition to enhancing a home, you can lay one (or a few-the more you have, the cozier movie nights are) on a couch to add another layered element to the room. If you have neutral furniture, a brighter colored pillow or throw can complement the overall aesthetic and tie the space together.

 

Layering rugs is the trend

Layering multiple rugs in a room adds dynamic visual appeal to the space. Rugs instantly add a homey feel to any area and can help fill a space without physically cluttering a room. Playing around with different textiles, colors, and placements can accentuate your personal aesthetic when you walk into the room. Positioning one rug on top of another in a diagonal formation will create the effect of a walkway, almost leading guests to whatever furniture is lined up in the path. When placing rugs, make sure to consider the features and size of the room. It can be easy to go overboard and totally overwhelm a space if your rug choices don’t fit the dimensions and color of the room accordingly.

Personal Memorabilia

Showcase only your most favourite items. Be sparing and tasteful.

Your home should reflect your personality and tell your story- design and decorate with personal items that make you happy. Making an inviting home is all about expressing your uniqueness and individuality so people can get a sense of you. Your personal style is the first priority in crafting your space, so highlight the things that cater to your taste. If you have a collection that you’re proud of, don’t be afraid to showcase it! A huge part in creating your home is to add elements that make you excited to walk back through the door, as well as inviting others into a space that you love. Your home is your own personal sanctuary. So you need to make it yours!

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Design Tips

How to Create a Feng Shui Home

Here’s a shocking statistic:  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that we spend around 90% of our lives indoors. If you think about this, 90% makes sense. Most of us sleep eight hours at home, work eight hours at the office, and otherwise hang out at home, at someone else’s home, or in a restaurant or some other building. Air quality, objects of beauty — there are so many ways that a room can affect us. Having a good home decor is imperative to our health and it can create balance in areas of your life. Some people call this mindfully decorated home a “feng shui home”.

Interior Design is part of our lifestyle.

So are designers thinking about this?

Thankfully, yes! Architects, interior designers, and manufacturers are profoundly aware of the effects their work has on real human beings. That’s why we have building standards like the environmental LEED certification, as well as guidelines for safe and clean products. Canadian engineers are even given an iron ring on the day of their graduation to symbolize the responsibility of constructing safe structures.

But how much of an impact does the style of our homes have on health and wellness?

Well, you may have heard of Feng Shui, which is the ancient Chinese system of arranging items in space to harmonize oneself with one’s surroundings. Many people regard Feng Shui as a pseudoscience, and they see interior design as a ‘softer’ design discipline. Coincidentally, a recent study showed that 90% of people with an interior design degree are women. Might this be why home style is undervalued by the big brothers of design?

The quality of indoor environments actually has an enormous impact on our health and wellbeing.

Design is personal. We have all experienced the small, nuanced ways that our space affects our mood, but perhaps we just didn’t have the words to describe it. This post is here to help. Let’s break down all the elements that makeup someone’s experience of a room. You’ll be surprised — or maybe not — at just how many ways you’re being helped (or hurt) by home decor.

living room with good style

The three major areas in which a Feng Shui home creates health & wellbeing are purpose, personalization, and adaptability.

1. Purpose

Purpose is the basic guiding principle when designing an office versus a bedroom. The furnishings and sensory atmospheres of each room should naturally encourage different purposes. You enter the bedroom, and the bed invites rest with its soft furnishings and calming decor. You walk into the office and feel energized by bright lights and bold colors. Furnishings should align with purpose.

If you want your living room to serve the purpose of hosting large dinner parties and movie nights, then you should have plenty of open seating in a conversational arrangement. Plus places to set drinks.

2. Personalization

Personalization is very important. It’s the reason that cubicle workers cover their desks with personal trinkets. It’s why the Internet is full of tutorials on personalizing rented apartments.  To put it simply, “There’s no place like home” refers to a specific place where you feel at home.

Your art is on the walls, your grandmother’s china is in the cupboards after making it through a cross-country move. You keep your most precious possessions at home. When spaces are tailored especially for their intended inhabitants, they feel safe and comfortable.

3. Adaptability

Adaptability is the idea that a space should easily adapt to your needs, whether daily or seasonally. IKEA became popular not only because of cheap furniture, but also because it has multipurpose furniture, ottomans that act as seating and storage for example. You may want your living room to feel cozy and closed during the winter, but bright and airy in the spring. This hits upon another trend in architecture, which is responsive environments and smart homes. Some smart buildings take this idea to a grand scale. They can swivel their blinds to take advantage of minimal sunlight in the winter. In the summertime, they use an entirely different algorithm to keep the sun out and reduce A/C costs.

But let’s break it down even further. Design is a sensory experience.

1. Sight. 

Humans perceive the world first and foremost through their eyes. Colors, lighting, objects, and sense of space make up the first layer of how you experience a room. Lighting has a huge impact on mood, especially since it affects circadian rhythms. Light either disrupts our sleep cycles or guides us towards a healthy pattern of wakefulness and rest.

Inspirational objects keep the mind focused and uplifted. Too many written words can be agitating because your mind can’t help but try to read everything! The famed architect Christopher Alexander wrote about a Pattern Language for all built environments, including proportions and arrangements of rooms that please the senses.

Looking at plants can remind us of our connection to the ecosystem. They connect us with a sense of vibrancy and life in what would otherwise be sterile rooms. A recent study discovered that workers in a building with windows “received 173 percent more white light exposure during work hours, and slept an average of 46 more minutes per night” than those without access to natural light.  

But one of the best ways to use interior design is to support your well-being by cueing yourself toward good habits. For example, have you ever noticed that you drink more water when you keep a water bottle beside your bed? Looking at a beautiful painting of fruit in the kitchen can help you choose a healthy breakfast over sugary cereal.

2. Smell.

We have to mention smell here because your nose is so undervalued! Studies have shown that a brief whiff of something nice can trigger long-lasting good mood. Stagnant air can be an immediate turnoff because lack of oxygen sends a panic signal to the brain. The market is oversaturated with faux scents intended to mask unpleasant smells. But even if the brain is tricked, the body isn’t.

Synthetic fragrances can be damaging to your health. Look instead for natural alternatives like essential oils, fresh flowers, a favorite meal, or just throw open a window. A smell can also be a great way to personalize a space if you don’t have much control over the aesthetics, as a shared office. Keep lavender essential oil reed diffusers on your desk, or use a favorite lotion for a quick dose of comfort.

3. Texture.

Humans have a finely attuned sense of touch. We collect so much information about temperature, texture, and durability just through our fingers and feet.

Office chairs are a perfect example of this necessary balance. Chairs must be cozy enough for long periods of sitting, but firm enough that we feel supported and upright to focus on our work. And there are as many textures as there are people because everyone’s vestibular system is slightly different.

From soft throw blankets to rough-hewn dining tables, every interaction results in the firing of neural synapses in your brain.  Your senses are literally helping you understand whether you’re safe or in danger, whether you’re at home or somewhere unfamiliar. It’s important to keep an eye out for high-quality products. A smooth surface might feel nice to touch and be good feng shui, but not if it has lead in the paint.

4. Ergonomics & Accessibility.

All bodies are different and what works for one person may not work for another. This is true in small ways, like the height you prefer your office chair at, or the number of pillows you need behind your neck for maximal ergonomic comfort. But it’s also true in larger ways. Most rooms are not designed to satisfy someone with low-vision, someone missing a limb, or someone with PTSD, for example. Good home style can be a surprisingly good way to support your best mental and physical health. Off-the-shelf products may not work for you, and it’s okay to adapt them!

5. Adaptation.

We’re big believers in changing things up when the mood strikes. How easily can you rearrange your furniture? Do you have dimmable lights, or just on/off switches? Spaces can be designed so that adapting to your needs is easy.

There is a growing trend towards responsive environments, marked by smart home technology like the popular Nest thermostat. Contemporary designers look for ways to create spaces that react in real-time to the needs of its occupants. They do this by collecting user data and environmental data, and the building automatically adjusts as needed.

Good home style can make or break your health & wellness.

It’s no substitute for real medical care, of course, but many people just don’t think about the impact their space is having on their mood. We hope this article has given you some inspiration for using interior design to boost your wellbeing. The good news is that if you work with an interior designer, they’re likely to be aware of these trends. Designers can help you strategize about using your home’s design to live your best life.

There’s a free consultation available now with the vetted designers at Furnishr. Check it out if you’re feeling inspired!

Comment down below how you maintain a Feng Shui home.

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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!

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Design Tips

What is Minimalist Home Design and How to Achieve It

To understand minimalism in interior design, we must first understand it as a lifestyle. Minimalism means living with only the bare essentials, decluttering your space, and leading a peaceful and simple life. Nowadays, consumerism has led us to believe that acquiring more items will lead to happiness and satisfaction, but Minimalists believe in the opposite; that a clutter-free home will set the tone for a relaxing and free lifestyle.

Similarly, these attributes can be applied to interior design and furniture. Minimalist furnishings call for muted tones, spacious layouts, and simple designs. Here are a few tips on how you can improve your home to adapt to a minimalist style.

Minimalist Home Living Space

The first piece of advice you will see on any post about minimalism will tell you to get rid of the clutter you don’t need anymore. Your surroundings have a greater effect on your mental well-being than you think. Imagine coming home after a long day of work only to see a pile of clothing setting on your unkept bed. You may feel uncomfortable or filled with frustration about the disorganization. Those pair of jeans haven’t been worn in years; perhaps it’s time to purge and organize your closet.

 

Start by emptying out the boxes at the back of your closet that you haven’t opened in so long. Do you really need that shirt you wore once to a party two years ago? What about the pile of old magazines sitting in your basement? A good rule of thumb is to donate or throw away anything you haven’t used in a year. Additionally, try to ensure you have other items stored out of sight to create more space in your home.

If you’re moving and plan on redesigning a new apartment entirely from scratch, you may also want to decide which furniture to bring when you relocate. Once you do this, you will feel your space clear up significantly, which is the first step to adopting a minimalist style.

Tones and Textures

When becoming a minimalist, it is important to color coordinate your home to reflect calmness. The use of sporadic pops of color can be fun but does not give you the desired minimalistic effect. Bright shades of yellow or a fiery red can also be a distraction. Thus, using neutrals, pastels, and earth tones are the best.

Start with a base color such as white or light beige, and layer it with complementary shades like subtle grays, pale blues, or dark greens. The key is to pick 3-4 different colors and keep them consistent to prevent too much noise and contrast. You can also try something like smart glass film on your windows, which allows you to forgo bulky curtains and have a sleek minimalist look.

But with such similar tones, how do we keep it from getting too bland?

This is where the magic of texture comes in. Matching similar colors with different materials adds interest to the eye. For example, the pairing of the dark gray bed with the light gray rug in the picture below keeps the presence of the color from getting boring. Although the color palette is more muted, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a bit of fun with the textures.

Natural Lighting

Natural lighting is a very important part of a minimalist home interior design, giving the room a warm and inviting tone. Although it’s definitely difficult to change the size of your windows, you can still allow the sun rays to seep in by using light curtains or none at all in common space areas such as the dining or living room. The sunlight combined with your clean space will create the illusion of openness with the added benefit of looking like a bigger space.

Artificial Lighting

The use of lighting is still necessary when the sun comes down. After all, we are not nocturnal animals with night-vision. When LED lights are needed, it’s best to keep things simple. Rather than going for a crazy art piece or placing a clunky lamp at the corner of the room, try to find lights with a simpler silhouette. Even bare lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling correspond to a minimalist design.

Overall, minimalism is a very powerful movement that has influenced the lives of many for the better. After all, who doesn’t want to come home to an uncluttered and tranquil space to unwind? Try out these tips to adopt this life-changing style into your home and comment down below how minimalism or interior design has impacted your lifestyle.

>> Additionally, if you’re interested in learning more about the health and wellness benefits of interior design, read our next article on the impacts of feng shui.

Categories
Design Tips Furnishing 101

How to Adjust His Decorating Style to Fit Yours

Clashing Interior Design Styles

Couples that have different tastes in decorating style often have clashing opinions when it comes to moving in together.  Adjusting his style to fit yours is often complicated. Many of whom just want a space to display their belongings, making the home feel comfortable and familiar. Whilst others just want equal space in the closet and bathroom cupboards. Compromising and understanding the other person leads to a happier relationship and creates a space that happily reflects the two of you as a couple. Here are some tips on how to incorporate both partners decorating style in a shared space.

1. Compromise

When you become accustomed to living alone, you can adopt bad living habits that you didn’t realize were there. Now that you have a new roommate, it is time to understand that your partner might not be as understanding when you take up all the bookshelf space or sprawl out all your favorite magazines on the coffee table. He might want to display his favorite souvenirs or books in the room too. There are ways that you can have what you both want through compromising – if he wants his gaming console in the lounge then you are allowed to place a nice vase of flowers. This type of thinking allows you to prevent disagreements and allows each partner to display their own unique style.

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

Key Decorating Pieces

living spaces with decorating style

Choose a few key pieces to display that you can both agree on and that matches your combined style. This will allow you to each feel represented in the home equally, create comfort and openness. Try to be open-minded and understand why their piece is important to your partner.

Your Own Styled Space

living space decorating style - gray

Although having a shared space can be nice, everyone needs their own personal space. At the end of the day, we all have our own unique styles. Some are into contemporary design or mid-century modern styling, maybe an industrial style or rustic style, and others might enjoy a modern design or a French country vibe. We all have our own design elements or color palettes that we like to stick to.

Try to incorporate spaces within the house that are for you only, and the same goes for your partner. You can choose to have your own room, office, corner or it may be something as simple as a shelf in the bookcase. This your area to enjoy and style as you wish.

This can be a “man cave” or a relaxing room for a woman to enjoy her latest magazine with a coffee. Or it can be a bookcase either side of the TV that is for each of you to place belongings.

Shared Decorated Space

With main areas of the house such as the living room, dining and kitchen keep things that represent both of you. If one of you has the majority of furniture you can include your partner in the decision process of adjusting the placement of furniture. They could add soft furnishings of their choosing.

Airbnb Investment Property West Village NYC

Alternatively, you can go shopping together and select new furniture that you both agree upon. Flea markets are great places to thrift for ‘new’ furniture if you are looking for something cost-friendly. You can also consider picking neutral colors if you are having difficulties selecting furnishings.

Couple’s Room Equity

Bedroom decoration styleEnsure your partner has adequate space for their belongings as it makes them feel welcome and part of your life. This means sharing closet space, cabinet space in the bathroom, space in the kitchen for food and appliances. Additionally allowing space to be shared for larger furniture items.

>> Let us know down below your first experience moving-in with your partner. How did you handle conflicting decor styles and sharing personal space?