Getting an apartment is one thing. Figuring out what you're going to put in it is another thing completely. Though it might seem just as stressful as finding a place to live, furnishing an apartment can actually be one of the most fun, creative parts of the moving process. It can start before or after a move, and if you've got furniture on your mind, you might even find some inspiration on move day itself.
Furniture, decorations, paintings, posters, and so on can make all the difference, especially in the first few weeks of living in a new apartment. They'll help you feel at home right away and give you a chance to start making memories from day one.
The most important thing to remember about the furnishing process is that there's no rush. It's your apartment now, and you should feel free to take as much time as you need to furnish it the way you want to. Here's how to get started.
Know Your Space
You have to know your space really well before furnishing it. This doesn't mean you have to live there for a month with no furniture taking notes about the place, though. What it means is that you have to understand the dimensions of each room, how light comes into each room, and what each room will be used for.
This might seem simple. But we've often seen clients bite off more than they can chew and not be able to fit items they love into their place. So, before you even start looking for furniture, posters, etc., get familiar with details of your space and start thinking about how you'll actually want to use it each and every day. That way, you'll be searching for items with much more focus, purpose, and precision.
And if you need help figuring out the dimensions of your space, ask your landlord. And once you know them, tell us! We love knowing the dimensions of a space because it makes the unloading process much smoother.
Once you've gotten an idea of the size of your space, and how you want to use each part of it, start daydreaming about the perfect stuff to put in it. You might think you've got to be in the apartment and looking around to figure out what to get. But closing your eyes, with a solid understanding of the dimensions of the space, can actually free you up to dream bigger about the furnishing process.
Let's say you know which room will be your bedroom. As you start thinking of how to furnish it, don't just imagine the desk, chair, and bed you have now. Think about what will be perfect for that space in particular, and think about what you want to see when you wake up in the morning. If you love your desk, definitely keep it! But don't feel tied down to your current furniture or decorations when thinking about your new space. Even though it might be easier just to bring everything into the new place and get it over with quickly, consider how much time you'll be spending in that room and how moving to a new apartment is a rare opportunity to change things up.
When you start daydreaming about the perfect bedroom, you might find that you never liked your old one as much as you told yourself you did. You might find that your dream won't be that difficult to turn into reality and that the furnishing process is the only thing separating you from it.
Now that you're determined not to settle for the design of your old space, remember to stay picky when the furnishing gets under way. As soon as you start looking, you might begin to feel daunted by all the options and want to settle for some of the first things you see. But remember to stay true to those daydreams you had.
If you can, try to find furniture you might be seeing online in person. Whether that means heading to the nearest Ikea or trying some armchairs out in a thrift shop, make sure you have the feeling, and not just the look, of furniture in mind when you're searching.
Exposing yourself to as many options as possible is a great way to learn. Scrolling on sites like Amazon for posters and photographs and Ikea for all kinds of furniture will help you realize what you don't want, which is always really useful for staying aligned with your vision.
Staying picky is key, but knowing when to buy the right piece when you see it is another. You should never compromise when looking for furniture you're going to live with for a long time. But you do have to make a decision at some point, and this is why your daydreaming is so important: when you see a piece of furniture and know you're going to love it, don't hesitate to buy it.
If it's in a thrift shop, remember that somebody else could always come in and buy it later that day if you leave it. So although remaining picky during the search process is an essential part of making sure you create the space you want, staying open to committing to a piece when you find one is what this all leads up to.
Don't Stop Experimenting
Let's say the process went perfectly. Let's say your new home is full of terrific chairs, side tables, lamps, carpets, posters, plants, pots, pans, and hand towels. If, though, something starts to feel off over the next few months or so, feel free to deviate from the original vision you had.
Now that you've had a chance to really live in and experience the space, experiment as much as you want to with new decorations and pieces of furniture. Keep checking in on your local thrift shops to see if anything catches your eye, and keep imagining how your space could feel more comfortable. When it comes to furnishing, nothing is too permanent. Remember when you decided not to stay tied to your old place? If your new place starts to feel old, don't let it. And if you want to get rid of some furniture and try new pieces, be sure to stay mindful of how you do so.
Your apartment is an extension of yourself, and the furnishing process is a constant process of evolution and growth. Your apartment should change with you as you spend more and more time in the space and learn more about what kind of an atmosphere is best for you. If you're looking for ways to experiment with your space, check out this article about apps that help you see what certain pieces of furniture would look like in your apartment!
Though you are committed to the apartment itself, at least for a little while, you're never overly committed to furniture. Even though it's a pain to haul it all up and down stairs, a completely new vibe is really never far away.
We're always ready to help you find that vibe!
Reach out at any stage of the process, and we'll be there to help you experiment and turn your space into your home.