Furnishing a Small Apartment 10 Tips for Finding Great Furniture

Furnishing a Small Apartment: 10 Tips for Finding Great Furniture

January 8, 2015 | Apartment Décor, DIY Home Improvement

By Kelly Bradley

Going through Ikea (or your favorite interior design store of choice), it’s easy to fall in love with large, plush sectionals. After all, who doesn’t love unwinding on a comfortable couch at the end of a long day?

However, if you’re moving into a small apartment, it’s probably best that you forgo the sectional and opt for a slightly smaller sofa instead. Here are some tips that will help you save money and buy furniture that looks spectacular in your small apartment.

1. Set a Budget

Furnishing a Small Apartment 10 Tips for Finding Great Furniture - Set a Budget

Everyone wants their apartment to look stylish and cool, so it’s easy to overspend a little bit when you’re furnishing the place. This is why it’s great to set a budget before you even start looking for furniture.

Figure out what you’re allowed to spend per room. Doing so will help narrow your search to couches, tables, etc., that are in your price range. Keep in mind that if you purchase a couch that’s below budget, you may be able to splurge on other items, like a rug or a coffee table.

2. Measure Absolutely Everything

Furnishing a Small Apartment 10 Tips for Finding Great Furniture - Measure Absolutely Everything

Never buy anything for your apartment before measuring the area first. Estimating doesn’t really work either. If you’re planning on putting a couch against a wall in your living room, measure the length of the wall. This way, you can figure out how much space you’ll have remaining.

For example, if you end up having more room, maybe you can add a side table to the end of your couch. Don’t forget to measure the dimensions of your apartment door as well. Take it from me – I forgot to do this, and trying to get my couch in the door was like trying to fit a watermelon through a keyhole.

3. Style One Room at a Time

Furnishing a Small Apartment 10 Tips for Finding Great Furniture - Style One Room at a Time

Trying to furnish every single room can get quite overwhelming, which is why you should tackle each space on its own. Start with your living room, and figure out what you need and what you have room for. When everything has been measured and purchased, that’s when you can move onto the next room.

4. Think About the Big Picture

Furnishing a Small Apartment 10 Tips for Finding Great Furniture - Think About the Big Picture

When I was furnishing my apartment, I was just focused on getting one piece at a time, like the sofa, then the coffee table, then the TV stand, etc. I didn’t really think about how all of these elements would blend together, however. I ended up with a sleek black coffee table, an old wood TV stand and a light-colored leather couch – not exactly a space designed by Nate Berkus.

So my advice to you would be to consider how all of these individual elements would look when paired together. Identify a style you like, whether it’s modern, vintage or rustic, and look for furnishings that fit that particular design.

5. Ask For a Second Opinion

Furnishing a Small Apartment 10 Tips for Finding Great Furniture - Ask for a Second Opinion

Even if you’re living by yourself, it can be good to get a second opinion on the major furnishing that you’re buying, like a sofa and a coffee table. My go-to person for a second opinion would be my mother. She’s never afraid to tell me what’s absolutely hideous, and what would look good.

6. Opt For Multipurpose Furniture

Furnishing a Small Apartment 10 Tips for Finding Great Furniture - Opt For Multipurpose Furniture

Instead of just buying a couch or an ottoman, look for pieces that serve more than one function. For instance, search for a sofa that has a pull-out bed. This feature will come in very handy when you have overnight guests.

You can also look for ottomans that open up to reveal storage space. Ottomans are a perfect place to store magazines and TV remotes, both of which can easily clutter up the surface of your coffee table.

7. Think Before You Buy

Furnishing a Small Apartment 10 Tips for Finding Great Furniture - Think Before You Buy

You should never go shopping for apartment furniture the same way that you buy clothes. Making a heat of the moment decision on a pair of pants or a shirt isn’t really a big deal. But when you buy a sofa or a coffee table without thinking about it, you may be in trouble.

Instead of buying furnishings right away, sleep on it. You may wake up the next day and realize you don’t want what you thought you wanted.

8. Add a Light-Colored Rug

Furnishing a Small Apartment 10 Tips for Finding Great Furniture - Add a Light-Colored Rug

Believe it or not, adding a light-colored rug to your living room floors can instantly help your apartment feel more spacious. Plus, rugs can add some warmth to your floors and help the space feel a lot more comfortable. Select a rug that matches your sofa and coffee table.

9. Consider Traffic

Furnishing a Small Apartment 10 Tips for Finding Great Furniture - Consider Traffic

Be sure you’re arranging your furniture in a way that makes it easy for you and your guests to move about the room. You don’t want to have to climb over your coffee table in order to get to the kitchen.

10. Be Patient

Furnishing a Small Apartment 10 Tips for Finding Great Furniture - Be Patient

Furnishing your apartment takes time, and although you wish it would happen overnight, it doesn’t. Give yourself time to get settled, and your apartment will eventually look just like you want it to. 

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