Savvy Ways to Maximize Your Apartment Furnishing Budget


Here’s a secret: you actually don’t have to stress about your apartment furnishing budget. 

We’ve already detailed how much it costs to furnish an apartment, and there are lots of ways to maximize your furniture budget even if you can’t exactly stretch it.

In this post, we’ll cover:

  • How and where to get the quality furnishings you need, (all while saving money) 
  • Factors that heavily influence your apartment furniture budget
  • The best way to hack these influences so you maximize your budget

If you’re on a tight budget for your apartment furniture, or if you have limited space, your money has to go far for everything you buy. Each piece needs to be functional and, basically, worth it.

Here’s exactly how you can maximize your budget to furnish an apartment that you’ll love! 

Table of Contents

5 Ways to Maximize Your Apartment Budget, Get Furniture You Really Need, & Spend Less

1. Use what you already have

The biggest way to stay in control of your apartment furniture budget is to use what you—or family and friends—already have.

Items that you probably already have (and don’t have to buy) can include:

  • Towels/washcloths
  • Bedding/pillows
  • Laundry hamper
  • Clothing hangers

Common items you can ask family/friends for in your new apartment:

  • Flatware 
  • Kitchen dish towels
  • Unwanted plates or glassware
  • Cookware, gadgets, pots & pans
  • Console tables (these can get pricey)
  • Dressers
  • Storage boxes
  • Shelves/Bookshelves
  • Small cooking appliances
  • Unwanted TVs in great condition

Furniture pieces you can get at thrift or consignment stores for under $1,000:

  • Tables
  • Bed Frames
  • Any seating without fabric or cushioning (to avoid insect pests)
  • Shelves & storage boxes
  • TV console/entertainment centers
  • Plates
  • Dressers
  • Planters for your patio or indoor plants
  • Home decorations
  • Wall art
  • Lamps

Apartment furnishings that you can buy brand new for well under $1,000:

  • Sofas/sectionals
  • Bath towels + washcloths
  • Bed linens + pillows
  • Mattresses (get on sale, especially the kind that doesn’t need a box spring)
  • Televisions (look for Black Friday deals or new open box items at Best Buy) 

2. Give your apartment furniture budget a reasonable cap

Once you’re sure you need to move, your next step is to start your budget planning process.

Essentially, give yourself a reasonable limit based on how much you’re willing to spend and the average cost of similar furniture pieces. 

For obvious reasons, this has to be centered around what you can afford.

$1,000? $3,000? $6,000? 

Whatever your budget cap is, make sure it’s within your reach after factoring in all related moving and rent expenses. 

3. Create a comprehensive budget that includes every furniture piece

You need a budget to be able to maximize it in the first place, right?

So, here’s how to furnish your apartment using an actual budget:

  1. Make a list with 2 columns: what you need to buy vs. what you already have 
  2. Create a spreadsheet of options for everything under the ‘Need to Buy’ section and their prices by store 
  3. Find the total cost for purchasing at each store (a simple Google search can turn up items at nearby or online stores, or use our list!)
  4. Calculate how much you have saved vs. the cost of the items at each store

How to Use the Apartment Essentials Budget Sheet

  1. Click the link below to open the Google Sheet.
  2. Simply go to File > Make a copy. This will automatically add the copy to your Google Drive.
  3. Or, you can download it as an Excel (.xlsx) file!
  4. After that, it’s yours to edit as needed. 

It’s super easy to come up with a quick budget for your apartment furniture—no sweat.

4. Buy your apartment essentials first

What good is a beautiful centerpiece or vase if you don’t have a table to sit and eat on?

Unless you absolutely fall in love with a decorative piece, focus on getting the essentials first. Your budget will go a much longer way.

Yes, it’s a master exercise in patience to wait to buy the little knick-knacks that make your apartment feel personal. 

However, by getting your core essentials, it’s likely that you’ll buy decor pieces that you actually love on their own merit—you know, without focusing on interior design trends. 

Remember, you can always get fancy later!

5. Shop seasonally for apartment furniture

You can easily stay under budget if you know the best seasons to purchase your apartment furniture

Sales in the furniture industry mostly follow a seasonal, bi-annual schedule. 

To get the best deals on furnishings, try shopping during one of the following times:  

  • When retailers are getting rid of last season’s inventory prior to bringing in new furniture
  • When there is a holiday or special event sale coming (even if it’s a major competitor’s event, they’ll usually price-match pieces)

Here’s a guide to the best times of year to buy furniture:

Types of Furniture:

Best Times to Buy:

Indoor Furniture

January-February & July-August

Outdoor Furniture

Winter months (can vary by location)

Office Furniture

August-September (during back-to-school season)

Mattresses

3-day weekends & holiday weekends (e.g. Independence Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc.)

Televisions

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and in weeks leading up to Super Bowl Sunday

Electronics

July-August, November-December

Appliances & Kitchen gadgets

Late September-October, Black Friday, Cyber Monday 

General Furniture & Decor

Amazon Prime Day & Wayfair’s Way Day (competitors will usually price match)

As an alternative, you can always shop at thrift stores or garage sales, too! If you love a bargain, that may be a better option than buying brand-new items. 

Newer and pricier decor doesn’t necessarily equal top quality. 

So, buy furniture that piques your interest—not someone else’s.

6. Buy smaller pieces in sets

When you’re looking at the smaller items you’ll need to buy for an apartment—like kitchen utensils, chairs, garbage cans, end tables, lamps, etc.—you’ll often need more than one piece.

Even if you found a standalone lamp that you like, you’ll probably need two if they’re both going in your living room. 

So, why not buy in pairs? 

The cost is often substantially lower than buying individual pieces.

Take cooking tools for example: 

Instead of buying each spatula, tong, and serving spoon separately, get a set that includes them all. Heck, sometimes you’ll even find a set with the utensil holder included. You’ll inevitably need all of these items in your kitchen anyway, so you might as well purchase a set when possible. 

Not only will buying items in sets help maximize your budget, but you’ll also save lots of time that’s normally spent shopping around.

Top 3 Factors That Make or Break Your Apartment Furniture Budget

Even if you have a budget, your spending can easily get out of hand if you’re not careful. 

(This is especially true if you tend to have shiny object syndrome or love to shop.)

If you’re looking to furnish your apartment for cheap, get familiar with the factors that can maximize or break your budget. 

For example, if your personal style is more glam or trendy than rustic or Scandinavian, you may have a harder time staying under budget because trendier décor tends to cost more due to demand.  (Think: Z Gallerie modern glam look vs. IKEA functional minimalism.)

Additionally, if you’re spending only a few months to one year in your new apartment, or if you’re saving up for a house, you may not feel the need to invest in high-end or heavy, solid pieces which often cost more. 

How much it will cost to fully furnish your apartment depends on several factors:

#1- Your Style Preferences

Some people prefer IKEA while others fawn over Z Gallerie or Pottery Barn. 

While each has its own merits, they’re clearly in different price ranges.

Your personal tastes will have a huge impact on how much you’re willing to save or stretch your apartment furniture budget…

But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to expand your furniture-buying options by:

  • Doing your research to catch a local sale. Signing up for their email list can often get you at least 10% off. 
  • Browsing furniture consignment shops, membership wholesalers (e.g. Sam’s, Costco), or outlets
  • Saving your online favorites to get alerts when they’re on sale using Shoptagr (now, Karma) or Honey
  • Finding gently-used options on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or neighborhood garage sales
  • Checking out Etsy, Overstock, or flash-sale sites like Gilt and Nordstrom Rack Home

Pro Tip: 

No matter what your favorite furniture style is, look for deals whenever possible!

Always sign up for the company’s texts/emails.

You’ll be alerted when there’s a sale, and you’ll typically get a first-time buyer discount. 

#2- Where you buy your apartment furniture

The stores where you purchase your apartment furniture often use mass-produced pieces from third parties, then markup the price and rename the piece so it can’t be easily identified. 

But now there are direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies that cut out the middleman. Even better: some of them offer design services, too!  

Despite the upfront sticker shock, DTC furniture brands will save you cash in the long run. 

You can save thousands of dollars by furniture shopping with a DTC company.

Just be aware that some DTC brands don’t always have super flexible delivery options.

And, if a design team is involved, you’ll also have to make time to communicate with them about your needs. 

For the time-strapped, this still beats finding every piece by yourself through hours of internet research or weekend store trips!

If you’re a busy workaholic or non-creative type who craves a chic-looking apartment, you’ll love having your furniture and interior design needs bundled into the same deal!

Our picks for top DTC furniture brands and furnishing design services:

  • Furnishr. Work with experts to fully design and furnish any apartment size.
  • Modsy. Starts from $159-$499/room, or $299 for multiple rooms.
  • Havenly. Starts at $129 for decorating from scratch + 0% APR financing via Affirm.
  • Article. Sells furniture, but also offers from-scratch interior design.
  • Burrow. Durable + luxury-focused. USA-made and affordable with plenty of unique patents pending.
  • Interior Define. Chic meets mid-century modern. They’ve got an Austin-based shop and a virtual room in Houston.
  • Inside Weather. Sustainable pieces are made-to-order by California artisans who use upcycled plastic 
  • Maidenhome. Superb quality pieces by the world-renowned furniture craftsmen of North Carolina + lifetime cushion warranties.
  • Sabai. Cozy, sustainable seating with affordable repair pieces & a waste-busting trade-in program that sells refurbished pieces up to 30% off original pricing.
  • The Inside. Be your own designer and customize your fabrics on everything from sofas to peel & stick wallpaper.
  • Albany Park. What’s not to love about designer pieces in apartment-friendly boxes, plus easy assembly and a 30-day warranty?!

Pros & cons of buying furniture from local retailers:

If you prefer the idea of choosing a local furniture retail shop, you’ll probably have a lot more style options.

However, your pieces may not arrive all at once.  And, of course, there’s the drawback of having to look for it all on your own. 

Be aware that delivery fees can vary widely. Local retailers might charge anywhere from $0-$300 for delivery, not including the markup of furniture itself. 

Assembly of your new furniture may or may not be included, so consult the store to be certain. 

#3- How long you’ll live in your new apartment

Moving into an apartment for the short term? 

You probably won’t want to make a big investment in super high-end furniture and lots of decorations. 

In that case, your budget will probably be substantially lower than if you’re moving into a new apartment for your long-term dream job.

Consider renting furniture or possibly even choosing a fully furnished apartment. 

Heck, even an extended stay hotel can be cheaper if you’re moving for a temporary job and want to maximize your salary. 

If you’re moving temporarily and don’t have an extra $5,000-$6,000 to spend on furnishing an apartment, it may be cheaper for you to choose a temporary or extended stay hotel. 

You could pay thousands of dollars less in an extended-stay suite instead of paying for apartment rent, furniture, and utilities. 

Plus, there are a lot fewer headaches you’ll have in a temporary stay hotel, like:

  • Paying for utilities, WiFi, & cable
  • Lugging your clothes to a communal laundromat
  • Cleaning up; many hotels have a daily housekeeper
  • Having a lease

Just note that this option is most financially worthwhile if you plan to move someplace new from one month to a year.  

Wrapping Up

Creating your furniture budget doesn’t have to be super time-consuming. 

Now that you know how to set your apartment furnishing budget and maximize it, you can get to the fun part—decorating!

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How Much It Really Costs to Furnish Your First Apartment


Furnishing your apartment can be both amazing and nerve-wracking—especially when you’re trying to keep costs relatively low.

So where do you start?

What is it that you do and don’t need to be comfy in your new space?

How do you stay within your budget and on-trend?

Regardless of whether it’s your first or your fifth apartment, as movers, we realize that everyone’s furniture needs will differ depending on the reasons for moving.

So no, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all guide to furnishing your new apartment, because we know that your lifestyle needs are unique.

Even better: this Spruce Your Space post will help you create a plan and better understand the costs involved for every piece of your essential apartment furniture budget.

Table of Contents
 
 
 

 

How to Easily Furnish Your Apartment: Here’s What You Actually Need

Sure you’ll need a toolset (with a hammer, nails, drill, and screwdriver), but that’s a given. 

Here’s everything you may or may not have thought about getting in your new apartment—including what you do and don’t need right away.

 Basics: What You Absolutely Need to Settle In

Not only will you feel incomplete without these pieces of furniture in your apartment, but you may be in a bind. 

(After all, where the heck are you supposed to eat if you don’t have any seating or a table?) 

Here are the definite must-haves you’ll need in your new apartment:

  • At least one table (for eating/sitting)
  • At least two chairs 
  • At least 1 lamp each for living room & bedroom (in case of poor lighting)
  • Television (only if you watch TV)
  • TV stand (if you have a TV)
  • Sleeper sofa, loveseat, or sectional (depending on your living room space)
  • At least 1 nightstand
  • Clothing dresser
  • Standing wardrobe closet or rack (for lofts or studios)
  • Extension cords (handy for adding flexible lighting or electronics)
  • Bed frame (possibly with a box spring)
  • Clothing hangers
  • Mattress + pillows
  • Bedding with duvet/comforter + pillowcases
  • Extra bathroom storage drawers (especially if you have roommates or lack linen space)
  • Pots & pans
  • Cutlery 
  • Cooking utensils (measuring cups, tongs, spatulas, etc.)
  • Food storage containers
  • Kitchen dish towels & cleaning cloths
  • Cleaning tools & disinfectants for kitchen & bathroom
  • 2 trash cans (one each for your bathroom & kitchen)
  • Dishes, glasses & flatware
  • A dish rack (if you don’t have a dishwasher)
  • A microwave (if it’s not included)
  • Shower curtain + liner
  • Washcloths
  • Hand towels + bath towels

 

Nice-to-Haves: What You Can Splurge on Now or Get a Bit Later

No, you don’t have to have these items as soon as you move in… But, they’ll instantly make you feel more comfortable and right at home. 

When the timing is perfect for you and your budget, you’ll want to grab these pieces to completely furnish your apartment:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Broom + dustpan
  • Barstools or extra chairs for a kitchen/dining area 
  • Oven mitts
  • Paper towel stand
  • Mixing bowls
  • Kitchen rug (memory foam or flat-weave)
  • Extra kitchen storage (baskets, under-cabinet shelves, and racks, etc.)
  • Curtains (nice, but not essential since most units already have blinds)
  • Coffee table
  • Living room area rug
  • 1-2 accent chairs (ya’ know, for company)
  • Working desk + chair
  • Bookshelf/storage
  • End tables (at least 2 for living room)
  • TV entertainment center (the kind with storage shelves)
  • 4 lamps (2 table lamps/1 floor lamp for the living room and 2 for your bedroom nightstands)
  • Floor-length mirror (once you have one, you’ll never go back)
  • 2 nightstands (if you want storage or lamps on both sides of your bed)
  • Bathroom caddy for toiletries, toothbrushes, etc.
  • Bathroom mats (memory foam is the best)
  • Balcony/patio furniture
  • LED lightbulb replacements (to save on your electricity bill)
  • Home décor & wall art 

 

How to Know What You’ll Spend on Apartment Furniture

It will cost the average person anywhere between $2,930 to over $5,000 to fully furnish an apartment with just the basics, even for first-timers—according to design & furniture brand, Furnishr.com.

And that’s not even saying much about the quality or longevity of your chosen furniture!

Figuring out how much you can expect to spend on furnishing your apartment is actually very personal

In fact, your apartment budget largely depends on several factors:

  • Your style preferences. Champagne taste? That means you’ll have to get creative—and zero in on furniture sales or consignment shops.
  • Your budget. This is—regardless of your style—what you can actually afford without racking up credit card debt.  
  • What you need + Where you’ll buy it. Already have furniture and only need certain pieces? You can snag discounted items from IKEA, HomeGoods, Ross or TJ Maxx. But, starting from scratch means you’ll need a lot more, so consider direct-to-consumer companies that will save you money by nixing the middleman. 
  • How long you’ll live in your apartment. Unlike temporary stays, long-term living means you’ll need to invest in better pieces to be comfortable. No matter your budget or length of your lease, stick with furniture that makes you feel cozy. 
  • The size of your apartment. You can’t fit as much furniture in a studio or loft as a 1-2 bedroom apartment. The smaller your apartment is, the more multifunctional furniture you’ll need to maximize limited space.
  • Whether you have children or dependents. If the person you’re living with is financially dependent on you (like a child) you may be responsible for at least some of their furniture—if not all of it. That’s something else you’ll need to factor in when budgeting for bedroom furniture or bathroom storage & linens.

 

6 Places You Can Shop to Buy Everything for Your New Apartment

As shocking as it seems, Target isn’t the top place most people turn to furnish their household. 

According to Statista, the top-ranked furniture retailers since 2019 are:

  1. Ashley HomeStore
  2. Amazon 
  3. IKEA
  4. Williams-Sonoma (its furniture subsidiaries are: Williams-Sonoma Home, West Elm, & Pottery Barn)
  5. Wayfair

Naturally, the top furniture retailers are going to be the most competitive in pricing and price-matching.

And that’s a good thing for you!

Price-matching and comparison-shopping are 2 key methods to help you stay on budget when furnishing your apartment. 

BUT, you’ll still want to save as much money as possible for your other moving expenses. Buying items in sets will really help you stay on track.

In our apartment furnishing breakdown, we’ll go room-by-room and factor in a lot of furniture sets to help your budget.

 

What Can You Expect to Spend on Essential Furniture for an Apartment? Here’s a Room-by-Room Breakdown!

Now that you’re clear on the basics and nice-to-haves you’ll need in your apartment, how much can you expect to spend?  

Next, let’s compare prices for essential apartment furnishings between 2 of these popular stores, plus a trusty favorite:

  • Overstock- an enormous marketplace that basically throws sale alerts and discounts at you (in a good way.)
  • Wayfair- seems like every Instagram home decor influencer has this retailer as a favorite for furniture & home décor.
  • Ashley HomeStore- they’re everywhere and great for shopping in person. 

To be mindful of your budget, we’ll focus on sets, which help you maximize your time and your money. 

By the end, you’ll have a better idea of what you can expect to spend and how to set your budget accordingly.

Before we breakdown the cost to furnish each room of your apartment from these 3 stores, let’s note a few things:

  1. This is NOT an endorsement nor review of any of these products. We haven’t tried them and they’re for illustrative purposes only.    
  2. Prices are accurate at the time of publishing this piece. And, they don’t include taxes. You can definitely find these items or alternatives for less or more, depending on when you shop and if you have a discount code. Based on that, please take these numbers as pre-tax estimates.
  3. Discounts will lower these totals, but the prices below do not include extra discounts. We ABSOLUTELY encourage you to sign up on these sites’ email/ text lists and social media pages to catch great offers and coupon codes!
  4. We tried balancing the furniture picks evenly between the following factors: a substantial number of great reviews/ratings, reasonable price points, or multi-piece sets to maximize your apartment furnishing budget. So while some pieces may not be the cheapest, they have higher rates of customer satisfaction.

 

Kitchen + Dining Area Essentials 

These days, most apartment kitchens have appliances like dishwashers, microwaves, and refrigerators (and of course, a stove). Luckily, you’ll often only have to worry about buying your cooking utensils and seating. 

Many apartments may or may not have an available kitchen island that can double as bar seating. If that’s the case, you don’t necessarily need a table (unless you just want one.) 

Regardless of whether you have a kitchen bar, some places actually have space for a dining table, while others won’t. 

If your place lacks a bar or island, you’ll definitely need a table with chairs—but not necessarily one that’s big enough for a traditional dining room in a house.  

Look out for dining sets, which include the tables and the chairs, or at least a pair of dining chairs sold together. 

For smaller apartments that barely have a distinct dining area, check out bistro-style table sets that are small, circular, and usually include 2 chairs. You’ll maximize your budget this way, even if it seems like a lot upfront.

  Overstock Ashley HomeStore Wayfair
Dining table set $516.37 (5 pcs.) $479.99 (5 pcs. + storage) $649.99 (5 pcs.)
Dishware $83.99 (16 pcs. serves 4) $91.99 (16 pcs. serves 4) $59.99 (12 pcs. serves 4)
Flatware/Silverware $51.49 (40 pcs.) $73.99 (20 pcs.) $29.99 (16 pcs.)
Glassware $24.99 (16 pcs.) $55.99 (6 pcs., for adult beverages or water) $29.99 (16 pcs.)
Food storage containers $35.99 (24 pcs.) $27.99 (14 pcs.) $41.50 (10 pcs.)
Pots & pans $159.95 (11 pcs.) $112.99 (12 pcs + cooking tools) $199.99 (20 pcs. + bakeware)
Basic cooking utensils $39.99 (24 pcs.) $27.99 (6 pcs.) $49.99 (12 pcs.)
Knives/Cutlery $79.00 (13 pcs.) $29.99 (10 pcs. + cutting board) $101.90 (12 pcs. + block)
Garbage can $134.99 (13 gal. & 2.5 gal., touchless, odor control. Use 2.5 gal for your bathroom!) $80.99 (30L & 3L; use the 3L for your bathroom!) $53.99 (30L & 8 gal.; use the 8 gal size for your bathroom!)
Totals $1,086.77 $953.92 $1,221.59
Total cost to furnish apartment kitchen

Living Room Essentials

The furniture you’ll need in the living room area will vary depending on the layout of your apartment, but be prepared to spend $$$ if you want it to look nice and cozy.

For example, studio and loft-style apartments lack a defined sleeping space. 

If you’re moving into one of these, you’ll probably want more flexible options like a sleeper sofa, or a loveseat plus a room divider to section off your bed for privacy. 

In these cases of limited space, having a lift-top coffee table is ideal so your living room can double as an instant workspace or eating spot. 

Have a roomier apartment with a bigger living room?

You can play around with more traditional-style coffee tables. Or, consider getting an ottoman that offers a place to kick up your feet or extra hidden storage.

If you’re the type who can live without end tables (or simply don’t have the room) then save your money. 

However, if you like the idea of having extra space for a drink or décor, then look into coffee table set that includes two side tables. You’ll get what you want at the most bang for your buck.

Sounds bonkers, but, A LOT of people are ditching TV in favor of their smart devices.  

TV prices can also vary wildly depending on various factors and highly personal reasons. For these reasons, we didn’t include a ballpark cost for buying a television. 

But, we did include the cost for purchasing an entertainment center or TV console. 

Regardless of what kind of TV you buy, you’ll need a place to store it. Mostly because it’s a major headache to try and mount a TV in an apartment on your own. 

Plus, it may not be allowed. And who wants to deal with damages?

With the calculations below, you’ll at least have an idea of how much a media center costs to house your television, should you choose to buy one at all. 

Since the furniture in your living area will vary so much, take the totals below with a grain of salt.

For example, if you have a studio or loft apartment you may opt for a lift-top coffee table. 

Conversely, you may want a roomier storage ottoman or larger coffee table if you have a bigger apartment living room. 

So, in the chart below, we included the estimated cost range of furnishing your apartment living room based on recommendations for your space. 

Totals include the price ranges of furnishing either a small studio/loft living room, or a larger apartment living room.

Ultimately, the cost of furnishing your apartment living room will be based on the style, quality, and lifestyle fit you prefer.

  Overstock Ashley HomeStore Wayfair
Lift-top coffee table (for smaller/studio living rooms) $199.99 $197.99 $319.99
Sleeper sofa (for studio/loft apartments) $819.99 (full to queen-size futon) $1,039.99 (seats 2 + chaise; queen-size sleeper) $919.99 (seats 2; queen-size sleeper)
Storage ottoman (for larger living rooms) $177.74 (Flip-top with tray) $399.99 $159.99
Sectional sofa (for larger living rooms) $1,351.34 (seats 3 + chaise) $1,679.99 (power reclining + chaise) $1,199.99 (removable & reversible cushions
Floor lamp $95.99 $88.99 $108.99
TV console/ entertainment center $219.99 $759.99 $839.99
Total Cost Range $1,335.96–$1,845.06 $2,086.96$2,928.96 $2,188.96$2,308.96
Studio/Loft Totals $1,335.96 $2,086.96 $2,188.96
Larger Living Rm. Totals $1,845.06 $2,928.96 $2,308.96
Total cost to furnish apartment living room

Bedroom Essentials

Ah, the sweet escape of your bedroom. If you’re going to be comfortable anywhere, it needs to be here. So don’t be afraid to invest well in your bedroom pieces

As far as mattresses are concerned, these are also highly personal based on your own likes/dislikes and needs. Costs for mattresses will range so widely depending on not only your own preferences, but also the brand, construction, and size. 

Naturally, the mattress costs also mostly depend on what you can actually fit into your apartment space—whether it’s a studio or multi-bedroom.

So no, we didn’t include the price for a mattress in our calculations below because there’s no way to choose between them all for you. 

However, according to the Sleep Foundation, you can expect to pay anywhere between $250-$3000+ for a mattress.

An excellent, cushy mattress doesn’t have to blow your budget, either! 

It’s a little-known fact that you can negotiate and price-match at most mattress stores, and we totally encourage you to! Sometimes they’ll throw in a free pillow. 

For this reason, we didn’t add pillows in the mix, but you absolutely need to have it on your shopping list. 

In fact, we encourage you to buy pillows and sheets at a brick-and-mortar store. Why?

The last thing you want to do is order exciting new bedding, only to have to return it later because it’s super uncomfortable.

You can avoid this by shopping around in person to touch and feel the pillows in the packaging. 

You’ll get a much better idea of whether a pillow is truly perfect for making your new apartment bedroom comfy. 

If you need new bedroom furniture for your apartment and are on a budget, we definitely suggest getting a set whenever possible. 

That means, at minimum, you’ll get a dresser, at least 1 nightstand, plus a bedframe all for one price

Just be sure to check if the bed frame requires a box spring for your mattress, because that could mean an added expense.

  Overstock Ashley HomeStore Wayfair
Laundry hamper $49.99 (3-bag sorter, rolling hamper) $29.99 (hamper with lid) $35.99 (rolling hamper)
Table lamp set $67.99 (2 pcs.) $133.99 (2 pcs.) $117.56 (2 pcs.)
Bedroom set $941.99 (queen bed, night stand, & chest $1,317.95 (queen bed + storage drawers, mirrored dresser, 2 nightstands) $1,369.97 (queen bed, mirrored dresser, 2 nightstands)
Clothes hangers $48.99 (100 pcs.) $29.99 (25 pcs.) $39.99 (100 pcs.)
Totals $1,108.96 $1,511.92 $1,563.51
Total cost to furnish apartment bedroom

Bathroom Essentials

Good news: 

Furnishing your bathroom is simple and straightforward. 

You will undoubtedly spend less on items for your bathroom compared to any other room of your apartment!

Depending on how much space you have in your apartment bathroom, you may need to buy a  small cabinet or drawers to store things like cleaning products, cosmetics, etc. 

If your space is limited, remember to always go upward in terms of the kinds of storage solutions you get. That means investing in shelves, tiered drawers, racks (even under the bathroom sink), etc.

All apartments will have a rack for rolls of toilet paper installed on the side of a wall or cabinet. So, although some people claim it’s a necessity when you move into an apartment, you don’t need a toilet paper stand. 

Not yet anyway… 

Unless you share your apartment bathroom with others or are the type who regularly ends up stranded during #2 without TP within arm’s reach. (In that case, PLEASE get one!)

But for now, you can do without and put that money where you really need it. 

You’ll need the following essentials, and as we’ve said before, it’s best to grab them in sets so you spend less and have fewer things to shop around for.

  Overstock Ashley HomeStore Wayfair
Plunger $49.99 (with toilet brush) $27.99 (no toilet brush included) $39.99 (with toilet brush)
Bathroom rug set $44.98 (2 pcs.; memory foam) $52.99 (2 pcs.) $47.99 (2 pcs.; memory foam)
Shower curtain (no liner) $29.98 $35.99 $54.99
Bath towels + washcloth set $35.10 (6 pcs.) $40.99 (6 pcs.) $47.99 (10 pcs.)
Small garbage can Nothing if you bought the set. (13 gal. & 2.5 gal., touchless, odor control. Use 13 gal for your kitchen!) Nothing if you bought the set.  (30L & 3L. Use the 30L for your kitchen!) Nothing if you bought the set. (30L & 8 gal. Use the 30L for your kitchen!)
Totals $160.05 $157.96 $190.96
Total cost to furnish apartment bathroom

So, How Much Does It Cost To Furnish Your Entire Apartment From Scratch?

Now that you’re clear on the ballpark costs involved to furnish each room of your apartment, let’s total it up by store based on the previous charts:

  Overstock.com Ashley HomeStore Wayfair
Studio/Loft $3,691.74 $4,710.76 $5,165.02
1-bedroom apartment $4,200.84 $5,552.76 $5,285.02
Cost of furnishing a studio & 1-bd apartment from scratch

Prefer rounder numbers?

Check out these estimates of how much you can spend at each store to furnish an apartment from scratch:

  • Expect to spend around $3,700 to $4,200 to furnish a studio to 1-bedroom apartment using Overstock.com
  • Expect to spend around $4,700 to $5,500 to furnish a studio to 1-bedroom apartment using Ashley HomeStore
  • Expect to spend around $5,200 to $5,300 to furnish a studio to 1-bedroom apartment using Wayfair.com

Wrapping Up

Whew, that was a lot to cover!

Now that you know:

  • Exactly what you’ll need right away in your apartment
  • What you don’t need to rush out and buy right away
  • General factors that impact your apartment furnishing budget
  • Your different options for buying new apartment furniture
  • The ballpark amounts you can expect to spend per room

…you’re ready to get to the fun part and start making your new apartment feel like home!

If the above retailers don’t really suit your taste, take heart!

We cover higher-quality, USA-based furniture options that cut the middleman and save you money in our next post. Plus, you’ll learn savvy ways to maximize your furniture budget.

How do you feel about buying furniture for your apartment now?

Did you find this post helpful? Share it with a friend, or tag us in your new apartment pics on the ‘gram (@3menmovers)!

Like or Share This Page With Friends!


Expert Ways to Use 2021’s Most Stunning Paint Colors of the Year


Did some stunning colors of the year catch your eye on Instagram or Pinterest?

Maybe you just want to update old furniture and need some color advice.

Lucky for you, the most drop-dead gorgeous colors of 2021 are great options for revitalizing your walls or used furniture. 

Annually, global design institutes and paint companies release their color picks for the year, causing color-lovers to create a frenzy of interior design inspiration across the web.

Ok, so you’re not even a teensy bit familiar with interior design… 

That doesn’t matter.

Good news is that you don’t have to actually be an interior designer to fall in love with these standout colors and use them like a pro! 

No matter where you just moved—whether a rental or brand-new house—our new installment series, Spruce Your Spacewill help you create a space you love. 

While we won’t rely on a lot of fancy home design and renovation jargon (and if we must, we’ll always explain), we’ll share exclusive insights from our local business partners that’s 100% doable. 

Spruce Your Space posts will also help you better understand what you can and can’t do to a space you don’t own, as well as alternatives.

(You know, like when you LOVE your rental price and location, but LOATHE the style.)

Now that you know what to expect, see how April Littman, Lead Designer at Neighbor Interiors, recommends using the top colors of 2021 in your home!

How to Paint With Pantone© Ultimate Gray & Illuminating

how to use Ultimate Gray the Pantone 2021 color of the year
how to use Illuminating, the Pantone 2021 color of the year

Both members of Pantone’s leading colorful duo of 2021 are bold yet versatile.

Ultimate Gray is perfect for a cleaner, elegant feeling.

Want to infuse your space with sunny optimism? Use pops of Illuminating in accent pieces or upholstery.

 

Where to Paint with Ultimate Gray

“The best rooms to paint with Ultimate Gray are going to be rooms with a lot of natural light, because it is really a moody color,” says April. 

“However, if you want a moody atmosphere, you could put it in a smaller room and bring in pops of color, like the Illuminating. That’s a really bright, cheerful color. So if you want to add some accents to brighten it up, that would be a great option.” 

 

Colors to Pair with Ultimate Gray

Color palette inspiration for pairing with Pantone's Ultimate Gray-2021 color of the year

Since this year’s Pantone© shade of gray is on the darker side, it’s smart to brighten up any walls you’ll be using it on by adding complementary neutrals.

These neutral additions can be whites and creams (if you want a warmer, cozier tone to the room.)  

Want more of a pop? 

Although somewhat dark, Ultimate Gray is neutral in itself. 

So if you prefer more colorful surroundings, it’s still safe to use it in conjunction with other paints or furniture in earthy tones like orange and mauve, or punchy jewel tones, like blues or greens

April’s Best Paint Match for Ultimate Gray:

Gray Matters by Sherwin Williams©

Where to Paint with Illuminating

Despite its positive and upbeat vibe, you may want to skip painting a whole room with Pantone’s sunny yellow Illuminating

While yellow is most often associated with happiness in color psychology circles, Illuminating can be overpowering to paint on multiple walls—or any walls at all. 

“Since Illuminating is such a strong, bright, cheerful color, I’d really only use that as an accent to a room. You could use it as draperies, a throw pillow, blanket, or maybe some vases,” April recommends. 

Exteriors are fair game, however. 

For instance, if you’re seeking to give visitors a warm welcome, Illuminating can also be used to refresh a front door or shutters.

Just make sure to power-wash your house first so you can get an authentic match for any exterior paint you already have!

 

Colors to Pair with Illuminating

If your dream is to have a room full of energy and life, pair Illuminating with similar vibrant colors like coral

Prefer to tone it down? Stick with whites and creams—or even Ultimate Gray!

April’s Best Paint Match for Illuminating:

Banana Yellow or Sunburst by Benjamin Moore©

How to Paint With Aegean Teal by Benjamin Moore©

how to use Aegean Teal the Benjamin Moore 2021 color of the year
Inspiration for Aegean Teal by Benjamin Moore

To put it mildly, 2020 was a turbulent year. 

So it’s easy to see why Benjamin Moore© chose themes of reflection and calm to inspire its 2021 color of the year, Aegean Teal. 

Wherever you decide to paint with Aegean Teal, this blue-green hue with gray undertones can provide any room with a tranquil, modern touch.

Where to Paint with Aegean Teal

To make a beautiful statement, April recommends painting kitchen cabinets or islands with Aegean Teal

If you’re doing a full refresh of your kitchen, we love the idea of replacing the hardware knobs with bronze or antique gold accents

Your home office and bedroom are also fantastic areas to paint Aegean Teal on the walls, repurposed wooden chairs, or built-ins.

Since it’s such a soothing color, April suggests you avoid using Aegean Teal in places where you want more energy—like a home gym or child’s playroom. 

The only colors you shouldn’t use with Aegean Teal? 

“Any color that’s going to be a dominant color, because it needs to stand out on it’s own,” she advises. “So I wouldn’t bring in any color—like red—that’s going to compete with it!”

 

Colors to Pair with Aegean Teal

color palette inspiration for Aegean Teal- Benjamin Moore 2021 color of the year

“Some colors that I think would go really great with it are the Ultimate Gray. Even a sand oak would be really pretty with the Aegean Teal.

It can go coastal, depending on what you put it with, so you have to be careful with that—unless you’re wanting a coastal space. But it can also be very sophisticated if you pair it with gray instead of the sand color,” April suggests.

HOW TO PAINT WITH URBANE BRONZE BY SHERWIN-WILLIAMS©

kitchen cabinets painted with Urbane Bronze the Sherwin-Williams 2021 color of the year

Described by Sherwin-Williams© as “down-to-earth,” Urbane Bronze offers a different kind of tranquility that’s more on the sophisticated side. 

It’s perfect for more decorating if your décor goals need a more modern, neutral, or masculine expression. 

Where to Paint with Urbane Bronze

Since it’s such a gorgeous, but dark shade, you have to be careful where you paint with Urbane Bronze. 

“It was developed as an accent color… I wouldn’t really cover an entire room in it because it will feel really dark and heavy,” April says.

Areas that work best to paint with Urbane Bronze include wood paneling, built-in-cabinetry, or kitchen islands

You can even use it to upgrade old wooden furniture placed near any wall painted in a creamy, complementary shade of white!

 

Colors to Pair with Urbane Bronze

color palette inspired by Urbane Bronze by Sherwin-Williams 2021 color of the year

April suggests sticking to light, bright, or golden bronze colors and accents to best compliment Urbane Bronze in any room. 

Urbane Bronze is one of my favorite colors! It’s so beautiful. To complement it, I love the look of white oak flooring. It has white in it, a little bit of tan, it’s a little bit of a neutral—it really compliments that deep Urbane Bronze.” 

As for what to watch out for when you’re decorating around walls or furniture that’s painted with Urbane Bronze:

“Avoid using black or any really dark colors,” April warns. “A dark and a dark [color] are really going to drown each other out.”

What if I Moved Into an Empty Space & Don’t Know Where To Start?!

Here are April’s tips for how to start your design project when you have a totally blank slate:

  1. Start with a color palette. Colors will affect the furniture you’re going to collect, so save pics of colors that you like.
  2. Determine what larger furniture you want to put into the room. Take measurements of your space to ensure the pieces you love will fit.
  3. Next, work on the smaller accents and decorations.

Use April’s suggestions or an online color wheel for pairing colors together that complement each other and don’t clash.

Wrapping Up

Now you’re all set to infuse the top colors of 2021 into your space.

For more of April’s design advice, check out her Instagram and brand website at neighborinteriors.com!

For more exclusive Spruce Your Space insights, connect with us on Instagram!

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4 Feng Shui Basics


CREATE POSITIVE ENERGY IN YOUR NEW HOME!

Planning your move means packing, cleaning, and finding the right movers for the job.

But that’s not all moving is about!

(Okay, it mostly is.) But it’s also about making your new house the perfect home for your family, and knowing some Feng Shui basics makes this possible.

In this video, we show you how to get started as you shed the boxes and treat your home like the blank canvas it is.

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