Furnishing an Apartment: A Beginners Guide

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Whether this is your first apartment, or a brand new apartment for you, furnishing an apartment can be a daunting prospect. It may initially seem like an exciting idea; creating a unique and personalised space to call your own, but there are many decisions to be made. Before you jump into the murky waters of interior design, make a brief plan about what you want in your dream apartment. Consider what style you like. To start with look at other apartments and begin to collect photos of those you prefer. Consider your budget, how much can you afford to spend? Draw a floor plan of the apartment and decide what you would like to include and where. Choose a colour palate. This will provide to be very helpful later when looking for furniture. And finally consider how you will use the apartment? Will you work as well as live here? Do you spend a lot of time at home? Will you entertain visitors? These decisions can be difficult, but we have made it easier for you by covering the tough questions here. 

​Furniture for the Living Room

With winter fast approaching the living room will become a popular retreat from the cold weather outside. This is an important factor to take into account when deciding on  how to decorate the living room. Whether you have a large living area, or a small living space, there are some clever ways to make the  most of every part of it. The first step is to consider how the space will be used. Will it be a personal space for you and perhaps a couple of occaisional guests? Or will you be a regular entertainer? These will impact on what you will include in your living room, and how it will be arranged. This living room is a great example. It is a large open plan area incorporating the kitchen and the living space. There is a dining table that links these areas. As there is only one couch this space is probably used by only a few people at any one time. This allows for the area to remain open and spacious.

​Consider a Table for the Entrance

Even though apartments can be very small spaces, the inclusion of a table in the entrance area can be very useful. When you arrive home, arms full of books, bags, shopping and that nights take away an entrance table is very helpful. It provides a place to put keys, mail and other small items on the way through to the living areas. Entrance tables can take many forms. They can be very simple and very small or large tables with drawers and a mirror. The choice of entrance table will depend on the style of the apartment and the amount of space available. For a sleek modern design it is advisable to have a table with drawers as this allows storage for keys, mail and other small items. A mirror is a wonderful addition to this table. It provides a place to check your presentation as you step out the door. 

​The Right Table for the Dining Room

The majority of apartments are not designed with a separate dining room. The dining area is usually included in the open plan living space with the kitchen and the living room. The space dedicated to the dining table can therefore be quite generous, or very small. Before deciding on a dining table, consideration should be given to how this table will fit into the space and how it will be used. A larger table may be required if more socialising will be done. A smaller table may be adequate if there will only be the residents dining. This large dining table is a great choice for the social resident. There is plenty of space for guests and residents to dine in complete comfort. The choice of seats are also a very clever decision. The bench seat and the stools can both be stored underneath the table when not in use, thus reducing the space taken up by the dining table.

​Choose a Kitchen That Suits Your Purpose

The kitchen of an apartment often makes up part of the open plan living area. In order to maintain the spacious atmosphere of an open plan area the kitchen, dining and living area can be very fluid. This means that the boundaries between them can move when needs arise.  This kitchen is a great example. All the elements of the kitchen are located along the outer walls. The dining table is in the middle. The living area is on the opposite side. When the kitchen is required the dining table can move further into the living room, allowing plenty of space for cooking.  When the living room is being used the dining table can move further towards the kitchen. This allows the maximum use of space within this open plan living area. This kitchen then becomes a very  flexible modern space. This is a great option for an apartment. This kitchen has been designed by BodrumFemas Mobilya.

​Small or Large Bed?

classic Bedroom by Massive Naturmöbel
Massive Naturmöbel

AVANTI Schubkastenbett

Massive Naturmöbel

Space is often at a premium in apartments. This makes it difficult to decide on furniture. A large bed or sofa can seem impressive in the showroom, however when you get it back to the apartment, will it seem ridiculous in such a small space? Or will it leave you enough space for the essential items in that room? The choice of bed can be a difficult decision. Should you get a smaller bed and have a little bit more space for storage or a large bed that will be the focus of the room? This bed is a great compromise. This large, impressive bed would make a great impression in any bedroom. Although it has a added advantage over other beds; it has storage in drawers underneath the bed. This makes this bed an excellent choice for a new apartment.

​Keep the Bathroom Clean and Minimal

minimalistic Bathroom by Modscape Pty Ltd
Modscape Pty Ltd

Modular Home in Berry, NSW

Modscape Pty Ltd

Bathrooms in an apartment tends to be small. For this reason, they can become untidy and cluttered very quickly. When there is nowhere to put the shampoo, the toothbrush or a comb it often gets left on a bench top, creating clutter. The secret of a clean minimal bathroom is ensuring there is enough storage space. Be clever with bathroom storage space. Create a shelf in the wall of the shower recess, hide a cupboard behind the mirror or place large shelves behind the door. This bathroom is compact and minimal. The cupboards to the right provide plenty of storage space for spare towels, toiletries and toilet paper. The bathroom is finished to a sleek white colour, making it appear clean, minimal and spacious.

Optimise your Balcony

 Garden  by studio michael hilgers
studio michael hilgers

balKonzept Balkontisch + Balkonkasten

studio michael hilgers

A balcony is a wonderful addition in any apartment. It provides that small piece of the outdoors that is often missing in apartment living. If you are lucky enough to have a balcony in your apartment, be sure to make the most of it. Balconies can be used for so many purposes. Most people use a balcony to escape from a stuffy living space to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. They often have a couple of chairs and a table. Whatever size your balcony is there is always new ways to use this extra space. Try growing flowers or herbs on the balcony. This can take up very little room, and be very rewarding. This balcony is very small but is being used to its full potential. It is being used to relax  in the bright coloured chair, as a small garden with flowers, and as an outside office with the laptop shelf. This is a great example of a productive balcony space. This laptop shelf is made by Studio Michael Hilgers in Berlin.

Designing a new apartment can be both a daunting task and an exciting prospect. This is the opportunity to create your own personal space. Before making any big decision be sure to have a plan. Consider how the space will be used? who will be using it? and what style you are looking for? When these choices are made, the fun part can begin, the planning and decorating stage. Be sure to allow plenty of storage space in the design. Consider including items that have multiple functions to save space. These are just a few ideas on how to furnish an apartment, for more ideas see Home Décor Ideas for a Small Apartment.

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