There are two primary options when you rent a home: furnished or unfurnished, and we previously covered the pros on cons of both. Assuming you opt for an unfurnished place that you can put your own mark on, you might wonder how to go about finding the right furniture.
Furnishing your new pad can be tricky, especially as the primary decoration (eg, colour tone, fixtures and fittings) is already set. But that’s not to say that you can’t make it look nice and plush.
With the right style, you can turn your new home into an interior-designer looking super apartment. And in this guide, we're bringing you some handy tips on how to choose the right furniture for your rented home.
Think about the decoration
There will be some non-negotiables when you first move in, such as the decoration of the kitchen and bathroom, plus the wall colour (though some landlords are happy to permit you to re-paint). Therefore your furnishings should ideally blend in with the current layout.
Fortunately, most landlords go for neutral decor, which gives you plenty of room for creativity. Whether the walls are white or Polished Pebble (a popular trend at the moment), you can choose from a variety of colours and styles that make your place the envy of everyone who steps foot inside.
How long will you keep the furniture?
Before you get down to the nitty-gritty of selecting furniture, you should think about your long-term plans. Sure, it might seem strange thinking about your next move before you’ve even made this one, but it could play a vital role in the furniture that you choose.
Most people who move into unfurnished homes plan on staying there for a good few years, yet there are those who move for shorter lengths but simply prefer to have their own stuff. If you can see yourself moving again in a year to 18 months, it might be worth buying furniture that works in multiple properties.
There’s no point purchasing a stylish red velvet corner sofa, only to move within a year and find that it doesn’t look quite as snazzy in your new place. Think about your long-term ambitions and buy accordingly. If this move is going to be your long-term home, then it’s time to start getting excited about decking the place out.
Types of furniture to consider
Your budget (more on that in a bit) obviously plays a role in the type of furniture you buy, but first you should get an idea of just how much you need. Even a one-bedroom apartment requires a significant amount of furnishings if you’re starting from empty.
Furniture items to consider include:
- Sofa 🛋
- Armchair 🪑
- TV stand/console 📺
- Dining table and chairs (if it’s open plan) 🍴
- Lamp(s) 💡
- Shelf shelf 🗄️
- Bedframe and mattress 🛌
- Bedside tables ⏰
- Wardrobe (if there isn’t a built-in one) wardrobe 👔
- Lamp(s) 💡
- Toaster toast 🍞
- Kettle ☕
Ok, so the last two are appliances, but you get the idea. There are a few things you will need to kit out your place, and it's handy to have an idea of what's needed, so you can avoid going over budget.
Determining your budget
Your budget will obviously play a significant factor in the type of furniture that you buy. Will you go all out and furnish your home with high-end designer pieces? Will you mix and match, perhaps splashing out for a fancy sofa while opting for a more modest bed? Or will you look to keep costs as low as possible?
There's no right or wrong answer, and there are plenty of options, no matter your budget. Some of the places where you can shop include a range of price points. These include:
- Maison du Monde
- West Elm
The most expensive option doesn't always equate the best. one You can find a stylish couch for £600 or a bed and mattress that's just a few hundred pounds. Of course, if you did go high end, there are some luxury brands out there like Bentley Home, Fendi and Essential Home. Whatever your choice, you won't be short of options.
Keeping up with current trends
So the budgets are set, and you know which furniture items you need. Now it's time for the fun to begin: it's time to shop. But which style do you choose? A lot will come down to your own personal taste, as well as current trends.
Do you go the mid-century route with a modern twist? Should the whole pad look ultra-modern with Italian designers? Or is a minimalist design, which might save you a few pounds too, the best way to go?
Maybe you're intrigued by the industrial look, which suits converted warehouses and high ceilings. Then again, you might be inspired by the Danes and the Swedes and plump for the Nordic look.
There's also individual pieces of furniture to think about. High-contrast decor, with black being the new, erm, black, is big hit right now. As are canopy beds, with modern versions having a more stripped back look.
Let's not forget about vintage furniture either, which seems like it's always in fashion. Whatever looks you go for, this is the most fun part, so make sure you take the time to truly appreciate buying all your new lovely furniture.
Get the look
If you're styling out your new home, then you're in luck: there are lots of designs to choose from, whether you've got unlimited funds or are on a budget. And with our tips, you can get everything in order and ensure the furniture you choose makes your home look like it should adorn the cover of an interior design magazine.