Furnishing an apartment as a minimalist

Moving is never easy and can be overwhelming sometimes; especially, when changing regions. My husband and I currently live in a furnished rental apartment with our baby hamster Ella. The few furniture pieces that we own include: Ella’s 43 by 163cm detolf cage, a shoe cabinet, a mirror, a TV, and a clothing stand. It is safe to say that we don’t own much and need to start from scratch.

Before going on a shopping spree though, we decided to list down all the furniture pieces that were essential to the space, such as: a fridge, a washing machine, a stove, an oven, a vacuum cleaner, a dining table set, and a bed.

Other items include: utensils, trash cans, and linens.

We decided not to buy anymore items before having lived in the new apartment in order to properly identify functional pieces that adapted to the space.

Minimalism doesn’t mean discomfort; it simply means being thoughtful about each item and avoiding compulsive shopping. It means being comfortable in an empty space without having the urge to fill it up. It means appreciating every single item that you own.

Your look, your atmosphere

After assessing your space and listing down your essential items; the next thing to do is to define your look. Deciding on a color palette and an interior design style is essential in order to avoid buying the wrong items.

For instance, the feel and look that my husband and I are going for is a mixture of minimal, clean, and Scandinavian. We would like our home to reflect my appreciation for nature and my husband’s desire for a clean and modern look.

With that into account, we decided to integrate wood (bamboo or plywood) and plants into our space and have modern furniture pieces. In addition, all of the items that we’re going to buy will have a neutral color palette, be flexible, and preferably, serve more than one purpose.

The message I’m trying to send is: have a clear idea of what you want first, then shop.

How to buy and select furniture

Now that you know what to buy first, your style, and color palette; it is time to visualize your home (especially, if you are moving into a small apartment where the square meter is at a premium). To help me visualize my new home, I decided to use an interior design tool called Floorplanner, where I can create a floor plan with measurements of each room and add furniture too. 

Measurements need to be right from the get-go! Measure each room from wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling. Once that is done, take note of the dimensions of your furniture item and then update your design tool with all of that info.

Case in point, before buying a sofa, I plan on adding the dimensions of the sofa in the tool to judge whether it is a good fit or not. I believe it is important to buy furniture pieces that don’t crowd up a space; because, let us be real, there is no point in buying a sectional sofa if the living room is too small.

Simply put, I want you and myself to get the dimensions and measurements right before buying anything.

Give life to second-hand items

“Luxury, to me, is not about buying expensive things; it’s about living in a way where you appreciate things.” – Oscar de la Renta

There is no shame in buying second-hand. If you know the model or reference of the furniture piece that you are looking for, then check if its available on facebook marketplace or similar websites. You don’t have to buy brand new if the same is available second-hand; it is just better for the environment. It is like the fancier version of recycling.

Jokes aside, second-hand items aren’t always shit; most I’ve seen are actually in good condition. Lots of people sell stuff online because they are either moving, changing-up their decor, or got gifted something better.

Key takeaways 

  1. Assess your new space
  2. List down your essential items
  3. Define your interior design style and color palette
  4. Measure everything and visualize your space
  5. Look for second hand items before buying brand new

Last but not least, don’t be afraid to make mistakes; creating your dream home is a process, it doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient and persevere for the end-result is worth it.

“Design is a private, intimate process and you have to embrace the many twists and turns it takes to creating an exciting, inspiring but ultimately liveable space.” – Kit Kemp

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