So, you’ve decided to move from that large beautiful home in suburbia to the hustle and bustle and bright lights of the city! You’ve found that beautiful apartment/condo signed the lease and are ready to go…but wait, you say…”None of my furniture will fit! Where will I put 3 sets of china?? What about my 6 piece sectional??? Help!!”
I get these calls a LOT! In fact, the first meeting I have with a client in this situation I refer to as “Reality 101”. It’s time to rethink the way you live, what you need, and how use you use each piece you will be bringing. Your square footage is precious real estate and every inch must be well thought out. Here’s a little of my Reality 101 checklist!
1. Stop thinking about what you currently have and if it will fit!
Chances are, it won’t! You need to start thinking about HOW you will be living in your new space. I start with the minute you wake up in the morning til the time you go to bed. What do you plan on doing in your living space, how many people will be visiting for meals, will you be entertaining, having overnight guests, do you have a hobby that you need space for, do you have a pet, do you work from home?
2. Separate your furniture into 3 groups – Absolutely Must Take, Maybe I’ll Take if it Fits, and Time To Go!
This will make your life simpler. Now you have the beginning of a plan!
3. Make a Floor Plan
Hopefully this is something you will be getting from the landlord/previous owner. If not and if you do not feel as if you can do it yourself, this is where you need to hire someone to do it for you. Making changes on a floor plan is sooo much easier than moving furniture into your new home only to find out it doesn’t fit! Once your floor plan is done, start segmenting it into usable spaces – dining area, tv area, office, bedroom, hobby room, etc. Think about where the windows are and what exposure they face, look at placement of outlets and lights. Really start thinking about bringing items into your space.
4. Make a furniture plan
After you’ve made a floor plan of your new space, take measurements of all the pieces that “absolutely must stay” and start adding them to the plan. You may find that some of these pieces must now go into the “time to go” pile! Next, see what items from the “maybe I’ll take it if it fits” will work. Now you have the beginning of a furniture plan!
5. See what’s missing
Hmmm, time for a new dining set, maybe a new sofa, floor lamp?
6. Think Multi-Use
Now is the time to purchase furniture that has more than 1 use: Convertible sofas, storage tables, poufs and ottomans for seating, multi-use shelves, etc.
7. Now think about the STUFF
This is all your “stuff” you hope to bring – kitchen dishes, glasses, utensils, books, CDs, collections, plants, pet stuff, home office files, TV’s and electronics, etc. Where will it go? Are there enough cabinets?
8. Time to Make a Shopping List
By now you should have a pretty good idea of what you need! Here are some things that may make your shopping trip a little easier!
A folding sleeper loveseat offers the best of both worlds – it’s comfy and soft and offers the added benefit of extra sleeping space. This one from Urban Outfitters is reasonably priced and has a simple tailored look.
It’s time to think creatively. All of your space is not just on the floor! Think about suspending furniture! Also, suspending shelves offers additional storage options.
Nesting tables are compact and give you double and sometimes triple the table surface. Poufs and ottomans can work double duty as seating or add a tray and it doubles as a table.
Flat weave rugs like this one from Dash and Albert and available at Surya in indoor/outdoor materials, which will stay looking clean and fresh – remember, they’re going to get more traffic now that there’s less floor space! Or, try a round one in a bright cheerful print like this one from Garnet Hill. Bright colors help to move your eyes around a room to create a flow.
I love furniture that has multi-uses and this one from Anthropologie does just that! Swing out the seats when you have guests, swing back in when just a table is needed.
I just saw these great feather lights from Vita when I was at Americas Mart. They fold completely for transport and are just so fun and whimsical!
Chances are, you’re not going to have either enough counter space, prep area or cabinets. This one by IKEA can roll around and go wherever it’s needed. I’m a huge fan of IKEA for storage- they have so many different ways to keep you organized!
Love under-bed storage, headboards with built-in cubbies, and an extra closet is needed by everyone!
Bathrooms never have enough shelves. This compact unit available through Grandin Road fits nicely behind the door and out of sight!
And who can’t use a few storage boxes! And these from Global Views are turquoise which make them just perfect!!
Now that you’ve passed my Reality Checklist you’re all set to move in and check out the lights in the City! And for more ideas on apartment/condo living and organizing check out some of the many blogs dedicated to just this! A couple of my favorites are Apartment Therapy and Remodelista!