The Art of Furnishing
Downsizing solves many problems. Less mowing, less mopping, less maintaining and really just doing more of what you love. Yet there’s one small (or big) problem – what happens to all your furniture and artwork?
In part two of our Downsizing in Style series, Heather from Blaq Staging is back to walk us through the art of furnishing smaller spaces. With years of experience styling townhouses and apartments on the market, Heather knows how to pick the right pieces to make a space practically perfect.
Ready for a fast fit out? Here are our 4 steps to furnishing your downsizer.
Step 1 – Start planning
Does thinking about moving trigger anxiety for you? One reason may be because we don’t just live in homes, we make memories in them – and our ‘things’ are part of that. That dining table? Christmas dinner with the family. Your bar fridge? Watching footy with your mates. If you find yourself attached to your things, you’re not alone.
For Heather, adopting a minimalist mindset as early as possible is key to a positive experience.
It’s important to start the planning process well in advance so you can make considered, rational choices in line with the look you want to achieve. The first step is to start going through all of your items and furniture well before you make the big move. Have a copy of the floorplans of your new home to ensure you can begin planning what to keep, update or sell.Heather, Blaq Staging
Step 2 – Play for keeps
Start by whittling down to your ‘keepers’ – and don’t be afraid to get a second opinion. “If you’re having trouble choosing what to keep, ask a friend to help you decide. They will have an objective eye and provide you with an honest opinion.”
During the process, consider both style and functionality. Heather recommends measuring any items that you think may suit your new home to confirm they’re the right size, not just the right look. And if anything physically fits, but doesn’t fit in with your styling theme, Heather has some helpful hacks. “If the item will fit perfectly in your new home it may just need a little facelift. Annie Sloan chalk paint is a great product to use to repurpose existing furniture or items to match your new home. Old artwork can be reframed to modernise the look, and existing chairs or couches can be reupholstered.”
Step 3 – Give it away now
Now that you’ve got your list of ‘keepers’, it’s time to decide what to do with all those pieces that didn’t make the cut. This list is likely to comprise a lot of furniture and belongings you haven’t used in the last six to twelve months and likely won’t be missed at your new house, but may also include items that someone may need to pry from your tightly clenched fists!
Heather says selling your things shouldn’t be seen as a ‘loss’, but as a therapeutic process that enables you to clear a path towards a life of more freedom. “Moving into a new home is exciting! You should sell furniture items, accessories or cushions that are out of date or too large to fit into your new home. Be honest and brutal – that large eight-seater couch will not be ideal in a two-bedroom apartment!”
Still not convinced? While unloved items might find their way to kerbside collection, this is also a great opportunity to sell your higher value pieces on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace to free up some funds to help purchase new items for your home.
Step 4 – Splash out
Time for the fun part! One of the amazing upsides of building a new home or apartment is that you essentially have a blank canvas. In the prestart stage of the building process you often get to make personal selections like the internal colour schemes – finishes that can set the tone for the style of your home, including the style of new furniture purchases you make.
Heather’s advice is to have a clear budget in mind for new furniture and be restrained with what you buy. “Downsizing usually means that big ticket items like sofas and dining tables will need to be updated to fit into your new home. It’s also a great opportunity to update old linen and towels for the perfect fresh start.”
In the final part of our Downsizing in Style series, we’ll explore all the latest design trends that will help you find the perfect ‘look’ for your new apartment or home. In the meantime, check out some of our popular downsizer designs at The Heights Kardinya here.