Furnishing a new apartment is both exciting and mind-consuming. You get to put on your interior design hat and curate the perfect home, but you also have to be careful to stay within your budget. Furniture and appliances can be expensive, especially if you are furnishing an apartment from scratch. Wondering if you should be searching for unfurnished or fully furnished apartments can be a difficult task. However, once you weigh out the costs of furnished apartments and furnishing an unfurnished apartment, the answer may be clear.
The average cost of furnishing an apartment changes depending on where you shop, whether you’re buying new or used furnishings and if you were able to snag an item on sale. By and large, furnishing an apartment from scratch costs more than most people think.
Keep reading to learn more about the average cost of furnishing an apartment, and what options you have if you’re looking to save money.
List-making is a key component of apartment hunting. It helps prioritize non-negotiable elements of an apartment and is a great way to manage your finances. By comparing the cost-effectiveness of unfurnished versus fully furnished apartments, you can maximize your budget.
Before you can get to the fun part of picking out accent furniture and home decor, you have to make sure you have all the necessities first, so your apartment can be a functional home. The average cost of furnishing an apartment with just necessary items will be broken down into four categories: bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and cleaning supplies.
Depending on the square footage and type of apartment you’re renting, your checklist will vary, but the key items of every home remain the same.
In addition to side tables, lamps, and anything else you choose to put in your bedroom, you absolutely cannot be without the following staples—including average prices compiled from My First Apartment and the furnishing group 1 Chic Retreat:
- Queen bed frame – $565
- Queen mattress – $505
- Mattress cover – $56
- Four king-sized pillows – $105
- Three sets of sheets – $352
- Duvet cover – $50
- Comforter – $150
Bathroom purchases have a wide price range depending on quality—especially for things like bath and hand towels. Here is a list of your average bathroom basics with corresponding price ranges, provided by the money management site Be The Budget:
- Hand soap – $5-15
- Towels – $25-30
- Bath mat – $15-50
- Shower curtain and rings – $15-45
- Wastebasket – $5-25
- Toilet paper – $10-25
- Toilet brush and cleaner – $5-15
- Plunger – $10-30
Total: $90, assuming you buy all the cheapest items.
The average cost of furnishing an apartment has an even bigger price range than bathroom basics because of one thing: appliances. If you’re moving into a brand new, unfurnished apartment, you won’t have anything besides a fridge, oven, and maybe a microwave. These are the other items you’ll need, with price ranges from Be The Budget:
- Dishware – $35-75
- Silverware – $10-35
- Pots and pans – $30-100
- Glassware – $15-30
- Coffee mugs – $15-30
- Knife set – $30-75
- Cooking utensils – $20-35
- Toaster – $25-50
- Coffee maker – $25-75
- Blender – $35-100
- Electric kettle – $20-35
- Trash can – $50-100
- Trash bags – $15
- Dish soap – $5-10
- Hand soap – $5-10
- Dishwasher detergent – $5
- Hand towels – $10-35
- Paper towels – $10-25
- Oven mitts – $10-20
- Baking sheets – $5-10
- Foil and parchment paper – $6-10
- Plastic bags – $5-30
- Tupperware – $15-35
- Dish scrubber – $4-5
- Dish drying rack – $10-20
Total: $415, assuming you only bought the cheapest items you could find.
On top of kitchenware, you need dining furniture. The list is short but absolutely necessary—here’s what you need:
- Table – $90-600
- Chairs (2) – $100-300
Total: $200, for one table and two chairs.
You should also treat cleaning supplies as a necessity—you never know what the state of your new apartment will be when you move in. Not all apartment complexes have cleaning services you can call with the touch of a button. Factoring cleaning supplies into the average cost to furnish an apartment is important because there are two different types: one-time purchases and recurring purchases.
Here are the one-time purchases:
- Vacuum – $75-300
- Broom and dustpan – $10-25
- Mop – $15-35
- Laundry basket – $10-35
The recurring charges are things like disinfecting wipes, replaceable mop heads, and spray cleaners, as well as detergent and dryer sheets. The average annual cost of cleaning products and laundry supplies per person is $183.79, according to the Statista—not to mention the cost of going to a laundromat if you don’t have an in-unit or on-property washer and dryer.
Total: $294, including one-time and annual purchases.
Now that we’ve factored in necessities into the apartment budget, the next step is to account for essentials. These are things that you could technically live without, but life would be more difficult, and definitely less comfortable if you did. Keep reading for a list of essential furnishings with corresponding price ranges using the previous resources and the interior design website Furnishr.
In addition to having a nice bed and bed frame and mattress setup, you’ll want to have some pieces for additional storage, decoration, and lighting. Chances are, you’ll want to include these furnishings:
- Nightstand – $180-300
- Dresser – $400-800
- Table lamp – $25-75
- Throw pillows – $20-50
Total: $625-1,125. However, on average, this will typically cost $670.
Living Room Furniture
The living room essentials list is a little more extensive than the bedroom furnishing list, but you won’t want to skimp on anything because this is the space where you’ll be entertaining guests. Here’s what you’ll want to buy:
- Sofa – $400-2,500
- Coffee table – $120-260
- Floor lamp – $130-290
- Side table – $100-200
- Area rug – $280-480
- TV stand – $400-600
- TV – $200-800
- Blankets – $10-35
- Throw pillows – $20-50
Total: $1,660- 5,215. As you can see, these prices can change dramatically depending on the furniture you buy and where you buy it from. However, on average, you can expect the average cost to be $2,220.
Whether it’s in a secluded area of your living room or bedroom, a repurposed closet, or a recessed hallway, or you have the space to designate an entire room as a home office, most people like to have a work-from-home area. Here’s the minimum amount of furniture you’ll need to make that happen:
- Desk – $100-120
- Desk chair – $75-110
- Bookshelf – $60-200
Total: $235, on average.
No matter how hard you try to just stick to necessities and minimal essentials, there’s always an urge to make a living space feel like home—hanging framed pictures and art on the walls, or placing candles, coffee table books, and little trinkets around to tie the room together. However, not only do you need to buy these things, you need to have the equipment to set these things up around the house. Here’s what you’ll want:
- Home decor – $100-300
- Screwdriver set – $10-15
- Hammer and nails – $10-15
Overall Cost Analysis
Between necessities ($2,782) and essentials ($3,245), the average cost of furnishing an apartment is around $6,000.
Keep in mind, depending on your preferences, the temperature in your location, and the built-in appliances offered, you may need some additional items. Here are some furnishing and their estimated prices that you may need to factor into your overall cost, depending on the unit:
- Microwave – $50-125
- Curtains and curtain rod – $50-70
- Headboard – $65-220
- Extra shelving and storage – $70-170
- Another pair of dining chairs – $100-300
- Additional lighting – $20-150
- Space heater – $25-200
- Tower fan – $60-300
- Balcony or patio furniture – $200-450
- Welcome mat – $5-35
- Coat rack or hooks – $15-30
- WiFi – $20-100/month
Your personal preferences and the specific furnishings of your potential unit could result in an additional $2,000 of spending.
Keeping Costs Down
The average cost of furnishing an apartment is a lot for most people. Thankfully, there are several ways to lower costs. However, some make a more substantial difference than others.
Buying Used Furniture
Buying used furniture is a great way to save money—you can shop through social media, buy from friends and family, or check out second-hand stores. Despite saving money, people don’t always go for this option for the following reasons:
- You don’t know exactly where it’s been – For people with allergies, this can be a major concern. It’s also hard to hold individual sellers accountable for issues if you find out later that something isn’t in its advertised condition.
- You still have to move with it – Carrying a bed up three flights of stairs, having to take a table apart to get it through the door, and renting a moving van are all potential deal-breakers.
- You know you’d replace it eventually anyway – People with short-term financial constraints, like those who are students or just starting out their career, buy used furniture with the intention of reselling it or throwing it away in the future. This isn’t always the best use of money in the long-term and is ultimately wasteful.
Renting a Furnished Apartment
If you want to live comfortably without actually purchasing any furniture, Landing has the perfect apartments for you. With fully furnished, move-in ready apartments, you won’t have to worry about any heavy lifting. Plus, you can check the following extra amenities off your fully furnished apartment checklist:
- Luxury linens – Cozy bedding and plush towels
- Privacy – Curtains on all windows
- Fully-stocked kitchen – Appliances, cutlery, and tableware
- Bathroom accessories – Shower curtains, wastebaskets, and toiletries
- Technological needs – Smart TV, high-speed internet, and extra outlets
- Building amenities – Options for outdoor space, communal workspaces and printing areas, fitness centers, laundry facilities, and parking
Plus, you’ll have access to in-app concierge services 24/7, in case you need maintenance help or want to schedule a cleaning. Landing’s furnished apartments save you money upfront, so forget about your multi-thousand dollar budget and focus on finding a place to land. Whether you need furnished apartments in Nashville or furnished apartments in Austin, we have a cozy, furnished place waiting for you.