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A Comprehensive Guide to Estimating the Cost of Furnishing an Apartment: What You Need to Know Before You Begin!

Furnishing an entire apartment from scratch can quickly become an expensive endeavor. From furniture and appliances down to the smallest details, outfitting a home requires thorough planning and budgeting. This comprehensive guide examines the typical costs associated with fully furnishing an apartment across all rooms and provides tips for keeping expenses in check. Use it to help estimate both necessities and extras as you prepare to create your ideal living space.

Cost of Furniture

The furniture you choose forms the foundation for styling your apartment. Bedroom, living room, and dining sets represent major investments that significantly impact everyone total spend.

Bedroom Furniture

A complete family bedroom set with a bed frame, headboard, mattress, box spring, nightstand, and dresser averages $1,500-$2,500. Opt for a basic metal or wood frame bed with simpler nightstands to save. Expect to spend $800-$1,200 for a quality queen-size mattress and box spring.

Don’t forget the often overlooked but essential bedroom pieces like side tables, benches, ottomans, and armoires that provide valuable storage and surface space. Place them strategically to maximize function. Bedding is another purchase that adds up quickly. Budget $100-$300 for bedding sets including sheets, comforters, shams, and decorative pillows.

Living Room Furniture

A full living room set including a sofa, loveseat, coffee table, end tables, and TV stand generally runs $2,000-$4,000. Choose a smaller sofa with fewer pieces to reduce costs. Budget $1,000-$2,000 alone for a durable, comfortable sofa.

People often neglect to measure thoroughly first, so be sure to take room dimensions beforehand and sketch out furniture placement options. This prevents purchasing items that won’t actually fit the space. Don’t forget handy accent pieces like side tables, ottomans, magazine racks, and decorative chests that lend convenient storage.

Dining Room Furniture

For a dining table with four chairs, the budget will be somewhere of $500-$1,500 depending on materials. A bench instead of chairs saves space and money. Add a buffet, hutch, or bar cart for serving needs. To maximize seating in studio and one-bedroom apartments, consider a counter height dining set that can double as extra counter workspace. For small dining areas, nesting tables and stackable chairs save room when not in use.

Entryway/Hall Furniture

Furnish entryways and halls affordably with console tables ($100-$300), benches ($250-$500), and mirrors ($50+). Coat racks and umbrella stands are useful additions. For tight entryways, look for narrow console tables under 12 inches deep and coat racks that mount flush to the wall. Corner benches maximize seating while preserving floor space in small halls.

Home Office Furniture

Create a home office with a desk ($100-$300), office chair ($100-$300), shelving unit ($100+), and small filing cabinet ($100-$200). Look for basic pieces without elaborate details. To delineate an office area without a separate room, use screens or bookshelves to partition the space. Opt for a small drop leaf desk that tucks against the wall or folds up when not in use.

Cost of Appliances

Appliances have a major impact on apartment functionality and habitability. Focus spending on the kitchen and laundry machines, then add supplemental appliances as desired.

Major Kitchen Appliances

Allow $2,000-$5,000 to outfit a kitchen with good quality refrigerator, stove/oven, dishwasher, and microwave. Spending $1,000-$2,000 per appliance ensures solid performance and longevity. For rental apartments, check if appliances are included or if you must provide your own. Ask about energy-efficiency rebate programs from providers.

Take accurate measurements and create a rough layout before shopping so appliances fit perfectly within existing cabinetry and hookups. This avoids costly return hassles. Look for smaller or narrower models if your kitchen is tight on space. Request free removal of old appliances upon delivery of new ones.

Small Kitchen Appliances

Useful small appliances like a coffee maker, toaster, blender, and slow cooker add convenience. Allocate $300-$500 for these. Avoid non-essentials like panini presses and sandwich makers. Stick to the basics first like a coffeemaker, toaster, and blender which get daily use. Then supplement with specialty appliances over time as needs arise and budget allows.


Budget $800-$1,200 for a washer and dryer set. Select front-loading models which are more water and energy efficient. Stackable units work well for small spaces. Verify connections and electrical supply are compatible before purchasing units. Some apartments have gas while others are electric only. Look for rebates on ENERGY STAR certified models.


A 40-55 inch 4K TV costs $250-$700. Expect to spend $100-$300 on a quality surround sound system or soundbar. Smart home devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home Mini make useful additions for $25-$100 each. Check TV mount compatibility if wall mounting, and measure desired viewing distance to size appropriately. Built-in streaming capability eliminates the need for add-on streaming players.

Cost of Decorations

Decor like wall art, plants, mirrors, and accessories personalize your space. Stick to a few key items in each room to decorate affordably.

Wall Decor

Include a statement piece like a gallery wall or large canvas print ($100-$300) in the living room along with budget-friendly decor like prints ($20-$50 each) and wall shelves ($50+). When choosing wall decor, opt for a cohesive color palette and style that flows from room to room. Mix media like framed prints, canvas art, metal signs, and photos for interest.


Liven up any room with a few low-maintenance houseplants. Small potted plants range from $5-$30 each. Invest in a nice planter to display them in. Greenery instantly boosts ambiance and a sense of tranquility. Place plants in window sills where they can access sunlight and avoid leaf burn from lamps.


Hang an eye-catching mirror ($50-$150) in the entryway or above the living room fireplace for visual interest. Avoid over-decorating with too many mirrors. Strategically place mirrors to enlarge small spaces and create depth. In entryways, a mirror helps guests check their appearance before going out.


Carefully choose a few decorative accessories for tables, shelves, walls, and floors. Candles, vases, small sculptures, pillows, and throws add flair for $5-$50 per item. Start with versatile neutral pieces like ceramic vases, bowls, trays, and boxes. Then incorporate pops of color and personality with patterned pillows, art, and other accents.

Cost of Flooring

Fresh flooring ties rooms together visually and makes a big impact. Evaluate both installation and material costs as you select options.

Hardwood Floors

Gorgeous hardwood floors cost $4-$12 per square foot installed. More affordable wood-look vinyl plank flooring runs $2-$5 per square foot installed. Refinishing existing hardwoods is often cheaper than full replacement. For rental units, ask about regulations for installing new flooring over existing floors.

Tile Floors

Ceramic or porcelain tile options span $2-$20 per square foot. Budget additional labor costs for installation. Select durable grout. Look for tile styles and patterns that disguise dirty grout lines in high traffic areas. Hire an experienced installer for best results.


Broadloom carpeting starts around $1-$4 per square foot for materials. Include $1-$3 per square foot for professional installation. Prioritize high-traffic areas. Neutral short pile carpet hides dirt well and withstands heavy foot traffic. Schedule regular professional steam cleaning according to manufacturer directions.

Area Rugs

Incorporate stylish area rugs strategically in living spaces and bedrooms. Prices range widely, but plan on spending $100-$500 for an average 8×10 rug. Layer rugs over wall-to-wall carpeting or hard floors to define specific areas like living rooms. For high-traffic zones like entryways, opt for durable, easy-clean synthetic rug fibers.

Cost of Window Treatments

Window treatments complete the look and provide privacy. Balance function and cost when selecting yours.


Curtain panels from big box stores cost $20-$50 per panel. For custom-made, expect to spend $50-$100 per window. Valances or sheers add elegant touches. Measure windows carefully and account for optimal airflow around curtains. Mount curtain rods securely into wall studs, not just drywall.


Durable vinyl or aluminum blinds cost approximately $20-$50 per window. More expensive wood or faux wood blinds run $50-$100 per window. Consider cordless blinds or those with cord cleats for enhanced child safety. Layer curtains over blinds for a finished look.


Budget $100+ per window for higher end shades. Affordable options like vinyl roll-up shades start around $20 each. Layer curtains over shades for softness. Automated smart shades offer scheduling, voice activation, and other handy features.

Cost of Lighting

Proper lighting makes spaces functional and sets the right ambiance. Mix light fixture types for sufficient brightness.

Ceiling Lights

Include $100-$300 per room in your budget for attractive ceiling light fixtures. Prioritize the kitchen, dining, and bathroom for ample lighting. Stick to basic ceiling light fixtures, then splurge on trendy pendant and chandelier styles later as budget allows.

Table & Floor Lamps

Supplement ceiling lights with table and floor lamps throughout. Allow $50-$150 for lamps in each bedroom, living area, and office space. Opt for smart bulbs to control lighting by voice or app. Place lamps strategically near seating areas for reading.

Outdoor Lighting

Illuminate balconies, patios, and entryways with exterior wall sconces ($50+ each) and outdoor-rated string lights ($10+ per strand). Use motion sensor lights for convenience and security around entryways. For patios, look for lanterns and string lights that provide ambiance.

Cost of Kitchenware

Properly equipping your kitchen adds up with all the gadgets, appliances, cookware, utensils, and more needed. Set a realistic number for this substantial category.


A cookware set with pots, pans, and lids averages $200-$500. Plus, include key extras like baking sheets, muffin tins, roasting pans, and casserole dishes for $5-$20 each. Start with essential, frequently used pans. Supplement specialty pieces over time.


Allow $30-$75 for a set of basic baking dishes, muffin tins, and cooling racks. Add specialized pans for cakes and pastries later. Focus first on pans for cookies, cakes, brownies, and other everyday baked goods. Extend your collection on sale holidays if budget is tight.

Kitchen Utensils

A starter utensil set with essential mixturing and serving pieces costs $20-$50. Then supplement with useful tools like whisks, peelers, graters, and cutting boards. Opt for nylon or silicone utensils that are heat resistant and sturdy. Invest in a knife block or magnetic strip and quality knives.

Dishes & Glassware

Dinnerware, drinkware, and flatware together average $200-$500 for a basic four-person set. Mix and match styles for interest. Start with an inexpensive set from a discount retailer to save upfront. Replace pieces with fancier ones over time.

Kitchen Linens

Don’t forget kitchen linens like dish towels, pot holders, and cloth napkins. Stock up on these inexpensive but useful items ($1-$5 each). Choose ones that coordinate with your color scheme.

Cost of Bathroom Accessories

Bathrooms require lots of accents and organizational items for functionality. Build up collections over time.

Bath Accessories

Include $50-$100 for bath mats, shower curtains, wastebaskets, and other bath essentials per bathroom. Luxury towels cost $10-$50 each. Buy bath mats and shower curtains first, then splurge on nicer towels and upgrades later.


Effective bathroom storage starts around $15-$30 for shower caddies, cabinet organizers, and freestanding shelves. Built-in medicine cabinets also add space. Look for stackable or hanging storage options to maximize vertical room. Install pull-out cabinet organizers for efficiency.


Framed prints and wall shelves infuse personality and provide display space. Limit other accessories to preserve a clean, uncluttered look. Use wall shelves in lieu of counter clutter for a tidier bath aesthetic. Coordinate prints with your color scheme.

Cost of Outdoor Furniture

Create a functional outdoor oasis by budgeting appropriately for deck or patio furnishings.

Patio Furniture Set

A table with four chairs or a loveseat starts around $300-$600 for resin options. Teak raises cost to $1,500+. Consider sectionals for small spaces. Measure the patio when shopping and recreate the layout with furniture cutouts to ensure everything fits.

Patio Accessories

Stow cushions ($50+ each), umbrellas ($100+), and fire pits or chimineas ($200+) safely when not in use. Potted plants, string lights, and lanterns boost ambiance affordably. Choose weather-resistant cushions with washable covers. Anchor umbrella bases for stability.

Grills & Patio Refrigerators

Basic charcoal kettle grills cost $100+, whilegas grills start around $200. Compact outdoor refrigerators run $300+. Splurge on these later to expand functionality. Grill close to the house for safety.

Cost of Cleaning Supplies

Don’t let cleaning supplies catch you off guard. Estimate spending based on apartment size and surfaces.


Expect to spend $100+ stocking multipurpose and specialty cleaners for floors, bathrooms, windows, kitchens, and laundry. Refill as needed. Buy all-purpose cleaners first, then supplement with specific ones for stain removal, disinfecting, and surfaces like glass and granite.


Equip each bathroom with plungers, scrub brushes, and wastebaskets ($20+). Mops, brooms, dustpans, and vacuums cover general cleaning needs ($50+ each). Choose versatile tools like extendable dusters and convertible mops appropriate for your flooring.

Reusable Supplies

Microfiber cloths, reusable mop pads, and other washable items minimize waste. Maintain supply of rags, paper towels, and more for messy jobs. Stock up on laundry detergent, disinfecting wipes, and other consumables when they go on sale.


Keep cleaning supplies organized with caddies, bins, and shelves for easy access. Label containers clearly. Have a well-stocked cleaning closet to avoid running out of necessities.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to furnish an apartment?

Furnishing a one-bedroom apartment typically costs a minimum of $5,000-$7,000. Two and three-bedroom apartments may run $8,000-$12,000 depending on size, options chosen, and your existing possessions. Shop sales and bargain outlets to lower costs.

How much does it cost to live in an apartment?

Outside of upfront furnishings, expect to budget approximately $1,500-$3,000 per month for recurring apartment costs including rent, utilities, WiFi/cable, groceries, and other variable expenses. The location also affects the total price. Roommates help split costs like rent and utilities to lower your share.

How much does it cost to maintain an apartment?

Aside from monthly costs, general upkeep and apartment maintenance averages $1,500-$3,000 annually. Budget for repairs like appliance servicing, faucet leaks, clogged drains, pest control, HVAC tune-ups, and more. Keep appliances clean and maintained to prevent major failures.

How much does it cost to buy an apartment?

In most areas, expect to pay $200,000-$500,000+ to purchase an average one or two-bedroom apartment. Prices depend on factors like size, building amenities, neighborhood, market demand, and current mortgage rates. Condos tend to cost less than standalone units.

Where can I find affordable furniture for my apartment?

Check consignment shops, thrift stores, clearance sales, and budget retailers like IKEA for discounted furniture, mattresses, table lamp, drawers, armchair, floor lamp, cooking utensils, silverware, bar seating, sofas, dressers, bookshelf, dining chairs for any household and taste. Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, West Elm, Wayfair, consignment stores, Nextdoor and estate sales can also yield great secondhand finds at low prices and furniture sales. Look for quality pieces to refresh.

Furnishing your first apartment is thrilling. Carefully estimating costs, finding deals, and budgeting wisely ensures you create a space you love without overspending. With this guide’s help, you can craft your dream home while sticking to your financial plans.

What are some ways to save money furnishing an apartment?

Buy used furniture from classified sites or thrift design stores. Prioritize essentials first, then add decorative things later. Opt for multifunctional furniture when space is tight. Avoid frequent upgrades – make carefully selected purchases that will last. Shopping sales, negotiating prices, and using coupons can save a lot on bigger furniture purchases.

How should I budget and plan for furnishing my first apartment?

Make a list of anything you need and rough cost estimates for budgeting purposes with example. Allow for some wiggle room. Set aside money over time rather than funding it all upfront. Prioritize basics like bedroom and living room furniture first. Buy appliances when you move in. Add fun decorative things slowly over your lease term.

Where can I find good quality but inexpensive furniture?

Check discount retailers like IKEA for budget-friendly furniture finds. Also look at yard sales, flea markets, thrift store, and consignment stores in affluent areas for high-quality pre-owned pieces. Browse clearance sales from furniture stores and big box chains. Negotiate prices for floor models and scratch-and-dent items.

Any tips for furnishing friends apartment on a tight budget?

Opt for multifunctional furniture like storage ottomans and couch tables. Folding furniture saves space when not in use. Buy furniture that can transition to future homes. Repurpose what you already own – refinish, reupholster, or repaint existing pieces. Purchase floor model or used appliances. Mix high-end with budget finds.

What should I consider when buying furniture for a small apartment?

Measure carefully and recreate the layout before purchasing. Look for compact, scaled-down and multifunctional pieces. Furniture on legs part appears lighter visually. Dual-purpose furniture like sofa beds allow switching between needs. Bright, mirror surfaces enlarge spaces. Nesting and stackable furniture maximize storage.

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