No one has ever considered the prospect of hiring expensive movers, spending weeks sleeping on an air mattress, or losing time (and probably a security deposit) trying to maneuver bulky furniture through tiny doorways and thought, "Sounds like a grand old time!"
Moving is stressful, and decorating a new space when you're starting from scratch is even more so... particularly when the space in question is your first apartment, and you have no idea where to start.
Luckily—or unluckily, depending on the situation—we’re in the age of laziness. Entire homes can be virtually planned out, and you can hire people to do pretty much anything, including assemble your Ikea furniture for you. Indulgent? Maybe. But also undeniably helpful if you're feeling overwhelmed by pulling everything together.
Here are some of our favorite companies and services that make decorating a new place so much easier. Save your time and your sanity.
Choose a smart mattress.
Anyone who has ever tried to schlep a massive mattress up a fifth-floor walkup or across state lines will tell you that it’s probably one of the biggest headaches you face when moving. Eschew the hassle and the delivery fees by instead choosing a mattress in a box. There are tons of these bed-in-box companies aiming to minimize mattress-related stress, but a sure standout is Tulo (if only for its vast array of perks).
For one, there’s a 120-day free trial and a 10-year warranty. Also, when they say Red Carpet Delivery Service, that’s not a cutesy label: They literally mean red carpet. Not only is each mattress delivered to your home for free, but the Tulo delivery person will roll out a legitimate red carpet, escort your new mattress into your home, set it up, and even get rid of your old mattress (if you have one) for you. No reenactments of that iconic “pivot” scene from Friends necessary.
Take the guesswork out of shopping.
If you knew exactly whether or not that marble-topped coffee table would fit in your living room and match your decor, it would save you both money and the inevitable worry of having to return it, right? Companies like Modsy and Hutch are making that hypothetical a reality by offering lifelike 3D renderings of any space—and this allows decorators to plan out their dream home to a T. Simply upload a photo of the room in question, work with a team of interior designers to narrow out logistics, and bring it all to life in one virtual location. It's how one blogger was able to completely revamp her bedroom in just six weeks—even including brand new walls.
Yes, there are other easy-to-assemble furniture companies out there besides Ikea.
We love the flat-pack phenom an extremely well-documented amount, but spending a weekend languishing over abstract diagrams and sporadic Swedish is not our idea of a good time. Instead, choose your big ticket pieces wisely, with companies like Campaign and Floyd making a name for themselves as the future of easy-to-assemble furniture. Seriously: During a recent meeting with Campaign, we watched an armchair being put together in a mere two minutes.
Both companies boast high-quality, long-lasting designs at a reasonable price point, and neither one requires tools—which means they can be easily assembled and taken apart, should you need to consolidate your pieces to move house again. Floyd even offers same-day delivery in parts of the country, so you don’t have to wait long for your new living room staples to arrive.
Try a foray into the world of VR and AR.
The future is here, and it’s broadcasting a skewed reality directly from your iPhone. In addition to aforementioned virtual designer-assisted services Modsy and Hutch, there’s also a slew of design apps playing with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to download and test out. The best news? Most are free.
Test a paint color before committing with Benjamin Moore’s color matching app, which pulls from a bank of over 3,500 shades to match you with your exact one. See exactly what your Williams-Sonoma order looks like from all angles before pressing “purchase” with the brand’s app. Or, scale your Ikea products to your space via the retailer’s Ikea Place app. Non-committal decorating has never been easier.
Become an expert art curator without the degree.
If you hate bare walls, but unfortunately have the artistic prowess of a chicken, help is on the way. Try an art rental company to turn your home into a constantly-rotating gallery of sorts. We love Meum for its low price—$28 a month includes the art piece, frame, curation service, and shipping—and vast array of options.
Love the look of gallery walls? Try Art.com’s app, which walks you through selecting a layout, as well as individual prints. The free app will even let you see how your gallery wall looks in your space before you purchase your masterpiece directly through the service.
See more guides to decorating your space:
This One Design Decision Made My Tiny Room Feel Twice as Big
The Designer’s Guide to Dressing Up Your Small Space
The Minimalist’s Guide to Decorating with Patterns
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