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Moving in together is an exciting time, but it can also be daunting, especially if you’re trying to fit all your stuff into a small apartment. Before you move, have a serious declutter of your possessions and get rid of anything that you don’t love or that you have duplicates of (you don’t both need to bring a toaster with you).

When you’re living in a small space you need to think about smart storage. Whenever you’re buying a new piece of furniture think about whether you can buy a piece with built-in storage. Pack away anything you’re not currently using, such as off-season clothes, and store them out of sight to help reduce clutter.

If you’re both bringing furniture with you it can be common to end up with lots of pieces that don’t match. There are lots of easy and affordable ways to incorporate odd pieces of furniture into a room. Make sure all the things in a room match, such as drawer knobs and hinges. They don’t have to be identical, but make sure they’re the same metal. This will create consistency and help to create an intentional style throughout the room.

If you’re not afraid of some DIY, simply painting or staining a piece of furniture can easily bring it into a theme. This is particularly easy for something like a side table or a shelf. Don’t overlook the difference a small change can make. You can spruce up upholstery by giving it a deep clean and then adding cushions and throws that match the theme of the room.

If a piece of furniture just isn’t working in a room, see if you could re-purpose it elsewhere in the house. If you’re buying new furniture on a budget, then know where to invest your money. Things that you use a lot such as chairs and appliances are worth investing in, but more superficial items like shelves and side tables don’t need to cost a lot. You can find lots of quality looking pieces at cheaper stores like IKEA.

Don’t be afraid to buy second hand, and to DIY any pieces that aren’t perfect. Not only does this save you money, but it allows you to create a piece that’s perfect for your space and completely unique to you.

Consider the impact of lighting within the home. Consider how bright each light is and the color of the light (is it white or warm?), and try to have lighting at different levels, such as floor lamps and desk lamps, or recessed lighting in the kitchen or bathroom.
Dimmer switches are a cheap way to create atmosphere in a room and are great for when you’re hosting dinner parties, having a romantic meal, or watching a movie.

If you’re short on space but you like to host guests, buy furniture that can be put away when you’re not using it. This can include nesting tables, stools that you can tuck away, a dining table that can expand to a larger size for dinner parties, or extra dining chairs.

For more home styling tips and ideas, download the Ultimate Home Styling Guide for Newlyweds.

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