#AskSuperbalist: Grown Man Furnishing

How to kit out an apartment when you're starting over

Hi Superbalist,

I recently split up with my long-term girlfriend and as it turns out, she did actually do everything for me. Now I find myself in the predicament where I don't own a stick of furniture, have to buy some, and finances are super tight. Please give some advice on how to make a semi-furnished bachelor flat less tragic and a place where my future conquests will think I'm worth having a sleepover at.


Sam (Legend)

Sam, Sam, Sam…

Sammy Sam, Sam my boy, my boy Sam…

How long were you mooching off your poor ex-girlfriend for?

I’m sure you’ve had this pointed out to you sufficiently over the last few days/weeks, but just in case, here’s your favourite online retailer insisting that this heartbreak is for the best – this is a wake-up call telling you that you can’t just live your life skimming off your partner’s willingness to make up for your lack of pride.

If your go-to solution to “We need new bedsheets” was a sneaky visit to your parents’ house to steal some from their linen cabinet, then you’re still clinging onto student life and you’re not your own man. For example, if you’ve gotten yourself a new place and you’ve found yourself a genuinely nice table on Gumtree, but you’re sitting a little short financially to get chairs – you do not borrow a bunch of stackable plastic chairs from your mate with the connections at that catering company, we all know you’ll never replace them. You either buy yourself some nice affordable furniture or you DIY yourself a solution. Reclaim your sense of pride, actually own some physical things, be discerning and show some taste.

Moving on (and sorry for being so harsh, but know we do it only with love), it’s rare and rather unlikely that you will be shopping your full decor contingent in one purchase. Sadly none of us are paid that handsomely. However, with your bachelor apartment being semi-furnished, you can focus on adding effective fillers to complete your space, then focus on replacing larger, more expensive pieces on a month to month basis.

Your three key components for filling a space, whether you’re aiming for a minimalist set-up or an eclectic aesthetic, are rugs, scatter cushions, throws, and lighting. With rugs, you need to consider the pattern, the texture and the size. You’re either going to pick one that complements your existing furniture, or you pick a centrepiece design and then shop your furniture in a way that supports the aesthetic. Also, try not to fit the entire room, but rather only the seating area.

With scatter cushions and throws, given an unlimited budget (lol), you would decorate according to the season, with velvet fabrics and fluffy textures best used for winter, and lighter hues and linen for warmer months. However, for our particular scenario, we’ll need to go for timeless designs. That means simple patterns, in versatile neutral colours, that can be used whatever the season – that’s what we’re aiming for.

As for lights, it very much depends on how busy your space is. Minimalist spaces combine very well with pendulum lights and pendant lamps, while busier rooms get enhanced with the addition of desk lamps and floor lamps to fill the space and add some warm appeal in the evenings.

Well there you have it Sam. Own your furniture, own your life, own your self-respect. Back on the horse you go. Shop the story.