Blank Slate | Furnishing your home

Hi

Calling the collective wisdom of the OzBargain Community. So, my fiance and I have put together enough to buy an apartment and up until this point we've kept our possessions to a very bare minimum so over the next 6 months we're going to be buying all the things we need for the new apartment.

If you had the opportunity to start from scratch in terms of furnishing your own home, what would you do/buy again and what would you change? All suggestions are welcome, in terms of what we currently own that includes pretty much only personal items (we both have a laptop, both have phones, she has a bookshelf, I have a car, a bike and my musical instruments (piano, guitar(s), saxophone) but pretty much everything else we'll need to buy including kitchen appliances/cutlery/utensils, media set up (TV, set-top box, sound system), bed frame/mattress, lounge set etc.

I've put this in the electrical/electronics categories mainly because I think those will be the more expensive items but anything is welcome. Bit of background - the reason we don't have many possessions is she's moving from her parents house and I've been moving from city/town every year for the past 6 years as part of my professional training so I've adapted to travelling light and keeping my possessions to a minimum. In terms of budget happy to spend more on quality items that will last 10 years but we're both pretty minimalistic so we don't need anything over the top (i.e. happy to use cutlery sets from Kmart but also happy to spend $5k on a nice quality lounge set that will last)

Thanks in advance!

Edit - Thought it might be useful to ask for specific suggestions

  • TV / Media Set Up (Set top box, sound system etc)
  • Lounge Suite
  • Large Electrical Appliances (Fridge, Washing Machine, Dryer, Vacuum Cleaner)
  • Dinning Set

Comments

  •  

    I recently ordered a Kogan washing machine (has anyone else ordered any of their new white good range?). At $430 delivered, much cheaper than major brands and has a decent feature set. Delivery due in October.

    •  

      Let me know how it turns out! Was there anything that made you decide to purchase from Kogan? (mostly influenced by price or had bad experiences with other brands?)

      •  

        Mostly influenced by price. But I have other Kogan brand products (TV, heater) that I'm happy with so thought why not.

        •  

          So, no regrets buying Kogan TV and heater? Have you had any problems with it so far?

  •  

    I would suggest making a list of key items that you think you really need (e.g. you might not want/need a bookshelf, or a sous vide).
    Over the next 6 months, keep an eye out for sales on those items and buy them if you are happy with the quality / price at that time. Then cross it off the list and never look at those items in sales again.

    If you want a room to be furnished in a coordinated theme, approach a retailer that you like the quality / price of and ask for a discount if you buy all those elements in one purchase. The probably works better when sales are not on.

    •  

      Have started making a list of essential items, but approaching a retailed with a bunch of them is definitely a good idea. Thanks for your suggestion!

  • +5 votes

    don't get anything with PU/faux leather

    •  

      I can just smell it from afar - this new "PU leather" thing is going to be a new OzB meme right next to the "high yeld investment car", eneloops and bikies.

  • +2 votes
    • Buy furniture/white goods second hand from gumtree (Cash only, inspect thoroughly). Clean said items thoroughly. I'd generally stay away from cloth coaches etc. Look for free items (tables / chairs / fridges etc).
    • Join your neighbourhood facebook page. Quite often someone will be giving away items for free/cheaply.
    • Buy when manufacturers have cash back. Trawl all manufacturers websites for their promos. Eg. You might find a washing machine on sale + additional $200 cash back from them.
    • Buy required items first. You don't need a pricey buffet table or dining room table at the beginning.
    • Haggle the price from retail stores. Don't be suckered into 'Extended warranty', 'Monster HDMI cables' etc.

    You don't need to fill the apartment. It won't be long until you've accumulated too much and need to get rid of things.

    IKEA, Kmart, BigW, RejectShop. You can sometimes pick up bargains from these stores, rather than going to over priced furniture stores. Obviously look at quality, but you can upgrade to better quality at a later date. (Like display cabinets, shelving, etc).

    Create OzBargain alerts on items you're looking for.

    •  

      Any recommendations on things that you shouldn't worry about upgrading later and might just be better to get something decent from the start?

  • +1 vote

    Solid timber furniture is recommend at a minimum (look at Icon By Design); don't go near any of that cheap crappy stuff from Ikea ha ha ha ha Get a feature piece entertainment unit, coffee table, dining table.

    Home decor and accessories - look at West Elm or Papaya.

    King Living has a great deal on the Delta III lounge suite at the moment.

    •  

      Curiously with the Solid Timer furniture, if you wanted to move it onwards, is it easy (don't mind time consuming - but wouldn't want to damage the furniture) to take it apart and reassemble? or will it need a bit of DIYing?

      •  

        Best to go into a shop and ask the sales people

        however with many items, they can be taken apart if you require moving.

        Some items are "built" as is from the factory and delivered fully assembled, so that might cause some issues if you move - otherwise get some solid removalist to do all the lifting for you.

        •  

          Yeah, that's fair enough. Wasn't sure if you had any personal experience with it. Thanks for the info!

  • +1 vote

    go minimalist. the less you have the less you have to move later on.

    • +1 vote

      Hahaha I think I've had my fair share of minimalism - whilst I don't want to get anything useless I do want to get things that will be used and useful. I.e. I don't want to just get a 2 seater couch because there's only two of us hahahah

  • +1 vote

    Go nuts at Ikea, then electrical goods when on special.

    Second-hand - TV, couch, tables, bed
    New - fridge, washing machine, mattress, crockery/pots/pans etc

    •  

      I've heard mixed experiences from people with buying furniture from IKEA - I think small things are fine but more substantial purchases may not last too long? What's your personal experience with them?

      •  

        Depends on what you spend. If it's too cheap, it'll be thin and flimsy. Spend more, get better basically!

        The cube storage is great for a TV cabinet for example, but you need to buy the $70+ cube (4x2), not $20 options

        Same as years back we bought a $99 wardrobe. Back wall was cardboard! Had no structural support lol

        •  

          Yeah okay, that makes sense - so buy the more quality products from IKEA which would be better value than the lower end products from other stores but be comparable in quality.

        •  

          @Pixel:

          Afaik yes, but feel free to compare.

          Ikea would be perfect to stock the kitchen utensils etc

      • +1 vote

        IKEA is most famous for attempting to have customers replace their furniture every year through marketing.

        Just to give you a flavour of the quality.

        •  

          As in through their marketing customers feel compelled to replace their furniture? or because of the lack of quality of their products customers will need to replace their furniture?

  •  

    gumtree "ikea"

    Lots of good quality item for 1/4 the price

  • +1 vote

    Find the right appliances via: Choice

    Then keep an eye for deals; I waited for eBay deals to get 15% off particular appliances

    My list of appliances/items I recently bought include:
    Kmart 34L microwave (does the job)
    LG 450uplx bottom-mount fridge (good energy efficiency)
    zzzAtelier mattress (cheap and pretty good)
    Recent ALDI petrol lawn mower (struggles a bit but does the job)
    Dyson Vacuum from Big W (expensive but fun)

    •  

      Thanks for giving specific suggestions! That's helpful.

      Did you have a particular model of the Dyson Vacuum that you preferred over the ones? Whether that's due to what was on special or the minimum needed for your needs etc.

      •  

        I got the V6 animal for 349 on an impulsive buy, the cord free is currently on sale (299) and from what I see is only lacking particular attachments.

        I think the V8 absolute is the perfect balance between cheap and performance but at 550 bucks on sale its significantly more expensive. V10 I presume is better but very expensive

        I have floorboards so the V6 is adequate; V8 absolute has an HEPA filter which is supposedly 'good' (for allergies I think). My main gripe is the battery is pretty short (about 10 minutes on regular use)

        Alternatively there's the sub 100 dollar Kmart cordless stick vacuum but I couldn't convince myself to buy it based on online reviews

        •  

          Ah i see, seems like the law of diminishing returns. I'll do some research into the V6 and V8 and see which one might be better suited. I was also considering getting a robot vacuum since we both work full time with 7-5 jobs. How long does the battery last for your V6?

        •  

          @Pixel: 10 minutes. Supposedly "15 minutes" but I'm not getting that. Also it overheats sometimes which stops it being used temporarily (maybe a minute). Charging takes 2-3 hours from memory. Unfortunately the battery is not removable.

          I am also interested in the robot vacuum (xiaomi one looks the most popular) but will probably wait until I saved up a bit more (or some awesome deal pops by)

        •  

          @boomy: Fair enough, I think overheating would be a problem long term as well so will take that into consideration. I guess at this stage, it's deciding whether I first spend a decent amount of money in a robot vacuum with a cheaper corded vacuum or whether I get a cordless vacuum and then later down the track get a robot one. I think I would get quite annoyed if I could only vacuum for 10 - 15 minutes before I need to wait a couple hours. I guess it encourages vacuuming frequently. Thanks for the info! Much appreciated!

  • -1 vote

    check your local streets nature strip

    • +1 vote

      I check the streets in the better part of town. They throw out some good stuff. Also have a look around construction sites, cable drums make great pieces of interesting furniture.

  •  

    Take it slow.

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