5 Things to Know About Moving From a City Apartment to a Home in the Suburbs

Moving from a small space to a larger one—and subsequently having to fill that big new house—is not a new design conundrum. But in the last year, as more people moved from city apartments to houses in the suburbs, we saw an uptick in clients struggling with filling out their new, larger homes.

The reality is, when you go from apartment living to being a homeowner, there tends to be a big gap between the amount of furniture you have and what you actually need to fill your new home.

Case in point: After moving from the city to the suburbs, our client, Michelle, had tons of extra space and not nearly enough furniture. She was overwhelmed—but her Modsy designer was able to help her transform her sparse space into a dream home.

But it’s not just that you have more space to fill. So many people make the move from small city apartments to full-sized homes and realize their furniture no longer works.

When Marybeth, another Modsy client, moved from a modern apartment in the city to a 1931 Tudor in the suburbs, her IKEA furniture that had felt at-home in her former apartment no longer suited her space. Seeing new furniture in her 3D designs gave her confidence when buying new furniture.

Since upsizing is becoming a surprisingly common design struggle, we turned to our expert designers and asked them to share how they help clients feel at home in their new spaces. Here are 5 common design dilemmas that arise when moving from the city to the suburbs and our best tips on how to address them!

baskets fireplace white couch dark grey wall

Shop This Look

1. Do Consider The Size, Scale, and Purpose of Your Furniture

We’ve written a lot about how to save space in a small apartment and what furniture works best in tiny spaces. A lot of that comes down to opting for apartment-sized furniture. But here’s the thing: in a full-sized home, smaller, apartment-scale pieces simply won’t look good. That petite console you had in your apartment living room? It will look dwarfed in your new space. And a loveseat definitely can’t be your main seating option in your new living room. It might seem obvious, but apartment-sized furniture is designed to work in smaller spaces. So, these pieces will look disproportionately small in your new space. You have to rethink the functional scale and proportion of your furniture in your new, larger home.

Having more space to feel also means moving away from multipurpose furniture to single-use pieces. Your dining table no longer has to double as your desk. And that bench you used in your entryway/living room/bedroom in your old apartment. It can happily live in one room and serve a single purpose.

And since you have more space for storage, you can start thinking differently about all of those clever storage ideas you put to use in a small apartment. Maybe it’s time to move on from your storage coffee table and transition your storage to a separate cabinet.

Don’t be afraid to spread out, re-organize your storage, and create new organizational systems throughout your home that work for your current space.

Designer Tip: Since you’ll most likely be looking for at least a couple new pieces for your new home, might we direct you to our furniture buying guides? Our catalog of buying guides walks you through the process of selecting all the main pieces you might need—from sofas and dining tables to rugs and coffee tables!

queen bed with two sidetables with bulb lamps

Shop This Look

2. Do Consider The Style of Your Home’s Architecture

This isn’t always the case—but more often than not, your new home will have a different style of architecture than your previous apartment. You may have moved from a turn-of-the-century brownstone apartment to a new build in the suburbs. Or maybe you went from a city highrise to a mid-century rambler. The era in which a house was built, and the style it was built in—craftsman, Spanish revival, Tudor, Victorian, new build—has an impact on how you approach the design. Translation? Your new space won’t necessarily agree with that mid-century-inspired IKEA sofa.

And beyond the style, in a full house versus an apartment, you’ll have other architectural details to contend with. You’ll most certainly have more windows. This is almost always a good thing—who doesn’t love added natural light? But this also means choosing the right curtains for your home.

And then there are your home’s materials. If you have wood flooring, it likely has a different finish than your old place. Or maybe you’re dealing with carpeting, tiles, or even different flooring in each room! Chances are the hardware and fixtures will also be different finishes. All of this means your existing furniture and decor will interact differently with these new materials than they did with the materials of your previous apartment. Sometimes it will work, and other times you’ll realize that what worked before simply no longer suits the details of your new home.

So, what can you do? Find furniture, decor, and color schemes that work with your personal style and the style of your home. For example, craftsman homes tend to have lots of warm wood features—so perhaps a rustic design style with lots of natural textures and neutral upholstery is the move for you! In a brand new home and looking to add some character? Check out our new build home decor tips.

And if you need help in this process, know that Modsy designers can guide you through the whole process!

rustic home office wooden desk white chair

Shop This Look

3. Do Enjoy Spreading Out

When you live in a small apartment, efficiency is a top priority. When you have a whole house where you can spread out? Not so much. Your new space is defined by possibilities rather than limitations since you have so much more space to work with.

Similar to moving away from multipurpose furniture, you can generally stop striving to create multipurpose rooms. You no longer have to have a living room/dining room/home office combo. Rather, each space in your home can likely have an individual function. Or, within a larger space, you can create distinct zones so that each area has a unique function.

So, start by defining the functions of each room in your new home, asking yourself how you want to use the space. As we mentioned earlier, you’ll most certainly need some new furniture. But more than that, it’s an opportunity to really consider how you want to use your space and to embrace more breathing room in your home. Celebrate the open space you now have and get creative with how to use each room in your home!

Want to see this in action? When Britt, a Modsy client, moved her family and business across the country, she was determined to make the transition as smooth as possible. But an awkward shared living room/office area presented a major challenge. Her Modsy designer helped her create two distinct zones in her large-but-narrow space—and it’s now a space her whole family enjoys.

rustic farmhouse dining room with natural textured pendant

Shop This Look

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Bigger Changes (But Have a Good Plan)

In a home of your own, you’re no longer confined to the rules of renting, with a landlord to answer to and a security deposit to worry about. So, nail that art to the wall! Repaint your bedroom! Add the wallpaper you always wanted!

Owning your own home means you can expand the scope of what’s possible in your decorating process. So, take some time to put your personal stamp on your new home. This could be as simple as a new coat of paint—which can completely change the look and feel of a room—or updating hardware throughout your home. But it can also mean taking on a larger project like tearing down a wall, redoing your kitchen, installing built-ins, or updating your flooring. How great is it that, if you’re itching to rip out the carpet and install hardwood floors, you can do it?!

Designer Tip: Before you jump full speed into demo day, good to have a plan. Need some help? Our expert renovation designers can help you visualize your remodel or structural changes in your home in 3D before you even pick up a sledgehammer.

Need layout help?

See your exact room expertly designed in 3D.

Start Your Project

coastal entryway two frames one chair large plant

Shop This Look

5. Don’t Rush the Process

Ok, we know we just said that you can now officially make bigger changes to your home. But that being said, we’d also encourage you not to rush the process (with renovations or home design). Buying a new house provides an exciting opportunity to create a space that’s uniquely you. But too many new homeowners—in a desire to quickly settle in and make their home look “finished”—rush out and fill their home with furniture that they may not love after a year.

Rather than rushing the process, spend some time in thoughtful reflection on what your home really needs. Since you just purchased a home, money might be tight. So, start by deciding what you need now, in terms of furniture and decor, and what you can save for and purchase later. If you can, time your major purchases with big tentpole sales in the furniture industry. Wondering when those major sales are? Check out our year-round furniture shopping guide.

If you’re not sure where to start with furniture-buying, think about the pieces of furniture you use every day—AKA, your bed and sofa. Prioritize these pieces. Things like rugs and decor can come later. (Check out our new home furniture buying guide for more tips!) Worried about your house not feeling livable in the meantime? You don’t have to start from scratch. Use the pieces you already have to start and swap them out as you figure out your decor style!

Of course, some people really do just want to get their home set and settled right away. If you’re going that route, rely on the help of an expert designer to help you create a thoughtfully curated space! Bonus: when you start a design project with Modsy, you’ll also get huge, exclusive discounts on furniture purchased through Modsy any time of the year! Expert design help and mega discounts? Now that’s a no-brainer.

Want help designing your new home?

Start Your Project


Make Summer Not a Bummer: Easy Ways to Bring the Vacation Vibes Home

Ok, so your vacation this summer got cancelled. (Ours, too.) But that doesn’t mean you can’t still take some time away from work to relax and recharge! In fact, we quite recommend it. But before you do, may we suggest adding some vacation vibes into your home to help your staycation feel more special?

Bringing some vacation-inspired decor into your home will help set the tone for some serious relaxing. And, even better, this decor can stick around long after your staycation ends. So, even on evenings and weekends you can enjoy the vacation vibes and get a little better at disconnecting from work after hours. This might be a summer unlike any we’ve had before, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it!

To help you get in vacation mode, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite summer decor ideas. They’ll help you bring those vacation vibes into your home and help you truly enjoy a summer at home!

Embrace Summer Colors

Looking for simple summer decorating ideas? Create a bold and colorful bedroom design by adding pops of summery, bright colors to your space. Bring in the color through artwork—swapping out existing artwork, prints, and wall decor for inspiring pieces in summer-inspired tones. Then, add throw pillows in bright colors that draw out and tie in with the colors from your new artwork. This will help give your space a cheerful, cohesive look.

Shop This Look

Destination Dining

You’re probably not eating out much this summer—so why not create a summer dining destination at home! For bright and cheery summer dining, we recommend creating a fun little breakfast nook. A cafe table or just a simple round table, paired with a few chairs and a bench are a perfect start. Put away any heavy decor or dark colors, and replace them with light colors and summer-inspired decorations, like candles in summery scents and cheerful yellow decor.

Then, add plants (real or faux) and nature-inspired decor—dried pampas grass and hanging plants are two of our favorites for summer decoration. You could even buy a bouquet of flowers each week for some fresh added color and a special touch. Then, be sure to open your curtains and blinds to let in loads of natural light. With that, your breakfast nook will go from just another place to eat to your staycation paradise!

Shop This Look

Swing Time

Create a unique summer reading area by hanging an indoor swing. The one pictured above is just like a swing you’d find at a beach resort or by a pool! Consider putting it in a sunroom, your entryway, or another cozy corner of your home. Just make sure it’s in a sunny spot so you can soak in all that vitamin D as you read!

For the summer decorations around the swing, add in pops of cheerful colors—like blue, yellow, or teal. Put textural baskets nearby to stack all your fave summer reads, then add a lamp for added reading light. Just make sure to keep the space clutter-free, as it’s now an area of your home designated for pure relaxation!

Shop This Look

An At-Home Jungle

Craving a tropical getaway? Create an indoor vertical plant garden to bring some of those tropical vibes home! Simply remove some of the decor from your existing bookcase or shelves, and add in plants instead. You can mix faux and real plants, or go all faux if you love the look but don’t have a green thumb. Go with whatever plants suit your fancy. But if you want to add tropical plants for a jungle vibe, just make sure your climate and environment is conducive to the plants you add.

Bringing the outside in like this gives your home a jungle vibe, helping you feel like you’re on vacation. You can also supplement the plants with staycation decor that aids in plant care—like a sculptural metallic watering can, books about plant care, and a plant mister.

Shop This Look

That Hotel Feeling

Do you miss the feeling of sleeping at a hotel, where everything has its place and all there is for you to do is relax? Well, we say make your bedroom into a resort oasis! Start by decluttering, so you only have the essentials in your space. Then add plush new bedding to give your space a fresh feel, and go for a soothing, muted color palette.

Consider adding luxury items to your nightstand—like a new hand lotion, essential oils, a summery new candle, or a basket or bowl to put jewelry or lip balm. Then, add botanicals or other natural items to really drive home the hotel resort feel. Finally, let all the natural light in, for a sun-washed space. Because, lighting sets the mood for relaxation!

Bring The Destination To You

If you were supposed to go on an international trip this year but now you can’t, bring the vacation to your home! By adding in patterns and textures through your decor, you can create a global-inspired feel.

Some of our favorite summer-ready living room ideas for adding a global vibe to your space are incorporating pieces like the Morroccan patchwork pouf, eclectic boho pillows, and tiger rug pictured above. Layers of textiles in global patterns and bright colors create a feeling of being at your vacation destination. This will add new life to your space in a fun but still practical way.

Shop This Look

At-Home Happy Hour

This summer calls for cocktail hour at home. So, drag your bar cart to a sunny corner of your home—or even out onto a porch—and create a drink-mixing station! Revamp and restock your bar cart with some of your favorite summer drinks and mixers. To give the whole set-up a facelift, get new glasses and decor, incorporate some plants, and perhaps add a pitcher for summer sangria?

And don’t forget to add lively colors and decorations for summer around your bar cart—like the tassel garland and citrus-inspired rug, pictured above! This will help your bar area feel like a party all the time, so you have a fun and festive space to hang out all summer long!

Shop This Look

Relaxation Zone

Since most of us are still working from home, it’s imperative to designate an area of your home for relaxation. Carve out a sun-filled corner of your bedroom or living room to create a makeshift sunroom! Add a lounge chair and pouf in a space with plenty of natural light, then layer in plants and beach-inspired decor for a tropical beach feel. (Pieces made of natural materials and in natural textures are ideal!) Remove clutter and visual distractions to make it a total relaxation zone. Now, turn off your work email and start relaxing!

Shop This Look

Summer-Inspired Accents

Want some summer decorating ideas you can incorporate throughout your home? Simply add summer-inspired decor accents in each room! Hang up some artwork with summer scenes or beachy landscapes. Set a pink flamingo statue on your nightstand or a shelf. Incorporate natural textures and cheerful colors through pillows, throws, rugs, and decor. Add a few extra plants to your home for some lush texture and color. (We’re big fans of Bird of Paradise plants, with their huge leaves and tropical vibes!)

Summer decorations and accents can be relatively inexpensive—so they’re a great and easy way to spruce up your home and add a little excitement to any space!

Shop This Look

Ready to add these summer decor ideas to your home?

Start Your Project


13 Summer-Ready Living Room Design Ideas

Summer is almost here! And while usually, the change of weather means vacation season is about to take off and many of us will soon be lazing about outdoors, savoring those long summer afternoons and breezy nights.

This year, however, many of us will be spending more time indoors. That means it’s all the more important to find creative ways to celebrate the season, get warm-weather inspiration, and bring the vacation vibes into our living rooms. Whether it’s adding in some linen pillows or swapping in some beachy art, there’s no shortage of living room design ideas for brightening up your spaces for the sunny days ahead.

To help you kick things off, though, we’ve rounded up our best tips to give your space a vibrant refresh. Read on and get ready for some major summer living room inspiration!

living room inspiration1. Invite Bright Colors

If you’re looking for a bold dose of living room inspiration, nothing says summer like bright hues. It doesn’t mean you have to go full-on neon, but you can skip the cozy neutrals and springy pastels. Opt for saturated colors that bring the vibrant energy and cheer of summer indoors to your living room design.

Design Tip: Experiment with color concepts, such as shades that recall ice cream flavors or scenic hues, like sunset pinks, ocean blues, and minty greens.

Shop This Look

living room inspiration2. Bring Plants Indoors

When it comes to foolproof living room design ideas that work in any size or style space, embrace the whole indoor-outdoor living vibe by adding vibrant greenery and plant-inspired decor. Whether it’s a tall potted tree or a series of botanical prints, these lush accents make for instant mood-boosters in any room.

Design Tip: A fiddle-leaf ficus tree is always a welcome sight in a living room, but if you’re hesitant about big plants, try smaller ones like a snake plant or philodendron, which provide a lot of visual texture.

Shop This Look

living room inspiration3. Swap in Breezy Textiles

An easy way to freshen up your living room decor for summer is to swap out your heavy textiles from the colder months. From linen curtains to cotton throw blankets, light and breathable fabrics are a surefire way to open up your space to the breezy and warm summer weather.

Design Tip: Sheers are a wonderfully light and gorgeous window treatment for summer. They have a way of diffusing light that gives rooms a soft and soothing atmosphere. They also pair beautifully with linen, which is a favored summer material thanks to its breathable construction.

Shop This Look

living room inspiration4. Rotate Your Pillow Covers

Speaking of textiles, one of our favorite budget-friendly living room ideas for summer is to switch up pillow covers. It’s easy and is certain to add visual impact. Look for covers that feature colors and motifs that celebrate the summer season, be it bright and cheery orange or crisp and classic blue-and-white. It can be whatever you like as long as the covers remind you of summer and bring the colors of the outdoors in.

Design Tip: For a foolproof summer pillow mix, start with a foundation of blue and white (or any two-tone combination you love), then pull in one contrasting bright color for pop. Keep the rest of your pillow covers to shades of those three colors and you’re sure to have a palette that feels curated and cohesive.

Shop This Look

living room inspiration5. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter

There’s no better time to get rid of clutter than this transitional period right before summer takes off. Having things you don’t need or use out can add to the visual frenzy in your living room, so take a weekend to do a thorough home edit. This is especially crucial in small living rooms where space is at a premium.

Design Tip: Enlist the help of storage baskets, floating bookshelves, and coffee tables and ottomans with built-in compartments that let you easily stow things out of sight. Plus, fewer things means less organizing and dusting—and who doesn’t love that?

Shop This Look

living room inspiration6. Pop in Fun Patterns

Celebrate summer with patterned living room decor! Think pillows, rugs, and even art that show off fun designs, like a blue-and-white geometric, block prints, and cool boho medallions. Even just a few eye-catching printed accents will add energy and personality to your living room.

Design Tip: Mix together pieces that have large-scale and small-scale patterns alike. It will help give your space a balanced look. Keeping to a cohesive color scheme, like shades of green or black and white tones, will also help make your living room look curated rather than chaotic.

Shop This Look

best living room designs7. Trade In Your Rugs

Like textiles, take to replacing any wool rugs and sheepskins with warm-weather options, like kilims, natural-fiber foundations, or indoor-outdoor rugs. These summer-friendly rugs are not only great for high-traffic rooms, they’ll also add soft and durable texture underfoot. Not to mention, by changing up your floor covering, it’ll also usher in a fresh perspective that renders your living room furniture in a new light.

Design Tip: Layer your rugs to give your living room a foundation that’s both comfy and strong. Start with a natural-fiber rug, then layer on a kilim or flat-weave for a burst of color. This makes for a stylish space that’s perfectly suited for well beyond the summer months.

Shop This Look

living room inspiration8. Pull in Summer-Ready Storage

The best part about the summer months is that you can ready your space without making any major changes to your living room furniture. It’s about organizing and refreshing your decor, meaning stylish and well-designed storage is key.

We love bringing in lots of natural-fiber and woven baskets, which are pretty and portable and they lend a touch of summer texture. Spread an array of different style woven baskets throughout your home, from your living room to your entry, to corral books and even kids’ toys within easy reach at all times. This is one of our favorite ideas for living room storage that’s also stylish.

Design Tip: Much like art and pillows, baskets can make a chic style statement when used en masse, so go for the sets and multiples when you’re shopping for them. Trust us, you’ll find a use for all of them in your home decorating efforts year-round!

Shop This Look

living room inspiration9. Revamp Your Bar

When it comes to summer living room ideas, it doesn’t get easier or more festive than a bar that’s set up and ready for summer cocktails (or mocktails). The great thing about a summer bar is that you don’t even need a bar cart; simply restyle any console, sideboard, or table surface with some stemware, coupes, tumblers, glasses, and bar essentials. Then just decorate your bar with art and plants, and you’re good to go.

Design Tip: Nothing beats a fully stocked summer bar cart, so if you’ve been contemplating setting up a drinks station at home, this is the best time to do so. The great thing about investing in a bar cart is that you’ll also be set for the holiday season, which is likely when you’ll really be using this handy piece of furniture the most.

Shop This Look

living room inspiration10. Bring the Vacation to You

Since many of us are likely not going on big trips this summer, it’s all the more reason to layer in living room decor that turns your home into a mini escape with major vacation vibes. Start by incorporating decorative accents that speak to your favorite travel destinations, like an indoor palm tree or a Moroccan tile coffee table or pouf. This is definitely the time to work in any decor pieces you purchased on past family trips.

Design Tip: If you want to take it one step further, you can give your living room a major refresh by changing up your accents to reflect the color scheme of your favorite tropical getaway. The idea is to keep the atmosphere fun and reminiscent of a true vacation escape. So don’t hold back in transforming your ideal living room getaway!

Shop This Space

living room inspiration11. Swap in Summery Art

On the topic of bringing the vacation into your home, art with summery vibes is a perfect way to do that. Consider designs that feature palms and leafy motifs, beach and landscape photography, and framed photographs and prints from past family vacations. The important thing is to keep to bright colors and patterns that captivate and inspire a breezy, vibrant summer look and feel. It’s an easy way to change up your living room design with little effort.

Design Tip: You can even make room-to-room swaps, like moving art in the bedroom into the living room, if you don’t want to purchase any new pieces!

Shop This Look

living room inspiration12. Restyle Your Surfaces

If you’re looking for living room ideas that don’t require any major color or furniture updates, rearrange your surface decor with a few simple accents. You can swap in new coffee table books, add a new object or sculpture to your bookcases, hang new art on the wall, or add a vase or two to your fireplace mantel. These small tweaks have the power to instantly shake up the look in your main living spaces.

Design Tip: If you’re not one for a lot of accents, try bringing in some fresh summer blooms. They’re one of our favorite summer decor ideas to usher in a bit of color, pattern, and texture all at once.

Shop This Look

living room inspiration13. Try New Summery Scents

Last but not least, welcome summer by switching up the scents and fragrances in your living spaces. A scented candle that’s light and airy can set a breezy mood while diffusers and tealights that smell of the ocean can instantly transport you and your family from your home to the beach.

Design Tip: Poke around and find scents that resonate with you. The only rule is to make sure it recalls breezy and laid-back summer days.

Shop This Look

Get Your Living Room Summer-Ready!

Start Your Project


Moving Made Easy – 5 Home Design Tips to Simplify Your Summer Move

Moving Tips – Designing a new home You’re crazy excited to be moving, and crazy stressed out by just how much there is to do. Sound familiar? We’ve been there. In all the stress of relocating, it’s sometimes hard to remember that finding your new home can be fun and exciting. Cut down on stress and focus on having fun with these summer moving tips.

Read on for 5 moving tips that will make designing your new space a breeze!

1. Take Inventory

Before you spend all that time packing and lugging around things you don’t need, it’s time to hit pause and take inventory os all the furniture and decor you’ve already got.

  • Take stock of all things seen and unseen. Time to drag out the stuff hiding under the bed, in the attic, and other tucked-away places!
  • Divide and conquer. If you feel overwhelmed, call in reinforcements to help you decide what stays and what needs to go.
  • Sort your items into groups. Label boxes with sharpie or use a label-maker to help organize. For boxes of items you intend to take with you, this will help you and the movers sort everything out on moving day.

2. Make Room

Now that you know what you’ve got, it’s time to decide what stays and what goes.

While this task may seems stressful, it can be helpful to think of it as an opportunity to declutter and start fresh! Even though it can be hard to let go, the freedom that comes with clearing out is well worth the effort.

When in doubt about whether to keep something, ask yourself:

  • How often do you use it? That furniture that’s been stuck in the attic or garage for years? That artwork you didn’t even remember that you had until you found it shoved under your bed? If you haven’t used it or missed it, it might be time to let it go.

Consider a garage sale to put extra cash toward your move, or donate your items to clear out stuff fast and do some good.

Moving tips – plan your layout3. Consider Your New Home’s Layout

If you’ve ever moved before, you might know how stressful it can be to live out of boxes with all your possessions shoved into the middle of the room. Instead, consider putting one of our favorite moving tips to work – plan your layout before you even move in.

We know what you might be thinking – Moving is stressful enough, there’s no way I can get my act together and plan my layout! But what if we told you that you don’t have to? Just snap a few photos of your new space and send them to Modsy and we can help you design your space, long before you move in.

This way, you’ll know exactly where everything goes on move-in day.

Looking for layout help? Check out our Layout Guide series to see solves for rooms of all shapes and sizes.

Moving Tips– Envision the possibilities4. Have Fun Envisioning Your New Space

And while you’re planning a layout, you can also have fun envisioning your future space! A move can be a great opportunity to explore different design options and define (or redefine!) your style.

Consider your new space a blank canvas. The possibilities for it are endless! So go ahead and dream up the perfect space for your taste and lifestyle.

Short on creative energy after all that work? Modsy Designers are ready to help you bring the possibilities for your new space to life with 3D home design. See your new space designed with real furniture and know exactly how it will look and fit, all before you move in.

Read this next: How I Designed My Home Before My Move-In Date

5. Ship to Your Door, No Moving Truck Required

Transporting furniture is one of the most expensive, time-consuming and complicated parts of moving. Consider instead one of our favorite moving tips, and have your new furniture delivered straight to your new address, no moving truck needed.

When you shop through Modsy, our concierge shopping service can even help coordinate your deliveries based on your move-in date!

Got a trick or two up your sleeve? Share your moving tips in the comments below!

Ready to get moving on your new space?