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A Budget-Friendly Guide to Furnishing Your Home

by Kim GreeneAugust 8, 2022
A Budget-Friendly Guide to Furnishing Your Home

Furnishing a home can be a costly affair, whether you are moving into a new home or updating your current space. Furniture purchases can add up quickly, whether it's dining room furniture, lounge furniture, or bedroom furniture, not to mention the decor pieces that will go in the nooks and crannies. That's a lot, yeah.

Furniture doesn't need to be something that gives you migraines or keeps you awake at night. The process can be seamless, relatively painless, and sometimes enjoyable. This is a fact.

In this post, I'll share my primary tips for furnishing your home on a budget -without giving yourself migraines.

1. Make a List

Although it seems like a simple step (and in some ways it is), it is one of the most important. Determine how much you're willing to spend on each piece and make a list of what you're looking for, arranged by priority.

You can divide your purchase into phases with the help of this resource. While it is always possible to improvise or to change your mind when inspiration strikes, keeping this baseline list at hand will keep you focused on your budget and help you not get sidetracked by everything that is appealing while you're shopping.

2. Plan Ahead

Many people go over budget when decorating because they purchase items last minute. By the end of the week, for instance, if you decide to buy a sofa, you may not be able to buy it at the best price, or you may not get the best deal.

When you browse your favorite stores, keep your list handy (even if you don't plan on buying this item for several months). 

Take note of anything you like when you see it and keep it in your back pocket till you are ready or when that item goes on sale, which brings me to the next point.

3. Make The Most Of Annual Sales

Although the consumerist nature of our society can sometimes be frustrating, approaching annual sales as an opportunity to buy on our lists is a more thoughtful approach. It is actually a science to find the best time of year to buy specific pieces.

If you need a new mattress or a good deal on appliances, September is the best time to shop (especially over Labor Day weekend). Are you looking for new furniture? Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Black Friday are particularly good times for buying. Interested in outdoor furniture? If you want to snag that, you should do so in October as the weather begins to change. It is often the virtue of patience that can lead you to a really good deal.

4. Take Your Time

An interior design project is not a sprint but a marathon. Don't rush. You may rush through the process of buying furniture when you're in the mood for it and want to fill every corner of your home with everything you want. Thus, you end up spending more than you intended.

Do not feel rushed to finish your space. A partially completed space can be lived in (and even entertained in). Slow, thoughtful decorating will make your room feel more like you in the long run than one that's thrown together quickly. The wait will be worth it, as it is with most things in life.

5. Don't Rule Out DIY

The DIY skills we all possess may be greater than what we realize at first. When you can't find a piece of furniture within your budget while shopping, consider making it yourself. From building a piece from scratch to altering IKEA furniture to refurbishing second-hand furniture, options abound for creating individualized pieces. 

6. Develop An Eye For Furniture Decor

In order to learn how to decorate, you need to learn how to train your eye. It might take you a while to figure out how to pull a room's decor together on your first try, but with practice, you will be able to do it.

Don't let anything stand in the way of your search for furniture pieces. Take inspiration from everything you encounter. Take note of what stands out to you when browsing an antique store or online retailer, even if they are priced higher than you prefer. Don't be afraid to look at interesting pieces of furniture or unique artwork. You’ll be able to find your own style by narrowing down what you like about every piece as you go.

Don't let anything stop you from finding inspiration when shopping for furniture. Even if you don't have the budget for these pieces, exposing yourself to them will educate you on how to pick out great buys in less expensive shops. This skill requires practice; however, it will eventually help you decide what items to bring into your home.

7. Consider Second-Hand Shopping

My passion for secondhand shopping is no secret. My favorite thing is browsing thrift and antique stores for hours on end. As a creative person, I find the whole process extremely fulfilling and stimulating. I also enjoy this little hobby for another reason. There are often great deals to be found when buying secondhand.

In addition to finding unique pieces, you can have your space looking distinctive and charming by shopping secondhand. For instance, I love finding high-quality frames at Goodwill, irrespective of their contents. I fill them with digital replications of Etsy prints sized for their frame, which I purchase on Etsy. The process is simple and visually appealing.

8. Bring Your Creativity To The Table

Home design has no rules, so bear that in mind when furnishing your home. People often underestimate how subjective the process of designing a space is. It is important that your home's design reflects who you are, your ideas, your likes, and your inspirations.

Make a coffee table out of two side tables. Nightstands can be made from two stools. Make a bench out of a long piece of wood and a couple of concrete blocks. Don't be afraid to think outside the box when choosing furniture items. In fact, it's highly recommended. 

Whenever you're having trouble finding a particular furniture piece, get creative. 

9. Change Your Mindset

This is probably the most crucial piece of advice here. Be careful not to compare your space to others and do not have expectations about how the outcome should look. As you move forward, embrace the pieces you like. The long-term effect of buying things that express your individual taste and style will be profound.

Happy accidents can happen when you don't have to adhere to the "rules" you assume you need to follow and go with your gut about what's organically pleasing together. Staying on budget is possible when you are less concerned about measuring up to others’ homes.

Get creative, make a plan, and follow your gut. You'll see your space coming together over time, so have fun with it. That being said, I wish you the very best in all your future home adventures. Have a great time decorating!

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