Do you want to spruce up your new home at a low cost? These ideas on how to furnish a house on a small budget might do the trick for you.
Furnishing a house cheaply is a challenge, but it can also be an enjoyable experience. Just because you’re working on a limited budget doesn’t mean your options are also limited.
The key here is not being picky. If you’re willing to scour through yard sales, thrift stores, and secondhand deals online, you’ll find cheap gems with great value.
In this post, we share some of our experiences furnishing a new home while cash-strapped. Read on and see what you can add to your checklist.
How to furnish a house on a small budget
Here are some ideas on where to get furnishing items at a low cost and ideas to turn your home into an aesthetic abode:
1. Don’t shy away from secondhand items.
When furnishing a home on a budget, secondhand items are your friend. As they say, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.
You can hit up relatives and friends to inquire whether they are selling secondhand furniture and other items. You can also look it up on Craigslist, eBay, and Etsy. You have lots of options here, though you should temper your expectations.
With secondhand items, you may need to do a little fixing or tweaking. But other than that, it’s a good deal if you want to save some bucks.
2. Visit yard sales
Yard sales are the go-to of many homeowners who are decorating on a budget. This is an exciting trip because you don’t know what you might get.
Sometimes, those who are doing yard sales are also moving out. You might chance upon good-as-new items that they want to get rid of.
Also, people sell all sorts of stuff in yard sales. Many are dirt cheap but never purchase electronic items. If the appliance bogs down, the seller will not entertain a refund.
Overall, yard sales are a great place to find coffee tables, curtains, lamps, blinds, and other trinkets. If you don’t know where a yard sale is, check the local paper or online forums where they are often advertised.
3. Go through thrift store deals
If you can’t find a yard sale, the next best place to visit is thrift stores. Many homeowners who don’t want the hassle of hosting yard sales will drop their items at these shops.
A lot of people wince at the idea of buying furniture from a thrift store. But if you’re willing to browse through the items, you may find a good deal with excellent quality.
Moreover, thrift stores sell just about anything – clothes, cupboards, curtains, chairs, dining sets, and more. Some stores allow haggling, which will let you save more money in the long run.
4. Watch out for seasonal sales
Do you want brand-new items for your home at a lower cost? If so, you should wait for seasonal sales to furnish your house.
Black Friday sale is probably the most popular, where prices are discounted at massive rates. This is a good chance to purchase appliances like television, fridge, oven, stove range, and more.
You can easily find deep discounts during seasonal sales, but you have to be quick. I suggest bringing a team, so you can secure the best deals before someone else gets it.
When it comes to furniture, seasonal sales are often done in January. You can also try your luck during the 4th of July sales to purchase brand new furniture with slashed prices.
5. Purchase from furniture factories directly
Retail stores often charge a high markup on the furniture they sell. So if you want to save money while furnishing your home, you should buy directly from the factory.
Many manufacturers have factory outlets where they offer furniture on-site. The showroom isn’t grand as the ones you’ll see in retail stores, but it’s always in exchange for lower prices.
Overall, you can save hundreds of dollars when you purchase your furniture straight from the manufacturer. Some will even let you bargain the price, which is something you can’t do in retail stores.
6. Swap your stuff
Another way to get good deals is to swap your old items with someone else’s. It could be from a friend, family member, or someone who posted a deal online.
Swapping is a good way to get new furnishings for your home without spending money. However, make sure that the item has excellent quality. If you’re swapping for an appliance, make sure that the owner provides a return guarantee.
7. Play with paint and wallpaper
Paint will play a big role in furnishing your home on a budget. The right choice of paint can spruce up your home and give it a premium look. Aside from that, you can use paint or stains to refurbish secondhand furniture.
If you don’t want to commit to a fresh layer of paint, you can use wallpaper instead. This is a low-cost alternative and easy to replace should you change your mind.
8. Use house plants
Those with green thumbs will surely love this aspect. You can even dedicate a corner of your home as an indoor garden with a reading nook and a shelf of books. It’s a simple and low-cost setup, but very aesthetic and premium to the eyes.
9. Add cheap yet aesthetic cushions
You can also shop for cheap cushions in thrift stores or IKEA. Feel free to choose the pillowcase color and design that matches the motif of your home.
This trick works well in living rooms. The cushions will add color and accent to your home without costing you a lot of money.
10. Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors
Do you have a small apartment? Mirrors will give an illusion of space. Don’t hesitate to install large mirrors on your walls to make your apartment look more breathable.
Mirrors also reflect light, which will make the room look livelier. It’s also a great way to add a sophisticated touch to your home without overdoing it.
11. Go DIY
If you have the time, you can create DIY furniture to add to your home. For example, you can turn reclaimed wood into a coffee table, bed frame, or even a nightstand.
If someone cut a hardwood tree, you can purchase a portion of the log and turn it into a live edge table or bench. These projects will add a rustic vibe to your home without being too expensive.
Mistakes to avoid when furnishing a house
Experimenting is an exciting part of furnishing a house. However, you should avoid common mistakes that will sabotage the final look of your home. Here are some of them:
- Avoid disproportionate furniture. Always match the size of your furniture to the space you have. Very large pieces will look bulky on small apartments while sleek ones will be insufficient for large homes.
- Poor lighting. It’s easy to fixate on furniture picks only to forget about lighting. Take note that no amount of décor will stand out if it’s too dark in the room.
- Too many photos. There’s nothing wrong with displaying family photos, but don’t crowd the wall too much. You can reserve other frames for your room.
- Buying everything in one go. When furnishing your home, you should avoid buying everything in one go. Start with the primary pieces first then work your way from there. This way, nothing gets wasted.
- Painting first. When decorating, never paint your walls first. The first thing you should choose is the color of your upholstery and other furniture. Your choice of paint will be based on that.
- Compromising function. When furnishing a house, it’s not enough that it looks good; each piece should have a specific function. This is much so if you’re living in a small apartment.
- Not considering the quality. Furnishing on a budget doesn’t mean you’re going to compromise quality. Try to get the best deal with the right balance of low cost and decent value.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where do I start when furnishing a house?
A: It’s important to plan first when furnishing a house. Make sure that you define the style you prefer, the color scheme you like, and the mood boards you’ll follow. It’s also crucial to identify the function of each space in your home, so you can select fixtures and décor that match your goal.
Q: How much money does it take to furnish a whole house?
A: Average costs of furnishing a house can be as high as $16,000. However, if you’re on a budget, you can cut this down to $3,500 for a small apartment. However, those who are willing to splurge can pay up to $95,000 for luxury furnishing. Overall, the cost depends on the size of your home, your preferences, and how luxurious you want your home to be.
Q: How can I make my house look good with no money?
A: If you want to give your home a face-lift without spending too much, you can try rearranging furniture. You can also switch up your old drapes and add more mirrors on the wall. Painting your walls a fresh color can also liven up your home at a very low cost. Displaying your antique wares can also add a premium feel to your place.
Q: What do you pick first, paint or carpet?
A: When furnishing a house, you must first pick your carpeting. Once you have your choice of carpet, that’s the time you’ll bring a sample to a paint store. Basically, your choice of carpet will be the basis of your paint color. Never paint first as you’ll end up having an unfitting carpet color, which will be an eyesore.
Q: How can I make a living room look expensive?
A: You can add an expensive feel to your living room by using decorative molding. You can also add metallic items, curvy shapes, cozy lighting, and vignettes. All of these will set the mood of your living room while giving it a premium look. Still, it all depends on what you consider an “expensive look” and what you can afford to use as furnishing.
Knowing how to furnish a house on a small budget requires creativity, resourcefulness, and patience. Despite the low budget, there are many options that you can explore. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find the style that you like.
Above all, it’s important to create a plan before you start buying your supplies. This way, nothing will be put to waste.
Do you have more furnishing ideas to add to our list? Let us know!.