Furnishing a new home is exciting. It’s a chance to put your unique stamp on the style and mood of your home. Whilst your new build will come with fixtures and fittings, it provides a daunting blank canvass if most of your home buying budget has been exhausted before moving day. Luckily there are ways to work with a limited furniture budget and still get good quality items for your new home.
Make the most of your furniture budget by sticking to these simple shopping tips for new home furniture.
Resist the temptation to rush out and purchase every piece of furniture you want for your new home. If money is tight, the last thing you want to do is rack up debt. Instead, make a list of the items you need versus the items you want. Start by shopping only for the essentials, and set a timeline and budget for getting the non-essentials.
Make the most of the furniture you have
If you’ve got pieces from your old home that are still in decent condition, you may be able to refurbish them cheaply. Consider repainting or re-staining wooden pieces and putting slipcovers on upholstered items. Get the most mileage out of items that are still usable until you can afford to replace them.
In many cases, buying low-cost accessories may help you get more enjoyment out of house wares that you want to replace. For example, you could add new pillows to a sofa or add a new table runner to your dining set. Little changes can make a big impact without breaking the furniture budget. Candles can create a classy mood in living rooms.
Go for quality
A high-quality item trumps a lower-quality piece any day of the week. Make good investments for your new home by buying items that will last — even when they cost more than their less-sturdy counterparts.
Looking for bargains
Furnish your new home as cheaply as possible by looking for bargains. Scour a number of different shops, websites, and local sources:
- Boot sales: Check the local paper to find out when boot sales are being held. And remember lots of bits get abandoned at the end!
- Online classifieds and auctions: Sites like eBay offer bargains on both used and new home furniture. Be wary of over bidding and getting carried away in auctions – take someone with you who knows the ropes!
- Local magazines and free papers: Check out the classified section.
- Charity shops: With a little elbow grease or maybe a slipcover, a budget-friendly charity shop find may end up looking like the brand new version.
- Furniture outlets: Many a bargain is to be had at IKEA and the like, but be prepared to put a flat-pick together!
- Furniture outlets: Try buying discontinued pieces at furniture outlets and liquidation sales.
- Floor model discounts: Ask furniture retailers for a floor model discount if you’re willing to buy an item that’s taken a little damage from being on the sales floor.
- Fabric mills: Often they offer bargains on end-of-lines or remnants.
- Magazines and newspapers: Reader offers can turn up a good deal.
- Make friends with local traders: Some independents regularly attend flee markets and fairs at home and abroad and will source furniture for you.
- Haggle: in these difficult financial times many retailers will drop a few pounds if pushed.
Getting furniture for free
There are also free sources for home furniture. If you’re willing to take used items, you could save yourself thousands of pounds, freeing up your furniture budget for more items or home improvements.
Look for free home furniture:
- On the Web at Freecycle or Freegle
- In newspaper and online classifieds.
- At the office: Many businesses that want to upgrade their furniture may give you old office chairs or desks for free provided that you pick them up yourself.
- The same is true for pubs and restaurants.
If you’re hesitant about picking up used furniture, remember that “used” and “poor quality” are not the same thing. There are plenty of good and even high quality furniture items out there for free. You just have to know how to spot quality furniture construction.
The only piece of furniture that you shouldn’t be buying used is a mattress. Used mattresses contain potentially dangerous allergens, dirt, and bugs. If you need a mattress, look for a new one at outlets and sales.
If you really need a certain piece of furniture, but your furniture budget is gone, consider renting furniture. For a small monthly fee, you can rent-to-own or just rent temporary pieces until you can afford to furnish your new home the way you want.