7 Savvy Tips to Furnishing your House on a Budget
Moving into your first house is an exciting and momentous time, but once you’re in, you may find that you’re working with a very tight budget for furnishing and decorating your new space. With mortgages, bills and living expenses there might not be much left over for decorating and furnishing your house. You might have to rein in your spending a bit, but it’s still possible to create a cosy, comfortable and welcoming space in your new house that reflects your personal style, with our savvy tips on how to furnish your house on a shoestring. From where to snag the best bargains, to what you should consider DIY-ing and how to be in-the-know about the latest sales, here’s our guide to furnishing your new house on a budget.
Keep an eye on local Facebook groups for freebies and bargains
Join your local Buy and Sell groups on Facebook and keep your eye out for bargains or even free items. Whether they’re downsizing or upgrading to the next model, people often want to get rid of furniture from TVs to beds, sofas and mattresses quickly. There’s no shame in grabbing some cheap or free items, the majority of which still be in great shape – but you don’t have to commit yourself until you see the item in person anyway. You’ll be helping them out by saving them the hassle of renting a van or driving to the tip or the charity shop, and you’ll be able to kit out your house, saving your money for other things.
Check out secondhand markets and car boot sales for hidden gems
The early bird catches the worm, they say. If you’re willing to put in a bit of time and effort and make an early start at the weekend, find out where the nearest car boot sales are to you and make a day of it. You might come across some amazing items at really low prices, and negotiating is all part of the fun. If you spot something you like the look of, size it up properly and think about where it would fit in your house – don’t be tempted to get something just because of the low price or you’ll fill up your house with clutter. Spend some time brainstorming what you really need, room by room, and remember – less is more! Especially for furniture, check for faults, repairs and for fire safety information. You don’t want to bring a potential hazard into your house.
Use social media and online newsletters to hear about retailer’s latest deals
Maybe you’ve spotted a gorgeous sofa which would look just right in your living room, but it’s just over your budget. With a bit of patience and forward planning, you might just be able to get the perfect item at a lower price. Sign up to online newsletters for all the retailers you’re interested in – you’ll get all their latest discounts, deals and advance notice of any sales delivered straight to your inbox. Make sure you follow their social media accounts too as they often launch exclusive campaigns and competitions on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to increase their fanbase. Retailers have strategic seasonal sales throughout the year as well as flash sales – if you’re able to hold back until the right time, you could save a big chunk off the price of that sofa you’ve been eyeing up. Just for signing up, you’ll often be rewarded with a discount code of anything from 10-20% off your first purchase.
Don’t be tempted to panic buy!
It might seem overwhelming when you move into an almost empty house, but even so resist going out and panic buying the first things you come across. Most likely, you’ll end up with a mismatched, cluttered house and you’ll regret the haste with which you bought everything. Take some time to sit down and consider what you really need – it’s a good idea to prioritise the most important items too. Once you’ve worked out what you need, do some research and compare your options. Hold back on buying and instead spend a day or two thinking through these key questions:
- Where will the item go?
- Does it fulfil a purpose?
- Does it fit in with the style you’re aiming for?
- Will you still like it in a year?
If you have solid answers to these questions, by all means, go ahead and buy! If you’re wavering, you probably don’t need it, so why not save yourself some cash and skip it.
Grab some mates together and paint the house yourself
For some jobs, you’ll need to consider hiring a pro, but you can save money by painting the interior of your house yourself. A fresh lick of paint will really brighten the place up and you can choose the colour palette that appeals to you rather than sticking with the current decor. Make the job easier on yourself by grabbing a few friends, collect together all your supplies from primer to paintbrushes and get started. Don’t forget to prep the walls in advance by washing them, removing wallpaper and filling in any holes before you even dip your brush into the paint, and leave time for the first layer to dry properly before attempting the next.
Unleash your creativity by upcycling!
Whether it’s a chest of drawers given to you by an aunt or some dining chairs found at a car boot sale, you can bring new life to your furniture with some creativity. Make use of any talents you have like sewing, upholstery, painting, Decoupage or woodwork. A tired-looking wardrobe could be updated with a Scandi-style mural, or the dining chairs could be recovered with a fabric of your choice to complement your kitchen. If you’re not crafty, enlist a friend or relative’s help in exchange for a nice meal out or an evening’s babysitting!
Hire an interior designer (really)
This one might sound counter-intuitive, but it’s possible to hire an online interior designer for a reasonable price these days. If redecorating and furnishing from scratch seems overwhelming this might be the right choice for you. Not only will they be able to create a custom look that works to your budget, an interior designer will source furniture that fits your specifications and looks fantastic, and their trade discounts could save you money too!
So there you have our 7 simple (and sometimes surprising) tricks to furnishing your house on a tight budget. Follow these tips and you’ll soon have a cosy but stylish place to call your own!