I think everyone has a little artist in them, you just have to give them a blank canvas. Interior design is a form of art, at least in my opinion; so, my empty apartment was my blank canvas. I don’t know about you but my Pinterest board is filled with all the cute apartment inspirations. I also do those Buzzfeed quizzes like “Design Your Dream Apartment and We’ll Guess Your Zodiac Sign.”
The only problem is, I don’t have the money to buy all the fancy, designer sofas and bed frames that fill my Pinterest boards. Nevertheless, I didn’t use that as an excuse to keep my apartment looking sad and empty. So, here are some tips on how to furnish your home on a budget.
Tip #1: Sleuth the sales.
Depending on the time of the year that you’re furnishing your place, there might be some sales at different furniture stores or websites. Sometimes it’s because of holidays like Black Friday or Boxing Day. But, other times, it’s because a store is getting rid of older products to make room for their new ones, or just plain getting rid of it because they’re closing. Keep an eye out for these!
These sales are a great way to save money but still get those quality pieces of furniture that are eye-catchers. I purchased my bed frame on Wayfair.ca for about 80% off. $1000 designer bed frame for $200? Sold.
If you are really committed to finding these sales, my advice is to pay attention to when your favourite stores get new products. Usually bigger chain stores like IKEA or Home Sense bring in new designs around the same time every year. This means that stores have deadlines of when they need to get rid of their stock of discontinued products. The months leading up to that time, you’ll notice certain items getting marked down. If you can wait it out, items can be marked down quite a bit.
Tip #2: Thrift stores are your new best friend.
Yes, Macklemore sponsored this tip. If you have the patience and motivation to go thrift shopping, DO IT. It is definitely worth it when you find useful pieces of furniture for cheap. I’ve gotten bookcases and chairs from local thrift shops and second-hand furniture stores for the price of a cup of Starbucks coffee.
Now, I say patience and motivation because thrifting for furniture is quite a feat, especially if you’ve got a specific style in mind. Since people tend to sell their furniture if it’s still in good shape (there are occasions when you find a brand new piece someone just gave away but that is quite rare), you’re mainly going to find very, very used things. But, if that’s your aesthetic or you’re a handy/crafty person, thrifting is the way to go.
Tip #3: IKEA is not Swedish for “F*#$ You.”
Anyone who knows me knows that I am an avid supporter of IKEA. And not just because I worked there for 4 years. I love what IKEA stands for and their innovative designs. IKEA is quite well known for their “build-your-own” aspect. They really steer into the DIY trend that has been happening. But, there is a very important reason for the fact that you have to build that f$#%-ing dresser yourself: it makes it cheaper. Ingvar, the founder of IKEA (rest in peace), didn’t just say let’s just mess with everyone and tell them that they have to build it themselves.
Furniture that would normally be much more expensive is now quite affordable. You can furnish a whole room for under $1000 including the decorations. So, next time your craving meatballs or a new bedroom, go to IKEA.
Tip #4: Ask around.
Sometimes, people just want to get rid of their old furniture in their house. If you have the means to procure it, usually people do not have a problem with you keeping it. My parents gave us a lot since they had one house filled with two household’s worth of things ever since our blended family came together. Lots of kitchen supplies too, which was very handy. Thanks, Mom and Dad!
This tip also applies to Craigslist, the Facebook Marketplace, and any other app or website to look for things people are giving for very cheap or even free. I have seen many couches, bed frames, coffee tables, and more while I’ve just been scrolling through Facebook.
Tip #5: Get Creative.
This is the most important tip because it is both weaved through all the other ones and it is its own individual tip. Being creative with your space and what you already have can help you save money.
Repurposing old furniture that is seemingly useless into something you have designed for a specific purpose is the ultimate goal with this tip. Some examples include using a bookcase as a shoe cabinet or a desk as a room divider. The possibilities are endless as long as you have an open imagination!
As you can see in this picture, I have used my desk as a room divider in the living space. Since we live in a small, one bedroom apartment, I don’t have an office and my desk doesn’t fit in the bedroom with our queen bed, dresser, and nightstands. So, since our living room is the biggest space we had, I figured utilizing a corner as my office would work nicely if I put the desk facing out rather than against the wall.
If you can’t think of any ideas on your own, PINTEREST, YOUTUBE, AND TUMBLR ARE YOUR GO TO PLACES. These apps/websites are a godsend for any wannabe DIY-ers.
Use these tips and tricks and you will find your place to be a space that is fully your own. You’ll feel more at home than ever!