5 Tips to Design on a Budget

If your jaw drops when refurnishing TV shows cut to the vintage coffee table and announce nonchalantly that they purchased it for a $450 then read on.

First of all let’s get something straight… Furniture depreciates… you will never get the full amount you paid for furniture when you resell it. So why not get thrifty and spend under $400 on your next ENTIRE redesign.

When I bought my first house I furnished the entire living room and dinning room for under $1000(yes, that’s including my $550 living room set complete with loveseat, ottoman, and sectional).

Here are 5 Tips to Design on a Budget

Plan ahead

Planning ahead is key. Make a list of what you need for your design: furniture, paint, decor idea, accent pieces, etc. Having a clear list will keep you on task, making last minute out of budget purchases a thing of the past. Planning ahead also allows you to price match, research, and hunt for the best deals possible.

When I bought my house I made a list of both essentials and things I wanted six months before I moved into my home. Planning took the pressure off and allowed me to gather things prior to move in. This made move in weekend fun and less stressful. It also made me go through the things I already owned and de-clutter so I didn’t have to move things twice.

Shop Thrift Stores on Deal Days

Thrift stores often have days where they discount their already cheap selection. Goodwill, for example, has 50% off all their merchandise every other Saturday. You can find out when the next deal day is by going to their website and browsing the events calendar(or you can click here).

If shopping at thrift stores is new for you, I recommend starting in one section and going to look for a few items on your list. This will keep you from getting overwhelmed and allow you to keep your eyes on the prize.

Garage Sale Shop

Not all states permit people to sell their things out of their driveways so if you are in a state that does then… HALLELUJAH! Now if you are in a state that does and you have never been to a garage sale, then shame on you.

In order to successfully find a garage sale you need to have an idea of where they are. Community garage sales are the best place to get your feet wet and they are often listed on Craigslist. Stay tuned for more garage sale hacks to come.

Shop Used Online

“Used” is the key word here.  Let’s recap: Furniture depreciates. Use this fact to your advantage and buy furniture for half the price of what you would have paid at a furniture store. Some of my favorite sites to shop for local used furniture and accent pieces are OfferUp and Craigslist.

People selling furniture on these sites are often looking to get rid of their old pieces quickly while making a few bucks. “Quickly” being the key word here. Use this to your advantage, offer both less than the asking price and same day pickup. The convenience factor may give you an edge over someone else’s offer that is pending or offering more.

When I bought my used sectional, ottoman, and loveseat the seller had it listed at $650 and noted that he was moving and needed it gone ASAP. I offered him $500 and said I could pick it up that same day. We agreed on $550. And here is the best part, this couch set was almost identical to the $1350 set I had been eying at a local furniture store.

Stuff Swap with Friends

Swapping things with friends is the best way to get new things with no money out of pocket. You can organize a “Friends Stuff Swap” and use it as a way to get people together.

I was actually introduced to this idea by a good friend. She invited a large group of friends to bring their unwanted things, an appetizer, and bottle of wine to her house. When we arrived we sorted our things onto tables labeled: home decor, clothes, shoes, and toiletries.

Not only was it a fun way to get new things, it was also a time to catch up with great friends!

Redecorating and decorating should be about creating the life you love in a surrounding that inspires you! Use the entire experience to grow, save, and connect.

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