How to Add Furniture to your Home on a Budget
If you are decorating your first apartment, or perhaps going on your own, here are some affordable ways to decorate your new home.
I love browsing secondhand stores now and again and you never know what treasures you might be able to pick up at a decent price. Anyone who needs furniture for a new apartment, or to decorate a house when moving on their own, should take a look at some of the bargains you can find by browsing secondhand stores and online auction websites.
Because not everything you buy can be a good deal, we have put together a selection of furniture pieces and accessories that might save you lots of money if you are prepared to give them some TCL (tender loving care).
A revamped chest of drawers can serve as a display cabinet, as well as providing essential storage for a home.
Drawer Units and Chests of Drawers
Unless you are more than a beginner woodworking or DIY enthusiast, making a set of drawers or a chest of drawers may not be within your skillset.
Buying a ready-made chest of drawers - unless you're buying a pine set - can be expensive and you may not even be able to find something you like at a decent price.
Browsing secondhand stores for a drawer unit or a chest of drawers may surprise you when you come across genuine hardwood pieces that are sturdy and constructed to last a lifetime. These are items you're not going to come across in the average home decor store, so they are definitely worth considering if you can buy them at a good price. A well-designed chest of drawers can easily become a focal point in a room once it is has been given a coat or two of paint or varnish and you won't find solid hardwood pieces to buy at anywhere near the price of secondhand finds.
If you come across a chest of drawers that you like, check that the structure is sound and that it only requires cosmetic repairs and touch-ups.
Before you hand over your hard-earned cash, make sure that the drawer work and that only cosmetic repairs are needed to make the drawer unit or chest of drawers functional. After doing any sanding or touch-ups, you can use a variety of paints to give the piece a makeover so that it fits in perfectly with your style and personality.
When shopping for secondhand furniture, try to steer clear of pieces that have a thin veneer over chipboard, as you might not be able to restore these to their original condition.
Side Tables, Coffee Tables and Accent Tables
As with all wooden furniture, when looking for bargains in secondhand stores or on online auction websites, you're more than likely to find that these are solid wood pieces, possibly anything from Oregon Pine to Imbuia. Stumbling across these treasures at a good price means that you can add quality furniture to your home at a fraction of what it would cost to buy these in a home decor store - if you can even find anything close to the quality!
Every home needs a table or two, especially side tables and coffee tables, and you're going to need these to add to your furniture collection.
While previously mentioned above, when locating items that you like, do make sure that they are sturdy and that the legs don't wobble. Check for cracks in the wood and have a look at the joins. Small repairs are easy to do yourself, but you might find that anything more than that will cost a bit to repair and might not be worthwhile if you are only wanting inexpensive furniture to start out with.
Chalk and milk paint have made painting furniture a breeze. What used to take days or weeks to complete, now only takes a couple of hours. And chalk paint is available in a wide selection of modern and traditional colours that allow you the freedom to choose how to give secondhand furniture a new look.
Vintage and Antique Light Fittings
You might find it strange to find light fittings as items to list as great things to buy at a secondhand store, but you would be surprised at what you can find these days. If you are renting your new home, you're not going to want to spend a fortune on lighting, and secondhand lighting might provide you with the exact style of light that you need to finish off a room.
Even if you own your house, there are some fantastic vintage and antique pendant lights and crystal chandeliers that can be found at a much cheaper price than buying new, so it is definitely worthwhile to take a look around while you are hunting for furniture.
A lot of the light fittings found in secondhand stores and online auction websites are the real deal, not the faux fittings you will find in many lighting stores.
Art and Framed Mirrors
I have seen some absolute rubbish in secondhand stores, but I have stumbled across some really good finds. If you have the time and patience to regularly pop into these stores and perhaps make an arrangement with the owner to let you know when something good comes in, or regularly check online sites, you might just be lucky enough to find something truly beautiful. There are some beautiful art and mirror frames to be found, just waiting for someone to notice them and restore them to their original condition or give them a lick of paint.
Don't worry if the mirror is missing or cracked, you can easily have a mirror cut to size at any glass and mirror suppliers.
Every room in the home deserves a mirror and the frame decides whether it will be functional or eye-catching.