As a first-time homebuyer, you may have one challenge to deal with that you may not have anticipated—your purchased space is typically larger than your rented one was. More space means more rooms—and more rooms means more furnishings. How can you tackle some of your initial home-furnishing needs without spending your entire monthly budget?
Continue on for six tips for furnishing your new home in affordable ways.
Hand-Me-Downs & Great Finds
Don't be afraid to take advantage of offers from friends and family in order to furnish some of your rooms—while your grandma's old armchair may not seem like your style at first, you'd be amazed what a slipcover can do to transform a piece of living room furniture. This goes for garage sales, estate sales or liquidation sales, too—keep your eyes peeled for items that would fit in nicely as is or would function well with a fresh coat of paint or some sanding.
Repurposing & Multi-Purposing
Maybe your budget will only allow you to work with the furniture items you already have or can easily obtain from family members. If this doesn't amount to a home's worth of furnishings, think about ways these pieces can be used in more than one way. Let's say you have access to a twin mattress but no couch. With a sturdy coffee table or other low-to-the-ground base and some throw pillows, you can transform that mattress into a seating area in your living room when placing it up against a wall.
While you may not have many budget-friendly furniture retailers in your area, these stores may have clearance items more in your price range. Ask local stores about returned or overstocked items that may be marked down from their original prices. Another option is furniture that has been lightly dinged or nicked in transport to the store—these are often pieces that will be marked down in price and more budget-friendly.
What's your comfort level with DIY (do-it-yourself) projects? Some of the more basic pieces of furniture, such as shelving, curtains or storage can be fairly easily built, constructed or repurposed by a confident homeowner and a few tools. Consider building floating shelves with simple brackets to house picture frames, books or other items. Curtains can also be an easy sewing project if you have a needle and thread. (In addition, cloth shower curtains can run a little cheaper and come in a variety of designs that look great as window treatments.)
Prioritizing & Timing
If you've moved from a small rental to a decently sized single-family residence, it may be overwhelming at first thinking about the number of rooms that need furnishing. However, if you make yourself a wish list of items you could use (or want) and prioritize that list in order of importance, it will make the process of obtaining them over time seem less stressful. That way, when a particularly big furniture sale holiday, such as Labor Day or Presidents' Day, comes around, you'll be able to pick out your priority from the top of your list.
When you're lacking in larger furniture items, the right decorations can help to pull a room together. While purchasing framed artwork and other wall hangings may be considerably out of your price range, you can capitalize on your own artistic skills (or those of your friends and family) to help decorate your bare wall space. Grab some canvases and paint, and customize your artwork to your favorite colors and styles. Better yet, showcase pieces by loved ones in your home to make it warm and welcoming when they visit!