(Closed) Furnishing an apartment inexpensively – how did you do it?

posted 6 years ago in Home
Post # 3
6394 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

You could keep an eye out for furniture stores that have scratch and dent rooms or are going out of business. That’s all I can think of, though!

Post # 4
1750 posts
Buzzing bee

@moonadea:  Estate sales are great and try Craigslist.

Post # 5
4333 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Other than the couch, maybe craigslist? I see some good stuff on there sometimes. We got our TV stand & one of our bookshelves from a yard sale – check out the ones in the high-end areas, especially, as they seem to sell more furniture and such.

Post # 6
9142 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Craigslist and garage sales (the key to garage sales is to shop early on Friday.)  I buy colorsafe bleach (which really isn’t bleach at all) and scrub the upholstry after we buy the furniture from other people.  I use regular bleach on any plastic surfaces.  I have been able to buy really nice second hand furniture from people who have upgraded.  When you search Craigslist make sure you search the nicest areas of town for the best stuff but you can usually find the best deals in the middle class neighborhoods IMO.

Make sure there are pictures and go see the furniture in person first to make sure there are no smells, chips, rips, or stains.  Pay attention to the ads that say pet free and smoke free home.  As for bed bugs I didn’t really know they were an issue in Atlanta.  That said, I would however be wary about purchasing furniture from hotel room clearance sites where they sell furniture used in hotel rooms.

Post # 8
295 posts
Helper bee

Overstock.com! They always have good deals. 
ETA: all the shipping is like $3. We just got a bed frame for about a hundred bucks. It shipped in 2 giant boxes. The best part is is only took 2 days to get to us. No more mattress on the floor!

Post # 7
1460 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Second hand shops (Good Will, Salvation Army) are a great place to start.  You can find great things there.  You can also buy furniture at places like La-Z-Boy and get interest free financing for 12 months.

Post # 9
2463 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I was going to say Ikea, but then I saw your post! Seriously though, Ikea has some things that are for sure downright cheap, but they also have some totally decent stuff. And stuff that lasts and still looks classy–I have stuff that’s over 5 years old at this point. Almost all of our furniture is ikea...It depends on your taste though, of course. most our furniture is white painted wood (we have a lot of pieces from the Hemnes line) and I honestly don’t think it looks cheap or that much different than Pottery Barn (which I covet…)! 

Post # 10
199 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Fiance and I bought our living room furniture from one of those “Rent to Own” places. Normally I am 100% against places like that because the price you pay for furniture is AT LEAST 2-3 times what you’d pay at a normal furniture store, BUT, we were driving by one day and noticed they had a tent sale. All furniture under the tent was reduced by about 50%. In addition to that, we put any extra money we had towards paying it off in 90 days to get the “90 days same as cash” price. We paid $800 for our set instead of the $2,400 it would have been if we went in there on a day with no tent sale. Perhaps if you’re not in a huge hurry you could ask around if any places near you will be having one soon. Good luck!

Post # 12
2463 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@moonadea:  no worries, now i understand! we’ve spent way too much money moving our furniture from various apartments, it probably would have been way cheaper to start over than move it, now that i think about it! haha oops 😉 

Post # 13
2188 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2024

I am currently moving in to my own place and I had no furniture, I luckily got a couch given to me by my sister, but I had no end tables or tv stand. I went to a garage sale, picked up items that looked crappy and re-did them. I sanded, conditioned and stained the wood and now they look great! If you don’t mind a weekend project that might work, all my pieces are real wood and thanks to a bit of elbow grease look like new. I even modified the tv stand to have a hinged drop down drawer (thanks for the idea Pinterest) to hide my dvd player!

Post # 14
2270 posts
Buzzing bee

here’s the breakdown:

  • curtains- I made them from $3 worth of sheets I bought at a thrift store.
  • clock- $20 at Big Lots
  • lamp shade & base- $10, $35= $45 from Walmart
  • side table- $40 at Kmart
  • Two nail head trim chairs- $99 each at Kmart
  • small ceramic dish on side table- $2 at thrift store
  • gilded real roses- gift from SO
  • dracaena houseplant- $15 from Home Depot
  • console table for tv- $199 from Big Lots
  • red shag rug- $75 from Walmart
  • antique framed needlepoint art on wall- $20 from yard sale
  • not pictured, new sofa from Big Lots- $220

Post # 15
1030 posts
Bumble bee

this is my living room

my sofa is from IKEA (i got it with the good cover so it feels more expensive), the TV cabinet was an eBay find (local so we picked it up) – the coffee table is FLAT-PACK(!!) – the chair at the front was thrift store that I re-covered, beanbag from a cheap shop, random twigs with christmas tree lights for ‘mood lighting’. table and chairs from gumtree (UK version of craigslist), bookshelf IKEA sale. I even have a footstool now that i found on the side of the road and re-covered.

Basically, things look more expensive because we have a few ‘key’ items. I think the sofa was £400 including the cover. We’ve had it 3 years and it’s still brilliant. Comfy, looks good. Not a forever sofa – but totally worth it.

Post # 16
2335 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

My rule is all cheap furniture (IKEA, Target, ect.) is in black.  All real furniture (antiques, furniture store) is stained wood or neutral fabrics.  As Fiance and I can afford it, we’ll replace the cheap stuff with real furniture.  For now, it all “matches” in black, which helps it to not look as cheap.

I second Craigslist- I got a nice deep-brown leather chair for $50 from a woman who was redecorating last year.

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