(Closed) Furnishing on a serious budget!?!?

posted 6 years ago in Home
Post # 3
300 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Craigslist and yard sales are a great way to go! You have to be willing to sort through some crap, but if you can stick with it, you’re sure to find some gems. If you guys lived close to an Ikea, I’d suggest that, but you’re a pretty solid drive away from one!

Post # 4
9667 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2019

definitely yard sales/craigslist etc 🙂 you are bound to find some high quality stuff for great prices!

Post # 5
11233 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Well, it depends what look you’re going for. You can get some nice looking stuff at Ikea, Target, Walmart, etc., but it’s usually not long-lasting. We’re not hard on our furniture and our Walmart desks and Target coffee table/TV stand/bookshelves have lasted us a few years. 

Otherwise, check out antique/salvage stores, Goodwill, Salvation Army, garage/yard sales. Anything that’s wood you can paint, so even if it’s not in perfect shape or the color is ugly, that can be changed. A couch that isn’t ugly is going to be the hardest to find, but try Big Lots if you can spend a couple hundred bucks on one.

Post # 6
1061 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Start checking out pinterest for furniture refinishing instructionals.  We painted some pieces and changed the hardware and they look totally different!

Darling Husband and I built our bed using an Anna White plan.

The one thing we got new was our couch/love seat.  I was sketched out about buying used for things with cloth for hygiene reasons.  We got it at The Brick (~$800 delivered for both pieces) and have been very satisfied.

Post # 7
217 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I second madgerI am an interior designer, but only a few years out of school, so I do not have a big budget to furnish our newly bought house.  I bought a few key pieces and spent more money on them (sofa, rug, art) and have been refurbishing old dining tables, sofa tables, etc. myself, that are rejects from our families, at garage sales, or on craigslist.  The key is to find sturdy furniture, though!  The old big stuff might be ugly at first, but can be awesome with new cushions, or a caot of paint.  I also live and die by Home Goods to for small pieces like table lamps, bath towels, bath mats, mirrors, etc.  They are AWESOME for things like that, but pricey for furniture still.

Post # 8
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

Agree with CL/garage sales/family basements! I refinished my GREAT GRANDMA’s (so like… old) dresser (painted it white) and changed the knobs, I think the project cost me like $30 and it is a great, solid, and big dresser. I just got a desk at a garage sale for $10 and with about $15 in spray paint it is going to be awesome and teal (I just did that this weekend actually!). Also you can make your own curtain rods (I made a 10 ft rod for $2 using electrical conduit from Lowes and old spray paint) and curtains (discount home decor fabric that was 100″ wide and only $6/yard on clearance). I talk a bit about how I have done some decorating on a budget on my blog, which I posted in the July blog thread (can’t post here for self promotion purposes)

Post # 9
188 posts
Blushing bee

Estate sales on Friday and Saturdays sometimes have great finds. Also, if you have an Ikea in your area- they have inexpensive furniture.

Post # 10
46600 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

My personal rules:

no used beds

no used upholstered furniture unless I plan to strip it down and re-upholster

other than that you can get great pieces at little or no cost from Craigslist and thrift shops.

Solid wood furniture can be refinished or painted and will look like new. It will also outlast any inexpensive fibreboard furniture you buy new.

Check out some of the DIY blogs for inspiration.




Post # 11
4324 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 1992

Salvation army and Goodwill have amazingly sturdy pieces of furniture that people don’t see the potential in any more, and they go at a good price. I am a “hobbiest” of sorts with thrifting, and make it my life’s mission to hunt for goodies. 

They usually have a high turnover rate, so if you don’t see something one day, just go back a week later, and the inventory is totally different. 

Post # 12
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

My husband and I are also on a serious budget so I’ll tell you where we got some of our stuff. I second looking on Craiglist and eBay, and definitely Ikea (thought not always, they’ve gotten a tad bit pricey for my tastes). 

First thing we got: dining set. We got our dining set from my mom’s best friend’s husband after his parents passed away. We spent a good chunk of change staining it though.

Couches: Used for $200 from someone in our community. Spent a little bit buying some fitted slipcovers for them, but you can definitely find cheaper on Amazon or eBay if you buy used couches and want slipcovers (I went to Macy’s, I don’t know why..)

Hall table: Googled hall table and got one on some furniture website (not name brand) for $100.

Entertainment unit for TV: We searched Craigslist for a long time. Talked about buying one and painting it, the guy decided not to sell, I searched for a while. Finally I found one that was a little over our budget but it was gorgeous, solid wood and the people selling didn’t even want to, they were just downsizing. It was the best purchase we have made and I can’t recommend scouring Craiglist enough.

Coffee table: My father I guess asked some people who he worked with and was sent an email of someone who was practically giving furniture away and decided to give us a coffee table and two end tables for free.

The point is, as I reflect, most of our furniture came from connections of people we were friends with or people in our community. If you belong to any place like a church or house of worship that’s a great place to make community connections and see if anyone that you don’t know personally, but is a member of the community, has pieces they’re selling. That’s how we found our couches (though we aren’t members of a church). Really it’s not different than finding something on Craiglist (people still selling used furniture) but it’s a little closer to home and you can get better deals. I know the people we bought the couches from would not have considered putting them on Craiglist. 

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