(Closed) How much does it cost to furnish a home from scratch?

posted 8 years ago in Home
Post # 17
191 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Hum this is a really good question and probably depends on a lot of factors since it certainly cheaper to buy Ikea furniture than Ethan Allen. 

I just read your second post and it seems you like the expensive stores like we do!  I would say knowing those stores for formal dining room you would need about 10,000? (we just bought ours from Bassett furniture and it was 8,500 for all the pieces and we still need the decorative stuff), a living room maybe…. 4,000? (again depends what you want/ need.  We want to have a grand piano in our living room and naturally that’s more expensive then some couches), family room same, bedroom 5ish?  I’m not sure about this one… we haven’t gotten to the bedrooms yet!  It all depends what you buy… look for sales.  So the 60,000 seems high but then your second thought of 15,000 seems low.

Edit:  I also live in NJ.  Everything is expensive here lol

Post # 18
11324 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

25% of the home cost seems like a strange value because real estate prices are so variant. My house is 2600 square feet (4 bed 2.5 bath) but I live in Ohio so its only $200k (= 50K to furnish by that figure). If I had this same house in San Francisco it would probably cost what… 1M? Or more? Making the figure to furnish 250K. Now I guess it would stand to reason that a person who pays $1M for a house probably has more expensive taste in furnishing than someone who pays 200K for a house… but I don’t know if that is true to a factor of 5. 

As for how much you’ll need to spend… kinda depends on what you want and how “full” you like your house! I could see it costing 60k to furnish our house, which is about the size you’re looking at. I’m pretty frugal, shopped deals, etc, and we spent about 11k furnishing just our dining room, living room, “man cave” (second living room), and bedroom. And those are far from “finished.” We’re using all hand-me-downs for the other three bedrooms. 


ETA: Thought an estimation of what we spent might help. This is just to the best of my memory–

Dining room table + 4 chairs + bench (1,400 from Ashley Furniture)

2 end tables and coffee table for living room (400 from Ashley Furniture)

Headboard/footboard/2 night stands/tall dresser (1,400 from Ashley Furniture)

Cloth sectional for living room (1,700 from Macy’s)

TV for living room (free from Ashley with furniture purchase)

Leather sectional for man cave (3,600 from Macy’s)

60″ tv for man cave (2,700 from Best Buy)

Post # 19
1549 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

That sounds super high! I’m currently furnishing the house we just bought. We do have a lot of stuff from the last home but this one has 2 more bedrooms and additional bath and family room compared to the last. I find that if I take my time and wait on sales I can get pretty good deals. Home Goods and Marshalls are great places for decorations. I’ve found some lovely art of Etsy that I then framed at Micheal’s craft store myself with frames I bought for 40% off. I’m going to be making my own curtains for some of our rooms, the fabric stores have such luxurious fabrics and patterns for the different curtain styles, $300 curtains for $100, yes please! I’ve also found some great solid wood peices from Consignment & antique shops, though you really have to hunt. For the new coffee and end tables I’m going to an unfinished furniture store and going to finish them myself. Overstock.com is also great for blankets, duvets, sheets etc. Oh and accent chairs too.

Post # 20
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I went to Ikea for the first time last weekend, and I was blown away by how much stuff they have.  I think you could easily furnish a two or three bedroom house for 10k at Ikea. 

It might take you two weeks to find your way out of the store, but it’s super cheap.  And they have restaurants and a daycare, so it’s really not a bad place to get lost for a while…  🙂

Post # 21
6571 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2010

@daniellemybelle: I thought we’d have more money for furniture too… but you have to also look out for other things that will pop up! Don’t forget about closing costs, inspections, etc. And depending on what kind of a house you’re looking to buy, it might need some work. We went for a short sale, and while it was in pretty good shape, it still did need a tiny bit of work, and it all adds up quick! Even painting gets expensive.

Post # 22
593 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Here are some figures from the rooms we have recently decorated in our house…

(Note: while most of our major pieces come from either crate & barrel or pottery barn we tend to get accessories from slightly less expensive places like World Market and Pier 1 or Target)

Living Room:  Couch, 2 Chairs, Ottoman $3300 (PB), coffee table and end table $200 (Ikea), TV $2k (dont even get me started), TV stand $300 (best buy), curtains, rugs, lamps, picture frames, accessories $600.  So thats $6400 for a 14′ by 17′ room.  Not to mention it still needs some stuff, not a ton, but some!

Dining Room: Table $250 (World Market), Chairs $1800 (calico corners), Bar $500 (Crate and Barrel), Misc $400 total of $3150 for 10′ x 12′ room.

Office: Desk $500 (PB), small couch $800 (PB), bookshelf $250 (World Market), Rug $500 (C&B), misc $300 for a total of $2050 for a 10′ x 12′ office.

Master Bedroom (not done yet, but priced our for when we are ready) Bed $800 (PB), mattress $900, dressers $2000 (PB), nightstands $600 (PB), Drapes/Rugs/Lamps $1000 (PB) and bedding $350 (PB) which is $5650 for a 14′ x 16′ MBR.

Now we had a lot of stuff in our condo that has become great furniture for our family room, breakfast nook, guest bedroom and basement.  I think its about prioritizing.  I.E. when we first moved in we bought the living room and dining room stuff right away because otherwise we would have had empty rooms.  We have just a mattress/frame and an old dresser in our MBR now until we have saved enough.  I think to do it all at once would be WAY overwhelming for me…so I like the gradual approach.

I am at $17k in all the stuff I listed above.  Not to mention I am sure other misc. stuff I forgot along the way and we are only talking about half my house.  So at our home value of $200k we have spent 10%, I’d say 20% is reasonable for our taste and preferences in furniture.

Obviously there are much more economical ways to furnish a house while looking just as great!

Post # 23
5667 posts
Bee Keeper

Well, Fiance and I are in the process of re-furnishing our apartment (1200 sqft, 3bdrm). My suggestion would be to tell family members and friends what you need and get some nice used pieces first. You don’t have to say yes to your friend’s cousin’s mother’s Great Aunt Sally’s old lady floral living room set, but often someone knows someone who is moving and willing to sell their beautiful dining room set very inexpensively. Even if it’s not exactly what you want, it’s furniture. This gives you the flexibility to do redo one room at a time instead of the whole house at once.

Fiance and I are currently working on the living room, replacing couches we bought from a friend for $150 with a nice, brand new sectional ($2k), chair ($700), new TV ($1000), new TV stand ($200) and lamps ($80 each). We also had bought a dining room set for $200 from another friend that came with matching end tables and coffee table. We actually really like them and aren’t planning on replacing them.

Also, while higher end furniture will probably last longer than stuff from Ikea, there’s a level where it evens out. No one will know that if your nice leather sectional is from Ethen Allen or RC Willey unless you tell them.

Post # 24
3538 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

We are in the process of building and not that far away from completion 🙂 and really all I can seem to think about is furniture.

We have some great stocktake sales and outlet stores where things are reasonably priced.

We managed to get a retailed 6.5k couch for 1.4k because apparently the colour shade wasnt quite right. It looks black to me!! but it didnt mean the factorys quality standard so they put it on sale. It still functions and not going to collapse anytime soon:P

But there are bargains to be had. With ours being 4bed 2 bathroom I would say it would cost me about 12k aussie dollars to get it to a standard that i want.  I want to replace the spare bed, reupholster two inherited couches and it goes on.


Post # 25
566 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I know how addicting Pinterest is, but two months after buying our house and getting married, I’m flipping exhausted. We are starting to furnish almost from scratch, but we’re taking it basically one room at a time because we have no energy left after the wedding and moving. It’s also really hard to pick out your “forever” furniture all at once. We don’t plan to replace major items like the dining table or couch, so a lot of thought is going into each piece!

Post # 26
3520 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

@daniellemybelle: One thing you could do in the meantime is go ahead and buy/look for your big or important pieces now so you can enjoy them.  When I had a teeny condo, I used a tax return to buy two $500 chairs upholstered in Todd Oldham fabric and I still absolutely adore them 11 years later.  If you’re in to antiques, you never know when you’re going to find that one perfect armoire or adorable bench… have fun with it!  It will be less you have to buy later!

Post # 27
2792 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Bringing this thread back from the archives.

We have a $5000 budget to furnish our APARTMENT, and are finding it tight! We’re in the midst of it all right now and I’m sure we will probably end up overbudget!

Post # 28
1470 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

we just bought a beautiful set of table and 6 chairs and a china cabenet/ Dry bar.  those two pieces were a little over $1300.  We have been in our one bedroom condo for almost 2 years and have slowly gotten things.

Beedroom furniture Free, it was my husbands grandfathers

Bed Free, took it from my parents house

TV stand was unfinished beautiful wood $350 and we finished it ourself

My husband already had a nice flat screen TV

2 Broyhill sofas from Craigs List, we LOVE!!!  $250 each (500 total) they are beautiful, very proud of those!!

Friend gave us coffee table, my mom gave us 2 of her old bakers racks and a side table

2 lamps $250

Area Rug $200

So we have spent about $3500 for a one bedroom condo and we were given a lot of things. 

We love craigs list, definitly a good place to check out and it was nice that our parents let us take things and gave us things to furnish our small place! We also found a little family owned furniture store that sells things at great prices, they were really honest and we went home and looked up the pieces on line and they were a few hundred $ under what a normal furniture place would have charged us.

It really adds up fast and is not cheap.  unless you have a ton of money its best to start slow and really shop around, get what you need and save up for the rest, buy as you go along!! 

Post # 29
2105 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

It really depends on your style, area, stores, and so on.  I’m in the DC area, so buying furniture is way more expensive than say, in the Carolinas, what with them being the furniture capital of the US.  I will have to say that I do not recommend ‘furnishing all at once.’ My mother tried to do that with their new Florida house and ended up returning a lot of pieces because, once it all arrived, she sad that certain spaces didn’t work.  I recommend getting sets together (like, buying most/all of a bedroom set) and then gradually aquiring pieces room by room. 

In terms of price, it’s so variable.  If you furnish your house entirely from Ikea, you could do it pretty cheaply, but certain pieces will lack quality and potentially fall apart in too short a time period (re: My Malm Bed).  If you go all leather, all oak, all expensive materials.. you could easily exceed 25% of the home’s value if you don’t live in a super expensive area.

Post # 30
3175 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I shop mostly thrift, consignment, garage sales & outlets for furniture (non upholstered furniture- I buy things like mattresses & couches new or from people I know). I like refinishing things, and I prefer solid wood furniture that is hard to find & expensive at other stores. I furnished a 3 BR house essentially from scratch for under $1500 (including patio furniture), and I thought it was lovely (the style was French provincial). However, we were given a couch & coffee table, so I suppose that would have added more to that total. This also didn’t include refridgerators, ovens, etc.

Post # 31
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

My husband and I just moved into our new one bedroom apartment after our wedding, so we had to get all new furniture. I can tell you a little about our breakdown, even though we’re obviously furnishing a small one bedroom.

Almost all of our kitchen stuff came from our registry, so really, we didn’t need to buy much there. We did need to buy bedding and I got king sheets and a bedding set from BB&B for about $150 I would say, maybe a little more.

We got our dining set from my mom’s best friend’s husband whose parents passed away. We got the breakfront and table, but we still need chairs. The furniture is beautiful and antique but it needed to be refinished so we had to pay about $1500 for that. It is gorgeous though, and we seriously will have this furniture forever. I also bought a hall table that cost about $100. 

In our family room we only have two couches, a love seat and a couch that has a pull out bed and we got them used for about $250 (though my mom bought us those). Then I spent about $200 buying really nice fitted slipcovers from Macy’s so they look reupholstered.

Our bedroom set cost about $4500 from Potter Barn, for the king size bed, two nightstands and the extra wide dresser. We got a vintage looked mirror from my mom’s boyfriend (since we didn’t want to spend $400 on a mirror from PB). Eventually, we would like to buy another piece but we have to save up for that. Especially if one day we move into a bigger bedroom and we want another piece to fill things out.

So we’re still in the market for dining room chairs, a TV stand (unit type thing) for in the family room and maybe some nice patio chairs and a table (though that’s definitely last on my list). We also don’t have paintings for the walls yet, and I want a big clock to hang over the hall table.. You realize how much goes into making a house a home, and when your walls are bare it actually takes away from feeling like home. Not to mention that our kitchen is all white and we have one completely bare wall that we’d like to buy a rack for and an island for more counter space. We could hang some cute pictures there too. I’m overwhelmed writing all this out and we don’t even have a huge place! 

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