The cost of furnishing a home is a huge cost. If you have just bought your new home and have spent thousands of pounds on legal and conveyancing costs, furnishing a home is the next big cost, as well as paying the mortgage and bills every month. However, if you are smart about looking for furniture, here are a few tips to furnish your home at a fraction of the cost.
Using recycled furniture not only helps your bank balance, it also helps the environment. Ask your family and friends if they have any spare furniture that they don’t need and see what offers you get. Large and essential pieces of furniture such as sofas, beds, wardrobes and dining tables and chairs can be very costly, so if friends and family can help out with any of these items, this will save you a significant cost. You can also post adverts in your local shops asking for any unwanted pieces of furniture.
Upcycling furniture is becoming a popular trend and helps the environment too. Upcycling is when an unwanted item is transformed into something that looks good and is useful. Upcycling is an ideal way to transform old furniture. Old sofas can be re-upholstered and wooden chairs, tables , drawers and wardrobes can be stripped and painted in a trendy, cool colour such as grey, French blue or a cream colour. Spruce up a bed by adding velvet material and luxurious trimmings to the headboard. Repaint old wooden boxes as occasional tables and paint or stencil coffee tables. Make lampshades more luxurious by adding braids and trimmings from a haberdashery store.
There are many places to buy second-hand furniture and household items including boot fairs, yard sales, second-hand furniture shops and second-hand sales websites. Look for specific pieces and be imaginative as to how you can upcycle and transform furniture. There are also websites, such as Freecycle, that advertise locally recycled items including furniture, and it doesn’t cost you anything. Sign up to these websites and also post what you are looking for and see what offers you get.
Charity shops are now expanding into furniture, electrical and household sales and more charities are opening furniture showrooms full of good quality, second-hand goods that are donated by the public. Charities such as the British Heart Foundation and the Red Cross offer many household items at bargain prices and they also offer guarantees for peace of mind. Not only will you be saving money, but your money will be going to a good cause.
Auctions are another great source to find bargains, you can find a local one near to you. Very often you will be able to pick up good quality pieces of furniture and household items for a fraction of the cost. It is important to be objective and set a budget for each lot you are bidding for and not get too carried away whilst the bidding is taking place.
Homemade Soft Furnishings
Traditional crafts such as quilting, knitting, creating rag rugs, embroidery and sewing are making a big comeback. You can make a range of soft furnishings using appealing materials, including recycled material, at a fraction of the cost. If you need to furnish a whole home on a budget, it may be worth doing a course and learning properly, the investment in the course will save you hundreds of pounds in the long-term. You may also have a relative or friend who is good at sewing and can make curtains, bedding and cushions, so ask around and see who can lend their skills to good use for your home.
About the author: Sonya is a writer for What House?, an online property portal specialising in new homes in the UK. She also advises on property for sale and mortgages.