Several times I’ve posted about redesigning your home on a budget, but if you’ve missed out or need a refresher, here’s a simple rundown of all the basic things you need to remember if you want to remodel your home for less.
Furnish Your Home For Less
Starting out with a “blank slate” can be both a blessing and a curse. The blessing comes if you have enough money to furnish your home with whatever you want from wherever you choose. Furnishing a home on a shoestring, though, takes creativity, an eye for a good value, and possibly some elbow grease.
While some discount stores, such as Ikea, sell inexpensive new furnishings, careful shoppers can find better quality for less money with used furnishings.
Whether you are furnishing one room or a whole house, it’s important to have an idea of how you want the room to look before you go shopping. Once you have the design in mind, it’s easier to shop for the components.
Model homes in new home communities are great places to get decorating ideas. These homes are carefully decorated to appeal to a broad range of homebuyers’ emotions. Color schemes, accessories, and furniture choice and placement all play to the shopper’s emotions. Interior design and decorating websites may also be good sources of inspiration.
Used is Good
One of the hardest things to learn is how to look beyond the obvious wear and tear to the actual “bones” of used furniture. Look beyond the fact that the upholstery is ratty or the legs are scuffed – look at style.
If you like the lines of the coffee table, buy it. Scratches and dings are easy to fix. Hate the ugly green upholstery on the otherwise perfect Chesterfield-style sofa? Buy it. Have it recovered in a yummy fabric of your choice. Once you’ve mastered the technique of not judging furniture by its cover, it’s time to go shopping.
Salvation Army, Goodwill, Deseret Industries (in the western U.S.) and hospital auxiliary thrift stores are sources of deeply discounted used household items. Finding something decent is a bit challenging, but once in a while you’ll find just the piece you’ve been searching for, so don’t disregard these sources.
Craigslist is the best online site for inexpensive home furnishings – mainly because it’s local. The first place to navigate once you arrive on your local Craigslist page is the “For Sale” section, where you’ll find a link named “Free.” Everybody loves free, right? Within this category you’ll see ads that are headlined: “Curb Alert.” These ads contain free items that the owners place at their curb, available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Directly beneath the “Free” section is a link to the furniture section. Here you can find everything from new furniture to gently used designer pieces and ratty junk. Craigslist gives you the opportunity to search by owner or by dealer and to use keywords, which saves you from having to scroll through hundreds of ads for headboards when you’re looking for a dining room table. You may also want to peruse the “Household” and “Antique” sections, also located under “For Sale.”
Another website where you can search for furniture is eBay. You can find some bargains here, but keep in mind that shipping charges may just destroy any savings you realize on the items themselves. Etsy is an interesting website for perusing handmade items, such as artwork, containers, planters and pillows suitable for accessorizing.
Shopping frugally allows you to make big, dramatic changes to your home décor without breaking the bank.
To read more, check out the rest of the article on my Market Insider here.
Have a great weekend, everyone!