If you’ve just bought a house, cracked open a bottle of bubbly and invited mates around to celebrate, we’re guessing your cash flow isn’t what it used to be.
Despite this, you still want to deck out your new digs in a fashion that reflects your sophistication and style. The good news is that there are plenty of affordable options that look a million bucks. This includes new designs, awesome replicas of iconic pieces, second-hand finds and DIY stunners.
So, you might be on a shoestring budget but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to use shoelaces to hang your laundry. In fact, cheap furniture is easy to find if you’re looking in the right places. Below are a few of our favourite spots to nab cheap furniture that should assist any magnificent bastard going through a frugal time.
Mix & Match
The most fundamental part of interior design on a budget is to splurge on a couple of quality statement pieces if you can. For example, the couch or the bed. Mix and match those expensive items with cheaper department store finds to save crucial dollars whilst keeping the man cave polished.
Focus On Finishes
Crisp, clean finishes will bring your interiors together seamlessly. Plus, things like paint and flooring can be picked up cheap. If you lay flooring or paint/wallpaper the walls yourself, expenditure is even lower and you can save your pennies for more important stuff. Likewise, you can save by re-upholstering existing furniture or family heirlooms to match the theme of your home.
Smaller Items & Affordable Accessories
The word ‘IKEA’ strikes fear into the manliest of men who demand the best. But consider the Swedish mega-chain when shopping for small items like storage, handles, knobs and faucets. IKEA has a huge range of easy-to-install accessories that will save you a heap of cash for bigger ticket items. For example, different handles can give a mediocre chest of draws an instant facelift with a dose of masculinity where needed.
Don’t Fear Second-Hand
Some people look down on second-hand goods, but antiques are hot property now. Especially the stuff that is no longer in production. When incorporated into the home correctly, they look more expensive than newer cookie-cutter pieces.
Enlist Multi-Use Items
If you’re going to buy new, try to find multi-purpose items like couches with hidden storage or sofa beds. Glicks Furniture is the online replica king, so browse their website for inspiration and bargains on large multi-use items such as couches and dining tables which will give your home the designer feel without the designer price tag.
With a little patience and some free weekends, you can get lucky at auctions like Raffan Kelaher & Thomas (auctions run weekly).
Inject personality into your new home with carefully chosen artwork. Rather than dropping serious bank on an original, support local artists by shopping at arts and crafts markets. Alternatively, create something more individual, and cheaper, but become the artist. Make something yourself or utilise printable art from the Net. In the latter’s case, as long as you have a printer and a pair of scissors you’ll be able to create high-impact art for next to nothing. Add drama with smart framing. Choose oversized framing and mounting for maximum effect.
Go big or go home. Rugs are an essential element to any home: the bigger they are, the more spacious your new home will feel. Rugs add warmth and texture to interior design, but most often come at a high cost.
IKEA and similar department stores have good quality rugs that will last longer than you expect, and definitely until you can afford something more extravagant. Another option is to sew multiple smaller rugs together (mum will probably need to be employed for this task).
Fridges, washers & dryers, dishwashers and all those electronic must-haves can take a serious chunk out of your interior design budget. Save money and shop smart with retailers who offer discounts for whitegoods with minor scuff marks. With careful vetting, Gumtree is another fabulous resource for heavy-duty appliances. You’d be surprised what some people want to get rid of.