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How to Furnish Your House and Stay Within Budget in 5 Easy Steps

October 6, 2014


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It’s easy to obtain a guide to buying furniture, but most are on specific topics like upholstered furniture, modern furniture or used furniture. Here’s a more general furniture buying guide created with a first-time homeowner in mind. Furnishing a house — and staying within budget — can be tricky, especially if you’re moving from an apartment or smaller space and don’t have much to bring with you. Here are a few steps to make the whole process simpler:

  1. Set Your Budget

    Before you do anything else, sit down and calculate how much you can afford to spend on furniture for your new home. It’s far too easy for small furnishing purchases to add up and make moving an even more expensive process than it already is, so be specific and make a personal commitment to staying within budget.

  2. Find Your Style

    Visit as many places to buy furniture as you can, just to build an idea of what you’re naturally attracted to. Don’t worry about the prices of individual pieces, since you’re not shopping yet, but do take a look to get a realistic idea of what various kinds of furniture cost.

  3. Conduct an Inventory

    The next time you visit the home of a friend whose decorating taste you admire, ask if you can take a room by room furniture inventory. You don’t need to count how many vases are on the mantel, but take note of all the major furniture pieces. Using a spreadsheet, list all the furniture you’d like to buy in order of importance, with the most functional pieces at the top and purely decorative touches at the bottom.

  4. Shop in Rounds

    Once you’ve created your inventory and prioritized it, take several shopping trips a few days or even weeks apart. Instead of visiting a dining room furniture store and buying everything all at once, pick out the most important pieces for each room (living room couch, dining room table, bed frame, etc.) first. This will allow you to adjust your budget based on the biggest items; if you want to spend a little more for high quality furniture, you can simply cut smaller items off the bottom of your list, and if you get great deals on essential furniture pieces, you’ll know you have a little extra to spend on details. This phase is when a specialized guide to buying furniture of various types can be most useful.

  5. Settle In

    Resist the urge to fill up your entire space immediately. Once you’ve filled in the vital pieces, live with them for a while to see what more you really need. By buying pieces over time, you’ll both keep yourself from overspending and have the opportunity to create a unique style with furniture selected and combined over the years.

Do you have any tips on buying furniture or a specific guide to buying furniture to recommend? Share in the comments.

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