Furnishing Your First Home on a Budget

Moving into your first home is both exciting and stressful. One of your first jobs will be to head out and buy your furniture, which can be expensive and time consuming if not properly planned for. Drawing up a list and a budget will help you to get clear on what you actually need and prevent you from overspending. Here are some tips that cover the absolute basics when furnishing your first home.

Furniture for your Living Room

A living room wouldn’t be a living room without a sofa or a few chairs. Whilst the seating will be the main feature of your living room, there’s no need to splash out a fortune. A corner sofa can be very cost effective, as well as providing plenty of room for yourselves and guests. Seating up to six people, these are an increasingly popular option. If space is a worry, then a two-seater and a couple of beanbags are a great alternative.

Side tables, coffee tables, and console tables add much-needed surfaces and storage space to your living room and are really handy for holding a number of items from cups and remotes to table lamps and your TV. Purchasing flat-packed items that you build yourself tend to be a lot cheaper than solid pieces that don’t require assembly, so get your tool set out and practice your ‘righty-tighty, lefty-loosey’.

If your living room is still feeling a little empty, cube units offer cheap, versatile storage space and will help to add a homely touch. Ideal for displaying ornaments, books, or DVDs, or pairing with some cube-shaped storage boxes for other bits-and-bobs, these units are a great addition to your living room.

Kitchen and Dining Room

Unlike the living room and bedrooms, kitchens can still work for you without any furniture, especially if you have limited space. Adding a dining table and chairs is great for meal times, doubling as a desk for work or study, and entertaining guests. You may be lucky enough to have space for a large table, but if not, there are still plenty of alternatives that can fold down and neatly tuck away. If you have a breakfast bar, then you can save money on a table and transform this part of your work surface instead with some bar stools.

For those with a separate dining room, extending tables are great for accommodating extra people without having to compromise on space when your guests have left. It’s often cheaper to buy chairs as part of the set, but if you need to add additional seating then you can always mix and match your designs for cheaper chairs - a quirky look that saves cash. Leather is easier to clean than fabric and could be better suited to those with young children or pets. Wooden chairs add a traditional feel to a room, whilst chrome or metal chairs add a contemporary touch.

Furniture for your Bedroom

It goes without saying that bedrooms need a bed, so make sure you choose one that’s big enough for both the space and yourself! Beds generally come in three sizes - single, double and kingsize - with a variety of styles available. Metal beds can be both traditional and contemporary, depending on the type of metalwork used. Leather beds are large and tend to dominate a room, whereas wooden beds add a warmer and more rustic tone. Divan beds make a great choice if you’re yet to decide on a style or theme for your room as they come without a headboard or footboard, meaning you can customise your bedroom without having to re-purchase the entire bed to suit the new look.

Next you’ll need to purchase a mattress. Sleep is extremely important to both our mental and physical wellbeing and you’ll be spending a lot of time on it, so this is a big investment. Make sure you pick the right one by reading our handy guide.

Bedroom storage is next on the list. Bedside tables complete the look of a room, adding a pleasing symmetry when placed either side of your bed. They can be used for your bedside lamps as well as books and other knick knacks. If your budget can’t stretch that far, search for creative alternatives that serve the same purpose, like a couple of apple crates on their side.

For your main storage, chests of drawers and wardrobes are an essential. If you don’t have a built-in wardrobe, save both money and floor space by combining the two and opting for a wardrobe with built-in drawers or shelving. These tend to be the larger 3 or 4 door wardrobes or sliding door versions and offer ample, varied storage space for all your clothes, accessories, and even bedding, blankets, and towels. If you have high ceilings, top boxes add much needed space above your wardrobe, saving you valuable floor space. If you have the space and prefer the aesthetic of a set of drawers, then purchasing the two as part of a bedroom set is a clever way to shed some pounds off the price.

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