If you’re looking to furnish an entire home on a budget, start searching eBay, Gumtree, garage sales, charity shops, antique stores, and Facebook Buy/Sell/swap groups for your new furniture.
With some help from Luxo Living, we've compiled our top 10 tips.
Do some research on interior styles and decide what you’re aiming for. Do you want a home that looks Scandinavian, minimalist, retro, industrial, art-deco, Hamptons or glam in style? Once you know what style you’re going for, research the kind of furniture that is typical to that ‘look’.
2. Rank your to-buy list and start from the top
Once you have the 'look' nailed down, make a list. Keep track of the materials and colours that are typical to the 'look' so you don't veer from the plan. Ranking each item in order of priority and then writing a rough budget for each piece is a great way to keep your focus on the vision and prevent yourself from blowing the budget.
3. Start with the big pieces first
Once you have your list and you've ranked every piece by importance, it's likely the bigger items are sitting at the top. Couch, bed, fridge, these are all non-negotiables for a home, so why not get them over with first. Since the bigger items attract the most attention, this is also a good opportunity to create the 'look' of your home.
4. Buy multi-functional furniture
If you're not only tight on budget but tight on space too, then multi-functional pieces are a lifesaver. Items like sofa beds can be used for your living room couch and transition easily into a bed for guests at night. Or more decorative items like this velvet ottoman from Luxo Living can be the centrepiece to a room but can also be used for storage inside and on top.
5. Compare online
Check your local Gumtree and eBay listings for similar furniture to what you've found online. Search garage sales, antiques stores and charity shops, and don’t be afraid to attend an auction or two, as you can usually nab yourself some high-quality furniture and bargain prices at an auction house.
6. Be open-minded
Just remember that although you have a set idea of the furniture you are looking for, you might come across a piece of furniture that could be worked into the ‘look’ if you give it a little love. While shopping for your furniture, think about if you could make it work by giving it a fresh coat of paint, simply sanding it back to its natural state or re-staining or reupholstering it.
7. Use your imagination
Although you might be looking for some shelves, perhaps an old timber ladder with deep steps could be the answer? An old desk can be transformed into a dresser by mounting a vintage mirror on the wall above it, or a heavy chest could double as a bench seat. Spend some time scrolling Pinterest to get ideas on how vintage furniture and knick-knacks can be repurposed in new homes.
8. Do a quality check
Check the item for high-quality materials such as leather, linen, wool and cotton. Check for strong stitching or pulling seams and turn the furniture upside down. Good quality furniture should look as good from the bottom as it does from the top, so steer clear of items with fraying upholstery, roughly-cut screws or unpainted areas.
9. Get in quick
Once you come across something online, contact the seller to arrange an inspection immediately. Second-hand gems at great prices go quickly, and only the early bird gets the worm. Keep this in mind when visiting second-hand stores, too. Just because it’s here today doesn’t mean it’ll be there tomorrow.
10. Don’t give up
It’s pretty rare that even the most seasoned vintage-shopper comes across the exact thing they’re looking for on their first trip into the auction house or charity shop. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find what you’re looking for straight away, try and try again!