Whether you have recently moved into your first property, or are looking to spruce up your exisitng decor, you may be hoping to find a way to furnish your household on a budget. Luckily, there are many ways to save more than just pennies when it comes to buying new furniture. Here we have put together some top tips to help you furnish your home at a fraction of the cost.
Stagger your purchases
Avoid schemes that allow you to pay for an item in weekly instalments. “These usually end up costing you more. Interest-free deals on items such as sofas can be good, but you should check the terms you’re agreeing to and ensure you’ve cleared the balance before the 0 per cent period ends,” Francis says. Sometimes it’s worth haggling over the inclusion of extras, such as free delivery, an extended warranty, or Scotchguard protection on a sofa.
There are small, inexpensive things you can do to make your place feel more homely — canisters of spray paint for brightening up kitchen cabinets or old pieces of furniture can be bought for less than £10 from most DIY stores.
Look for online deals
Some retailers sell older stock on eBay, Gumtree and Amazon. Furniture discount outlets such as Innes allow you to buy discontinued or returned stock at rock-bottom prices; most don’t include delivery, though. Other good websites for finding cheap but chic pieces are Made.com and Wayfair.com, while Preloved is a useful app for sourcing second-hand furniture.
If you’re searching for something specific, check whether there are online-only deals available. Bed-in-a-box mattresses, for instance, can be bought only online and often for kinder prices than the options in stores; the retailer is cut out and the items are delivered direct to your door. The downside is that you can’t try them in a showroom, but Which?, the consumer group, says that many brands will include a sleep trial period and the promise of a refund.
Bag bargains at auctions
If you’re sick of flat-pack furniture, look at what auction houses have to offer; often you can find unique pieces without absurd price tags. For instance, Cheffins, the auction house, holds monthly interiors sales, with rugs, antiques and furniture rarely exceeding £200.
“You can pick up everything from farmhouse tables and smart wardrobes to sofas and Persian rugs at prices significantly lower than in a typical furniture shop,” says Luke Macdonald, a director at Cheffins. “We regularly see three-seat sofas selling for about £150 or mahogany chests of drawers selling for £80. Kilim rugs can sell for about £50.” Who says style can’t come cheap?
Ercol tables and sideboards, or original pieces from Liberty or Heal’s from the 1960s and 1970s, will often come up during house clearances, Macdonald says. “Not only can these pieces be bought at a bargain price, but they can also sometimes appreciate in value.”
Experts at Fellows, the auctioneer, say that a simple dining table from a middle-market shop will cost anything from £300, on top of which you have to buy the chairs, which could be as much as £100 a piece — yet it’s possible to pick up a full dining set for less than £100 at auctions. You can also find items such as porcelain plates, cutlery sets and boxes of vintage prints for about £50.
Overall, it seems that from auctions to the internet, there is almost always an amazing deal waiting just around the corner. Not only that, but if you can be patient and flexible, you are extremely likely to find yourself a fantastic bargain you will fall in love with!