There are plenty of places you can find furniture that won’t blow the budget. Here are a few of the most popular options.
Car boots and charity shops: You never know what gems will turn up at a car boot or tucked away in a charity shop. Some charities, including Sue Ryder and British Heart Foundation, have shops dedicated solely to furniture.
Friends and family: Many people have a loft or garage full of old furniture that they don’t want anymore, so why not be a bit cheeky and ask if you can have it? It might not be to your taste, but a lick of paint can totally transform a battered old wardrobe and a nice throw can disguise even the most dubiously patterned armchairs. If anyone you know is planning on redecorating a room, ask if you can buy any bits they decide they’re not going to use.
Freecycle: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure and there are some great items up for grabs for free on sites like Freecycle. All you have to do is collect them.
Gumtree and eBay: You may have to pay for stuff on these second-hand selling sites but it’s usually a lot less than you would buying new. Gumtree is particularly good for buying furniture as it’s easy to filter by location and find items you can pick up rather than paying a hefty delivery fee.
Ikea: Ikea is great for flat pack basics that don’t cost the earth. We bet there aren’t many first-time buyers who don’t have a piece from the Malm range somewhere in their home. If you don’t want your property to look the same as everyone else’s, you can transform your furniture into unique pieces with a pot of chalk paint, decoupage, stencils or new fabric covers. For more ideas on customising furniture, try the Apartment Therapy blog.
Supermarkets: You can now pick up a sofa or bedside table at Tesco or Asda while you’re doing your weekly shop. Supermarkets tend to issue new collections regularly so there’s often a chance to pick up end-of-range bargains.