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7 ways to save money furnishing a living room

Izelle du Pisanie Izelle du Pisanie
Modern living room by homify Modern
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The living room is a very special room in the house. It is a place to unwind or socialise. Some days it can be an escape to solitude while on others it can transform into the scene of a lively party. Because of its versatility and prominence as central space in the house, furnishing the living room is an important exercise. As we all know, this can also be a very expensive exercise, but there is no need to fear! With strategic planning and patience a beautiful, personalised living room does not have to break the bank. 

Whether starting out in a new home or wanting to bring new life into an established living room, these tips are great for saving money without having to hinder style.

Know thyself

When planning to furnish a living room—and especially wanting to do so as inexpensively as possible—it is pivotal to have an idea of what the end product will look like. Naturally this will be customised according to personal preference. It will be very beneficial to take some time out and think about what your personal style is when it comes to interior design. This will include thinking about what colours, types of furniture, lighting and accessories you like most. What better way to do that than to look at the myriad ideabooks, projects and pictures at your disposal on homify! This will provide the opportunity to see many different styles and figure out your own. 

Keeping this defined style in mind, a colour palette for the room as well as a floor plan for the furniture and other objects can be drawn up. This is invaluable planning for the rest of the project.

Budget basics

Once the style is determined and specifics such as a draft floor plan and the colour scheme of the room are set down, the next (and tremendously important!) step is to compile a budget for the project. This should never be overseen or undervalued. A good budget will ensure that the minimum money is spent to obtain the optimal desired results. It is crucial to get this done before buying anything, since it will guide spending and safeguard enough money for all of the items desired. There is no way to save money if you don't even know how much you'll be spending!

When drafting said budget, is useful to measure the dimensions that are to be furnished, and so be aware of the relative amount of pieces required. A well-planned budget will so not only limit spending but also avoid furnishing beyond the capacity of the room. 

A good foundation

Now we get to the fun part! It can be very exciting to start looking at potential furniture items for the room in mind, but it can be just as intimidating to have to sift through thousands of options and find just the right one. 

When starting out, however, it is best to find some crucial furnishing items that will be absolutely necessary and functional in the living room, and then work up from there. When working with a tight budget, it is advisable to get few core pieces of furniture that will fulfil the basic, practical needs of the space and can be more permanent. A good sofa is always a sensible choice, especially if it is of neutral colour, unadorned, and in a classic style. As trends and style changes, the sofa can be re-upholstered, scatter cushions can be added and it can be moved around as desired. Basic items like this will form the foundation of the living room and won't hurt the wallet too much when starting out.

Cheaper by the dozen

scandinavian  by homify, Scandinavian

Schnuffle Pouffe with Knitted top


Another very important aspect to consider in furnishing a living room is the size of the family that will be occupying it. It goes without saying that a home's living room should be able to comfortably accommodate all of its occupants at any one time. This might get costly where more family members are involved, but fortunately, there are clever ways to compensate for this. Instead of getting large pieces of furniture to ensure seats for all the residents, why not rather get a few multi-purpose items that are far cheaper? Ottomans are a great example of these money-savers. They are inexpensive, can be moved around easily, can be easily re-upholstered, and can function either as seats of footrests. It will also minimise the imposition of objects in the room and make it feel more spacious. 

Doing research

country  by The Cotswold Company, Country
The Cotswold Company

Lundy Stone Grey 2 Drawer Coffee Table

The Cotswold Company

As mentioned before, furniture-hunting can be a daunting process. It can take up much time and be counter-productive. Most people give up hope of finding what they want and settle for whatever they find next. This can be very detrimental to any plans of saving money, as there might be similar or even better options available which are much more economical.

Checking prices is an essential part of the furnishing process as it may save time, money and effort. Online is the best place to do so, since various different companies and sellers can be compared effortlessly. It is important to factor in delivery costs were relevant, as it can make a big difference to the final expenditure.

To the market

REVESTIMIENTOS DE CEMENTO Modern living room by Bara Modern



Flea markets and sales cannot be overlooked in low-cost furnishing projects. There might be a lot of apprehension regarding this option, as the quality of the product is not always assured. It may also be very time-consuming visiting various different sales and markets to find just the right item. This is where good planning makes its reappearance. If you know exactly what you are looking for, it will be easier to brave the ocean of stalls and zone in on what is relevant. 

Smaller or decorative items are also ideal candidates to be found at flea markets. Scatter cushions, side tables, and different accessories can be cheaply obtained from markets without the necessity to last forever. This is a great way to personalise the room without spending way too much on items which may be out of favour within a few months. 

Holding out

Buying option are innumerable. There are endless stores and many professionals from which to sources the required items. Fortunately, the research has already been done by this time and prices have been checked. Now the dilemma is just deciding on the best suited item in the given price range. This process has already narrowed-down choice to a good extent, but the right coffee table might still be elusive.  

It is a good idea to shop with friends and get the opinions of those with noted good taste. However, if it just doesn't feel right, there is no need to rush. It is worth the wait to make due with less for a few weeks until the perfect piece makes its appearance. This is especially relevant in looking for quality furnishings and not having to change it every several months. 

If this ideabook inspired you to change things up in the living room, take a look at a few more living room ideas

What do you think is the most effective way to save money furnishing a living room?
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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