Tell me if this sounds familiar… 🙋♀️
You curl up for a relaxing night and turn on some HGTV or scroll through Pinterest to see all the beautiful homes and their designs. Wow! Look at that kitchen
Before you know it, you’re looking at your own kitchen (and living room and dining room), feeling like you need to spend 8 million dollars to redo everything to finally get your dream home.
Of course, your bank account can’t exactly afford that right now, so you come to terms with the fact that you’re never going to have that HGTV worthy dream home…
If you’ve ever been in that place before (and let’s be honest, we probably all have at one point or another), you know how easy it can be to compare your house to others or to figure out how to furnish and decorate your space when you’re on a budget.
So let me first remind you that a home is made through community and generosity, not perfect decorations.
There is beauty in the imperfections of our homes.
Community is always the goal, not perfection. (BTW, if you need to be reminded of this, make sure to check out episode #142 with Myquillin Smith, “How to Create a Welcoming Home”).
Having said that, many of us do still want to furnish and decorate our home to cultivate a beautiful space that we can raise our family in and invite others into.
So how do we do that in a way that allows us to be a good steward of our resources (AKA without spending millions of dollars on throw pillows)?
That’s what I’m digging into in this episode of SHE as I share four tips for how to furnish your home on a budget.
4 Tips to Furnish Your Home on a Budget
For those of you who don’t know, my husband and I recently moved into a new home. The house was a new build, which has a lot of advantages, but it also means that it comes with a lot of not-so-fun expenses.
We had to pay for things like a water softener, sod for the yard, shades for the windows, and a sprinkler system.
Would I rather use that money to buy a nice new dining room table or some beautiful artwork? Yes. Yes, I would.
But are those “boring” things necessary? Yes. Yes, they are.
It can be hard when you’ve got a vision for how you want your house to look, but you have to slowly prioritize and focus on the not-so-fun expenses first.
After months of living in our new house, I would say it’s about 60% to my vision of what I want it to be.
The progress is slow, but it’s allowing us to be good stewards of the resources we have.
If you’re wondering how to furnish or decorate your home on a budget, here are my top four tips:
- Prioritize. Like I explained with our new house, you have to focus on the essentials before you can focus on the aesthetic. When we moved in, we needed seating at our island. As much as I wanted to get the cute rugs and overpriced decor items, I needed to prioritize seating because I first and foremost want to see my house as a tool for ministry, community, and family. I want people to be comfortable when they come into my home. Think about functionality first. What things that are essential to using your home and inviting people over? Start with that.
- Go by order of importance. For me, I focused on getting the main living areas put together first. It’s tempting to furnish and decorate every room of the house at once (believe me, I know), but it’s best to focus on one at a time. I focused on our living and dining area first because it’s all one open space and the most used area of the house. That’s where we do the most hosting too. Next, I’m going to focus on putting together my office because that’s where I spend the second most amount of time. My bedroom will be last since others don’t really see that area. It’s also helpful to focus on getting one space finished because then if you’re trying to move into a new home or you’re working on projects around the house, you have a haven area you can enjoy – one place that feels finished even while everything else is still being sorted out.
- Use temporary pieces or old furniture while you save. Let’s be honest. Most of us can’t afford to put down a few grand (or more) on all the new furniture we want to put in our house. So it’s important to find ways you can use temporary pieces or reuse old furniture while you’re saving up for your dream furniture. You can still create beautiful and functional spaces even before you have that dream sectional. You might not have the most Pinterest-worthy living room overnight, but you will have money in your bank account and you’ll have a space where you can steward your family and community even in the middle of the imperfections. Remember to enjoy your space, even if it’s not finished how you want it yet.
- Find comparable alternatives. I don’t know about you, but I think I just have expensive tastes! When we moved into our home, it seemed like all the furniture I gravitated to was outside of or on the high end of the budget. If I purchased that expensive bed I was eyeing up, it would’ve prevented me from being able to get some other things. So I looked around and was able to find a similar bed on another site for like 30% of the price. Even if the alternative piece of furniture isn’t something you’re 100% in love with, you can always use it temporarily until you’ve saved up for what you really want. Then you can move it to another room or sell it and get some money back to use towards other furniture you’re saving for
If you’re moving into a new home or just trying to do some redecorating, and you’re working with a budget, this episode will give you some practical and actionable tips to help you steward your home and your resources.
Take a break from HGTV and tune in to learn:
- The real purpose of a home
- How to prioritize your home purchases
- Why you should focus on one room at a time
- How you can use temporary pieces to make beautiful spaces
- Ways you can save up for the furniture or decor you really want
We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments: What other tips do you have for furnishing your home on a budget?