Everyone has a dream home. The right location, the right layout, the right colors, and the perfect interior décor.
But having the perfect home is pricey—even after you’ve purchased the property.
Once you have a place to call your own, you have to fill it, and preferably not with the same shabby furniture you made due with in college.
Even if you’re long past the point of biting the bullet and buying a home’s worth of furniture, you might be ready for a remodel.
After all, times change, and so do you. Furniture becomes outdated, or you repaint and it no longer matches, or it just gets worn down.
But how can you afford the interior of your dream home without breaking the bank?
It’s actually pretty simple, and it can be a fun process. You just have to be willing to take on a new skill!
Whatever your dream home is—whether it’s remodeling the interior of the home you have, or decorating your new home for the first time—it undoubtedly comes with a huge price tag.
You need a kitchen table and chairs, bar stools, couches, armchairs, bookshelves, a coffee table, an entertainment center, a dining room set, bedframes, dressers…I could go on.
Simply put, having a home is way more expensive than just the price of the house itself. In fact, some people end up spending almost as much on furniture as they do on the actual house!
That might sound hard to believe, but when you think about the amount of furniture you need to fill up a life, and then think about how much individual items cost, you can start to see where the dollars are going.
These days, a nice couch can go for $5,000 or more, and even a discount option from Ikea (which won’t be uncomfortable and won’t stand the test of time) will cost you at least $1,000.
If you start doing the math on that, it might make you clutch your wallet a little tighter!
A lot of people solve this problem by buying discount or avoiding furniture costs all together by making do with hand-me-downs and bargain priced options that they don’t actually like.
But having a home is supposed to mean that you have a place that is completely your own. It shouldn’t be filled with second rate furniture or mis-matched hand-me-downs.
So how are you supposed to have your dream home without spending a fortune?
Easy. Turn it into an art project.
A lot of people assume that altering furniture is a complicated process. They think that the skill set necessary to refinish furniture or sand it down is beyond their capabilities.
But we know better, right?
If you didn’t know it before, you do now! Because fixing up old furniture is actually very simple, and the tools and supplies necessary to do so are often tailored to customers just like you, who are smart savers looking to get their money’s worth out of their belongings.
If you are in the process of buying furniture for a home, don’t shop full priced, and definitely don’t buy cheap things—they don’t last, and they end up costing you more in the long run!
The best thing to do is shop for antiques. Try local thrift and antique shops—you’d be amazed by some of the treasures you can find at unbelievably cheap prices.
Now, a lot of people figure this out for themselves, but then they simply place all their purchases together and call it eclectic, when really, it’s just kind of a mess.
Second-hand furniture is often incredible quality, but it also might be a bit rough around the edges, and you certainly won’t be able to find cohesive colors for all your new pieces.
But that’s where your new skill comes in!
Now, they key to making used furniture come together as a cohesive home is by finding an element that matches between everything. This can be the style or the color, and since it’s hard to find lots of used furniture in the same style, color is usually the easiest way to go.
Plus, changing the color of your furniture, whether its newly bought antiques or just your own furniture and you want a change, can make a HUGE difference in the appearance of your home.
Simply going from a light stain to a dark on wood furnishings can add a whole new element of class and comfort to your home. And you can do it yourself virtually free!
All you need is a sander, the stain of your choosing, and some polyurethane.
Like I said, these items usually have easy to follow instructions for customers just like you, and if you have any trouble, workers at stores like Home Depot or Lowes are usually more than happy to help, and even demonstrate for you.
If you commit to simply refinishing furniture rather than replacing it, you can save thousands, and in the end you will have even more love for your home, because its appearance is thanks to your hard work.
In addition to staining and fixing up the color of furniture, you can make little changes that make a huge difference too!
Adding updated knobs to drawers and cabinets can completely change the way a piece looks, and if you grow sick of your couch cushions or the color of the couch itself, you can stain the fabric or recover the cushions easily.
In my own home, I learned to crochet from an easy online instruction manual and used the skill to cover a bunch of ugly yellow pillows with a nice classic white. The end result looked expensive and luxurious—but it only cost me $20 for the string, and it only took me one weekend of work!
The point is, you can have a detailed, luxurious home that is everything that you ever dreamed, and you can do it without a lot of spending.
You don’t have to replace your furniture as it ages, and you don’t have to buy new furniture—you can make it everything that you want it to be with a few easy, cost effective steps!