Written by Annastasia Liu
Friday, December 21st, 2018
When my husband and I purchased a pre-construction home in January 2016, I was looking forward to all the additional space we'd have. Here are some tips I learned in the process of furnishing our home, how much we budgeted and how much we actually ended up spending.
Tips for Furnishing Your New Home
- Give yourself time to shop around. One of the benefits of buying pre-construction is we had a lot of time to think about how we wanted to decorate. Our house was set to be completed in January 2018 but ended up being delayed until August 2018. In the time leading up to getting our home, I subscribed to newsletters from my favourite furniture stores and used the Flipp app to keep an eye on prices and possible deals. When we started seriously looking at furniture and appliances around December 2017, I had a better idea of what I wanted and how much I was willing to spend.
- Sell your old furniture to help finance your new purchases. We made use of social media and sites like Kijiji to sell furniture we didn't want to take to our new place. The money we made selling our old items went towards new pieces of furniture we wanted.
- Don't rule out secondhand items or floor/display models. While in the process of posting our own items for sale online, I came across quite a few good deals. Most of the furniture stores we visited had deals on floor or display models. You may notice a few dings or nicks, but the cost savings may be worth it if the item is still in good condition.
- Measure twice, buy once. Make sure you know exactly how much space you're working with so you can make a purchase and not have to worry about it potentially fitting in your space. And don't forget to measure your doorways and hallways, because a tight fit can result in damage to your walls. We carried a tape measure whenever we were shopping for furniture. When in doubt, make sure there's a return policy in case you need to bring back an item that doesn't fit.
- Make a list of what you'll need right away and what can wait. It can be really tempting to buy everything brand new, but it's not necessarily the most cost-effective plan. Making a list helped us clearly identify what we had, what we needed, and what we could wait to purchase. It also helped us keep impulsive spending in check. On our "need" list, we had a bedroom set, washer, dryer, and couch. On our "wait" list, we had kitchen stools, a dining room table, a rug and a TV.
Here's How We Budgeted and What We Ended Up Spending:
Washer & Dryer
Actual Spend: $1,969.52
We wanted to get a dependable washer and dryer set large enough to accommodate a full load of laundry. We were open to a good deal as long as it was a reliable or recognizable brand. We found our washer and dryer set on sale about two months before we were scheduled to move. Thankfully, the store we purchased from was able to hold the items for us and delivered them when we took possession of our home. With appliances, it's always good to check if a particular model or brand has had any recent recalls before you make a purchase.
Actual Spend: $563.87 (Bed frame) + $233.91 (Nightstands) = $797.78
We decided to keep most of our existing bedroom furniture, which was still in good condition, and just opted to get a new bed frame and two nightstands. We found two nightstands for a decent price and bought fancy drawer pulls to make them look more unique and personalized. The money we didn't put towards a new bedroom set was re-purposed for things on our "wait" list instead.
Actual Spend: $1,806.87
We went totally over budget when it came to the couch. We started out looking for a couch within our budget, but we weren't impressed with our options and didn't feel like this was something we could sacrifice on. To put things in perspective, our previous couch was a hand-me-down from my in-laws from 1987—we were due for an upgrade. After a lot of deliberation, we decided to spend a bit more on a nice sectional sofa that we had been looking at for over a year.
Everyone has different needs when it comes to furnishing their home. By making a list of priorities, you might be able to find areas where you can save, which will allow you to spend a little more on the things you really want.