I’m a penny pincher. Never in a million years did I think I would end up this way, but somewhere along the road, the frugality bug hit me. When you’re a stay at home mom and making the budget work with a youth pastor’s salary, you gotta learn to be frugal folks. Honestly I don’t mind it either. Fixing up used items and making hand-me-downs work has actually become a beloved hobby of mine. Sure I may have mismatched furniture while in the process, but it’s fun looking around the home and seeing a house full of items that we put love into creating that cost us next to nothing. I love seeing dollar signs that I didn’t spend. My entire house, and I mean entire, is fully furnished with used items. We have NOTHING new in the house. Most of these items are cast offs when others want to upgrade their furniture. Basically, we gladly take people’s reject furniture. Only a couple of items we actually bought, and they were dirt cheap. So let’s look around shall we.
Navy couch and love seat given to us by friends that got an upgrade from their parents. Pillows made by me, and the artwork is leftover fabric scraps that I framed with dollar frames.
End tables: given to us by someone who found them at a yard sale. I painted them and added new hardware. Total cost: Maybe $10
Here’s the before picture.
Tv stand: a dresser from my parents’ old house. It’s a little darker in real life.
Dining set: from my parents’ house (currently in the process of refinishing). The table is the only thing I have finished.
My old bedroom suit from my childhood. Still in excellent condition.
And just because I like to “keep it real” here is the other side of our room. It’s our pile of junk that we are collecting to have a yard sale. :O
Bed: my college bed
Dresser: from a friend (can’t remember if she gave it to me or if I bought it) painted it and spray painted hardware. Again, maybe $10 to refinish because I had the paint. I don’t have a before picture, but it was peeling particle board and a honey oak finish with brass knobs.
End table: An old one from Ken’s childhood (painted it and added decal)
Before: This isn’t the exact one but it looked just like this except the legs were different.
Dresser: Craigslist for $20
Bed: been in the house for ages. When we move him to a bed elevated off the floor, I’m going to use an old bed that my husband slept on as a kid. Yes it’s still in the basement.
Porch/Playroom/Office: aka junk room
Daybed: my first childhood bed. Yes the duvet is horribly stained and looks wrinkled and awful. This is the playroom, folks. It ain’t always pretty. We use this as our “couch”.
Tv stand: a piece from the master bedroom set that I moved out here. **Hello dirty finger prints on tv screen. Everyone wave hello to my reflection** Ha!
Rocker: a gift from Ken’s family wen Bailey was born. Yes, it is horribly stained. No I didn’t wash it before I took the picture. The good news is that it does wash up good as new when I actually get around to it.
Desk: Ken’s dad’s before he died. Unfortunately this is a catch-all right now. Yes, that is a bunch of junk underneath it. You should see inside. 😀
Sewing table: An old garden table that is pitiful. It was in the shed. My hubby has plans to make me a fancy sewing table but it has yet to be done.
Toy storage: Given to us
There ya have it. Every single piece of furniture that we own. It’s certainly not fancy, but we aren’t really fancy people, so it’s great for us. My point in all of this is if you are looking to furnish a home on the cheap, make do with what you have/can get. If you can’t afford brand new leather couches, don’t buy them! Settle for some decent used or free ones until you save up enough for the nice leather ones.
Another tip is to be content while in the process. I’ve lived with blue plaid couches with pea green carpet, a teeny tiny kitchen table, broken furniture, and mismatched furniture. We just take what we can get, make it look as nice as possible, and wait until an upgrade shows up. Frugality sometimes means living with the less than desirable, and we’re ok with that.
Also, don’t be afraid to take a free piece of ugly furniture. Paint covers a multitude of sins. I’ve painted and spray painted many items over the years, and I’ve never regretted any of them. I like dark wood and white painted wood, so that’s what I use, but don’t be afraid to go bold and use bright colors to paint furniture for a pop of color. If you are willing to use a little creativity and live with the imperfect, it is absolutely possible to furnish an entire house for next to nothing. Ask around, scour Craigslist, search freecycle, and shop thrift stores. Take others’ junk and make it beautiful!