A month ago, we reviewed what to do if you need to furnish your apartment in $500 or less. Today, we’ll touch on suggestions if your budget’s a little bit larger – basically under $2,000. Which, when you consider our most recent first apartment checklist, isn’t so outlandish … after all, there’s a lot of things to buy!
First off, just because you’re able to spend up to $2,000 on furniture, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to skimp – so garage sales, relatives’ castaways, and thrift shops are still in play. You’ll likely need to get one or more major items from these sources.
That said, with $2,000 you can afford to spend a little more on a few key items – and you have some more flexibility: instead of just trying to get the basics (couch, bed, table, chairs, coffee table) in the cheapest manner possible, you can actually coordinate the furniture and try to have a cohesive vibe for your new apartment. Box stores such as Target, IKEA and World Market are within play, even if you still need to shop at the lower end of their price spectrum.
How do you figure out what to splurge on, and how to have everything match? Our guest blogger Kate Holland had some tips: pick your large pieces first and design around them and use rugs and accent pillows (which can be found on the cheap) to add color and make the room pop. Places like Fab.com have deals on cheap accent pieces, as well as furniture. Some other online deal sites to consider: Gilt Home and Overstock.com.
During our Design Month, we also worked with Interior Designer Kate Marengo. She had some shopping and design tips for readers, including shopping Estate Sales and Home Decorator’s Collection. She also pointed out that if you’re going to spend major money on just one or two major pieces of furniture, they should be your couch and your bed – since you spend every night sleeping in your bed, and most likely your couch is the other piece of furniture you use the most. Kate also answered readers’ questions in two parts, if you want to see her complete breakdown. (Spoiler alert: after you get your furniture, painting can be a great way to spruce up a place.)
Our blogger Christina walked our readers through all the different, unusual types of beds, while long-time blogger Alissa has the low-down on how to negotiate mattress prices – the key takeaway being: never pay sticker price for a mattress. In fact, offer to pay half and see where that takes you. You should end up settling on 3/4 to 2/3 of the list price.
Still intimidated? Our blogger Alexandra walks readers through how she furnished her studio for under 2K, while I caution readers about renting furniture: as overwhelming as furniture shopping can be, you’re far likely to get a better product at a better price if you buy, rather than rent. Realistically, $2,000 is a reasonable budget for furnishing a small apartment well. If you the patience to spend a few weekends on it, and continue to bargain hunt, you can have a very well-appointed place within a month of moving in.