TRES CHIC: MOVING OUT ON A BUDGET
It is always best to start right from the very basics: a good bed, sofa, dining table and whitegoods are absolute necessities and will last you for years to come so if you’re putting your money into anything, this is where to invest. For this fact it is worth doing a bit of leg work to ensure that you’re getting good value for money.
When it comes to furniture the key tips to look for are a quality make and classic design. To narrow things down before you head out into the very daunting world of furniture retail first look for inspiration in magazines, Pinterest and Instagram for the style of interiors that you like. Take note of the furniture designs appearing in your most liked pics and use these to guide your choices in store. A trip to Ikea is definitely on the cards here but other furniture chains can have just as much potential. One thing to be wary of when purchasing furniture that is often forgotten is that lead times can sometimes take up to 12 weeks so try to pre-plan these purchases as far ahead of time as possible.
Another quicker and cheaper option is going second hand with these pieces. It requires a savvy eye and often sheer good timing but often places like Gumtree and Ebay have some near new items at a fraction of the cost. Whichever avenue you chose to locate these pieces, always look for neutral colours in quality materials- beige, charcoal and whites never date and can always be layered upon when you decide to mix up your look. You may be tempted to invest in that lush velvet sofa but perhaps opt for the safer (read: cheaper!) white linen option and add in the velvet with more budget friendly cushions and throws.
FURNITURE PHASE TWO
So you’ve probably found phase 1 a bit tedious… not to worry the fun part is right ahead! Smaller pieces like armchairs, side tables, small storage furniture and dining chairs are when you can start to build a bit of character in the space. These pieces don’t require so much of in investment with so many budget options on the market so you can afford to be a bit more trend driven or adventurous in your choices.
The best way of writing your shopping list is to wait until you’re in your new space with your base furniture and see where there are gaps. In most cases the minimum pieces you will need would be a coffee table and entertainment unit for the living room, side tables and maybe a chest of drawers in the living room. Add these pieces one by one and take your time to find the right ones, there’s no need to feel like they need to be rushed. Homewares retailers are seeing newness faster than ever before so if you can’t find the right look or fit, hold tight and keep an eye out.
Second to your base layers, textiles are the other key area that you do not want to scrimp on. Bedlinen and towels are worth every penny you spend on them. Look for natural fibres like cotton and linen that are thick and soft to touch to ensure that you are investing in a material that will last, rather than having to replace it after each wash. As with your base layers, select your bigger pieces like a quilt cover, sheet set and bath towels in staple colour that can form the base for accent pieces that can be updated over time.
And finally the accessories! Accent pieces bring everything together and make the space really feel like your own. It’s easy to go a bit nuts with accessorising so particularly if you’re on a budget apply the go-slow method as above. Cushions, throws, rugs, candles and décor pieces are all easy ways of adding your personal flair but bear in mind it’s nice to accumulate these pieces over time so that you surround yourself with pieces with meaning.
To get started look to chain retailers for ultra bargain prices, and be sure to check out smaller online boutiques or smaller homewares or gift stores. Often these small boutiques stock small items like unique bowls and trinkets from independent brands that are a bit outside of the ordinary and will give your space a unique edge without big-brand price tags. The other way of going about finding these pieces is having a dig through your local op-shops for frames, vases and crystal ware. Adding one or two vintage finds to a grouping with basic pieces from Kmart or Ikea can take your styling from basic to Insta-worthy in a flash.
IMAGERY VIA THE VAULT ONLINE PINTEREST