Making a house a home on a budget

Moving into a new house definitely comes at a cost: when Richard and I moved into our house just short of three months ago, we knew we had a lot of work to do. The house was a bit of a blank canvas, which was great as it meant that we could just furnish and think about decorating further on down the line. In spite of this, we’ve quickly realised just how expensive furnishing a relatively decent sized space is, especially if you have a specific idea of what you want the space to look like. Richard and I have very similar taste when it comes to interior design so we’ve agreed on most things, but I’ve found it incredibly difficult to accept that we’re going to have to make cuts and take our time with things. I decided to sit down and come up with ways of furnishing our house – and ultimately made it into a home- on a budget. Here’s what I came up with:

Buy Secondhand Furniture

Whilst we bought a few things new – a gorgeous new coffee table and TV stand from Oak Furnitureland for example, as well as a new rug for the lounge- I’ve finally accepted that buying things second-hand doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s less impressive or nice. This week alone we’ve managed to pick up a gorgeous mirror- practically brand new- for £15 from Gumtree. I’ve been looking out for other titbits to add an element of antique to the house, as well.

Accept that you can’t do EVERYTHING at once

Moving into this house has taught me lots of things. Mostly that everything will run smoothly and then collapse all at once and that furnishing a house is very expensive. We’ve started to realise that actually, adding small touches here and there and making the house look homely and cosy is a much better use of our time and money at this stage than blowing it all on one piece of furniture. Little touches, such as a bouquet of beautiful flowers in a sophisticated looking vase such as this one from Kilner add a much-needed dash of colour to the place, whilst also giving it a certain much-needed element of comfort. Kilner is a brand that I’ve grown to love over the years- their jars feature in abundance around my kitchen and I really feel that they add a touch of class to a small space. I am a bit of an organisation freak and love things to look pretty and organised so Kilner* products are ideal for me: sorting out my different types of pasta and rice and displaying them in a way that makes them easy to access has made for a much more organised pantry space. I also have trays lining the bottom shelves of my kitchen cupboards for stock cubes, spices and other little foodie bits and bobs. Having everything organised in this small space makes cooking much more enjoyable and much less of a chore.

Upcycle what you already have

When I had my little flat, I bought basic furniture and just put up with it, telling myself that I’d upgrade it as and when I could afford to do so. Moving into the house, most of the furniture WAS replaced and upgraded but what I’ve kept I’ve decided to upcycle and give a fresh lease of life. I’ve turned a cheap, garish white bedside table into one with a chic style that’ll fit perfectly into our bedroom, with a simple lick of grey paint and a beautiful new handle. Rich’s mum gave us a lovely stool that I’m going to sand down and repaint and I’m looking out for other pieces of furniture that, with a bit of TLC, would look at home in our home. I’m also planning on upcycling a plain old kitchen trolley for some handy bathroom storage!

Shop Around 

I had my heart completely set on the most gorgeous ladder shelf unit from Next that would set us back a tidy £175. Whilst not the most expensive piece of furniture I’ve ever purchased, I knew that I’d probably be able to find something similar for a fraction of the price and I wouldn’t feel sick afterwards. After a lot of googling and searching around I ended up picking up something that was incredibly different from my original choice, but that I actually have ended up liking just as much. It fits in better with the colour scheme we have going on in the lounge and at £50 was an absolute steal in comparison.

There is still a lot left to be done. There are still so many things to buy. However, our house is finally starting to feel like a proper home.