Furnishing a house is challenging, especially if you’re on a tight budget. But you don’t have to buy everything to make your home beautiful and functional—despite what you see in staged homes, furniture stores, and lifestyle blogs. There are furniture pieces you simply don’t need. Stay on budget by skipping a few items on your list.
Check out the furniture you can skip to stay within budget:
1. Coffee Table or Side Tables
A living room is usually staged this way—a sectional or a sofa set, flanked by side tables or end tables, plus a coffee table at the center. We feel the need to complete this tableau because we think it’s ideal. It’s practically subliminal because we see it everywhere, from magazines to ads to Instagram posts.
So, when we say that you only need one of these—a coffee table, side table, or end table—you might think we’re crazy. But hear us out. You don’t need to follow design trends if it’s not friendly to your actual budget. Prioritize function over form.
What do these pieces of furniture have in common anyway? They’re like little tables for you to place your cup of coffee, car keys, or anything you need to easily access. If you think about it, you don’t really need many versions of furniture that offer almost the same function.
Ditch the coffee table, and place a unique rug on the space for visual interest. You can also opt for nesting tables that can also serve as footstools and extra seating.
2. Entertainment Unit
A large entertainment unit seemed like a big deal a decade ago, when TVs were thick, and DVD and VCR components (the what now?) were a must-have. But this isn’t the case anymore. Almost every piece of tech we own has gotten slimmer and lighter, so bulky media units are a little outdated—and, to be painfully honest, obsolete.
A contemporary entertainment nook is simple and minimalist, with just a wall-mounted TV paired with a sleek sound bar (and a router, probably). That’s all. So, there is definitely no need for a full media center.
You can always go for a media console if you don’t want to mount your TV. It can hide away the wires and double as all-around storage in your living room.
Bedrooms these days usually have built-in closets. So, a dresser is optional and something you can definitely skimp on to stay within your budget. And since it’s bulky, it’s not a practical piece if you’re also short on space.
Think of the things you want to put in a dresser. You'd most likely store T-shirts, tank tops, socks, and underwear in a dresser. But it can easily become a graveyard for forgotten clothes, too.
Now, look at your closet. Do you really need a dresser? Maybe you simply need to maximize the space by using organizers. Fabric bins are perfect for small clothing items, and a garment rack with wheels provides an extra area to hang clothes.
Having all your clothes in one place encourages more awareness of the things you do have. But you need to arrange them well and make the existing storage workable. So, in short, you don’t need that dresser.
4. Display Cabinet
A display cabinet is only necessary if you actually have a collection that you want to exhibit. Otherwise, it's just a dust collector, and you can definitely cross this out from the list. If you have a few collectibles you want to display, you might opt for minimalist wall shelves instead. It's more functional and less bulky.
Having a display cabinet, a bookcase, a credenza, or other such storage pieces all at once in a room makes it seem crowded and cluttered. Instead, maximize your space with a multitasking storage solution. Opt for one unit that can address all your storage needs instead of suffocating your space with multiple pieces of furniture.
5. Chaise Sectional
Chaise sectionals are quite popular these days, and we totally see why you feel the need to get one. But you don't, especially if you want to stay within budget. Plus, they aren’t very practical, especially for small spaces. They don't accommodate as many people as you think, and they can limit movement.
Instead of investing in a chaise sectional, get a standard sofa and an ottoman (with storage for more function). This allows you to have the seats you want for your space but doesn’t limit the layout. You can put your feet up on an ottoman, move it whenever you need more space, and use it as a coffee table. It’s simply more versatile than a traditional chaise sectional.
Furnishing Your Home on a Budget Tips
1. Buy preloved items.
You don’t need to buy everything brand new. Visit the secondhand shops in your area and thrift coffee tables, side tables, chairs, and other items. You'll be surprised how cheap some of these items can be. Even the not-so-pretty pieces have potential and only need fresh paint to look alive again.
2. Invest more in basic furniture.
Bed frames, dining tables, and sofas are pieces of furniture worth investing in. You spend a significant amount of time using these things. It only makes sense that you ensure their quality so that they last for years. You would want these pieces to be comfortable and crafted well from the best materials—so expect to invest more.
3. Plan your storage.
A significant chunk of the budget usually goes to storage pieces. Sometimes, you have more storage than you actually need. So, you look for ways to fill them. It's a cycle and one that's worth avoiding.
Step one to planning for storage is being fully aware of what you already have. That way, you won’t buy something twice or waste money on something you don't actually need. So, do an inventory of what you own first.
Another step you need to take is downsizing. Consider the things you need and those you could do without. Eliminate the latter. Having fewer items equals needing fewer storage pieces and having a freer home.