Furnishing a home can be an immense expense but it doesn’t have to be. There are ways to save thousands of dollars on furnishings and still get a beautiful, high-end looking home. The purpose of this post is to share the tips and tricks I have employed in furnishing my own home with the hopes it can help you in creating a beautiful home on a budget.
In this post I will share several of my furniture finds with you– I do this as an illustration of the possibilities and not in the least bit to brag. I feel very grateful and blessed for these deals and know from the bottom of my heart that you can be equally blessed!
So that being said let’s start with the furniture throughout my home that I have received for FREE! I am hoping that sharing the details of how I received free furniture will help you be in positions to do the same.
Tip #1– Start or be a member of an email or Facebook group for your church congregation, neighborhood, or community (or other groups you are already naturally in).
Years ago I started a Facebook group for all the women in my church congregation. As part of the description for the group I stated several of the purposes of the group, one of which included giving away unwanted items. Through this group I have received the following items for free.
The set of chairs in my dining room. They were originally a maple color but I painted them all white.
The bookcase in our media room (“Man cave”).
My daughter’s full-size frame, box springs, and mattress.
The above were all free from a woman who was moving across the country and down-sizing.
On a different church email group I received a notice to the group saying “my neighbor across the street has put out two dressers on the curb…they look to be in decent condition if anyone wants them”.
I was actually needing a dresser for my daughter’s room and emailed her immediately saying I’m on my way! One of them had a messed up drawer so I took the better one which only needed a fresh coat of paint.
Tip#2– Don’t hide the fact that you like a good deal or buy second-hand items. Let’s face it not everyone feels comfortable re-using other people’s stuff. Therefore, many people feel uncomfortable asking a friend if they want their furniture before getting rid of it (even if it is in excellent condition) because they are afraid the person would be weirded out by it.
But I guarantee you nearly all people would rather give their unneeded furniture to someone they know for free rather than putting it out for trash pick up or taking it to a thrift store for some stranger to buy.
I have found that when people (friend’s, family, neighbors) know that I love garage sale-ing or use Craigslist they are more likely to contact me before they get rid of their unwanted furniture.
These are the items I have received for free because I have been asked by friend’s or neighbor’s if I want them.
Our TV console in the media room. I believe they used in their dining room as a buffet but it fit perfect as a console in our “man cave” (btw, I don’t know why the picture makes the front of it look so dusty).:-/
The gray couch in my living room. The couch was brown when it was given to me but I painted it gray.
The sofa table behind the couch. All it needed was a fresh coat of paint. I love the details on it! And yep, the décor on the sofa table are thrift store and garage sale finds.
The wooden chairs for my outdoor table. They were a neighbor’s and were previously painted blue. I painted them to match our table and I love how well they go with the style of the table.
The outdoor coffee table is also from a neighbor although it didn’t use to be a coffee table. It was their kitchen table and when she purchased a new one she texted me asking if I wanted this one…
which leads us to our next tip!
Tip #3– Learn to see furniture for what it can become rather than what it is at the moment. As I wrote in my “You Know You are a DIY-er If…” post some people instinctively see the potential in even the ugliest pieces of furniture or spaces. If you aren’t one of those people that’s okay you can learn this trait!
Whenever I come across an opportunity for free or inexpensive furniture I ask myself the following questions– What furniture items am I needing in my home (at this moment or in the near future)? If this item isn’t one of the pieces I need, is there a way I could turn it into the furniture I am needing?
In the example above, I didn’t need a kitchen table but I did need an outdoor coffee table. I used my jig saw to cut the legs off the table and then I painted it to match the “faux stain” treatment on the outdoor table and chairs and added several clear coats of an outdoor polyeutherane. Still looking for “the right” rug for this space!
I did a similar thing a few years ago when I was garage sale-ing and found a sofa table for only $5. I didn’t need a sofa table at the time but I did need a bench for our outdoor table. Again I just chopped the legs down to make it what I needed. It is still going strong after 3 years of use!
If the furniture piece is something I need but I don’t like it as it is, I ask myself would the furniture piece look better with a new paint color? How else can I alter the furniture piece so that it would fit my style and home (paint, add trim, change out hardware, reupholster, etc.)?
An example of this is when a friend asked if I wanted the couch from her kid’s play room. I was actually wanting a couch but not a brown, traditional couch. Painting it and taking off the couch’s skirt altered it for the look I was seeking.
You can never underestimate the power of paint!!! One of my favorite paints to use for out dated cherry or oak wood furniture is Rustoleum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze Primer and Paint in One Spray Paint.
I used this product on my $20 Craigslist (formerly cherry) coffee table and it looks SO much more modern (wish I had the before but I bought it before I knew I would have a blog).
I also used it on my $10 set of nesting tables that I got from a garage sale. They were previously oak and look so much more stylish in espresso!
Fresh paint will always improve any free or inexpensive furniture you may encounter!!!
Tip #4– Free furniture often can come from the furniture you already have that you no longer love or has become dated. When you are looking to make your home more beautiful and more your style don’t forget to consider how you can transform the furniture you already have!
It is extremely rewarding to do!
I was recently introduced to a website called HomeTalk.com where people share the projects they’ve done on the site. You can easily use this site to find ideas for transforming your furniture via the search tool on the site.
You can check out the Couch Revival board I created on HomeTalk, HERE. It includes 16 couch update ideas. I found these ideas from typing in Couch and Sofa in the search tool.
So, if you have a piece of furniture you don’t love and you can’t figure out how to improve it try typing the name of the furniture in the search tool on HomeTalk and hopefully you can get some ideas of ways you could upgrade it from seeing what others have done!
These are the tips that have worked for me in getting free furniture.
Tip #5– However, I know others who have lucked out by finding gems on the side of the road ready for trash pick up. My mom scored a couple of adirondack chairs that way. We just tightened the screws and painted them and they were as good as new. Adirondack chairs are at least $70 a piece so she save a lot of money.
Tips #6- Lastly, one of the women on my church facebook group wrote a post saying that she loved to fix up and makeover furniture so if anyone had any furniture they were getting rid of for free to let her know. Even though I don’t think I would feel comfortable doing this I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. People are wanting to get rid of furniture everyday for various reasons and it can be a win-win situation to let people know!
Heck, just as I’m writing this I’ve remember we have a dresser sitting our garage that we don’t want or need! I will first figure out if there is some way I can repurpose it into something we need. If not, I will be giving her a call!:-)
Do you have any tricks on getting free furniture?? If so, don’t hesitate to share in the comments.
As always thanks for being here! It sure makes taking the time to write these ideas out worth it!!:-)