Buy What You Love and Thrift the Rest

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Some people wish they could walk into Pottery Barn and buy everything in the little staged room that’s set up. I’m not one of those people. Yes, I’d love to shop at Pottery Barn or West Elm but the reality is I’ve still got an Ikea budget.

Once you’re in a home you’re going to be in for a while, it is worth it to spend the money on fixtures:

  • Couches
  • Dining sets
  • Beds

Spend money on things you absolutely love and that are a large presence in your home. Then, if you like your house to have a collected feel, or you’re on a budget, thrift everything else while you save up for the long term:

  • Sides Tables (our living room ones are from Amazon)
  • Night Stands (we’ve only got one, and it’s Ikea…but my eyes are scanning around for an upgrade)
  • Frames (Salvation Army! Habitat Restore!)
  • Chairs (thrift, thrift, thrift my friends)

In my house there are 2 pieces of furniture we spent good money on, and actually still saved a ton. We have a big 6 person sectional in the basement that we bought for $600- which is a steal and was the first ever piece of furniture I bought from a store. We got it from a place called Scratch ‘n Dent (ha!), which sells showroom and returned furniture from their sister store. The other big furniture we got was the bar in our sunroom, which we spent $300 on and got from a place called Bob’s Discount Furniture.

So yeah, we made the decision to invest in a returned sectional and a bar. Because we are adults.

I have learned that it takes time to come into your own style when decorating a house, but I have also learned that I can not stand to live in an empty house while I wait to fill it up. So I decorate in the “phase” approach:

  • Phase 1 is move in and set up whatcha got. Move it around, shop your house.
  • Phase 2 is to thrift for style and uniqueness- sometimes the thrift store is where you find that one piece you can’t live without.
  • Phase 3 is to upgrade with expensive, long term pieces when I find something I can’t leave the store without. I imagine this happening a lot more when we move into our next home (in the next 5 or so years)


For the month of October, I will be participating in The  Nester’s 31 day challenge.

new homeowner tips, 31 days, neutral home colors

Who Gave Me a HOUSE?!

House Upkeep: Dryer Ducts