Buying, Staging

Furnishing a New Home

Have you ever moved into a new home and realized that your furniture isn’t quite what you remembered? Maybe you’re moving from an apartment to a home and you want to upgrade or your style has changed since the last time you got furniture. So, how do you furnish a home if you don’t want to break the bank? Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks!

My furnished living room. Photo: Lauren Carnes


  • Prioritize your main living spaces – For some reason, the master bedroom gets the least attention or gets left until last. This is the space where you begin and end every day, so treat it as such. I know it’s not the room that doesn’t get attention when you have a housewarming party and people don’t walk through it every day, but it’s yours and should be treated as the oasis that it is.
  • slip covers in performance fabrics
  • You don’t have to do it all at once – I wanted barn doors but didn’t feel like they were essential when we were building. Barry and I waited until we had the time (and patience) to hang them ourselves own. We got to pick the exact doors we wanted, paint them, and add the hardware we love.
  • Focus on cohesion and a look that embodies your style
  • Utilize slip-covers in performance fabrics – If you’ve got functional couches and chairs, cover them! I’m not talking your grandmother’s slip-covers. There are some gorgeous options, so be open to using what you have with a little addition until you can buy exactly what you want.
  • Finally, focus on cohesion and a look that fits your family. If you like color, go for a lot of color. If you like neutrals, go for it. It’s your home and it should match the life you lead!
The barn doors Barry and I installed for my office.
Photo: Lauren Carnes

Where to shop:

  • Accept pieces of furniture from family or friends – make sure they are functional and then you can customize them with paint and hardware that matches your style.
  • Estate and Yard Sales – Go on a hunt for yard sales in your area on the weekends. It’s such a good way to find really great pieces and you can get acquainted with your new neighborhood.
  • Ikea – Don’t sleep on Ikea. There are tons of tutorials and websites like this one to make their furniture personalized to match your style.
  • Wait for holiday sales and look for coupons/sales at furniture stores.
  • Finally, go to your local discount stores: TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Tuesday Morning (those two spindle chairs in my living room were $200 for the pair at Tuesday Morning)! They generally have good stuff if you’re searching!

What tips do you have for furnishing a new home? Let me know in the comments and happy shopping!

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