What are some of the cheapest ways to furnish your house? As we all know, moving into your first house is both thrilling and nerve-racking. One of your first tasks will be to go shopping for furniture, which can be costly and time consuming if not properly planned for.
Making a list and a budget will help you focus on what you really need and keep you from overspending.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of moving is purchasing items for your first home, such as decorations and furniture. Don't let a limited budget keep you from having fun.
Here are some pointers to get you started on furnishing your home.
A living room would be incomplete without a sofa or a few chairs. While the seating will be the focal point of your living room, there is no need to overspend.
A corner sofa can be very cost effective while also providing plenty of space for you and your guests. These are a growingly popular option, seating up to six people. If space is an issue, a two-seater and a couple of beanbags are a great solution.
A quick trip to Gikomba market (Nairobi) will open you up to a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to throw pillows, sofas and carpenters who can customise anything you’d want on a pocket-friendly budget.
For example, a 5-seater corner sofa (L-shape) mounted on wooden pallets goes for about Ksh 21,000, with a single seater going for Ksh 6,500.
Side tables and coffee tables provide much-needed surfaces and storage space in your living room, and they're great for storing everything from cups and remotes to table lamps and your TV.
Purchasing flat-packed items that you build yourself is much less expensive than purchasing solid pieces.
Kitchens can function without furniture, especially if you have limited space.
You may be fortunate enough to have enough room for a large table, but if not, there are plenty of alternatives that can fold down and neatly tuck away.
If you have a separate dining room, extending tables are great for accommodating extra people without sacrificing space after your guests have left.
Extension tables use mechanisms and brilliant design to allow users to adjust the length of the table, adding and removing seating and surface space as needed.
In a matter of minutes, this multi-functional furniture can transform from seating two to four, six, or eight people.
Because of their adaptability and ease of use, extension tables are an excellent resource for anyone who lives in a small space and frequently entertains. Learn about the three types of extension tables and choose the one that best fits your lifestyle and available space.
The online prices may be a bit on the higher end, but all you need is to find a design that works for you, and a fundi you trust. Customisation is the name of the game.
Beds are typically available in three sizes: single, double, and kingsize, as well as a variety of styles.
Depending on the type of metalwork used, metal beds can be both traditional and contemporary, as well as cheaper than leather beds (which are typically large and tend to dominate a room, or wooden beds.
A 6x6 basic metallic bed goes at an average of Ksh21,900. A 6x6 leather bed goes at an average of Ksh48,000, while a similar sized basic wooden bed goes at average of Ksh28,000.
Now that we have the basics down in terms of what is needed in order to turn a house into a home, let’s now look at how we can make savings in the process.
By simply looking up these keywords on Google, you can gain access to some serious bargains, as someone is more often than not, looking to sell something that you need.
Wait for sales if you have a specific place you want to get your furniture and household items from. Most stores and big brands have sales towards the end of the year, seasonal sales or during anniversaries - so you just have to wait.
A good example is Black November, with leading retailers such as supermarket chains offering crazy discounts during this time.
Mark these days on your calendar so you can be up bright and early ready to shop.
This also works for electronics such as TV or Kitchen appliances, just customise your various social media platforms in such a way that you will always be first to know when a Sale is taking place.
If things are really tight in terms of finances, you can always give your old furniture a do-over, which would potentially save you a considerable chunk of money.
Despite their potentially worn appearance, quality used furniture can be useful when decorating a house on a budget.
Most good quality used furniture can be upcycled if in good condition. It's as simple as adding a custom decorative slipcover to your sofa or repainting your old dresser.
However, you need to be careful so as not to fall into the trap of undertaking DIY (Do It Yourself) projects that are too expensive. Carry out some research on the cost of retouching that old sofa prior to undertaking the project.
Sometimes purchasing a piece of affordable furniture outright can cost less than purchasing materials to remodel your favorite sofa.
There are numerous websites where people post cheap or free items, and checking them out can result in some fantastic finds.
Facebook is very popular when it comes to finding such forums. Spaces such as Second Hand Households in Nairobi Area, Second Hand Households Kenya and Used Household Items in Kenya are constantly being updated with serious bargains every day.
This is also where you can find expatriates who are in the process of moving back home, and looking to sell all their household items at unbeatable prices.
By just keying in ‘expatriates selling furniture in Kenya’, you get countless results from such marketplaces.
Now this can also work for you if you have a steady monthly income. There are countless sites popping up where one can make steady deposits while working towards securing a household item.
A good example is mosmos.co.ke. This is an E-commerce website that offers such a facility 0% interest rate. However, you cannot take the household item in question until you complete the payment.
Think of it as a savings type of system in which your money is directly tagged to the item you want.
Some local supermarkets also have a similar credit facility in that one can acquire household goods and pay for them gradually over a stipulated period of time (3 months to 1 year mostly) in either daily or monthly installments.
However, these arrangements usually come at a price in the form of interest.
This particular facility is geared towards Kenyans who aspire to own good quality household goods, including electronics and furniture, and need a service that gives them the flexibility to acquire and use the products while paying for them in small affordable amounts.
When you start shopping for furniture, make three lists. The first list should consist of essentials, such as a bed and a sofa. The Second list should be made up of necessary items such as a refrigerator. Lastly, the third list should have non essential items that are still part of your wishlist e.g. a PS5 console etc.
Then, attach an amount to each of the items on your three lists, based on your research of prices. This figure is your total budget for furnishings, and you’ll need to stick to this amount at all costs.
Pacing yourself is crucial for success, as you don't need to buy everything all at once.
Furnishing your apartment on a budget should no longer be a stress trigger. By following or adapting these tips to your specifications, you’ll be on your way to the home of dreams, all while staying within your budget and saving money.