If you're pinching pennies, it's important to find furniture that fits your decorating style and your budget. Save money but satisfy your inner interior designer with these cheap furniture tips.
Step 1: Search Craiglist, garage sales, thrift shops Scour Craigslist.com, garage sales, and thrift stores for hip, budget-friendly used furniture.
TIP: Look for special deals, such as stores that are going out of business with blow-out sales. Another option is zero-percent interest financing, but be sure to pay the balance off in the allotted time.
Step 2: Search online Use a computer to search online. Compare the prices and details of similar pieces at various stores; once you've narrowed down your favorites, visit each store in person to find the best deal.
TIP: Measure the area you want the furniture to fit in before you buy, to avoid the heartbreak of an ill-fitting piece.
Step 3: Shop warehouse stores Shop at warehouse stores, which often carry furniture items that are hundreds of dollars cheaper than retail venues. Many of these warehouse stores don't offer delivery.
TIP: Beware of bed bugs, which tend to nest in upholstered pieces; hardwood items are generally considered to be safe from infestation, but examine each piece carefully.
Step 4: Build it yourself Choose build-it-yourself pieces. If you're a fan of modern furniture, the Swedish furniture giant IKEA might be right up your alley.
Step 5: Find hand-me-downs Look for hand-me-downs. Scour your parents' basement or attic -- they may be happy to be rid of an old item while you gain a new-to-you furniture item.
FACT: According to popular belief, France's King Louis XIV owned 413 beds and often held court in them.