I’m a recent grad who has just started my first “real” job. It’s exciting! But it also means I’m on a tight budget until I finish paying off loans. I’ve been gradually moving things out of my parents’ house and unpacking and decorating my new home, and I’ve just finished putting together my living room!
Inspiration: Hardwood floors were a must for me when I was apartment hunting (carpets are a pain to clean and I have bad dust allergies). I love the parquet flooring (square wood tiles) in this place and I wanted to stay true to that. I also wanted my living room to be fresh and relaxing so that I can unwind and uncharge when I get back from working a 9-5 job. With these two things in mind, I went forward with a mid-century modern style with navy blue and turquoise as my main colors.
Futon: $210 – I love the ribbed back cushions and how it doesn’t look futon-y. It’s really great for the price, but it’s definitely on the firm side of the couch spectrum of comfort.
Table Floor Lamp: $30 – This was a thrift store find for $15! I bought a more modern replacement shade from HomeGoods for $15. The link is for a floor lamp with a similar vibe (modern, brass, simple white shade) that I also purchased for $76.
Coffee Table: $83 – I wanted something that matched the real marble on the floor lamp, but marble is expensive! So I went with a really convincing fake marble table.
Arm Chair: $71 – I love the turquoise and the blond finish on the wooden legs. The storage ottoman was something my mom found in a box in the basement and it just happened the match the chair, not sure where she got it from originally but I think it came with a set of bedsheets, pillowcases, and a comforter.
Accent Rug: $200 – I wanted to keep the carpet neutral because the futon, arm chair, and ottoman were colored. It’s nice and soft and I love the pattern. I’ve also seen it go on sale for $160.
Pug Accents: These weren’t intentional, I just love pugs. They are one of the only things that are good in this world despite their plentiful health issues. The pug plush on the arm chair was a gift from college friends and the pug yoga couch cushion was a housewarming gift 🙂
Total cost: $594 ($632 if you include the pug accents 😀 )
Four tips that helped me save money:
- Amazon trade-in: I had a lot of textbooks after I graduated and traded them in for about $200 of Amazon credit. When I ordered the futon off Amazon, I only paid $19. People say it’s not worth it because you sell your books back for a lot less then what you paid. But it makes sense to me trade in things that I don’t use and are heavy to move for something I need, like a stylish navy blue futon.
- Thrift stores: There are things I prefer to buy new (upholstered chairs, carpets, futons), but other things like tables and lamps are really cheap at thrift stores, like Goodwill, and you might find unique items that were much more expensive originally.
- Watching and waiting: I know it can be a pain to check back to see if prices drop, but it’s definitely worth it for sites like Amazon and Wayfair where prices fluctuate without warning. This goes for purchasing furniture and trading in books. I’ve had textbooks that I traded in for $30 dollars that went up to $70 the next week. And coffee table and arm chair were two things I was monitoring for several days before I purchased them. I had been eyeing this chair on Wayfair and one fateful Wednesday night (more like Thursday morning) it dropped to 84% percent off! :O
- Post office change of address: If you’re moving, you can change your address online and you will get a TON of useful coupons. I got a 10% off Amazon purchases that was automatically applied to all my orders until I reached the max total benefit of $25 off. I got the legendary 20% your TOTAL purchase for Bed Bath & Beyond. There are also coupons for moving trucks, Home Depot, west elm, Crate&Barrel, you name it. It’s the best. Do it.