May 02

Budget home decorating – furnish your entire house for under £200!

Reading Time: 6 mins

Need to furnish your new home but haven’t got the budget? No need to panic. We show you how to deck out your entire home with all the trimmings for less than £200 – actually for only £143.37 (which leaves you just over £50 to add your own special touches).

We should mention here that while your home will be furnished, you should leave your WAG aspirations at the door now.  We are not talking about getting three designer pieces and sitting on the floor. This house is furnished with every household essential that you would need to live comfortably, right down to your bathroom bin and table lamp.

So where do you begin when you’re looking for stuff?


Follow these steps to budget home decorating

Step 1: Grab the freebies

All great hunts should begin at Gumtree. It’s a fantastic place to start when looking for free stuff. Yup, free! You can snatch up dining room tables, beds, futons, sofas – basically anything and everything can be found on this site. All for just the inconvenience of having to pick up the items yourself, which if you don’t have a car may be a bit tricky, but still well worth the effort.

Make sure that you see the articles before carrying them home. Try to only commit to picking up items that you’ve already seen a picture of online. Most postings do have an image so avoid the dodgy ones.

If you’re asking why are people giving away their stuff for free, the answer is simple: most people just want the stuff out of their house without having to pay to have it thrown away. They also don’t want the hassle of getting rid of it themselves. So you come along, take it off their hands and keep it. You need to be quick if you’re sourcing things from Gumtree, especially with the freebies. Blink and they’re gone!

Want more freebies? Join your local Freecycle group. This is a grassroots global organisation that joins together people who have free things to give away, with those wanting free stuff. The idea being if we swap and share then we aren’t filling landfills up with unwanted items.

Another great  free site is Snaffleup. It works in the same way as Freecycle, but you don’t have to sign up to browse around, so it’s much easier. The search engine shows postcodes so you can pick items that are close to you. Once you’ve signed up, the search is even prioritised by postcodes in your area.

Nabbing free things that people no longer want is not so outrageous. Be quick and get yourself some goodies without spending a penny, because if you don’t there are plenty of people who’d like to beat you to it.

Step 2: Hunt down the cheapies

While on Gumtree look up the house clearance section where you will find loads of people desperate to just sell off the things they no longer want. Especially now with so many people downsizing – they want to get rid of stuff fast. Buy a double bed with mattress for £25! Or a TV for £15!

argos-logoYou can also shop at some great stores that offer deals on household items. Particularly cheap are IKEA and Argos. While the stuff may be rather basic, when put together correctly they really do create a very polished and clean look. Also, a few pretty accessories will make a big difference – if you can get the bigger items on the cheap you’ll have enough left over to buy some attractive bits and pieces to pull the look together and make your pad look fantastic!

Step 3: Save and stay chic!

Check out our newly-furnished house below. We completely furnished every room and all these goodies come up to less than £150!

By combining free used items with some brand new ones from shops you can easily furnish your house. However, if you want to spend even less or are keen to make a bit of a treasure hunt out of furnishing your home there are other great sites and stores you can visit.


Other sites to check for free or cheap goodies

  • Swapit

Budget home decoratingSwapit is a great place to get free or cheap things, but you also have the added advantage of getting rid of all those things you may not want anymore. On this site, not only do you get to swap for new goodies, but you also earn Swapit points that you can use to buy new things without spending a penny! The only downside is that there isn’t any furniture on the site, but they’ve got everything else.

  • Budget home decoratingSwapz

Swapz  is the largest and most established swapping website. Membership is free and you have the opportunity to swap with people nationwide. Again, there isn’t any furniture swapping but it’s a great site to go to when you’re ready to accessorise your house.

  • My Deco

Budget home decoratingMy Deco  is another great website for saving on household items. Go to the ‘Shopping’ tab at the top then look under ‘special offers’ or select a room that you want to shop for. Once you’ve done this you can sort the results by price – choose low to high – and see what bargains are out there. It really is a useful tool that will save you heaps of time and money. Another good thing about this website is that you can plan your own room by uploading a picture of your room and then trying out 3D furniture, paint, wallpaper, flooring and accessories. It’s such a clever way to get an idea of how a room will look before you buy anything.

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Waste not, want not

Visit your council website or give them a call asking about furniture recycling schemes. There are loads all over the UK, like Four Square in Edinburgh, which may offer free furniture removal as part of a recycling scheme.

Contact Furniture Re-use Network to have your used furniture donated to poor families who could not otherwise furnish their homes. The donation centres are spread out across all of the UK.  If you’re in Northern Ireland go to Homeless Northern Ireland for details on how you can help.


Other ways to save

  • Host a swap party with your friends and neighbours
  • Stop and shop at yard sales and car boot sales
  • Use second hand shops like Oxfam
  • Shop online for used goods at eBay
  • Traditional classified ads offer great deals

What’s important is that you don’t buy into some ridiculous idea that you have to spend a fortune for your place to look great. Shop smartly and your digs will look classic and you’ll have extra cash.  Spend everything on your house and it better look great, because you can’t afford to go anywhere else. This way you can enjoy yourself and rest in your home sweet home.


The Moneymagpie Home


Room Cost Where to find it
Double bed with mattress Free Gumtree
Bedside table x 2bstikea £14 IKEA
Curtains £10 IKEA
Wardrobe (beech) Free Gumtree
Table lampttt £2.75 IKEA
Chest of drawers & sofa bed Free Gumtree
Duet cover & pillowcasestttttt £7.97 Argos



Room Cost Where to find it
3-seater sofa Free Gumtree
Mirror 7ft x 4ft Free Gumtree
Art prints From £3
16-piece dinner set


£24 Amazon
Lounge curtains £8.80 Woodyatt Curtains
Coffee table


£14 IKEA


Room Cost Where to find it
3-piece bathroom set



£9.99 Argos
Bath mat £1.20 IKEA
Shower curtain £2.40 Amazon
Towel set


£16 Debenhams


Room Cost Where to find it
IKEA kitchen cabinet doors Free Gumtree
Non-stick saucepan set


£6.49 Argos
16-piece cutlery set £4.73 Amazon
Roll top plastic bin  £7.49 Amazon
3-piece kitchen utensil set


£0.70p IKEA
Cordless kettle £5.00 Argos
2-slice toaster


£4.85 Argos


TOTAL: £143.37


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can u decorate my home,call me at 07771360889

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I’m always excited to have a look at this blog in the evenings.Please keep on churning out the content. It’s really entertaining.


great article.In process of doing my house up at the moment and funds are very low so this has helped alot. I know I wont be able to have a show home but with your help will have practile and have all the bits i need. Shame there wasn’t a picture of how it all went together.

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