Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Furnishing and decorating a home can be pricey with a capital P. And that expense can feel even more drastic if it’s coming on the heels of you paying for or contributing to your wedding. So, here are a few little secrets to help you turn your marital house into a home, without maxing out your credit cards—or losing your mind.
One, there’s no need to tackle every room at once. Focusing on a single area at a time is not only an easy way to stay on budget, but it also makes the project feel way more manageable.
Two, not everything needs to be new. Yes, that ratty old recliner that’s been around since your college dorm days should probably be replaced, but consider keeping vintage, sentimental pieces, and/or shopping at antique shops or even garage sales for unique finds.
Three, and here’s the big one—remember that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on furniture. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with investing in one or two major pieces, but these days, there are a plethora of incredible, affordable furniture brands out there.
Here, the best affordable furniture brands along with a few of our favorite, can’t-miss pieces.
If you’re anything like us, Amazon is probably already your go-to for everything from underwear to dog treats to hot sauce to ant traps (just a snapshot of what’s been in our cart as of late). But the site is also a treasure trove of incredible, wallet-friendly furniture finds from a wide array of different brands.
Case in point: A recent search for ‘furniture’ yielded over 20,000 results. But don’t worry, you don’t need to scroll through all of those. Get super specific in your search term and/or browse by the department to find exactly what you need, be that a bookshelf or bar cabinet. If it’s the latter, we suggest this two-tone, mid-century piece; we can easily see it serving a number of different functions in various rooms.
Our go-to move is checking the site for specific pieces from brands we’ve seen elsewhere…odds are good you can find it at a more affordable price, and with faster shipping, on Amazon. To that point, let’s not forget that possibly the best part of Amazon shopping is the free Prime delivery and returns, a major selling point for those who might be prone to changing their mind post-purchase.
When in doubt, Wayfair. That isn’t their motto, but it should be. Whatever your affordable furniture wish may be, odds are exceedingly good that they have it—and all kinds of varieties of it. While prices are already good to begin with, it doesn’t hurt that there always seems to be a sale going on, and it’s not too difficult to find extra discount codes even on top of that.
The customer service is great (always worth noting), and be sure to check out the reviews section, which is particularly helpful when trying to get some real-world input on things like actual color or texture, or assembly time. Speaking of well-reviewed products, check out this top-rated office chair if you’re looking to making your current WFH situation a little more official. Stylish and comfortable, it just might inspire you to actually get up off the couch for all those infinite Zoom meetings.
You know how we were talking about how adding unique, vintage pieces is key for good design? World Market is where you find those “vintage” pieces if you don’t actually have any. Take, for example, this coffee table, which you could easily say was handmade by your Great Uncle Ned back in 1902 if you really wanted. They also do the boho aesthetic particularly well—as seen in both their furniture and accessory offerings—and we’re big fans of their affordable outdoor furnishings, too.
And while we’re all about online shopping, those who prefer to actually touch, feel and sit in the furniture they’re going to buy will appreciate that there are plenty of World Market stores to be found across the country. Also nice: If you are in-store shopping, you can buy many of the pieces already assembled, taking one extra thing off your to-do list. FYI, don’t forget to sign up for their loyalty Explorer program to earn points (AKA money back) and get exclusive invites to sales and more.
As if you needed any reason to love Target anymore (seriously, is there anything more soul-satisfying than an hour spent simply strolling their aisles?), the mega-store also has a top-notch furniture section. In our experience, the brick-and-mortar stores often have a fairly impressive selection —so make sure to take a pass through during your next shopping trip—although online is the way to go if you’re searching for something super specific.
Just as they did with their fashion department, the store has its own exclusive lines—Opal House, Project 62—and also does designer collaborations. Perhaps most buzzworthy is their partnership with HGTV superstar Joanna Gaines via the Hearth & Hand with Magnolia line. If shiplap is a common word in your daily lexicon, you’ll love all of their goods. Modern farmhouse is the name of the game, as seen with this entryway bench that would look adorable with some chambray throw pillows and woven baskets underneath.
Did you know that you don’t always have to buy furniture, you can just rent it? Mind-blowing, we know. Think of Fernish as a Rent the Runway for furniture. The LA-based brand was started by two entrepreneurs who wanted to find a way to make moving and furnishing new homes easier—and more affordable. How it works: Check out their offerings—there’s not only furniture for every room but also accessories such as rugs, lighting, art, and more—and pick what you like. (Personally, we have our eye on this boxy accent chair, clad in a ribbed gray velvet.) You pay a monthly rental price for each item, which is delivered, assembled, and placed in your space.
You get three days to make sure you like it; if not you can swap it out for free. Once your rental period is up, you can either keep the item and just pay the difference between what you’ve paid in rental costs and the retail price, or, swap it out and start again. It’s a brilliant concept, particularly for those who may be moving frequently, aren’t quite sure of their design aesthetic, or don’t want to commit to a piece without living with it first. While they’re currently only available in Los Angeles, Orange County, and the Seattle area, they’re quickly expanding nationwide, so keep your eyes peeled.
Insert obligatory ‘duh’ here. Essentially synonymous with ‘affordable furniture,’ Ikea is the ultimate destination for inexpensive furnishings. We know what you’re thinking—yes, the assembly process can be a bear and the impetus for many a fight among spouses. But look, since you’re saving so much money on the actual furniture, you can hire someone to do the hard work for you, while you kick back and enjoy the store’s bring-home frozen Swedish meatballs.
In our experience, the quality of Ikea furniture can vary slightly, but one staple that always wins is this ever-popular Billy bookcase. (It’s so popular, in fact, that it’s estimated that one is sold every five seconds somewhere in the world.) There are a ton of different variants on the classic, in different sizes, configurations, and colors, but you can’t go wrong with this tall white option with glass doors. If you want to take it one step further, google ‘Ikea hack billy bookcase’ and peruse through the thousands of creative ways to turn this simple staple into an eye-catching showpiece.
When this direct-to-consumer brand first launched in 2013 they set out to completely reimagine the backend of the furniture-buying experience. Rather than there being several different ‘middlemen’ in between the manufacturer and consumer, Article is the only go-between. That direct relationship translates to a drastically lower-end price tag for you, up to 30% lower to be exact. The aesthetic is clean and classic, with a nod to both Scandinavian and mid-century modern inspiration, as seen in their selection of chairs and dining tables specifically.
This particular table earns our vote for the impeccable quality, beautiful design, various sizes and finishes—and the fact that assembly only takes 15 minutes. And for those who might have trouble visualizing how certain pieces might look together in one room, the site also offers helpful ‘one-click rooms’ where they do all the hard design work for you, bundling furniture together (and you save even more money when purchasing said bundle).
A fairly new player to the affordable furniture scene, this fills a void in the industry that until late had been missing. Not only are the furniture pieces affordable, but they’re all completely customizable in an extensive array of fabrics. “Custom furniture for a cookie-cutter price” is the tagline, and indeed that’s what you’ll get. There are over, wait for it, 100 different prints and fabrics to choose from.
These include both a core collection, as well as partnerships with heritage fabric brands, such as Old World Weavers and Scalamandré. Feeling overwhelmed? There’s a helpful quiz that can help narrow down your style, and the options are also categorized by design aesthetic. Oh, and we should mention that you can also order swatches for a dollar a pop if you prefer to see your fabric first. If you’ve always had your heart set on a cheetah print ottoman (and really, who hasn’t), you’re in luck.
Whereas the idea of buying a couch online was once a foreign concept to many, it’s more commonplace than ever these days, with no shortage of sofa-selling sites. If you’re having trouble finding a couch or sectional that will fit your particular space, this is the place to shop. Not only can you customize the design—choose a style among 14 different collections in an array of aesthetics, plus pick from over 100+ colors of fabric and leather—you can also change the size in five-inch increments.
For example, this option comes in 67 different sizes. While the prices are slightly higher than those of some of the other brands on this list, the customization factor makes it well worth it. Plus, if you’re going to shell out more money somewhere, a couch is a good place to do so. (Just think about how much use it gets). Don’t love the final result? There’s a free, 100-day trial period. But perhaps the best feature of all is that you’ll get your new couch in just four weeks, notably faster than the eight to 16 week lead time for many similar custom couch sites.
Okay, so technically there’s no furniture to be found here, but there is pretty much everything else you need to turn your house into a home. We’re talking every last detail and accessory, from adorable baskets to candlesticks to vases to this Southwestern-inspired throw pillow cover we’re currently coveting.
And just like with the brand’s fashion offerings, the prices can’t be beaten. It’s a major win when you’re decorating on a budget, since not only are all of these accessories the finishing touches you need to really complete your home décor, but the affordable prices mean you can easily switch them out or change them up to completely change the entire look and feel of a room. And that’s a great alternative when perhaps an entire furniture overhaul isn’t quite in the cards.