Don't feel bad if you're living room is still empty because it takes up to 5 years for most of us to be able to afford it. Formal living rooms seem to be last on the list to get decorated, especially when you have a family or great room. That's because it makes more sense to spend the money on what you use every day.
The good news is that by taking your time, looking for bargains, or buying gently used pieces, you can save yourself a ton of cash.
One of the problems with buying cheap furniture is that it's often very cheaply made, in countries other than the U.S., and most likely made by folks getting paid slave wages.
Here's where I go to find affordable living room furniture.
Consignment shops are popping up all over the place as folks downsize or sell their homes and they're great places to find affordable living room furniture.
Whatever you need, they've got, such as: coffee and end tables, entertainment cabinets, wall hangings, artwork, lamps, area rugs, pillows, accessories, and all at a considerable discount.
You can also find super affordable living room furniture that's brand new, because the larger and multi store consignment shops tend to carry things from furniture liquidators.
Choose neutral colored sofas and save the patterns for chairs, pillows, area rugs, and drapes. This allows you to inexpensively change your decor just by changing your accessories or wall color.
These pieces may have been floor samples, over stocked inventory, or come from stores that went out of business. Some still has the manufacturers tags attached, but they're priced about 50-75% less than if you bought them in a furniture store.
Have furniture or other household items in good condition that no longer fit your decor? Why not consign them instead of kicking them to the curb? Depending on how much stuff you have, the money can help pay to decorate a living room, remodel a fireplace, or buy new window treatments.
Craigslist ~ is another great place to find affordable living room furniture. Those who don't frequent consignment shops will often sell their furniture online or through local newspapers and pennysaver ads.
Garage Sales ~ are great for buying or selling furniture and this is where many antique dealers pick up great inventory.
Auctions and Estate Sales ~ can be a little tricky for the novice so you really need to remain un-emotional and pay only what you think something is worth, rather than getting caught up in a bidding war.
It can be pretty expensive to reupholster a sofa! It may be worth while if you have a sentimental or heirloom pieces. Here's an example: I made this niche seating area for a master bedroom makeover, which would work equally well in a living room.
Cost breakdown: Each cushion (5' long by 6" thick) cost $300. That's $100. each for foam, fabric and labor. Pillows cost $35. labor, $17. fiberfill, $15. fringe and $15. fabric. Can you see how it all adds up? Re covering an entire sofa can easily set you back a thousand dollars and that's using inexpensive fabrics! Custom looks great but it ain't cheap.
Niche and Window seats can sometimes be the most cost effective way to go because they provide seating, storage and save space. Build your own, use over the refrigerator cabinets, or order custom ones with built in drawers.
Consignment shops are great places to find affordable living room furniture, like this old world style sofa and chair I found for 75% less than retail. With nail head trim, down filled pillows and cushions, it's made in the USA.
Most towns will have stores that sell home decor at a discount, two of my favorite stops being Home Goods, and Tuesday Morning, which carry super affordable living room furniture plus lots of accessories and great deals on rugs.
Target, Pier One, World Market, are more examples but the main advantage to buying in a regular store is that they do take returns, allowing you to try it out and then take it back if it doesn't work with your decor.
How many times have you been undecided about something and then you take it home and you're so glad you did? It seems once you get out of the store clutter and neon lights, you can really see how special something is. Occasionally you may say "What was I thinking?" and high tail it back to the store for a return, but more times than not its a SUCCESS!
The most affordable living room furniture is FREE :) Usually giveaways from friends and family, but sometimes you can score a road side find. Flea market specials, garage sales, estate sales and antique marts aren't quite free but you can still find amazing deals, and you never know, you just might end up on Antique Road show!
See something you know would work but it's dated? That's easy! Repaint and/or re-purpose. Even old brass light fixtures can look chic with metallic reactive paints. Try antique bronze, or weathered silver.
Painting old furniture can save a lot of money, but steer clear of things that need to be re-upholstered, unless it's something simple like the seat on a dining room chair. I've redone those with a staple gun and a couple yards of fabric, plus maybe some new foam.
Maybe you want a pearl gray table with teal chairs, no problem. How about an orange armoire or an apple green desk? There's no limit to what your can do with a little imagination and some paint. You can even make artwork by covering foam board insulation with pretty fabric, wall paper or for scrap book paper.
Don't be afraid to paint your own artwork as many modern designs are no more than colors you like, arranged in bold splashes. Also check out Etsy.com and support a local artist!
Don't be afraid to take a chance sometimes cause what's the worst that can happen? You re-sell it!
I bought this huge, medieval looking wall hanging made of leather with a painted design that looked like it came out of the show "The Tudors". It was only $229. so I brought it home, not knowing where the heck we were going to put it.
After hanging in my closet for a year, I finally gave in to peer pressure and took it back to the consignment store ~ this time to sell it.
Guess what? It sold it for $447. in less than a week, and since the store took half, I recouped most of my investment. At least someone else liked it!
Tell us where you go to find affordable living room furniture and what was your best find? Share your ideas as well as photos here.
We’ll be adding more living room ideas so please check back often and share this site with your friends.