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How to Furnish Your Portland Home on a Budget

Furnishing your home on a budget in Portland is possible!

Did you just buy a house or sign a lease on a new apartment? Living in Portland is expensive, but furnishing your home doesn’t have to be. 

If you’ve ever stepped into a name-brand furniture store and been shocked and disappointed by the price tag, we’re here to help. There are options for getting the furniture styles you’ve always wanted without stressing your wallet. 

Follow our advice and your new space will feel like home before you know it.

Evaluate what you have

Starting completely from scratch and furnishing your entire space with brand new items is probably not realistic. Most people reuse at least a few pieces from their last home or apartment.

Take some time to take inventory of what you have, noting what you need to get rid of and what you can keep. If you’re combining households with a significant other, this will be especially necessary.

Evaluate each item based on its usefulness, condition, and whether it fits with the design vision for your new space. If something truly won’t work with your new space or meet the look and style of your new decor, consider letting it go.

On the other hand, if you really want to get rid of all your current furniture and start with a clean slate, all the power to you! When you’re smart about your purchases and know where to shop, you can buy all new furniture for much cheaper than you may have thought possible.

Prioritize your needs

Social media sets unrealistic expectations for your home. Design influencers want you to believe that the moment you move in, your entire home must be in perfect, Instagrammable condition. Here’s what the professionals know — it’s totally okay to furnish a home piece by piece. 

Start by identifying your essentials and ranking them in order of importance. If your budget doesn’t allow you to get everything at once, work your way down the list as you’re able to.

Here’s a schedule we suggest:

Phase 1:

  • A bed
  • Dresser
  • Couch
  • Kitchen table & chairs

Phase 2:

  • Coffee table
  • Entertainment console/TV stand
  • Bedside tables
  • Bookshelf

Phase 3:

  • Living room and bedside lighting
  • Entryway tables
  • Area rugs

Phase 4:

  • Accent pillows
  • Additional lighting
  • Wall decor
  • Miscellaneous furnishings

Browse Portland thrift and consignment stores

Portland is famous for its amazing thrift, antique, and consignment stores. Take advantage of these treasure troves! You’ll have to be extra selective about what you buy from second-hand stores. Here are our tips for getting the best pieces:

  • Go more than once — it takes patience and perseverance to succeed in a secondhand furniture hunt.
  • Know your measurements ahead of time and bring a tape measure or use an app on your phone! 
  • Inspect the piece for good bones, avoiding furniture with wobbly legs, large gouges in the surface, or disintegrating pieces.
  • Be cautious with fabric — stains, spills, smells, or debris on the fabric is a red flag.

Just keep in mind that furniture purchased at these stores won’t come with a warranty or any guarantee that they’ll last or be in good condition. Be very careful about what you purchase from these types of stores.

Splurge strategically

Secondhand stores are great, but there are a few key furniture pieces that are always worth buying brand new. At the very least, always buy mattresses and couches brand new. 

This doesn’t mean you can’t find these at a good price (see our next point below), but it does mean you should expect to spend a bit more. It may help ease your mind knowing that the cost of skimping on mattresses and couches can come back to bite you in the back.

When buying used pieces, many people don’t account for the cost of…

  • Professional cleaning 
  • Repairing or refurbishing the item
  • A short lifespan (having to buy a new one in just a few years when it doesn’t last as long as you would like)
  • Bed bugs can infest your entire home which could result in throwing away anything and everything that’s fabric! 

Shop at a local discount furniture store

A local discount furniture store is your sweet spot for furnishing your home on a budget. You have a lot of options, but here in Portland, we hope you’ll choose Furniture Plus! A reputable discount furniture store like ours will feature high-quality pieces in trendy and classic styles, but at a price you can afford.

No matter what discount furniture store you choose, here are a few tips for getting an even better deal:

  • Take advantage of big sales (Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and 4th of July are all popular times for furniture sales)
  • Opt for quality, look, style, and design over brand
  • Make sure your purchase comes with a warranty
  • Work with a salesperson to find the right fit. If a salesperson ever makes you feel pressured into buying something, leave and find a different store. Ask if they work on commission — if yes, be careful!
  • Don’t buy online! Always visit the showroom so you can see the colors in person and test out the furniture
  • Ask for swatches — if the store doesn’t have a certain fabric or material color in stock, they should have a swatch to share so you can be sure you’re ordering the right color
  • Talk to the store about financing and payment options — they may have some great options to help you walk out of the store today with the piece and pay it off over time

Enlist your friend with a truck

No matter where you buy your furniture, you can save a lot of money by picking up your item rather than having it delivered. If you can’t borrow a truck from a friend or family member, you may have to rent one. But depending on the cost of delivery, it will probably be worth it!

Plan to pick up all your furniture at the same time, that way you don’t have to bother your friend or rent a truck every time.

See what’s in store at Furniture Plus

Located in Portland’s Gateway District, Furniture Plus is ready to help you furnish your home on a budget. We offer the best selection of affordable furniture in town and can even order a custom piece, just for you.

Stop by our showroom (we’re open 7 days a week!), say hi to our team (we don’t work on commission), and tell us what you’re looking for. We’ll help you find the right fit.

We hope to see you soon!