Frederica Palmer | Contributing Writer | Thursday, 5 February 2015

How To Furnish Your Whole Entire House For Just £50

The Debrief: How to fudge it if you've accidentally rented an unfurnished house

After three months of painfully looking for our dream house, my flatmates and I have finally found one. It has four spacious double bedrooms, an open plan kitchen and dining area, a separate living room and it’s less than an hour away from where we all work. Heck, it even comes with a stand-alone roll top bath like the one Cameron Diaz immerses her glorious body into in The Holiday. What’s the catch? It’s un-fucking-furnished.

Now we’re all post-graduates moving to London for our first proper jobs. And, even though our rent’s a steal considering we’re in the posh part of Peckham, once you add the likes of bills and council tax and income tax there’s no way we can afford to furnish a two storey house. We can’t even afford half a pint in the pub conveniently located right around the corner.

Although we considered buying one massive mattress to use as a dining table, couch and communal bed (hey it would save on heating) we realised that probably wouldn’t work in the long run and started looking for cheap ways to kit out our new pad. Turns out you can actually furnish a house for next to nothing these days, here’s how we’ve managed to fill ours with a budget of £50 each. 

Oh that dining table? It’s been in my family for generations!
Ok fine it’s from Ikea and used to belong to my dad, but who gives a crap when it’s free? If you find yourself moving into a new place and are lacking in the furniture department then it’s definitely worth sending out a mass text to all those uncles and aunts you only see at Christmas. Be it luck or lack of contraception but I come from a pretty big family, if you don’t then it’s also worth posting one of those annoying Facebook statuses. Chances are someone will have a few bits and bobs in storage that you can take off their hands, we’ve managed to furnish our whole kitchen (appliances and all) this way.

Freecycle? Nah mate I don’t really do bike rides.
When my cousin asked me if I’d heard of Freecycle I genuinely thought she was talking about some charity bike ride taking place across London, she then redirected me to what heaven would look like if it was online. Freecycle is a website where people give away stuff they don’t want anymore. They just GIVE IT AWAY for FREE! Admittedly this is better if you have a car to go and pick up your goodies in, but you can hire a man with a van for as little as £20 to do this for you. Through Freecycle we all managed to find bed frames that came with brand new mattresses and a couch for our living room! See? This whole furnishing a house malarkey isn’t actually that hard. It’s also worth checking out sites like Gumtree, Preloved and Snaffleup as again people often advertise a lot of furniture for free or at a fraction of the cost they paid for.

Poundland? Save your pennies and head to the 99p store!
Both are bloody great shops and will save you a fortune in the long run. When you have a whole house to fill you tend to focus on the bigger items, but in reality it’s the nitty gritty objects like bins, lamps, washing baskets and all of that crap that’ll set you back. Another favourite of mine is Wilkinson’s, granted it’s a tad more expensive than the 99p Store (not hard to beat really) but it tends to offer a nicer selection of items. Oh and a word to the wise, splash the cash on electrical items to avoid faulty second hand microwaves that will potentially burn down your brand new home. Supermarkets like Asda and Morrison’s are great for affordable appliances like this.

The one with the apothecary table
If you aren’t a fan of Friends then you won’t get this reference and should also probably re-evaluate your life. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make here is that car boot sales are a great place to pick up second hand furniture for next to nothing. From period antiques to second hand furnishings from the Argos catalogue, there is always a gem amongst the junk and it’s a guaranteed good day out with your flatmates. Websites like CarBootJunction ) and Time Out London are great for finding out if there are any car boot sales coming your way soon. Markets are also really good for picking up smaller furnishings or decorative pieces for cheap as well, and provide an excuse to go to Notting Hill.

If time is your friend and you start scouring for furniture a few weeks before the big move then you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to furnish your new home for free, essentially. If time isn’t your friend, but a big budget isn’t on your buddy list either, then living out of those cardboard boxes for a few weeks while you join the hunt will probably be worth it in the longer run. Just make sure you book any moving vans as far in advance as you can to keep costs down!

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

How To Cover Up All The Flaws In Your Room For Less Than £20

Noughties Bedroom Stuff To Buy Now You're A Grown Up

The Endless Problems Of Living Between Home And Your Boyfriend's House

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