It’s very often the case when people move into a new house that they need to think carefully about their budget for furnishings. If you’re in the position where you have bought or are about to buy your first house, or are moving into a rental property for the first time, the chances are you will have little furniture to bring with you.

In any case, you’ll be looking to furnish your new home in a way that really suits your taste but without borrowing a lot of money to do it. After all, houses are expensive, especially when you take into account any fees and taxes that need to be paid, so if your budget is tight you need to do some careful planning to keep within sensible spending limits.

Plan your areas

Firstly, think carefully about your rooms. Which of them will get the most use and which may be only occasional rooms (for example a dining room or a spare bedroom). Of course, it depends on how many people are living in your house and especially so if there are children to be considered.

Your first considerations should be your living area, the main bedroom and, if you are going to have one, a workspace.

Let’s take the living room first. It’s the place where you will relax and the room that visitors will come to for a social gathering. This means the furniture needs to be comfortable but also to look good. Consider a three-seater couch and two armchairs to start with, and maybe a small coffee table to put drinks or papers on when you need to. A side table for favorite ornaments or for a lamp can be useful, and if you need storage for books, CDs or other items then look out for a bookcase that will be able to hold as much as you need.

A workspace needs a comfortable chair and a worktable that is at a good height when using a computer. Back and neck strains are a problem in many workplaces so ensure that you get your seating comfortable from the start. You will probably need some storage space for stationery and paper files so look out for something suitable, such as a second-hand filing cabinet.

The bedroom is where you’ll spend a lot of your time and you want to be comfortable. This means finding a bed that you like and, crucially, spending some money on a good mattress. You need one that will properly support your back and prevent you becoming uncomfortable in the night. It’s easy to lose sleep on an uncomfortable mattress and you could put strains on your body that may lead to additional discomfort and, potentially, give you medical problems. Bedside tables are good for reading-lamps, and a dressing table with a mirror helps with keeping all your grooming materials together.

Now consider your dining room. A large table with several chairs won’t be necessary unless you entertain frequently or have a large family. Keep things simple with a table that can extend if required and, to begin with, a maximum of four chairs, or two if it’s only in occasional use. You can always pick up more when you need to. It’s nice to have a dresser where you can store cutlery and crockery and display attractive items but it’s not essential if there is sufficient storage space in the kitchen.

Draw up a budget

You may have a wish list but stick to your essentials first – it’s all part of the planning process. Once you’ve confirmed what you really have to have and what would be nice but could wait, now’s the time to start shopping around.

Online or offline

Sometimes browsing in a real life furniture store is important because you can get to size up the types and styles around and see how they fit into spaces. Thrift stores are ideal places to check out lots of different things – remember that second-hand doesn’t mean inferior, it just means it’s been used before (some like the term ‘pre-loved’).

However, it’s online where you’ll find a huge choice and that’s a great place to get not only the greatest choice but also options to compare whatever you want. The important thing when browsing online is to check sizes, colors and materials carefully, as well as looking at delivery charges and terms and conditions. You could find a nasty financial surprise if you haven’t done that checking.

Don’t forget that apart from your major items of furniture you’ll want to look for soft furnishings such as rugs, throws and curtains, and you can find an attractive range of these and many other products to make your house look and feel special at Carol Wright Gifts.

New or second-hand?

Contrary to some opinion new is not always better than second-hand. Naturally furniture stores want you to believe that what they are selling is the best of the best and will frequently offer limited time discounts for what can seem extremely attractive prices. Paying full price for an item may be fine if you’ve got plenty of money but second-hand furniture can be exactly what you’re looking for when you’ve got that tight budget to consider.

Some things you really must have new – budget wisely for a high quality mattress – but many other items are fine if they’ve been used. Indeed vintage pieces can often be found for incredibly reasonable prices and can look good wherever you choose to put them.

Your perfect house

You’ll find your budget goes a whole lot further when you buy much of your furniture second-hand, though remember that there are some things you’d really like that are new. Always look for bargains, take the time to do your research properly, and you’ll end up with your perfect house interior.