How to Furnish a Room for 350 Dollars or Less

Three Methods:The basicsLiving roomGuest room

The living room, the guest room, or any other room––is it possible to furnish it for $350.00 or less? Depending on your location, shopping and free-range sourcing skills, it sure is! Here you'll find various suggestions for furnishing on a tight budget.

Method 1
The basics

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    Know the space you are working with. Make two lists. The first list is for the stuff you want for your living room. The second list is for the stuff you actually need.
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    Get some transportation help. If you don't own a pickup truck, find a friend or family member who does. Offer the friend a pizza and a 6-pack (around $20) or some other favor in return.
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    Ask your friends, your entire family and all of their friends if they know anyone getting rid of furniture. You'll be shocked how many people are moving, or buying new couches at any given time.
    • Ask people to check their garage, attic and other areas for furniture they no longer want.
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    Look at websites like for free and cheap furniture. A lot of people with post a CURB ALERT before they put a chair or table in the trash.
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    Talk to your more artistic friends about giving you their work. Photos, paintings, and other unique items will spruce up the place quickly.

Method 2
Living room

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    Visit garage sales and thrift stores. They might have ugly couches but as long as they don't smell you can work with these.
    • Consider learning to recover a couch yourself. A fun project and a new skill!
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    Find suitable living room items. Once the big stuff is out of the way, smaller stuff like magazine holders, side tables, and whatnot can be picked up cheap from stores like IKEA or sourced from online auctions or the above suggested means.

Method 3
Guest room

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    Use this breakdown:
    • Paint, $60.00
    • Bedspread, $90.00
    • Bed throw, $30.00
    • Decorative items $60.00
    Grand total $240.00. This will leave you $110.00 for other items that you may want to purchase.
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    Decide on the type of décor that you want in the guest bedroom. If you are on a small budget, it is important to use neutral colors on the walls and on the floors. Start by purchasing one gallon of paint. Do not choose a gloss paint because it will give off a shine. Instead, purchase an eggshell finish.
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    Buy a bed comforter in a bag, which will have a comforter, pillow shams, bed skirt and a couple of pillows. You can choose a comforter with a neutral color that complements the wall color. Some comforters have a pattern or some other complementary colors woven into the pattern. If you have hardwood floors, you can purchase a rug in a neutral complementary color.
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    Add touches of color and decorative effects. In order to get that wow factor, add a punch on color by adding a few decorative items, like a bed throw, a few pillows that have the same color.
    • For example, if you choose to paint the walls a beige color, then a complimentary pop of color could be cobalt blue or bright orange, any bright color will add a burst of color to the room that will make it pop.
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    Make throw pillows. If you can cut out a square or a circle, you can make four simple bed pillows for under $30.00. Also, you can purchase picture frames at the dollar store as well as spray paint, and make 4 elegant picture frames for under $10.00. You can use glossy pictures from magazines or use gift bags or wrapping paper to to frame. You can probably find these items around the house. If you need a headboard for the bed, try a second hand store or check out garage sales. These can be updated with a coat of paint for about $10.00.


  • Don't be afraid to bargain with individuals selling used furniture. If they just want it gone and the ad has been up for awhile or it's the end of the garage sale, they may accept a lower price. It can't hurt to ask.
  • A sturdy houseplant or two can do wonders for a room. Choose something small and inexpensive, and grow it bigger yourself.
  • You don't need to furnish a space all at once. Bring in the basics, perhaps some chairs and tables, and fill in the rest as you go.
  • Ugly used furniture can be easily covered with nice fabric. If you're handy with a staple gun you can reupholster couches and chairs. Otherwise just drape the fabric over the furniture, or tuck it around the cushions. Even an attractive bedspread or sheet can conceal ugly fabric.
  • Think outside of the box when it comes to furniture. Bricks and 2x4s can be assembled into a bookshelf. Milk crates can be spray painted to match and used as tables or shelves.
  • Trash picking can be a fun and easy way to pick up free furniture, but check it carefully before taking it.


  • Don't pick up broken furniture. Saying you'll fix it is a whole lot more hassle then just looking further for something better.

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Categories: Budget Decorating