how much does it cost to furnish a house
Kristina Davis

Starting life in a new unfurnished apartment can be daunting, one question that is running on new home owner’s minds is how much does it cost to furnish a house.

Deciding on a budget, selecting what furniture to buy, where it goes into the house, and the tools needed for installation, furnishing your new home can be an overwhelming task.

While it is important to save money, your house should be your haven. Therefore, you want to make it as lovely and pleasant as you possibly can.

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The first thing you’ll need to do is explore the various options available to you to get an idea of the average cost for different pieces of furniture and then decide on a budget. 

If you’re undertaking this project yourself, consider this article a simple DIY guide and how you can make considerable savings and practical decisions.

Make a List of What You Already Have

Much of your old furniture might be re-usable with or without a touch-up and some fixing. For instance, if you have any wooden furniture with chips and scratches.

Otherwise perfectly functional and has sentimental value, don’t throw it away just yet. You can buy wax fillers and markers to touch up the wood and restore its original finishing.

It’s always cheaper to fix, upgrade, or refurbish existing furniture than buy new furniture. And, you’ll get to keep all the wonderful memories you’ve created with your family. 

However, there can be situations where you just don’t have a choice. Assess your furniture and then decide how to proceed.

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1. Sell Furniture that is Useable but you no Longer Want

sell furniture that is useable but you no longer want

If you’ve made up your mind about a new and comfier couch from IKEA, go ahead and buy it. You can save money by selling your old sofa as long as it isn’t completely worn out.

The money you earn from such sales can help keep you within your budget. To fetch a better price, patch and fix any obvious issues. 

Social Media Websites Like Facebook or Instagram

You can go about doing this in different ways. You might find a potential customer in your social media friends list or through them by creating a post on Instagram or Facebook.

Online advertisements 

Posting advertisements on online sites like Craigslist and eBay would be a better idea because it connects you to many potential customers.

You can also sell your furniture to the highest bidder. Not only will you get more, but you won’t have to haggle with your friends.

Garage Sales / Used Furniture Stores 

Another popular way homeowners monetize their old furniture and belongings is by moving them through garage sales or selling them to a used furniture store.

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The extra money will come in handy when you’re buying new furniture. If you’re already on a comfortable budget, consider donating your refurbished furniture to NFBA, homeless shelters, or the salvation army.

2. List Everything You Will Need

make a checklist

While you’re on this step, take a moment to consider the kind of lifestyle you wish to live and what other members of the house or your family may require as per their lifestyle. A great way to go about this is to plan your furniture needs room by room. 

Here is a list of what each room (excluding the bathroom) might require based on what most interior architects suggest are typical items and fittings homeowners purchase and their average cost in the United States.

How Much Does it Cost to Furnish a House? A Cost Breakdown

Living room

  • Couch ($1000)
  • Television set ($500)
  • Dining table ($150 -$1,500 depending on the brand)
  • A set of chairs ($99 – $1000 per chair depending on the brand)
  • Air-conditioner central unit ($2,800 – $7,770)
  • Coffee table ($200-$400)
  • Carpet (price varies greatly based on square footage, material, and installation charges)
  • Curtains/blinds ($70 – $200 per window) 
  • Mantel (price varies according to the designer)
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Kitchen

  • Modular Kitchen with cabinets, drawers, and stoves ($11,000 – $40,000 based on size)
  • Oven/Microwave ($360 – $1,800)
  • Refrigerator ($580 – $4,100)

Bedrooms

  • Queen or King-sized mattress and bed ($600 – $2,500 based on mattress type)
  • Night lamp ($20 and above)
  • Free Standing Wardrobes ($100 – $1000)
  • Dressing Table and Mirror ($200)
  • Blinds ($50-$100 per window)

3. Organize Your Priorities Before Moving on to Budget

You might need certain things regardless of their costs. So if your entire home-budget cannot accommodate them, it might be too soon to move.

However, if your budget can include them, it may still be at the sacrifice of some of your lesser desires, which is perfectly fine if they can be met later on.

For instance, you may have guests staying over from time-to-time, but without a room to spare, you’ll have no choice but to go for a sofa-bed instead of a regular couch.

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However, this may come at the expense of a more attractive mantel design, which you may always update later.

Make a cost list of all your priority furniture settings first. Anything that does not come on the priority list can be bought either cheaper or at a later time. It will also give you a budget to prepare for later on if it’s still required.

4. Measure the Dimensions of your Space

You cannot buy furniture before knowing the dimensions of each room. Imagine buying a sofa only to find it won’t fit through the front door!

Decide early on where each piece of furniture will go and how much area it will occupy. Furniture should not block entries and exits between rooms throughout the house, so you need to leave some space around those areas.  

5. Hiring an Interior Designer 

hiring interior designer

Interior designer charges can be based on hours, square footage of the space worked on, or furniture. The average cost range in the U.S. is between $1,893 and $11,180.

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If you’re inclined towards beautifying your home or unsure how to decorate it yourself, an interior designer might be worth considering. Delegating space planning to a professional interior designer has its advantages:

  • It saves time.
  • It can save money on furniture; designers try to work within your budget.
  • Interior designers generally have a better understanding of aesthetics and the know-how to beautify your house.
  • They can show you how to make the best use out of your space, and it’s economical too.

The joy of furnishing your house, trotting through markets, searching for deals and matching designs and colors is unparalleled.

Even better, you can involve your whole family and make everyone feel as though they’ve contributed. 

6. Selecting a Suitable Shop

choose a furniture shop

This is the most complex part of calculating how much does it cost to furnish your house? It’s in your best interest to buy most or all of your furniture from one store, be it online or locally, as you can avail the best cost-saving deals.

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To do so, the store must have all the items on your list and as per your requirements. There are several online stores, so take your time to browse all the available options.

Compare prices across as many stores as you can to get the best out of your budget. Remember, this is an investment in not just your home, but also your health and lifestyle.

So don’t over-skimp when it comes to quality or brand. Getting value for your money and an ensured product is just as crucial as saving wherever you can.  

Tip: If you're ever looking for new furniture and exorbitant savings, try to hunt for newly opened furniture stores. 

New stores tend to offer great deals to their initial customers to build some goodwill in the market. Otherwise, wait for the discounts during the upcoming holiday season.

If you don’t want to overspend but need a decent quality couch from a brand you like, look into used or refurbished listings on Craigslist or eBay.

If you’re lucky, you might find the same sofa, mattress, or table you wanted in pristine condition without the pocket-breaking price tag. Cost-saving is an art when it comes to home design.

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Some Final Words

Now that you’re aware of what furnishings you will need in your new house, how much they cost, and the number of different ways to save money at each stage of this process, you might still be wondering how much does it cost to furnish a house altogether?

The answer to that is, it all depends on the variables—whether or not you opted for an interior decorator, whether you sold or re-used old furniture, took advantage of deals available to you through various resources, and how big your house is.

For argument’s sake, let’s say you have no old furniture, bought a standard average home and hired a mid-tier interior designer. That would easily cost you anywhere between $17,000 – $35,000.

If you use the pointers in this article to plan your purchases more carefully, you’ll be surprised at how much you could end up saving. 

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