Welcome to the 2020 update of one of our most popular posts last year. (Almost one year later to the day). It’s understandable since finding a great piece of furniture at a GOOD price feels like a true personal victory. Now we know it seems like a pretty crazy time to promote buying new furniture but we have been getting a surprising amount of requests for just that. So while we were all a bit shocked at first, these requests actually make total make sense. We are currently spending so much time at home and want/need it to feel good and safe which sometimes means a new coffee table. So without further ado here are 87 NEW budget-friendly pieces that might just give you the visual boost you need if you are in fact, in need. Now we decided to keep Arlyn’s wonderful words and personal story from the original post (with a few updates) because they are simply a delight to read. So if it’s been a while since you’ve taken a peek, I promise it’s a treat:) Disclaimer: Whether it’s your first house or your fifth, almost everyone needs affordable furniture. Saving money will NEVER go out of style. Arlyn, take it away…
I very clearly remember buying furniture for and decorating my first apartment (it did NOT look like the above for anyone wondering). I was in my mid-20s, only had bedroom furniture in my possession (mostly espresso-stained pieces from IKEA’s Hemnes line with the exception of the upholstered headboard I DIYed), and found myself in need of things like a sofa and coffee table after accepting a job three hours south of my home town (and parents’ house where I lived after college like every proper millennial). It was my first real foray into “design” and man was it exciting. You know, except for the part that I had very little money to do any of it. As any super responsible twenty-something would do (i.e. this was a terrible idea and I’m still paying off debt today from it so I do not recommend this route EVER just in the name decorating), I opened lines of credit (don’t do this) to buy furniture so I wasn’t sitting on the floor for six months. (Keep reading if you’re interested in the tale of “Arlyn Proudly Buys a Macy’s Sofa and Also Lots of Random Things From HomeGoods and the Internet”…if not, feel free to skip my nostalgia trip and head straight to the roundups.)
Being a total furniture newb, I scoured the web, not really knowing what anything should/would cost, what stores to go to besides Rooms To Go or Ashley or IKEA. This was my first real adult apartment (I’m not counting my college dorm apartments with the clinical waiting-room furniture they provided), so obviously it had to be a chic work of art that precisely expressed my 26-year-old tastes and the fact that I was now, ahem, a design magazine editor. And you know what I wish I had back then, all those years ago? AN ULTIMATE BUDGET APARTMENT FURNITURE GUIDE. Like THIS ONE! If you can’t help your past self, help the present and future people that are living your same experiences, right? Or maybe you can just save on some really great looking furniture pieces, no age limit.
There are so many more options today, specifically online, for furniture that isn’t just a generic honey oak veneered box or the same espresso-stained birchwood media cabinet over and over again. That is what I affectionately refer to as furniture déjà vu—when you hit a point in the search process where you recognize every silhouette, it just goes by a different name and price at a different online store. Anyhow, none of this is to say I don’t fondly remember my gray velvet Macy’s Chloe sofa I bought during a One-Day Sale for $600 (plus the “care” package for an additional $150 that I absolutely never used) or my too-small-but-who-cares black-and-white chevron rug or the “weathered” wood coffee table I afforded with a rebate for signing up for AT&T U-Verse. I was proud of what I had put together, which subsequently made me want to have people over (except I had no friends because I was living in a new city). I felt like an “adult” with my matching throw pillows and my DIYed wall art (a constant reminder I clearly needed of my initials plastered in numerous parts of my apartment).
My very practical brother kept telling me not to waste my money because it was “just a rental” but I knew better. Sorry, bro. I knew that I would want to go home to a place that felt special to me. That had “my touch.” Sure, eventually I’d upgrade from most of that stuff once I merged homes with my S.O., but I carried it with me through three apartments and I don’t regret the money or time I put into my “just rentals.” Plus, they all were sold off or donated to new homes. I’d like to think that that old Macy’s sofa is somewhere still…probably in another 20-something’s apartment, definitely not splattered with red wine stains and French fry grease.
And now I’ve reached the part of this post where I realized no one besides my mom would care about my furniture ghosts of apartments past, and I’m about to get to why you’re probably here in the first place (that, or you created your own blog post reading adventure and skipped ahead to about here). Welcome. We worked really hard to dig up budget-friendly living room furniture that we love right now and tried to touch on the main pieces you’d need. This roundup doesn’t include any soft goods (pillows, rugs, curtains), since those are pretty easy to find in your own personal style, but rather sofas, coffee tables, armchairs, media consoles, and accent tables, at price points by category we thought were fair but manageable.
Sofas Under $800
Here’s something funny we learned while going through this exercise: inexpensive sofas are not that difficult to find (a handful here are even under $500). Now, we can’t vouch for quality/comfort here, so be sure to dig through reviews as best you can…and double check measurements. A lot of these are on the smaller “apartment-sized” side, though there are a few larger ones. I’m pretty smitten with the shape of #15, the color of #16, the legs of #10. Oh, but boy am I a sucker for a sectional one like #13.
1. Faux Leather Sofa | 2. Fairfax Denim Velvet Sofa | 3. Bellingham Sofa with Chaise | 4. Aquarius II Light Grey Sofa | 5. Brenna Convertible Sofa | 6. Stocksund Sofa | 7. Cologne Tufted Track Arm Sofa | 8. Simplis Sofa | 9. Quentin Chesterfield Sofa | 10. Quinn Striped Sofa | 11. Finnala Sofa | 12. Elodie Sofa | 13. Graphite Woven Noelle Sofa and Ottoman | 14. Shae Sofa | 15. Farlov Sofa | 16. Hillam Velvet Sofa | 17. Cassie Tufted Convertible Sofa | 18. Brittany Linen Futon
Coffee Tables Under $300
While “budget” sofas in good styles are easy enough to come by, coffee tables are a totally different story. Man are these hard to source under $300. We did, however, excavate four that are $150 and under (check those sizes, though, some are on the smaller side) and a few others that didn’t feel like your usual coffee table fare. I’m very into the natural look of #7, #5 has some storage, #2 is minimally cool, #4 is a great pop of color (cute hardware, too!), #18 looks far more expensive than it actually is.
1. Shaker Coffee Table | 2. Wood and Metal Samir Coffee Table | 3. Glasgow Metal Coffee Table | 4. Maddie Coffee Table | 5. Alviso Coffee Table | 6. Ria Coffee Table | 7. Sansur Coffee Table | 8. Wyatt Coffee Table | 9. Dickie Coffee Table | 10. Omera Coffee Table | 11. Hillside Coffee Table | 12. Minsmere Coffee Table | 13. Fairmont Metal Coffee Table | 14. Claire Coffee Table | 15. Pyronia Cage Coffee Table | 16. Stevie Coffee Table | 17. Listerby Coffee Table | 18. Wood & Cane Coffee Table
Media Consoles Under $300(ish)
Alright, so a couple of these are just over $300. If you’re after a more modern look go for something like #3 or #9. #1 (which is the same line as Emily’s dining room cabinet), #6 is more on the traditional side, while #4, #7, #8, and #13 would be cool style additions. For many years, I had the larger size of the IKEA Besta (#2) and I LOVED it. I could customize the interior storage however I wanted (shelves, drawers, etc.), brands like Semihandmade sell great retro-fit door options to up the design factor and you can throw on some cute legs from Etsy or Prettypegs and boom, you’ve got yourself a custom cabinet/media console. (See my dining room unit for an example).
1. Windham TV Stand | 2. Bestå Cabinet | 3. Amherst Mid Century Stand | 4. Walnut Book Shelf | 5. Touraco TV Stand | 6. Siegel TV Stand | 7. Wiley Media Cabinet | 8. Kirby Media Stand | 9. Bestå TV Unit | 10. Raven TV Stand | 11. Cliffmay Slat Media Stand | 12. Draper Media Console | 13. Elson TV Stand |14. Brody TV Stand | 15. Gervais TV Stand
Side Tables Under $125
Side tables…because we all need a place to set a drink and some random stack of books/decor pieces. This is their official slogan, FYI. So, the good news is, side tables can be VERY cost-effective (four of these are under $80 and all but two under $100), which is a good thing because typically, you need two of them for each side (not matching per se) of the sofa or next to a sofa/armchair.
I’m very into the double-tier situation at #9, #12 and #14, as well as the little sling accent from #8, though the bean shape of #1 is a fun visual addition to a room usually full of straight-lined furniture. #15 in the matte black feels cool and modern, but I love the modern traditional look of #2. I think #6 has this modern ’70s look that I love and the glam of #7 and #16 would make any room sparkle. Hot Tip: Be sure to look for both “side table” and “nightstand” to see ALL your options when searching on your own.
1. Mae Bean Side Table | 2. Londonberry Turned Metal Accent Table Black | 3. Vena Side Table | 4. Frame Side Table | 5. Drexler End Table | 6. Wood Stacking Side Table | 7. Kibara Cage Accent Table Brass | 8. Folkston End Table with Storage | 9. Ferdinand Round Wood Accent Table | 10. Wood & Wire Accent Table | 11. Amaia Side Table | 12. Wyatt Nightstand | 13. Astrid Round Side Table | 14. Mikko Side Table | 15. Desoto Metal Handle C Table Black | 16. Zeeland Brass Drum Accent Table | 17. Braeswood Wicker Side Table with Removable Wood Top | 18. Lanham Marble Top Side Table
Armchairs Under $250
I lived many, many years without an armchair (again, no friends, so I just needed my sofa to sit on), until I found an $80 bergère chair at a local thrift store that had a very ugly beige taffeta-like fabric on it I swore up and down I was going to change soon. That was 8 years ago. It’s still untouched, but…one day guys…one day. Anyhow, these are kind of the “icing” on the cake in terms of living room furniture, but they can be so great as, you know, something useful to sit on for guests, or as something that provides visual interest (hello #2, #8 and #11 below!).
1. Esters Wood Arm Chair | 2. Ria Rattan Chair | 3. Ruby Slipper Chair | 4. Chloe Velvet Chair | 5. Faux Leather Chair | 6. Houndstooth Wingback | 7. Alivia Green Velvet Chair | 8. Woven Wood Chair | 9. Sherpa Rocking Chair | 10. Natural Cane Chair | 11. Velvet Swivel Chair | 12. Irene Leather Chair | 13. Bowden Accent Chair | 14. Gray Upholstered Chair | 15. Sherpa Slipper Chair | 16. Rasen Accent Chair | 17. Barrel Chair | 18. Walnut Meno Chair
It’s us again! Hope you found what you were looking for at a price that can make you and your wallet happy. A small change, whether it’s a piece of furniture or a handmade piece of decor, can make a world of difference to our homes (and our mental state). Even if it’s switching your bedroom nightstand with your living room side table for free. Thank you again for sending a part of your day with us and see you in a couple of hours for our afternoon snack:)