My name is Natalia and one year ago I finished the renovations in my apartment. Just like any owner, I wanted to turn my home into a place that I really want to come back to without sacrificing my peace of mind or my wallet. It had always seemed to me that the way to build a cozy nest is filled with enormous expenses and a bunch of frazzled nerves. But as it turns out, in the process you can reduce the hit on your finances significantly.

Especially for Enlighten, I am going to share the secrets of some cool repair tips that helped me figure out the tricks of retail chains, save money, and get the apartment of my dreams.

How to buy furniture at a cheaper price

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My friend who works as a sales assistant told me this secret. If you find the furniture that you like, don’t rush to buy it. In order to decrease the price, you need to learn who the manufacturer is. This can be done by examining the label or by asking a sales consultant. As a rule, each factory has a website (though it’s not as bright and colorful as that of the chain stores), and almost all of them have retail sales as well. Sometimes manufacturers don’t indicate prices on their site, but you can always find out by contacting them by phone.

When buying products directly, you’ll pay a lower price even if you take the costs of delivery into account. Of course, you can opt for those manufacturers who are located closer to you — since it could help you save on shipping costs.

How to save money on buying kitchen furniture

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Oftentimes beautiful kitchen sets are unreasonably expensive, while their cheaper analogs are not pleasing to the eye at all. In order to overcome this unfairness, it just required a little wit and the help of the male half of my family. It turned out that you can significantly save money if you buy different elements of the kitchen unit at different stores and assemble them independently.

Thus, we got drawers and façades at one place, the countertop and the backsplash at another store, then we bought a sink and a mixer. I can’t believe I got all of these at a cheap price compared to the average prices for kitchen units — $450 (without electrical appliances), while the results exceeded all my expectations. Due to the small size of the kitchen, my unit turned out to be much more compact. In chain stores, I was offered similar solutions for at least $750.

What to do if you like an item but don’t like its price

While I was studying the range of retail chains, I came to the conclusion that I shouldn’t buy the thing I like right away. Just like in clothing stores, there are shops that offer attractive deals. With the only difference being that prices in these shops are reduced not only for goods that became outdated, but also for the modern and up-to-date interior decor items.

For example, stores selling furniture change prices for some goods approximately once a month. If you, for instance, need laminate or tiles in a certain color, you can try waiting for the discount. It’s highly possible that you’ll be able to get the color you need for a more pleasant price next month. That’s how I managed to get a $100 armchair for $70.

How to make budget interior look expensive

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Classic and simple solutions work well with budget-friendly interior design. The thing is that furniture in a more sophisticated shape and design will look cheaper if it doesn’t cost much. A simple table or an ordinary white tablecloth, in their turn, will be able to easily hide their real price. Therefore, those who are not ready for significant expenses, but at the same time dream of a stylish interior, should take a closer look at more laconic solutions.

Why the little details are so important

Don’t be afraid to add meaningful accents to the interior — they can bring more color to even the simplest of designs. It can be a vase with your favorite flowers, candles, stylish lamps, or a huge seashell brought home from an unforgettable vacation. The more I increased the number of these little details, the cozier my apartment became.

How to save money on delivery

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My car helped me greatly in saving money on delivery. Turns out that even my small car is capable of accommodating a significant amount of building materials and furniture. Thus, I was ordering delivery only for very large purchases — like my bed, my sofa, or my refrigerator. I picked up all of the rest of the items myself.

Usually, sellers highly recommend paying for shipping and assembly, but most household goods are shipped in a folded condition and are carefully packed in relatively small boxes that fit easily into a car, which means there is no need to pay for delivery.

Why it’s important to pay attention to the material

A nice design is a cool thing, a nice design combined with perfect quality is even better. When choosing furniture and other interior elements, it is important to pay attention to the material that they are made from. For example, wooden and leather items preserve their look for years and are basically more practical. Moreover, sometimes restoring something old might be a better solution than buying something new — even experienced designers follow this principle.

How to get the same service for a cheaper price

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The assembly of furniture, as well as doors and plumbing installation, will cost you a fortune if you order them in shops at the moment you buy the item. You can try looking for a similar worker on a specialized website and get the same service for a lower price. Oftentimes, one person can provide the same services both through collaboration with a retail network and directly.

Why you shouldn’t completely ditch the idea of budget options


You can find a budget-friendly version of almost any item. For example, I was dreaming about a lamp with a glass base, but this particular lamp was expensive. At some point, I was ready to give up and buy a completely different lamp, but eventually, I found a similar model for a reasonable price.

Finally, I came to the following conclusion: don’t reject an item if you like it a lot. In most cases, you will be able to find cheaper alternatives that perhaps will look more modest, but at the same time no less interesting.

Of course, each person decides individually whether they want to spend a lot of money on renovations or limit themselves to a certain amount of money. In any case, it’s always doubly pleasant when you manage to not only get the home of your dreams but to also save a big part of your budget while doing so.

Have you ever done renovations by yourself? Or do you prefer to entrust this to professionals?