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6 Tips for finding modern home furniture and décor on a budget (part 1 of 2)

Let’s be real, most of us are on some sort of budget. Especially when it comes to shopping for home goods. With this blog post, I’ve pulled together some of my best tips for furnishing your modern home on a budget.


Let’s be real, most of us are on some sort of budget. Especially when it comes to shopping for home goods. The other day I was at Costco and I found an entire sheet set for only $15. Do you know how excited I was? I didn’t even care how many thread count they were. What material. I just wanted to find another pair of cheap sheets, so I don’t have to do TONS of laundry. Don’t get me wrong, I love the nice fancy stuff (100% Linen sheets anyone?), but there is a time and place for those things. And it’s up to the individual or family to decide where they want to splurge and where they want to save. 

With this blog post, I’ve pulled together some of my best tips for furnishing your modern home on a budget. Because there is a LOT of information on this topic, I have broken up this blog post into two parts. This is part one. In this blog post you’ll learn:

Part One: (this blog post)

1. When it comes to staying on budget for the modern home, embrace Ikea

2. When it comes to staying on budget for the modern home, peruse discounted home décor stores (Ross, Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Marshalls)

3. When it comes to staying on budget for the modern home, know which pieces to spend your money on


Part Two: (click here)

4. When it comes to staying on budget for the modern home, be flexible (don’t get focused on just one way)

5. When it comes to staying on budget for the modern home, plan for the sales

6. When it comes to staying on budget for the modern home, don’t rush it

I’ve also included a robust furniture and décor budget spreadsheet (with a separate trade/services budget sheet), and a downloadable list on my top ten favorite modern furniture and décor shops (online and offline).

*I’d like to note, that if you are just buying a new home, also check out this blog post on what furniture you should buy first.

So, Let’s get started!

Modern Interior Design on a budget

When it comes to staying on a budget for the modern home, embrace Ikea

Yep, a controversial tip right out of the gate (coming from an interior designer). I live in Los Angeles, it’s super expensive here. My husband and I bought a little fixer upper right outside of downtown LA. We bought it relatively cheap for the Southern California market, but it was still a lot of money for us. We have slowly fixed it up and have spent a pretty penny doing so. Our house is probably NINETY percent Ikea. I kid you not. From the bathroom and kitchen cabinets, to the light fixtures and the furniture. Down to our hampers. I understand that my kitchen cabinets may not last 30 years, but when it comes time to switch them out, I will probably be ready for a change anyway. Ikea has great deals on popular, and common furniture and décor. They also have a sale section near the registers, and I always suggest hitting that area before you leave. You would be very surprised what you can find there for up to 50% off. Also, Ikea offers a warranty on a lot of their sofas. If you use your Ikea family card when you check out, it saves your past transactions. Plus, they have a 365-day return policy. Can’t go wrong when you’re on a budget. Plus, their furniture is on the more modern side and very versatile which is great for the modern family.

Modern Interior Design on a budget

When it comes to staying on budget for the modern home, peruse discounted home décor stores (Ross, Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Marshalls)

I’ll be honest, I haven’t been to a Ross in a long time. But the other day the family and I were taking a stroll and we decided to check out a Ross along our path. I was pleasantly surprised at the things I found there. From home décor to small furniture items. If you’re looking for an accent chair, small table, lamps, pillows- check out Ross before going somewhere else. They are the least expensive out of all the discount stores listed above. After Ross, I would then check out TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Homegoods. If you are looking for general furniture, mirrors and wall art and rugs then Homegoods is your best bet. These stores are especially great for finding décor items to finish your room. Keep in mind that these kinds of stores have a mix of décor styles ranging from Traditional to Modern, to trendy (like Boho, Farmhouse, etc.). You will need to tweak your mind’s eye to only focus on those items that fall in line with the Modern home that you are trying to create. It’s super easy to get distracted with the cool things you find in store. To make sure you stay on track, I recommend keeping a “mood picture” of a room that you really like (one that you want your room or home to feel like). When you find something you aren’t sure about (maybe you LOVE it but you aren’t sure if it will fit your new Modern décor) then take a look at your mood image and try to see if the item you are on the fence about will look good in that room. If not, ditch it. Lastly, I do NOT recommend buying sheets at any of these stores. Every pair of sheets that I have bought just end up not working out (either too small, too scratchy, they rip, etc). You are better off buying those somewhere else.

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Modern Interior Design on a budget

When it comes to staying on budget for the modern home, know which pieces to spend your money on

This is pretty much the key to budgeting for your space or home. Understanding where to spend your money is very important when planning for your modern home décor revamp. Most of the time I recommend to my clients that they should invest some money on the following furniture items (depending on the space): Sofa or Sectional, Bed frame & Mattress, Entertainment Center (if you can’t build one in), appliances, decorative tile and stone. Let’s break this down a little further:

Sofa or Sectional

Out of all the furniture in a Living Room, this is the piece of furniture I recommend spending a little extra money on. For a couple of reasons:

1. In a Modern family home, you want your sofa to last through the years. It will get abused by kids, animals, and it will be a place where the family congregates together. Parties and movie night usually happen on the sofa. You really don’t want to have to replace your sofa or sectional each year.

2. Especially in a Modern family home you want to get a sofa with fabric that is durable. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but most Modern homes feature sofas or sectionals that have very LIGHT fabric. How the heck are you supposed to pull that off when you have kids (and animals?) By choosing the RIGHT fabric content. To my clients that have kids, I always recommend either a Sunbrella or Performance fabric. One that says it’s easy to clean. This is going to cost you a little more money because you are slightly customizing your sofa. But you can usually find sales or shop around until you find something in your price range. Some of my favorite places to buy sofa’s where you can customize the fabric are: Burrow, Interior Define, Basset Furniture (you need to weed through the styles), Pottery Barn, West Elm, Crate and Barrel.

3. Don’t do Down (or down alternative). I know, people always talk about how luxurious Down is. But when you’re all about that Modern life (with a family especially) Down is not really your best choice. If your seat and/or back cushions are down, you are going to be CONSTANTLY fluffing your sofa. Not only that, if your sofa is not great quality, your cushions will look bent out of shape after a year. Thirdly, down just won’t give you that Modern look. You want firm cushions that retain their shape and have crisp, sharp lines. Down cushions tend to look soft and lived in. The only Modern style that would work with is Industrial.

For more tips on what to look for when buying a sofa, check out this blog post on 4 Tips for buying a new sofa.


Bed Frame & Mattress

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on Mattresses. Most people now a days understand the value of having a good quality mattress. You spend a third of your life sleeping. So, invest in your beauty rest, its important! Make sure to shop around and try to buy from a shop that allows you to return within 90 days or so. It often takes time for your body to adjust to a new mattress.

When it comes to bed frames, you don’t HAVE to spend extra on one, but if you’d like it to last a long time then it’s a good idea to invest. The hubby and I bought a cheap (SUPER cheap) bed frame at Living Space’s. It’s lasted us a good 3 years but now it’s starting to creak, and it just doesn’t feel the same. I’m pretty sure we are going to invest in a better bed frame in the next two or three years. Granted, we only wasted about three-hundred buck purchasing our current bed, but hopefully we can find someone to give our old bed too because I don’t want to fill up the land fill unnecessarily. Also, having a bed with features that are important to you like storage, some beds are expandable, and just plain good quality materials is something to you’ll want to consider.

Entertainment Center

This can really be in any room of the house that you’d like. Now a days the trend is to have something more custom and built-in to your room. I’m all for that, and if you know a good Carpenter than that would be my first recommendation. You can customize your entertainment center to be WHATEVER you want. However, a lot of us can’t afford that. So those of use that are on a budget have a couple of options. We can purchase a large entertainment center. Or, at a place like Ikea you can mix and match furniture pieces to create a semi-custom entertainment center with T.V. cabinet, wall shelves, bookcase, desk, etc. This is especially important for the Modern family home where you need a lot of storage and mutli-functional spaces.


I think this is obvious for most people, but appliances are a good place to spend a little extra cash. Number one, because you typically use them a lot and you want to invest in a good brand that will last a long time. Number two, style is important in kitchen appliances, especially for the Modern home! If you’re planning to remodel a kitchen that will last at least 30 years, you want to make sure you get the right style of appliances that will transcend the latest trend and look good in your new kitchen. Number three, you can take them with you! If you own your home and you think you may sell one day, you can take your appliances with you if you decide to spend a pretty penny on them.

Decorative Tile & Stone

You don’t need to spend tons of money on tile and stone, it depends on where you are going to use it. Tile is something that you are going to keep for a long time. Changing out the tile in your bathroom or kitchen takes time, is inconvenient, and cost money. So, you want to make sure you spend the extra dough to get the tile that you want. Most of the time people splurge on tile in the shower and bathrooms because you get the most bang for your buck. Also, stone is something you want to consider spending a little extra on. You want to make sure you get the right type of stone for the application (like Quartz for Kitchen counters is typically the best option) but also make sure it’s a color and veining pattern that you love. Go to the tile yard and look at large slabs of stone before you purchase anything. Sometimes a small sample just isn’t enough stone to see all the variations that natural stone has.


Make sure you download my furniture and decor budget spreadsheet (in excel) as well as my top 10 modern furniture and decor places that I like to shop at when on a budget.


So, after about 2100 words, I think we will go ahead and stop here and pick up in the next blog post. I imagine that one won’t be quite as long because this post has most of the meaty information. However, the next blog post will still have some important things to consider when you’re looking to create a Modern home on a budget. Stay tuned!


6 Tips on finding Modern Home Decor and Furniture on a Budget

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14 Responses

  1. Doubtless!
    This is best, Explained tips about finding modern home furniture and in a concise way.
    Thank you.

  2. Thanks for reminding me that I have to check where my money goes and have a specific budget for the home improvement process. We’re trying to focus on our kitchen and make some changes, but we don’t know where to start. I think I have to check the prices of hickory chairs online and start working on our budget from there.

    1. Hi Zoe- yes, having a budget is key! Also, focusing on one room at a time is best or your project can become overwhelming. Good luck!

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