How to furnish your apartment for less than $375 (Seriously) Part I

I recently moved from a tiny, 350-square-foot studio in Brooklyn to a massive, sprawling one-bedroom apartment in Pittsburgh. I think it’s around a million square-feet. Or, at least it feels like it.

When I moved out of New York City, I had only a minimal amount of furniture. My new apartment definitely needed basic items like a couch, a coffee table and a dining room set, and I really wanted to find pieces that were aesthetically-pleasing and inexpensive.

So, I hit up some thrift shops.

Disclaimer: I know thrifting isn’t for everyone. There are some people who are grossed out by the idea of using other people’s stuff, and that’s totally fine. I personally don’t mind, and (knock on wood) have yet to contract bed bugs or a highly-infectious disease from secondhand furniture or clothing.

A second disclaimer: I am by no means a decorating expert (is that a thing?), nor do I post cool pics of creative ideas on sites like Pinterest. This is simply how I avoid eating/sleeping/sitting on the floor of a furniture-less apartment.

Here are some of the items I use (part one):

Dining room table

I never had the luxury of a dining room table in any of my Manhattan or Brooklyn apartments. I usually ate meals on my bed like a sad, sad college student. This table once belonged to my parents! They picked it up at a garage sale years ago and my siblings and I used it when we were kids. My mom added a few coats of gray paint and it looked brand new. I love furniture with some history. 🙂

Cost: $45, sometime during the 1990s, garage sale

Coffee table

I found this gem at Goodwill! Someone had left a pile of Milky Way candy bar wrappers inside one of its storage compartments, but it cleaned up nicely and the glass was in pristine condition. There are four cubbies for items like books and magazines. Sometimes I eat pizza on it, but don’t judge me.

Cost: $15, Goodwill

End table

I love this little table. It’s a hexagon shape with three open sides. It’s made of real wood, not particle board.

Cost: $5, Goodwill

Decorative table

Part of living in an adult apartment is owning furniture that doesn’t serve a purpose. I found this small, wood table at a garage sale several years ago and my mom spray-painted it white. I really love its curved edges and I think its flaws add character. The center mirror was another Goodwill find – it was originally gold, but I painted it silver.

Cost: $5, 2008-ish, garage sale

Shelf/Television stand

I’m going to hold off buying a TV for as long as I can, so right now I’m using this shelf for photo frames. I painted it white but may try using chalk paint to give it some color.

Cost: $6, Goodwill

This was part one of a two-post series. Don’t forget to come back for part two! 🙂

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