The Best Budget Decorating Hacks on the Internet
Budgeting is an art. We're constantly brainstorming ways to build a better mousetrap in the affordable nesting realm. From seasonal sales to sharpening your vintage hunt skills, we take the game seriously. Being that we're constantly combing the far reaches of the internet and beyond to bring you the best, brightest, and often most affordable décor solutions, our digital travels have offered up some insider knowledge. Today, we're letting you in on all our best-kept editor secrets for saving year-round. It's advice you literally can't afford to miss.
Timing is everything. The cliché rings especially true for home décor purchases. If you're plotting a seasonal remodel, our best internet saving tips promise to save you some major cash. Welcome to our streamlined list of the seven best hacks for scoring home discounts on the web. Want to know when those aspirational décor items you've been coveting on your Pinterest boards will actually drop into the accessible range? We got you.
One of the easiest ways to save on your overall online purchase is shipping rates. Especially with larger items, such as furniture, delivery costs can add on significant chunk of change to your bottom line. Check the shipping policy before purchase. If the item you're shopping is available on multiple sites, go for the one with the best shipping policy. Then there's the golden goose of furniture sales policies—the flat rate ship.
Our new favorite online home interiors start-up, TRNK, offers free shipping for orders over $200 and a flat rate for orders under $200. Often times retailers will offer a bulk discount for purchasing more than one thing at a time (this is especially true of auction sites). Ask to have your entire purchase held and bundled until all the items in your purchase are ready to ship. If you're buying straight off a brick and mortar's website, it's always worth calling the store directly to inquire if there's any negotiation room on shipping.
The ubiquity of online shopping has catalyzed a new business model that's changing e-commerce with its hard-to-compete-with price point. It's “direct to consumer” retail. Fresh off the unmitigated success of wildly successful fashion predecessors (Warby Parker, Everlane), direct-to-consumer furniture is starting to make some waves. Statistically, items purchased through traditional retail outlets boast a total markup of around 400%. With direct-to-consumer brands, you're effectively purchasing wholesale.
So which sites do we have flagged in our little black design books for the chicest finds? For furniture and home décor, we recommend Interior Define, The Citizenry, and Article. For the best linens, we're feeling L.A.-based Parachute. For bedding essentials from hypoallergenic pillows to feather-light down comforters, check out East Coast brand Brooklinen.
Article Cube Sofa ($1899)
Article creates beautifully streamlined furnishings from modular sofas to midcentury-inspired dining room tables for an amazingly affordable price. They'll also deliver anything in their inventory directly to your door across the continental U.S. and Canada for one flat fee of just $49.
Deep discounts for certain products literally operate like clockwork. Market analytics suggest seasonal sales for home items are every bit as cyclical and predictable as fashion. Consumer Reports has a full list of items divided by best months to buy. Of course, there will always be exceptions. Keep tabs on e-mail announcements (sign up for those newsletter exclusives) and shopping apps. Indoor furniture is generally at its lowest price point of the year in February and June. If you're waiting to scoop up new tech and home appliances, it's no surprise the holiday sales of November and December are your best bet.
Our editors swear by Honey app. "Use Honey! It takes zero effort once you’ve installed the app and scouts great discounts on a ton of major sites," says our own Lifestyle Editor, Sophie Muira. Apps make it wildly easy to scour Craigslist, Etsy, The Real Real, and Ebay listings daily. Set your alerts, and you'll be on autopilot. "Search for things on Amazon," adds our Home Décor Editor Gabrielle Savoie. Her pro-level mastery moves involve having a feel for which specific brands trend cheaper on the site. "Many décor brands are available for cheaper on Amazon," she says. "Menu and Hay to name two." Two of our favorites, no less.
Hitting up the outlet IRL is a great way to score deep discounts. The Restoration Hardware Outlet situation alone is among our go-to hacks to not pay full price for furniture. If you're more into Pinterest cruising in your pajamas, that's available too. Sites from Wayfair to One Kings Lane, World Market, and Overstock have insanely built-out inventories that rotate constantly.
You could safely say vintage hunting is a passion of ours. From curated tastemaker tag sales (like that one time Kelly Wearstler went to Paris and listed all her hand-plucked treasures on One Kings Lane) to optimizing your Craigslist keyword search, vintage and consignment finds are often one of a kind, with a price to match. We love Chairish for vintage and, of course, the most insane online inventory of antiques, 1stDibs.
Here's an insider tip: Cruise 1stdibs to find the exact era or name of item you’re searching for and then take the data to Craigslist. It's like mining for gold. Every now and then someone misspells a designer's name, so check a few iterations. The good stuff goes fast, so don't hesitate if you find the perfect score. We'll race you to it.
With major purchases, just like shipping, sales tax can be a pronounced additional cost. Get familiar with the state sales tax holiday calendar, especially when buying appliances. Chopping sales tax off that new Macbook will save you big time. Brands are restricted from charging sales tax on items that are shipped to states where they do not have a physical presence. Always compare price points and locations across retailers that offer the same product. If buying from a boutique brand, it often pays to purchase directly from the company's own site. For example, if you live in Dallas and purchase a Kelly Wearstler accessory from Neiman Marcus, you're looking at paying full tax. But, if you order the same item from Wearstler's L.A.-based brick-and-mortar flagship and have it shipped that's zero tax for the Texas crown. Location, location, location.
What's your best online shopping trick? School us on your best hacks in the comments below.