To say I'm on a budget is an understatement. Quite frankly, I can't really afford my lifestyle and have let my more expensive taste get the best of me on too many occasions. Outside of rent and basic living expenses, my funds are typically allocated to updating my wardrobe (near constantly), going out for dinner and drinks, and taking the occasional Uber home.
In other words, very little is left over for my living space, and most of what I've bought for my small rental room in Brooklyn definitely falls into the "budget friendly" category. Considering that many of my peers are in the same boat, I felt it my duty to share my highly strategic shopping tactics with other money-strapped 20- and 30-somethings.
Be warned that my process isn't for the faint of heart; as a diehard shopping lover, I don't mind spending hours combing through thousands upon thousands of products in search of the perfect throw pillow or budget-friendly dresser. This process has led me to discover the top-tier brands carried at each retailer, making it much easier to wade through the massive inventory (I'm looking at you, Amazon and Overstock). Here are my go-to retailers for budget décor, as well as my favorite brands carried at each.
Target has really exceeded my expectations in the last few years (the dresser pictured above is from there), but there's still quite a bit to sift through within the intimidatingly vague "Home" category. While you can obviously search according to what you're looking for (it's split up by furniture, bedding, bath, etc.), it helps to search by your favorite brands. I've grown to love Project 62, Opalhouse, Threshold, Hearth & Hand With Magnolia, and Nate Berkus and usually check these brand pages first as opposed to filtering by category.
What to Shop For: Throw blankets and pillows (I have these) and some furniture, but be sure to pay attention to the materials used.
Overstock is a unique beast. The retailer carries hundreds of thousands of products from countless brands, meaning it lacks any sort of curation. But the prices are unbeatable, and if you're willing to do some digging, there are a few gems peppered in. This is another retailer where it's helpful to search by brand; I've come to rely on Safavieh, Corvus, and Havenside Home for budget-friendly furniture.
What to Shop For: Budget furniture and rugs; I have yet to find reliably stylish décor.
IKEA comes as no surprise. The Swedish retailer has been a standby for affordable, stylish furniture, hardware, and décor for decades. While I'd like to graduate from its difficult-to-assemble furniture eventually, my budget has kept me from doing so just yet (and I'm more than okay with it at the moment).
What to Shop For: Minimalist furniture and sleek lighting. The tableware selection is also great!
All of us at MyDomaine HQ have been pleasantly surprised by H&M Home on multiple occasions (take a look at its most recent collection, Serene Staycation). Not only are the prices unbeatable for the quality, but we love the sleek, modern aesthetic. Their hidden gem is definitely their tableware.
We'll be the first to admit that Amazon's website is a bit overwhelming, but the deals make it worth navigating the labyrinth of products. The home décor offerings have been expanding over the past year or so, but the launch of the e-tailer's in-house brands Rivet and Stone & Beam has been a game changer.
What to Shop For: We have the below lamp in our MyDomaine office and can vouch for the quality. Otherwise, pillows and décor are safe bets, though the furniture also looks promising.
While West Elm isn't quite in my budget, I love the brand so much that I'm willing to save up and splurge on a new planter or vase every once in a while. The retailer also partners with Minted, an affordable art site, which is where I've purchased multiple pieces for my apartment. If you have more money to spend, I suggest looking at the selection of statement and dining chairs; they're always some of my favorite pieces.
What to Shop For: To keep it within my budget, I usually opt for throw pillows and blankets, candles and candleholders, vases, and the like instead of furniture. West Elm also does faux botanicals extremely well.