There’s nothing like the feeling of getting home after a hectic day out and about. And having a cozy residence, styled to suit your own preferences, can only add to that feeling. Decorations and furnishings do in fact have a deep impact on mental health and wellbeing. Clean, airy spaces are known to spur creativity and induce a good mood in residents. Incorporating wood in our built environment, in particular, can reduce stress and improve health and focus.
But furnishing a home is no easy task these days as labor and supply chain issues linger. To be able to fully embrace and enjoy a remodeling project, you need to know what to expect, especially when it comes to budgeting the job. While IKEA and other cookie cutter-style furniture seems like a tempting choice, turning to handcrafted pieces will really set your home apart and make it a true haven for you and your family.
If you truly want your home to ‘breathe’ in harmony with you, you need allies, whether they are skilled furniture artisans or providers of special handcrafted pieces. We wanted to see what’s in store for lovers of quality furniture and how much furnishing a home with unique décor costs, so we partnered with Nadeau – Furniture with a Soul, a company offering one-of-a-kind pieces in over 27 cities across the U.S. We went through a varied selection of items both on furniturewithasoul.com and other online stores to estimate the potential cost of furnishing an entire home with flair.
Aiming for unique style? Essential furniture pieces and costs for every room in your house
According to our research, the cost of furnishing a two-bedroom home with quality items of furniture can cost $31,600 on average. If you’re going for the bare minimum while still adding essential pieces to every room in your house, you might pay a little under $8,000.
One way to find some financial respite is to furnish one room at a time. We’ve broken down furnishing costs for individual rooms from the most expensive to the cheapest.
Kitchen – $9,000 on average
Completely furnishing your kitchen — the room that brings everyone together around cooking and talking about your day — can set you back close to $9,000. Cabinets are probably the priciest purchase — we calculated they cost an average of around $635 — and an average of ten cabinets are needed in a kitchen. But on the plus side, you’ll have plenty of space for all the cutlery, plates and items of glassware that can turn family dinners into true feasts.
For the kitchen to breathe modern appeal, you’ll probably want a kitchen island, and these can cost anywhere between $300 and $2,000. Custom-built models with stone or marble tops can get as expensive as $8,000 but a good-looking wooden island at handmade furniture stores is around $485 on average. That’s some great bang for the buck considering that more than simply boosting the room’s aesthetics, the island can be very practical as it adds more space for managing all the cooking.
As for somewhere where you can all eat together, a round wooden table can amp up the charm of the room and make the space more inviting. Those late-night chats over cheesecake and hot cocoa will feel truly special!
Bedroom – $5,800 on average
Needless to say, your bedroom can be an oasis of relaxation at the end of the day. That means you want your furniture to work together, creating that serene atmosphere you’re looking for while also being practical. Getting a wooden headboard for your bed – which can call for $575 on average – can protect your wall and also beautify your bedroom. If you’re seeking an ‘earthy’ look in the bedroom, you should probably pair the headboard with other natural materials and textures.
Dressers can also be excellent statement pieces in your bedroom, and picking quality handcrafted pieces will certainly quench your thirst for unique décor. If you’re a fan of media entertainment in the bedroom, you might also need a TV stand – this can actually become a nice focal point if you buy a stylish item. For roughly $630 you can get a handmade TV stand like a credenza, with beautifully carved wood, for some extra style and plenty of room inside for PJs and other items of clothing. Overall, furnishing your bedroom will cost you around $5,800 on average.
Living room – $4,550 on average
Furnishing your living room with refined pieces of furniture can cost more than $4.5K on average – with price variations that depend on the size of the space and your style preferences. Nathan Russo, Director of Operations at Destin Vacation Rentals, was able to furnish his living room for a reasonable $3,000: “My living room is about 12 x 18 feet in size, and I furnished it completely with a new sectional, coffee table, side table, accent chair, and a few wall decor pieces for around $3K.”
He was able to cut down on costs by combining styles and different sources, both new furniture pieces and thrift store finds, as well as by going the DIY route. “My interior design style is definitely more eclectic. I like color and unique shapes and patterns, so I combine items that I purchase, thrift, and even build myself,” Nathan said.
The sofa is the main item people splurge on in the living room
As the central piece of furniture in the living room, the sofa tends to steal the show. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a total surprise that the sofa comes with the highest price tag among the living room furniture items – around $1,350 on average.
Durability and comfort are what make most people spend extra on the living room sofa, and it’s one of the items people prefer to get from brick-and-mortar stores so that they can try it out before buying. Nathan Russo is one of the people who agree the sofa deserves all the attention. “I splurged the most on the sectional – in fact it was the only item that I didn’t thrift or build myself,” he said. “Knowing that it was going to be the most used furniture item in the room — and in the whole house, truthfully — I wanted to make sure it was durable, clean, high-quality and comfortable.”
Besides the sofa, your living room needs a few more pieces of furniture to finally come together as a room. You could add a beautiful book stand which can call for around $500 and a coffee table that could cost around $350 on average. To make sure you get to enjoy a delightful space, you can go for a romantic look with carved wooden items that will surely set your space apart from your run-of-the-mill living room. To maximize space, you can opt for a coffee table with a nesting design that doubles as storage space so you can tuck away your magazines and your throws.
At around $390 for two pieces, side tables are also worth the investment as they can add oomph to any room. They can be a nest of tables of differing sizes, and are often made of exquisite carved wood, or perhaps combine wood and metal, making statement pieces that won’t be found in every living space. To make the room pop, you could add a mirror for $200, with a brass or inlay frame or one beautifully carved from wood, which can truly enhance the room. Don’t forget about other elements of décor – a simple statue, some décor pillows or a vase placed in a strategic location can truly make a special statement.
Dining room – $3,700 on average
Putting a dining room together with the basic furniture can cost you around $3,700, based on our estimates. You’d pay most for dining room chairs if you get a set of six, roughly $1,100. However, remember that the dining room table is the star of the show and that will easily cost you north of $600.
Buffets – which never go out of style and which serve both functional and decorative purposes – come with average price tags of around $730. You could go for a modern open buffet or a classic one with closed cabinets with beautiful carvings, especially if you have arranged attractive wood furniture around your home.
Add a touch of beauty to the room with unique wall art. A carved wall panel, a strategically placed ambrosia pot or a hanging woven rug can change the atmosphere of the room and make it more inviting. If you have space for it, a statue can have a similar effect.
Patio – $1,750 on average
Of course, no home would be complete without an attractive backyard oasis where you can relax with family and friends. A patio furniture set that includes both lounging and seating options costs, on average, $1,250. To enjoy delightful al fresco dining experiences, you should also get a barbecue grill. A good quality one will set you back about $500 on average.
Home office – $1,100 on average
With remote work having become a fixture of current times, you may already have set up a home office or have contemplated creating one where you live. Furnishing it completely can cost over $1,000. Especially if you’re working daily from home, it’s important to select a top-quality desk, either wooden or metal, that is attractive and suits you perfectly. After all, you will spend a lot of time in this space, so having it decorated exactly to your taste will help nurture your state of mind with positive vibes. The same goes for your desk chair – pick one that’s comfortable and stylish at the same time and your back will thank you!
To further complete the look, you can add a one-of-a-kind bookcase which can come in handy if you need to store files, books and other work-related items.
How to cut costs on furnishing your home without sacrificing style
Adorning your home with beautiful furniture is not always cheap, especially if you’re going for unique, handcrafted items. It’s just like when you favor handmade jewelry over mass-produced items. However, there are ways you can bring beauty into your home without breaking the bank.
Shop for vintage furniture
If what you’re looking for, when shopping for furniture, is adding flair to your home for less money, it’s worth looking into vintage or “pre-loved” items. Look out for yard sales, and check out Facebook Marketplace, eBay and other online platforms where you can thrift to your heart’s content.
Buying pre-owned furniture that has experienced the passage of time is likely to result in some unique furniture that has its own story. And you’ll also be lending a hand by being a good environmentalist – one item at a time – as some of this furniture might have ended up in a landfill instead.
When furnishing his three-bedroom home, Andre Kazi, CEO of Improovy Painters Naperville, went for vintage furniture, which allowed him to land some good deals. “We picked a few secondhand (but well maintained) pieces in order to keep costs down while furnishing, so I would say the general theme is vintage,” he told us.
But keep in mind that shopping vintage is not always cheaper – though it’s true you can get a lot of bang for the buck in terms of style and quality. Todd Saunders of Flooring Stores is a fan of unique home décor, and vintage captured his heart when he was working on his three-bedroom home makeover. “I fell in love with a pair of vintage armchairs that I found in an antique store. They were about $4,000 for the pair, but the unique style and comfort they offered were absolutely worth it,” Todd told us.
Look for furniture sales
Holiday weekends are prime times for furniture sales. Check out online stores as well as physical establishments to see what kind of specials they have – they’re usually dedicated to a specific type of furnishing. If you see an item that you like, plan on being at the store early so you can get that deal and be out the door, unless you prefer to shop online. If you’re shopping in-store, check to see if the store offers furniture delivery. If it doesn’t, plan on bringing a vehicle so you take your purchase home.
Attend a storage auction
Storage auctions are a good way of finding “treasures” for less money. It can take some time before you find a piece exactly to your liking, but if you’re a fan of the hunt, auctions deserve your attention. Several valuable finds were indeed reported – like the Near-Mint Condition Copy of Action Comics #1 that was sold for over two million dollars – but these are rare. However, what you can easily find at storage auctions is furniture, as this is the most common type of item people tend to put inside their storage units – from chairs to sofas, dressers and everything in between.
Shop at IKEA for some complementary items
While IKEA furniture can look rather generic, you can buy a few items from the retailer to offset the cost of your more expensive purchases. Buy the fancy items first, then find an IKEA item that matches their style or complements it so that the furniture’s characteristics don’t clash. It’s also the strategy that Eduard Thomson from the Sleeping Mattress Review took on when furnishing his home.
He realized that mixing different styles of furniture can certainly help to cut down on the final cost of the furniture. “While I incorporated some IKEA-style furniture for its affordability and modern design, I also invested in hand-crafted pieces for a more unique and personalized touch,” Eduard said. “Additionally, I sourced some furniture from local stores that offered a different style altogether.” That seemed to help him cut down on the cost of giving his entire home a make-over. “I spent approximately $10,000 on furnishing my home. I had to furnish multiple rooms, including the living room, dining room, three bedrooms, and a home office,” he told us.
Splurge on select items only
Buying classy tables, chairs and so on is not cheap, but you don’t have to go that route for all your furniture. Decide on a few pieces that you think will add the most value to each room and concentrate more of your budget on those.
A home truly becomes your happy place when it offers the comfort and tranquility you seek – and furniture has a lot to do with that. Investing in some quality pieces that mix durability and style will pay off in the long run both in terms of cost-effectiveness and the positive impact it can have on your state of mind.
This analysis was done by StorageCafe, an online platform that provides storage unit listings across the nation.
With this report, we investigated how much it costs to furnish a two-bedroom home. We partnered with Nadeau – Furniture with a Soul, a company offering one-of-a-kind pieces in over 27 cities across the U.S. We used prices from their website for the following pieces of furniture and home décor: chairs, dining tables, cabinets, bar cabinets, kitchen islands, buffets, sofas, ottomans, bookcases, storage pieces, TV stands, nightstands, headboards, lighting fixtures, mirrors, pillows, rugs and wall art.
We obtained the prices for mattresses, bed frames, patio furniture and barbecue grills through online research on the websites of several major furniture retailers.
We calculated the average, minimum and maximum prices for each piece of furniture. Then, we calculated how much it costs, on average, to furnish each room, and the entire home.
Fair use and distribution
This study serves as a resource for the general public on issues of common interest and should not be regarded as investment advice. The data is true to the best of our knowledge but may change if amendments to it are made. We agree to the distribution of this content but we do require a mention in return for attribution purposes.