How To Furnish An Apartment For Under $1,500

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I moved May 1st, 2018 into a little one bedroom apartment that is within walking distance of my job. I thought it’d be fun to do a post of how I furnished my pad on the cheap.

Transition to apartment living

In case you didn’t read my first post, my living arrangements have been rather creative over the last several years. After losing my home to foreclosure, I moved into a ministry house for 1.5 years and then with my parents for 1.5 years.

By the grace of God, I was able to dig my way out of debt and get onto solid ground.  

With all of these moves, I sold and donated a lot of stuff. However, when I moved into my little apartment I realized I still had plenty of furniture to furnish it. My stuff was mostly acquired in a frugal fashion through the years. I use gifts that gracious people give me and I LOVE hand-me-downs. Most importantly I have been able to do this while maintaining my style.

Living Room

Okay, I did buy one big item and that this awesome Novogratz vintage sleeper sofa from Walmart online. When I bought it was $299 ($319.18 with tax). Not too bad, eh?!

My New Purchase
  • Painting – inherited from a friend whose Mom was an artist (cost: free)
  • Lamp – Christmas gift from parents (cost: free)
  • Pillows – bought from Big Lots (cost: $20)
  • Plant in the corner – split off from another plan (cost: free)
  • Chest – bought from some discount store years ago (cost: ~$20)
  • Cool cigar box – decoupaged & gifted by a friend (cost: free)
  • Rug – hand me down from folks (cost: free)
  • Copper pitcher – hand-me-down from Mom (cost: free)
  • Battery operated candles & holder – a gift from Mom (cost: free)

  • Vintage Sofa – purchased from a church rummage sale in great condition (cost: ~$30)
  • Painting – inherited from my Grandma Josephine’s estate (cost: free, memories: priceless)
  • Lamp – hand me down from folks (cost: free)
  • Plant – I’ve had this plant through all of the moves. It is a hardy 🙂 (Cost: ~$5)

  • The rocking chair which I sat in to take the picture – obtained at an auction (cost: ~$20 )
  • TV – hand-me-down from my awesome Uncle & Aunt, Jack & Dian (cost: free)
  • Old sewing table – hand-me-down from my Mom (cost: free)
  • Faith sign – gift from an awesome friend (cost: free)
  • Homemade wood crate bookshelf – some of these were acquired through the years but I did buy 4 of them from Michaels for $10 each. (cost: $40)

  • Adirondack lawn chairs – Originally I bought these lawn chairs as a gift for a friend when she moved into her new apartment. She is no longer in said apartment and so we decided to make them the traveling lawn chairs. (cost: $40)
  • Porch flowers – given to me by my awesome friends (cost: free)
  • Painted window art – made by a friend (cost: $30)
  • CLE art box above window – A friend introduced me to the store owners of a local frame shop and they gifted it to me! (Cost: free)

Dining Room

  • Adorable cafe table – hand-me-down from a colleague. Score! Thank you lunch (cost: $20)
  • Flowers – a gift from a FI friend
  • Fish painting – Christmas gift (cost: free)
  • Burning bush Painting – bought from an artist friend (cost: $40)
  • Sewing desk – inherited from a friend (cost: free)
  • Sewing machine – Gift from folks (cost: free)


  • Antique barn door/pot & pan holder – I bought this door from an antique shop (cost: ~$10). I installed hooks which were also bought from an antique store. (cost: ~$5)
  • Pots & pans – gifts from when I was married (cost: free)
  • Rug – purchased from Aldi (cost: ~$5)
  • Painting – one of mine (cost: ~$2)
  • Towel holder – purchased from a discount store (cost: ~$2)
  • Other art – gift (cost: free)
  • Towels & dishrags – some were gifted to me and some I bought (cost: $7)

Most of my other kitchen dishware and cups were gifts from when I was previously married. I want to be inclusive of all cost, so I’ll estimate that I probably spent around ~$30 for other odds and ends in my kitchen.


  • Antique oak mirror – purchased from the same auction where I obtained the rocking chair. (cost ~$60)
  • Painting – one of mine (cost: ~$3 for canvas and paints). Confession – I got the idea from a painting I saw in a catalog.

  • Dresser is from my childhood. I have re-painted it a couple of times. (Cost: ~$2 for paint)
  • Cross – made & gifted by a friend (cost: free)
  • Pull up bar – gift (cost: free)
  • Bed – I bought my bed about 10 years ago (cost: ~$600)
  • Comforter duvet – from Walmart online (cost: $40.79)
  • Plant – divided from another plant (cost: free)
  • Pot – painted and gifted by a friend (cost: free)
  • Dried hydrangea – picked from a friend’s bush (cost: free)
  • Glass vase – gift (cost: free)


  • Coffee cup holder which is being used for my necklaces – purchased from a discount store. (cost: ~$5)
  • Homemade earring holder (the idea was borrowed from a friend) – old frame was found in parent’s basement (cost: free).  Screen – purchased from a hardware store. (cost: ~ $2)

  • Headboard – from my childhood (cost: free)
  • Dried roses – accumulated over the years from flowers gifted to me (cost: free). Wall vase – purchased from a discount store. (cost: ~$5)
  • Jesus sketch – gift (cost: free)
  • various other wall art – some were gifts and some purchased (cost: ~$15)

Other Space


  • Painting in the hallway – bought from an artist friend (cost: $100)

I didn’t take pictures of my bathroom as there was no cost associated with that room. I received towels as a gift.

So if I total everything up that makes it a whopping $1,477.97 that I spent to furnish my one bedroom apartment. Keep in mind, I did not spend this all at once but acquired a lot of these articles over the years. It is easy to spend that amount on one couch! I am not opposed to spending money on a quality piece of furniture. However, I am more a fan of finding creative ways to furnish my humble abode in a style that speaks to me with minimal effect on my pocketbook.

How about you – what furnishing hacks have you discovered?

9 thoughts on “How To Furnish An Apartment For Under $1,500”

  1. Nice work!
    Love it that you have a pull up bar! I got one a couple of years ago and it’s a wonderful piece of exercise equipment – simple and effective. The one I picked up was for $10.

    1. Thank you! Where did you buy yours? Someone gave me mine, so I have no idea where they can be purchase.

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