- Most homeowners will find themselves in need of at least a few big pieces of furniture for their new retreat. But, unlike Victorian- or Colonial-style houses, cabins just beg for casual, laidback decor. This often translates to less-expensive furnishings, if you’re shopping in the right places. Scour garage sales, thrift shops and flea markets. You can find great deals, especially if they’re scratched or nicked — these battle scars add character in a rustic setting.
- If you’re really looking to save, before you dole out a dime on new or even slightly used items, revisit your own collection. Don’t be afraid to re-paint, re-stain or re-upholster what you already own. That fussy old desk that’s been hiding in the recesses of your attic isn’t doing you any good the way it is. Imagine it in an arresting color with mismatched knobs. It could become your new favorite piece.
- Shop by the calendar. Why? Because different types of furnishings go on sale at varying times of the year. Winter is a good time to scoop up linens, while late summer is prime shopping for furniture clearances. (Click here for our listings of the best times to buy.) A bonus tip: Shop as you plan your home. If you don’t have room to store all of your loot in your current place, get a small storage space. The money you can save will more than make up for the rental space’s monthly fee.
- For the items that you plan to replace every few years, go discount. Pillows, shower curtains, doormats, area rugs — these items can wear out or look dated quicker than we care to admit, so there’s no sense in spending a lot of dough on them. On the other hand, some things are worth the financial investment. Dining tables, chairs, couches and beds all will bear a lot of daily use, so it’s worth your while to spend the money on quality pieces that will last.
- Get creative. To truly personalize your space, there are tons of easy, do-it-yourself projects that even the biggest craft-phobe can master. You can decorate simply by adorning shelves or mantels with items on your property, things like shed antlers, fallen pinecones, river rocks or interesting twigs.