You can get decent furniture without breaking the bank - and sometimes be redoing/reusing great furniture you find or are given. Even if you have to mix in stylish furniture with a couple not so great pieces, you can make your house more like a home. I have found that a couple GREAT pieces makes the room look more complete. The first few years out of college, its okay if your house is not presentable but pretty soon, that timeline wears off....so time to start furniture shopping!
Invest in a nice couch, dining room table,cabinet, etc. This can be used, it can even be hand-me-down (fixed up though!) - but it doesn't need to look like your house is all leftover rejects from grandma's house.
1. Check out "cheaper" stores like Ikea....true some stuff is cheaper, but some is pretty nice.
2. Local furniture stores have sales all the time!
3. Check out antique malls and craigs list -- I LOVE midcentury furniture and am slowly collecting some pieces. I found two pieces on craigs list. I am pretty sure one piece that I bought for 250 could have gone for a lot more in a store, so it was a steal!
4. Revamp your handmedowns. Have an old chair from your mothers with a loevly 1980s print? Get new fabric and you could soon be rocking a very nice piece of furniture.
5. Get a gift for your birthday. My mom bought me the best midcentury chair for my birthday a couple years ago and we picked out fabric to recover it. I have found that parents are eager to give you adult gifts.
6. One piece at a time. You are ONLY in your 20s so you probably have roomates and can share some of the decorating burden with them, BUT you dont want to move into your frist home one day with nothing. SLOWLY buy pieces. There is no rush so you can wait to find what you like, but sometime in your 20s, you have to move past bean bag chairs and futons to real furniture.
Here are some of my "steals"
The chair I got for my birthday...
A chest I bought off craig's list, in great condition. Midcentury just wasnt the look this couple was going for but they had inherited all these great pieces! NOTE: I used to get on craigs list almost daily to try and find something like this. So have patience!
I also have purchased a leather couch from a local furniture store and took some midcentury pieces from my grandmothers. Pick a look and stick with it -- shabby chic? traditional? modern? midcentury? etc....buy/find/redo one piece at a time and pretty soon you will have a decent looking room.