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I'm moving into a new apartment soon...
And have nothing to furnish my room and am a bit overwhelmed. Should I make a huge trip to IKEA or start small? No idea how I should decorate, either! Any tips?
I have always gradually acquired odds and ends. Nothing really matched and I was OK with it. Until I moved in with my wife. Then I wish I had started buying "grown up" furniture earlier. It has taken us 3 years to put together our living room.
So I would say don't cheap out if you don't have to. The earlier the better on well made furniture.
I would suggest shelling out the cash for quality items you know you'll absolutely need (like a good, soft, clean bed!) but the other stuff you can probably take your time on. Also tell your friends and family. You never know who has a desk or a TV they're just dying to unload on someone who actually needs these things.
Are you moving to a big city? I live in New York and there are constantly freebies on the trash pile...I "furnished" half my apartment with them. Check out craigslist too for cheap options. I would make a list of everything you need...and then a list of extras like things to decorate with. Figure out your budget and go from there.
These days, anything goes, so don't hesitate to put an antique chair from grandma next to a modern couch or table.
IKEA is great, but I prefer picking things up here and there, shopping at tag sales and thrift shops to get pieces that make me happy. If you're handy (and/or creative) you can do a lot with old pieces that you sand, stain and/or paint. Change the hardware and finish on something that was in the trash yesterday and you have a brand new piece of furniture.
Sounds exciting. Good luck.