Furnishing a new apartment on a small budget is a slow process, but you will learn to embrace the joy found in the smallest details or the items / improvements you pick up along the way. As you furnish your apartment slowly you will be able to feel how it develops and recognize what you’re missing or what you could add… but first thing’s first… essentials!
Buy a Good Bed because you spend a third of your life in bed, so make sure it’s right for you.
Find a sofa you love! Having a lower budget means you can’t afford to take risks buying online. You have to do the leg work and try out sofas. I bought my sofa from IKEA, it was missing it’s cover, but I quickly snapped it up and bought myself a new cover. In the future, I’d love to buy a sofa for appearance and comfort, but decided comfort and price were the most important qualities for me.
Temporary fixtures can really make a difference. I bought 2 rolls of chalkboard contact paper and used one to cover the side of my fridge and the other to cover the back panel of my kitchen island. The next temporary solution was removing the kitchen cabinet doors, it removed the bleak colour for the cupboard doors and opened up bright shelves and visibility to the back wall making the kitchen feel more spacious.
Lastly, remember to add things slowly unless you know what you want. I started with a very neutral colour pallet, white, cream and grey which I am building on. By taking your time, you allow your home to transform in an organic way.