Young couples and families seeking to revamp their homes at the minimal cost usually find themselves roaming the winding paths of Ikea’s showroom.
But apart from the Swedish furniture store, there are many other places to minimise the cost of your home furnishing drastically. Thanks to the Internet, many furniture retailers can take their businesses directly to consumers like us via various online and e-commerce platforms — which reduces prices significantly. Yay!
A popular site for cheap home furnishing is FortyTwo. Asides offering an entire range of home furnishings from lawn chairs to wardrobes, this site is particularly known for its wide array of popular inspired designs from noteworthy designers — think pieces inspired by Eames, Herman Miller and even Le Corbusier for only a small fraction of the original price.
The iconic plywood Eames lounge chair and ottoman are listed as a pair for close to US$5,0000 at the Herman Miller store, but will only set a buyer back S$800 for an aesthetically indistinguishable model sold by FortyTwo. A serious bang for buck y’all!
Another online resource is Qoo10. Like a virtual bazaar, its furniture department houses a large number of brands from a wide selection of vendors. The site essentially creates a market in virtual space, providing vendors with a place at which to set up shop and display their wares.
With a sufficiently large enough vendor base, competition inevitably sets in, and prices are forced down to competitive levels. Although the selection is more generic here, the prices are guaranteed to elicit smiles.
A bargain hunter’s favourite is the warehouse sale. Typically, these are advertised in local newspapers or on banners along the roads in industrial areas. These are some of the best deals that one can come across, as the main aim is to clear out the warehouse and the markdowns can be significant. To keep abreast of such sales, keep track of forums that are especially catered to this interest group.
Fire sales or liquidation sales may have a relatively limited range but are worth a look for some gems. Again, these are would be listed in the newspapers or online classifieds like Gumtree or Locanto.
In most cases, small businesses, offices or hotels would be the ones to succumb to challenging economic conditions, so if conversation pieces for the living room are not available, it is almost certain practical furnishings for the home office can be found here.
It is a well-known statistic that about a quarter of Singapore’s population comprises non-residents temporarily working in the country. When they leave the country for good, a bounty can be had by swooping in on the inevitable garage sales and scooping up some bargain finds.
The best way to come across these sales are by taking a walk around residential districts where expats tend to congregate, or by checking on the notice boards at grocery stores. Classified websites like Gumtree are also popular places where these sales are listed.
Why buy new when one can “adopt” and give old furniture a second home? Thrift stores and curio shops are open to the needy, as well as those looking for unique or vintage pieces.
Great places to go hunt for such furniture would be Junkie’s Corner at 2 Turf Club Road as well as Salvation Army thrift stores. The shop space at Junkie’s is a large cavernous space filled to the brim with all sorts of eclectic items. Even if not on the lookout for anything in particular, a visit there is always an adventure.
Thrift stores, on the other hand have a much smaller inventory. On most days, finding anything worth buying would be pure luck. However, there are those wonderful days when one does come across hidden treasures.
As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
With some elbow grease and creativity, no budget is too small to put some individual personality into the home, so get out there and let the hunt begin.