The first time I came back from the thrift stores to start buying stuff for staging after we purchased our house, Josh was understandably alarmed. I had just purchased a bunch of old lamps, photos, baskets, old books. Old blankets. Everything old, maybe a little dusty, and the opposite of the fresh, modern look we had talked about going for with the Atrium house. "I don't want this house to feel like you're walking into a thrift store" I think was what his concern was. It was a valid concern.
The problem is, I had set a $1000 budget of decorating an ENTIRE HOME. (I definitely went over this!) I didn't realize my budget was unrealistic, and in setting such a low budget, that I might be jeopardizing our sale with bad staging. However, I'm a pretty scrappy lady, so I decided to change up my strategy and purchase some newer things that would look modern, clean, and fresh, and supplement it with really cool thrifted things to give the home character (as opposed to looking like a catalogue - cool but lifeless).
I don't claim to be an expert here (I've only done this ONE home and working on our second!) but here's some tips I've found to be helpful:
Get new bedding! I went with some plain white linen duvets, new throw pillows. For instance, in the guest bedroom, the bedding is new, but the Indian kantha quilt is old, and the headboard I found on Offer Up for about $20.
Take a good amount of time to build a collection! I accrued the most random things over about 6 months so that when the time came to stage it, I wouldn't be rushed just to make it work. I wanted it to be enviable. I wanted people to walk in and feel like they desperately wanted the home!
Skip Craigslist - try apps like Let Go or Offer Up. Craigslist still has some great stuff to offer, but it's so saturated that the competition is higher for cool things, and good finds go quickly. I found this beautiful bassinet on Let Go, and I think it was about $50 or $60.
Go to your thrift stores as often as possible! Most of the times are a bust for me, but then there's some random times where you just find some great things and it's all worth it! Even if you have 10 minutes to pop in and zip around really fast, it's worth checking back as often as you can. Same goes for estate sales and yard sales, too.
Don't be afraid to mix styles, too! This house felt like a mix of modern, bohemian, mid-century, and vintage, and it was really fun to do (and, at least to me, it all felt pretty cohesive)!
Ok so time to spill, how do you decorate on a budget? Are you more inclined to buy new things, buy old things, or mix them up?