So, when she moved to a new city and had to furnish her apartment, this inner voice of frugality spoke to her and said "Don't spend money on furnishings, silly girl! Just get them for free(...ish)!"
That girl was me. And this is my story.
1. Bed: cost, $0
*Note: bed shown is not quite to scale of ornateness or size.
My former boss had just moved to town, and downsized from her old house. She was getting rid of all of her guest-bedroom stuff and gave me a double-sized boxspring, frame, and mattress. And pillows! And some towels!
2. Sofa: cost, $0
|*note: I do not have a half-bathtub sofa like in Breakfast at Tiffany's.|
But maybe one day, someone will be getting rid of one and I will be SO THERE.
I lived with roommates who had furniture, until I moved out on my own and realized I didn't have a sofa (which is crucial for so many reasons - sitting and reading, sitting and watching TV, a place for guests to sit on, etc.) And then it turns out that my friend's mother was looking to get rid of her old sofa. All I had to do was pick it up - win/win!
3. Bedside table, 2 small dressers: cost, $50 (total)
|See, if my bedroom set had been part of the Showcase Showdown on The Price is Right,|
I would have totally won by bidding $1. Sucka!!
I lived for awhile in a furnished house. And then, when I moved out, I asked if I could have some of the furniture and the owner happily let me have these three items for only $50. Score!
4. 22" TV: cost, $0
My TV is not this cool. Sigh.
On the upside, my TV has the plug-ins to attach a DVD player and DVR.
On the downside, I can't use my TV as a monitor to hook up to a Commodore 64.
For a variety of reasons, my former roommate and I suddenly didn't have any furniture left. And so I sent out an email to the people at work, asking if anyone had any extra stuff they didn't need. And my roommate and I didn't *used* to have a TV, but I threw it on my wish list just in case. And that was the single item that most people were able to offer - and so I got a gargantuous TV for totally free!
5. Coffeetable: cost, $0
* Note: I obviously would never accept a glass-top coffee table.
I've seen movies. I know that eventually, I will wind up throwing some
sort of evil villain onto this table, and it will get all messy.
I should mention that the coffeetable I got (not the glass-topped one pictured above) is a HANDMADE coffeetable! A fabulous woodworking friend of mine was leaving town. This was an early project of his (I think he had another coffeetable he'd made later, which he was using) and he totally let me have it when he left town. Handcrafted artisan frugal win!
"But Annabelle, what's your secret??"
|Rachel Bilson's character's apartment in "How I Met Your Mother"|
is a good example of grad student boho chic design style.
I mean, it's a lot tidier and more spacious, but you get the general idea.
I guess the secret is: to not be picky or choosy, get stuff from people who are either moving/have just moved, as well as from people who have lived in town a long time and have extra things. OK, so maybe the secret is just to ask around. You never know who's trying to get rid of stuff! (*and also, don't be too picky. Mismatched boho grad student chic decor will never go out of style)