If you’re currently residing in a small place or managing a tight budget, you can still live well and comfortably, fulfilling the minimum needs for each room by these ideas.
THE LIVING ROOM-Basically you need something to sit on, put your feet up on, set a plate, glass, newspaper or book on, and a light to read by. You could buy one big sofa that has a flat, fat arm and a wall-mounted reading light, or you can meet all your living room requirements with these five pieces: a chair or smaller sofa, ottoman (which can double as a footstool, footrest, or end table), a regular end table, coffee table, and standing lamp.
And here are some options: If you put a tray on top of the ottoman, it can be a coffee table. If you can stretch out on the sofa or put your feet up on the coffee table, you won’t need an ottoman. If you use a mounted lamp fixture, you won’t need a standing lamp or an end table. If you put a low cabinet with a table lamp against the back of your sofa, it could replace the need for an end table, a coffee table, and standing lamp. And it’ll provide extra storage!
If you have a television, it can be placed inside a wall cabinet, on a wall mount, or you can use a simple platform.
You don’t have to buy any of this new; there are furniture discount stores everywhere.
My favorite places to go are the thrift stores. Sometimes they’ll even deliver the items for you!
THE DINING ROOM/HOME OFFICE (If you have one)-You’ll need a table and chairs. If your dining room is also your living room, pick dining chairs that can double as living room seating. Consider: Director’s chairs with slipcovers-these can be folded up and put away when not in use. Parsons chairs are also good. Any high-seated “slipper” chairs or a bench covered with pillows are also good choices.
A console or "drape" table can be used in the dining room or serve as your desk. You can also take a long piece of plywood and balance it on some crates. A combination table/storage unit can be created by placing a circle of plywood on top of a filing cabinet or low chest of drawers and throwing a long round tablecloth on top.
THE BEDROOM-You can simply have a mattress on the floor (the entire floor will be your end table!) or you can get some plastic milk crates from any grocery store and put your mattress on them. I would personally recommend from six to twelve (you'll have the option of a low or high platform ). If this does not appeal to you, consider getting a Captain's bed that has drawers built into its base.
Chests of drawers can also be used as end tables.
You may not even have to buy any items; Relatives and friends may donate furniture pieces to you. Sometimes people will throw out perfectly good furniture. I believe if it's on the curb, you can claim it.
Find out your city's Trash Day!