A NURSE has revealed how she did her entire three-bed house up by putting away just £100 a month, after shopping in cheap stores like B&M, Home Bargains and The Range.
Shannon Davies, 23, from Pembrokeshire, Wales, has spent two years adding bit by bit to her rental home – and reckons she's saved more than £3,000 with designer dupes.
The auxiliary nurse, who lives with partner Jack Marchant, also 23, a carpenter, also loves Aldi, Dunelm and the Very sale for snagging a bargain – while her bed and garden furniture were free in giveaways.
Speaking exclusively to Fabulous, Shannon reveals her top tips for doing your place up on a budget…
My boyfriend Jack and I have been renting this place for two years. It's a three-bed and when we moved in, it was a blank canvas.
The kitchen and bathrooms were done, but other than that there was nothing. We've got all the furniture ourselves and when I first started, my interior was completely different.
I went for crushed velvet and grey as that was trendy, but then I started to add in more of what I actually liked, branching out with colours like yellow.
Soon I realised you could easily get all your furniture on a budget, so I started an Instagram account to share my tips with my friends.
I'd go round B&M or Home Bargains, see all these nice things, and think 'surely people should know about this?'
You can get dupes for Next, H&M and even more expensive places.
Jack and I never had a huge budget, but every month I would pay all my bills and with whatever I had left, I would treat myself to some new homeware
Jack and I never had a huge budget, I work for the NHS, but every month I would pay all my bills and with whatever I had left, I would treat myself to some new homeware.
I'd saved £100 each month for interior but you can definitely do it for £50 a month, if that's all you can afford.
You’ve got to set it to your income. I don't have kids, I realise my budget would be tighter if I did.
All this decor could have easily have cost me £5,000 but I only spent £1,900.
When you’re going to these cheaper shops, you’re getting things for a quarter of the price that you would pay in high end stores.
Home Bargains is my favourite. I love B&M but in Home Bargains the stock changes every day and you only have to wait a week for the latest trends to come in.
When you’re going to these cheaper shops, you’re getting things for a quarter of the price that you would pay in high end stores
Like the window pane mirrors everyone has at the moment, they have those for £6.99.
You can put four together and make a large mirror for £28, whereas they're about £150 on William Wood.
Poundstretcher is a good store, but you’ve got to hunt as the stock doesn't change as often.
I got my ornate mirror for £69, you’re looking at at least £200 for one in other stores. That was a good bargain.
The Range is a really good store and I also like Sue Ryder, which is a charity store. It's all brand new furniture but the proceeds go to charity.
They have the velvet stools and lots of other on trend bits, I don’t think many people know about that one.
Enter any interior giveaways you see. I know people think you won’t win, but it only takes five minutes – and it’s free. I never could've afforded our bed otherwise
My main tips for saving money would be not to rush, and to go with your own style.
I took my time, put a bit of money away each month. Even if you can only save £50, in these sorts of stores you can get a lot for that.
Get what you need first, then add to it gradually every month when you get paid. Two years on, my house is complete, it’s exactly how I wanted it.
When you're shopping in Home Bargains, go on the Instagram page first, to see what the new stock is.
If you go in without anything in mind, you’re unlikely to find anything, because it is a bit overwhelming with all the people.
I would write up a list of what I needed and go in with that in mind. I was successful that way.
Find the key bits you're looking for, then look around to see what else they've got, while sticking to your budget.
With B&M, the app should show you which items are reduced.
Some rugs and stools get reduced to just £1, then you can go into store and look for the item.
It should be reduced when you get to the till, if not just show the shop assistant your screenshot of the 'reduced' item on the app.
When it comes to shopping online, I know a lot of people who’ll search for, say a wooden coffee table, find exactly what they want and will order it regardless of the price.
Whereas I would spend a couple of days searching for it and I wouldn’t stop until I found the cheapest one I could.
I would screenshot them, compare them. If I like it and it’s a little bit more than usual, I would still get it. But I would hunt for the cheapest one.
I’ve never had a problem with the quality of furniture from these cheaper stores.
Another great tip is to enter any home and interior giveaways you see.
I know people think you won't win, but it only takes five minutes – and it's free.
I recently won our beautiful garden furniture in a giveaway by Rattan Direcand our bed from the Luxury Bed Company a year ago, they're two things I could never have afforded otherwise and I am so grateful.
I always search for discount codes before buying online too, 'voucher codes' and 'UKhotdeals' are both a great way to save money.
Shannon’s top tips for bagging a bargain
- Shop in the likes of Home Bargains, B&M, The Range, Aldi, Poundstretcher and Sue Ryder charity store wherever you can.
- Put away a small amount each month, even if that's just £50 after bills, and buy your furniture bit by bit.
- Check the Instagram pages for shops like Home Bargains, so you know what's new in store.
- Always go in with a list of what you need and know they have. Once you've found those bits, you can browse if you're still within budget.
- Use the B&M app to see what's reduced, and make sure it's honoured at the checkout.
- When you find something you like online, take your time to compare and buy the cheapest version.
- Always enter home and interior giveaways, it only takes five minutes and is free.
- Search for discount codes before shopping online.
- If something is full price, wait for it to come down in the sale.
Very's website is another good one. I got my living room furniture in their sale.
It was £200 for the coffee table, TV unit and side unit, reduced from £450.
I just waited for it to come down in price, because online shops nearly always do sales, and in the end I only waited a couple of days.
I was going to just buy it, because I loved it and it was still the cheapest one I'd found for all three pieces, but then it came down by £250.
That was my best bargain, it's really high quality furniture, the price doesn't reflect that at all.
We spend £21 a month on our sofa, it's from DFS on a four year interest free payment plan, which works great for us.
My living room armchair was originally £100 on Aldi, but I waited and it came down to £25.
My yellow velvet stool was only £12 in Home Bargains. Looking online, they’re £30 or £40.
A lot of people think you can't have a nice home just because you don't earn a lot, when actually you can
The mirrors above my TV are £1.99 each, so I managed to do a feature wall for £6. My garden rug was only £10 in Home Bargains too.
The clock in my dining room cost £22 from Dunelm, I saw similar ones for £50 to £60.
That was again down to searching. I had a clock in mind and kept comparing prices, until I found that one.
When I put a picture on my Instagram, I always list the shop and the price.
It's annoying when someone likes something and it's not tagged, and I do sometimes miss comments.
This way, they know exactly where it's from and that it only costs £5, so they can go out and buy it.
I have 28,500 followers and I think that's because my page is so relatable.
With lot of these big home accounts, people might see something they like but they can't afford it, which is so disheartening.
Then people think you can't have a nice home just because you don't earn a lot, when actually you can.
I know it’s easy to look at these big accounts and think ‘oh my God I want my home to be like that'.
But a lot of things are gifted, they get big discounts or they might just have a lot of money.
It's not realistic to compare yourself to that. Instead, I took bits from each of the accounts I loved and made my own style up.
Now we're saving to buy our own place, a doer upper, Jack's a carpenter so we'll do a lot of the renovations ourselves.
We're looking for a £90,000 to £100,000 house and plan to spend £20,000 on the renovations, including the garden, kitchen and extras like solicitor's fees.
I'm going to break the whole journey down and film everything.
I just want people to know you really can have a nice house on a budget – whether you're renting or buying.
You can follow Shannon on Instagram @budgethomeinterior_.
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