Are you about to rent an unfurnished property for the first time? Perhaps you’re about to complete on your first house? Whilst very exciting, neither scenario comes without cost (the deposit, legal and moving fees, etc). If you don’t own any furniture right now then you may be wondering how much it’s going to cost you to furnish your new place. Especially because there are certain items of furniture you will have to purchase either before or immediately after moving in, such as a bed, for example. In this post, I will breakdown the cost of furnishing each room in your home from some of the UK’s most popular furniture retailers.
Based on an average cost from across four of the UK’s biggest furniture retailers, it costs £2,091 to fully furnish a one-bed property with simple furniture.
How was this calculated?
I want to be completely transparent about how I arrived at the above figure. So here I am sharing the underlying data, which includes links to the respective product pages. The list of furniture items I believe is comprehensive and will fully furnish a one-bed house or flat. The furniture I chose is at the lower to mid-range for each retailer. I chose simple, neutral furniture that I believe would appeal to most people. I omitted a mattress from the list so make sure to budget an additional £400-£650 for this if you don’t already have one. Of course, lamps, plants, artwork, shelves and other storage may need to be factored into your budget too!
What is the most expensive room to furnish?
At an average cost of £1,116, the living room is by far the most expensive room in the house to furnish. This is due to expensive items like the sofa, which averages out as the most expensive item of furniture. Another living room essential that costs more than I expected is the TV stand, for which the average cost was £253. The living room is followed by the bedroom as the second most expensive room to furnish. Furnishing your bedroom will cost you £679. The kitchen/dining room works out considerably the cheapest at a mere £307 (assuming only a table and chairs are needed).
I guess it should have been no surprise that Ikea came out as the cheapest retailer from which to purchase your furniture. At £1,224 to furnish an entire house, Ikea is significantly cheaper than any of the other retailers I looked at. On the downside, assembling flatpack furniture can be timeconsuming and frustrating. But, in my experience, the quality is actually pretty good. Providing it’s been assembled correctly, it’s usually pretty sturdy furniture. Being Swedish, their designs are usually on point and is another big plus for Ikea.
Next cheapest, although still £706 more expensive than Ikea, is Dunelm from where it will cost you £1,930 to deck out your home. Whilst many of their products have promising customer reviews, I find their designs hit and miss. Some of their stuff is just plain ugly. They’re also completely unoriginal- I’m pretty sure they just copy designs of what’s selling well elsewhere. On the plus side, they do appear to have a broad selection from which to choose.
John Lewis has a reputation for good customer service but the jury is out on whether their furniture is good quality or not. Recently, we purchased one of their beds and found a manufacturer’s fault with the bed slats. A quick Google suggested to me that I was not alone in my experience which begs the question: why this particular bed is still for sale?
Having said this, my parents have purchased furniture from John Lewis in the past which has turned out to be of good quality. Design-wise, they do a good job and have some really nice pieces if you are will to spend more. This is to be expected as JL do target their high-end market. It is also worth noting that even though I opted for mostly their cheapest furniture, the total cost is more than double that of Ikea, and £570 more than Dunelm.
I would say Made.com has probably some of the nicest designs out there when it comes to furniture. But I do feel Made is a bit of style over substance. Having purchased a small sofa from them a few years ago, one of the legs completely snapped just a couple of years later so I am dubious about their quality.
Further, and what I consider the biggest downside to Made, is the delivery time. Their stuff is shipped over from China and, to keep costs down, they ship it in batches. It is not uncommon to have to wait 8 weeks or more for a piece of furniture from Made. That said, and in fairness to them, they do make this clear on their product pages. So you just need to be really organised if you’re going to order from them.
At £2,710, Made.com does come out as the most expensive. However, I would point out that this is just £210 more expensive than John Lewis. Taking into account all that I have mentioned above, Made.com does really lead the way when it comes to design. Therefore, if furniture design is important to you, I would suggest that Made.com edges John Lewis.
The confusing world of premium mattresses
Whilst you can always opt for a cheaper mattress from Dreams or Ikea, more people are choosing to invest in a premium mattress for the benefits they promise of a better night’s sleep! The premium mattress market has exploded and there are currently four major players in this space. All of these proudly brandish Which awards and 5-star reviews, and so price feels like the main distinguishing factor. See below a price comparison for Double mattress.
It’s unlikely you’ll purchase all of your furniture from a single retailer. It’s much more likely you’ll pick and choose your favourite designs from a range of stores. There are certainly far more out there than the four I have looked at above. Nonetheless, the rudimentary price analysis I have conducted here should hopefully serve as a useful yardstick for those looking to budget to furnish a whole house.