Q: I will soon have my first apartment and I am thinking about buying some used furniture. Do you have advice on what must be new and what can be old? I am on a budget.

A: Window blinds are needed for privacy. Your new furniture ought to be a mattress and a bed frame.

Shopping For Used Furniture - Decorating Diary

A sofa bed for your living room would actually be an advantage. Make sure you are comfortable with this and, if possible, a chair to go with it.

Bear in mind you do not have to purchase everything at one time. If anyone offers you a home gift, ask for bed linens and a cover as well as towels, all in your favorite color!

Shopping For Used Furniture - Decorating DiaryFor your bedroom, think used or unfinished furniture for the night tables and a chest or dresser. Probably you paint or give an antique look to this. Line the drawers with waffle-type drawer covers.

As you can see, wooden items can be purchased used without a hitch. You could paint and hang a door sideways for a headboard or just place a lot of pillows against the wall.

In the living room, add used furniture for a bookcase, side tables and coffee table. Don’t forget lamps.

An armoire or entertainment unit, which can hold your television, also may be used.

At a discount store, you might add a new folding table and chairs. This can be your place for meals, or a computer, or even for card games. Look for low prices for a silk tree and some green plants.

Q: We just purchased a wrought iron bed frame. Should we look for a certain type of bedspread, or doesn’t it matter?

A: Rather than the warm tones you receive from wood, you have selected the cooler tone of iron.

In order to provide contrast, you perhaps add some color that is found in flowers. These would give a warm tone to your arrangement. Through choosing a bedspread in pretty colors, you will offer a beautiful contrast to the cool iron. You will love the combination.

Shopping For Used Furniture - Decorating Diary

Also, you perhaps select a duvet cover to fill with a comforter in the winter, and remove it for the summer months.