Finding furniture that simultaneously suits your tastes and doesn’t raid your wallet can feel like a monumental task. Although there are a variety of ways to find secondhand furniture, it can be difficult to know where to start, and if you want new pieces, things can be even more complicated (and expensive.) Luckily, there’s no shortage of options for money-conscious decorating both locally and more broadly. Here’s some basic advice to navigate the hunt for furniture here in Lexington and beyond.

Check warehouses and discount stores.

While this might seem like a no-brainer, some cursory research into physical places catering to unique deals can be a good place to start before searching for any specific items. The internet can make it easy to pour over web pages trying to find something extremely precise, often obscured under layers of sponsored items and advertisements that can make shopping a chore even from your bed. Visiting brick-and-mortar discount shops can give you a much more concrete idea of what fits your needs, as well as give you new ideas that help you adapt to budgeting plans.

Don’t shy away from thrifting.

We all have horror stories of the archetypal, horrifically-patterned Goodwill couch that may or may not have any functional springs left. It’s true that sifting through thrifted furniture can be hit or miss, but many people might just be surprised by the things you can find with the leftover cash in your pocket. Thrifting furniture includes far more than just mega-chain thrift stores or garage sales, however. Some particularly useful resources are Habitat for Humanity Restores, which focus predominantly on such items and typically have high-quality goods sold at affordable prices to benefit charity.

Repurposing and DIY-ing might go farther than you expect.

There are countless listicles detailing simple DIY ideas for furnishings, especially for decor items. While some crafts may look better on your Pinterest board than in the flesh, projects like this bench or a small shelving unit can be more accessible to the average skill set than you might think. You don’t need to take up a hammer to get creative, of course; sometimes, making an old stool your new side table can be the key to saving a couple hundred dollars.

Don’t be afraid to bring out the paintbrushes.

Painting furniture is another activity that has frequent anecdotes about less-than-ideal results, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a herculean task. On the contrary, simply doing some homework on the right types of paint, as well as primers and sealers, needed to get the job done can turn a drab (but cheap!) find into the piece of your dreams. When it comes to painting furniture, there are tons of options, from latex paint to milk paint. Depending on the surface being painted and the look you’re hoping to achieve, knowing the differences between various materials can make the job a piece of cake with just a bit of time and patience.