You’ve found your perfect flat, now you need to buy things to make it more homely.
Where do you start?
Well luckily I can give you some tips to furnish your home cheaply. No need to sacrifice style for a budget…
The first and best place to look are Facebook forums. Every year auxiliares go home and sell everything cheaply on the forums. Here you can find everything from furniture to kitchen appliances on the cheap. The best time to buy is usually September, December, May and June when Auxiliares are coming and going.
I would recommend pages such as:
Second Hand Madrid
Second Hand / Segundo Mano Madrid
For Sale in Madrid
Madrid Girl Gone International
Auxiliares de Conversación in Madrid (the original)
I have a confession to make… I am in love with Wallapop.
It’s ideal for those who love the thrill of hunting for a bargain. Wallapop is an app that you can download onto your phone and it shows items close to you. You can search for specific details and find incredible deals.
I rented my apartment unfurnished and bought everything on Wallapop for less than 500 euros (I could have done it cheaper but I splurged on some vintage stylish furniture that I couldn’t resist). I also sell things I don’t want or get bored of on Wallapop. It’s also great for clothes as I discovered that many Spanish people don’t like to try things on in the shops, preferring to buy the things they like and return them later after trying things on at home (weird right?). So often you’ll find clothes that have never been worn because the person has lost the receipt or has passed the time limit for returning the items. Bonus!
A good level of Spanish is required. You see what you want, message the seller, organize a place and time to meet, money changes hands and VOILA! You have your new/old purchase. Be aware that a lot of people are very flaky. ALWAYS confirm the date and time and remind the seller. Get their phone number so that if the app fails then you have a means to call/contact them.
It requires patience and a thrill of the chase but in the end it’s SO worth it!
There are other similar apps such as VIBBO that offer similar methods of buying things second hand.
So now I’m going to go onto the shops you can go to where you can decorate and stock up on a budget:
Muy Mucho – really nice home things including kitchenware, curtains, decorative items and some furniture in the line of shabby chic with lots of beige, natural wood and white. Shops located all over the centre.
Casa Home – great for furniture and furnishings, kitchenware, bedroom furniture and decorative items on a budget. Modern, classy things at a budget price. Shops located all over the centre. See the photo below for an idea of the things they sell.
Flying Tiger – this is a Danish brand with a shop for small kitchenware items, some soft furnishings and decorative items. It’s amazing. You end up buying a ton of things you don’t need. Shops located all over the city centre.
HEMA – another great find, this place has no furniture but you can buy kitchen and home items very cheaply as well as great stationary and yummy biscuits and snacks. Shops all over the centre.
Zara Home – ahhh, Zara home. One of my favourites. Wait for the sales to find what you need, as it’s one of the priciest places to go shopping! I love to wait for sales in January, July and November to buy bedding and home fragrances as well as tableware, plates and glasses.
IKEA – this is the behemoth. It’s also MILES away from the centre. You need a car. There is one at La Gavia, San Sebastian de los Reyes and Alcorcon. None of them are that close to a metro station. Some time ago there was a pop-up shop in Serrano where you could buy some things (mostly soft furnishings) but it has now closed. I usually prefer to shop on wallapop (searching IKEA) than traipse all the way out there to struggle, huff and puff on the metro with my purchases.
Best tip, get together with some friends and hire a car/taxi and do a bulk shop. They charge for delivery so it might be worth it if you have a lot of things to buy. On the other hand, if you’re patient I would wait until things crop up on Facebook, I always prefer to buy in the centre than to go all the way out to the backwaters to buy furniture and household items.
Until the next time… happy shopping!