Shopping for a renovation project can be fun, but it can get overwhelming fast. You may have to buy faucets, light fixtures, cabinets, doorknobs, tile, paint, and a whole host of other things—and you want them all to be just right, right? Unfortunately, you’re not likely to find everything you need at a big box store. You’ll have to do some digging.
Our advice: Take it slow, if you can. Focus on one need at a time, rather than trying to pick out everything at once. Say you’re trying to decide on a light fixture for your foyer? Settle onto the couch and pull up Pinterest. Browse for a bit, saving your favorite images. Once you notice a trend that consistently appeals to you, head over to a few favorite sites and start shopping. Keep those tabs open, compare prices, and then pull the trigger. Then move on to your next need!
After our first renovation project, we uncovered some favorite resources for attractive and budget-friendly items. Here are our favorites. What are yours?
Light Fixtures — We’re firm believers that a good light fixture can transform a room, and for that reason they’re worth investing in. Our favorite sites for vintage-inspired fixtures are Schoolhouse Electric and Barn Light Electric. That said, you can often find much more affordable versions of these lights at Wayfair, which is by far the resource we use the most. Even Lowes and Home Depot have really stepped up their lighting game lately, so don’t overlook them.
Tile — We are obsessed with Floor and Decor. It’s a massive store with tons of tile at reasonable prices. They even offer free classes on tile and floor installation on the weekends. Browsing the tile in-person is the best, but they also have everything available online. If you like cement tile, Overstock has a pretty good selection.
Sinks — If you like farmhouse sinks, Ikea has one of the more affordable ones we’ve run across. The Scandi superstore has some great sink cabinets as well, though many of them do scream “Ikea.” (Try swapping out the hardware for a more custom look.) Wayfair also has some good sinks, and even Amazon has a nice selection — it’s worth it to search for anything you find on Amazon to make sure you can’t get a better price. We had to buy an extra-small pedestal sink for one of the bathrooms in our last renovation, and we found it at Signature Hardware.
Faucets — For bathrooms and kitchens, we’ve found good faucets all over—Lowes, Ikea, Amazon, Wayfair. If you need something special (like we needed for the clawfoot tub in our renovation house), try House of Antique Hardware. Amazon tends to have the cheapest selection—just be sure to read the reviews to make sure you’re not getting a piece of crap.
Bathroom Fixtures — Towel racks, toilet paper holders, etc.—I usually order the Moen brand from Amazon. Classic, and cheaper than anywhere else.
Cabinets — Ikea all day!
Appliances — We haven’t found any one store that has better prices than any other—it just depends on what kind of sales they’re offering at any given time. We do try to shop around big sales (like Memorial Day or Presidents Day), and just get the store to hold the appliances if we’re not quite ready for install. If you shop at the store a lot, it’s also a good time to open a credit card—you can often get a nice percentage off your purchase, or get 0% APR for a year, if you’d like to wait to pay it off. In the past, we’ve bought appliances at Lowes and Best Buy.
Door Hardware — We usually go with basic bronze doorknobs for both interiors and exteriors, and Amazon has the best prices. House of Antique Hardware has some really cool stuff if you’re going for a vintage vibe.
Mirrors — We like to think outside the box when it comes to bathroom mirrors—i.e. don’t limit yourself to vanity mirrors or medicine cabinets. Target has a nice affordable selection—like this beautiful round brass mirror that would be perfect for a powder room.
Doors — We have some good local resources for salvage doors (Paul’s Place and Caravatti’s), but need help finding more modern options. Any leads?