The 12 Best Sites for Affordable And Stylish Home Decor (Plus My Must-Read Tips for Buying Furniture and Decor Online)

How are you holding up, friends? As cabin fever starts to settle in, and you find yourself in an endless loop where every day is the same, redecorating your home can be a great change in the routine and an instant mood lifter.

These days, we all want our homes to feel like a source of comfort and safety. I'll admit... retail therapy makes me happy and is helping to keep me sane (even if I don't purchase everything I put in my virtual cart). Having a package with some new bedsheets and fairy lights for Chloe's birthday (shh! It's a secret!) arrive on my doorstep this week brought me great joy.

But with most of us under Stay at Home orders - and a possible economic recession looming as a result of this pandemic, I think most of us are "shopping" differently. We're looking at more budget-friendly resources and shopping from online shops that will deliver straight to our doors. In times when we can't undertake big remodels or renovations, small purchases can be enough to make home feel fresh, updated, and happy.

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There are a lot of online sources for home decor accessories and furniture. But which ones provide quality products, have a good selection, and great delivery policies? I've rounded up my favourites sites for affordable and stylish home decor in this post.

But before you head to the list, I wanted to also share my 5 Tips for Buying Home Furnishings Online. Buying home goods is NOT like buying clothing or beauty supplies online. There is a lot more than can go wrong with buying furniture, wallpaper, and decor, sight unseen. I'm sharing these tips in hopes you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made in the past!

5 Tips for Buying Furniture and Home Decor Online
1. Read all of the reviewsIt goes without saying that you should read the reviews on the site you're purchasing from. However, you should also do a google search and see if other sites have reviews of the same product. Read all of the reviews and pay attention to the issues that are mentioned frequently. Some sites will also have Question and Answer sections from customers. Read those to ensure you know everything about the product before you buy.

2. Google model # or product descriptions to find different retailers and price compareOften, you can find the exact same furniture items sold on Wayfair, Amazon, Overstock etc. But online retailers are savvy and they will change the product name or photo so you don't realize it's the same product and buy from a competitor.

One way to find different retailers and make sure you have the best price is to google either the product # or parts of the product description. For instance, by googling the phrase "Swivel Base features clean, simple lines and comfortable cushions embellished by welted seams", you'll find this same swivel chair listed for $254 on Home Depot, $289 on Wayfair, $290 on Allmodern, and $305 on Walmart. You can also look through the Google Image results that come up with your search to find other potential sources.

3. Search for product images It can be hard to tell what a rug or wallpaper will really look like from just the staged photos on the retailer's site, so try and find other photos of that same item from other sources. Sources could include the manufacturer's website, on the retailer's Instagram, or from customer photos in reviews. Scroll through the retailers Instagram feed and see if they've featured the product or see if the manufacturer/retailer has been tagged on Instagram by customers. For instance, I scroll to see who has tagged Serena and Lily before I consider making a purchase on their site. There's a chance someone else could have purchased the item and shared a photo of it in real life. Customer photos can give you an idea of scale, size, and true colour.
4. Check the product specifications (dimensions and weight) This is where most online shoppers make mistakes. Have you ever ordered something that was too large for your space? Or bought something 'assembly required' that you didn't expect to come in pieces? I've made those mistakes and more! Many home decor and furniture items are purchased to fit an exact spot so you'll need to pay particular attention to things like: Size of the rough opening required for appliances and built-in items Clearance to the wall required for door swings on cabinetry and furniture Is the piece assembled or unassembled? Will you have to move it through doorways, around corners or down stairs? What's the minimum clearance required? This is particularly important for large pieces of furniture like sofas, beds, or dressers Will the spot you will put the item need extra reinforcement? For example, heavy light fixtures may require specific electrical boxes to support their weight, and flat screen tv's benefit from plywood blocking behind the drywall How heavy is the piece? Will you be able to carry and move it on your own 5. Read the Delivery policyYour latest purchase from LOFT or Sephora can easily fit in your mailbox, but that swing arm sconce from Wayfair? Unlikely.

Many retailers offer only curbside delivery for large furnishings. This means they will deliver to the nearest accessible curb to your house or building. This could mean it's delivered into your garage or to your front door, if it's accessible. However, they will NOT bring your purchase INTO your home. If you've ordered a sofa, you'll need to ensure that you have a space to store that delivery, or someone to lend a hand at the time of delivery to bring it inside the house. You can't expect the delivery person to step foot inside your home as most won't.

Best Home Decor Sites Online
With those tips in mind, here are the sites I regularly frequent for affordable and stylish home decor and furniture.

Tonic Living: I've been shopping at Tonic Living for almost 15 years. I've used them time and time again for custom window coverings like the blinds and curtain in my preppy living room, but it's their trendy yet timeless pillows that keep me coming back regularly. If you're unsure how to mix and match pillows, take a look at their curated collections like the Modern Farmhouse collection or head over to the New Arrivals page. I'll guarantee you'll want one of everything. H&M: Did you know that know that H&M has a Home section? It's not available physically in every store, but luckily you can access all of the H&M Home products online! I find the Classic Collection of timeless decor pieces particularly stylish and well priced and they have a wonderful kids line that parents and kids will love. Home Depot: The Home Depot for furniture and decor? You bet! I've always liked the pieces in the Home Decorators Collection and their rug selection is quite extensive and competitively priced. I bought this one which went into our guest bedroom. Amazon: Of course, Amazon had to be on the list. You can see my home decor picks in my Amazon shop. I find where Amazon really excels though is in the lighting category. This $34 sconce in our powder room is still one of my favourites!

Minted: For beautifully framed and affordable art, Minted is my go-to source. Their products ship exceptionally fast and are always well packaged. For those who can be indecisive (that would be me), they offer great suggestions on Fine Art pairs that work well together. Zara Home: If you are looking for home furnishings with a European sensibility, check out Zara Home. There are not many physical stores worldwide but you can shop everything online. I adore their bed linens but their accent furniture is really appealing too. Target: It's impossible to talk about affordable home decor without mentioning Target. Of course, their new collection with Studio McGee has caught all of the attention lately, but their Project 62 line is just as appealing for those with more modern tastes.

PRO TIP for my Canadian readers: Target no longer ships to Canada but you can use a mail forwarder to get the goods across the border. Check out this post to see how I shop US-only sites. Wayfair: When I want a vast selection of furniture, there's no better option than Wayfair. I've had nothing but good experiences shopping their site and have purchased everything from mirrors and kitchen stools to beds. Returns are easy too. I've even had returns picked up right at my door! Etsy: You can't beat Etsy for one of a kind, unique home decor products. Some of my favourite things to shop for on the site are lovely art prints, original art, craft supplies, table linens, and cute home accents. Bed Bath and Beyond: I haven't shopped Bed Bath and Beyond for much in the past except when I'm looking for towels or kitchenware. However, they've greatly improved their offerings in the past year. The collaborations with One King Lane and Lauren Liess have resulted in some really beautiful and affordable products. This dresser with caning detail and this tortoise shell mirror are both very handsome. Simons: For my Canadian readers, I highly recommend Simons. Founded in Quebec, Simons offerings have always had that French je ne sais quoi. Their bedding is stylish and extremely affordable. I've bought more than one rug from them too - they have a great selection! IKEA: IKEA's name is synonymous with affordable style. My favourite IKEA pieces are this desk in our guest bedroom and these storage containers (check out how they transformed my linen closet!). I'm also coveting their new LOMMARP collection - it's so pretty! I hope you find these sources helpful. Tell me, how are you decorating and updating your home these days? #ShopTheLook