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Ask A Boston Expert: Shopping For Home Decor On A Budget

Boston is a gorgeous old city with tiny, brick apartments with classic seaside charm. However, because these apartments are often both small and old, they can be a challenge to decorate. Plus, Boston residents have seen rents skyrocket over the past five years, making budget-friendly decor more important than ever. Here to give us advice on wallet-friendly apartment interiors is Meredith Tennihan. She is a real estate broker working in property management in Brookline and Chestnut Hill. In addition to being a real estate guru, she is one of Boston's top home decor bloggers. At Just Us Gals, she is known for her "preppy-glam" taste.
Courtesy of Meredith Tennihan

Meredith Tennihan

Home Decor Expert
Co-Author of Just Us Gals Boston

"Ever since I was allowed to take the T in with friends on the weekends, I have loved shopping in Boston. Some of my go-to sources have remained the same over the years even though my style has evolved." Her North End abode is impeccably decorated, and like many young professionals, her furniture is a combination of pieces from her parents, budget items, flea market finds and is tied together with a few high-end essentials. Here, she shares the best ways to find chic furniture on a budget in Boston.

Allston Marketplace 
60 Everett St.
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 787-4999

Photo credit: HomeGoods (Facebook)

"A national chain like Homegoods (hails out of Framingham!) would be my first stop. From accessories to furniture, they have it all." Homegoods, owned by TJX, is Boston's to-go destination for budget-friendly furniture and decor. It provides looks for every taste so shoppers can really personalize their look. Shopping here will help prevent your living space from becoming too obviously Ikea.

Joss and Main

Joss and Main
Photo credit: Joss and Main (Facebook)

Joss and Main, an online retailer based out of Boston, offers discounted pieces that you'll have for years to come. "I consistently browse and find statement pieces that are a bit more adult than your current hand-me-down dresser that can really bring your space to the next level." By signing up for Joss and Main's daily e-mails, customers can keep apprised of sales and discounts on items that will suit their style. The website also sorts the collections into "looks" which is very helpful for people that lack a designer's eye.

SOWA Vintage Market
460 Harrison Ave.
Boston, MA 02118

SOWA Vintage
Photo credit: SoWa Vintage Market (Facebook)

Located in Boston's South End, the weekly SOWA market provides plenty of opportunities for finding vintage or artisan pieces. "For smaller items with flair and usually handmade touch, the SOWA market is the place to find that special something, and you're supporting local artisans to boot!" There is also a fabric shop, a luxury carpet retailer and a bookstore right near SOWA to complete your decor shopping needs. 

Related: Boston's Best Places To Shop For Wedding Gifts

Brimfield Flea Market
21 Main St.
Brimfield, MA 01010

Brimfield Antique Flea Markets
Photo credit: Brimfield Antique Flea Markets (Facebook)

A few times a year, people travel from all over the country to go to the Brimfield Flea Market, west of Boston. Last spring, Meredith ventured to Brimfield and scored herself a super stylish lacquered porcelain footstool. The stool adds a pop of color to small indoor spaces and is also perfect for a roofdeck. She also grabbed a gorgeous silver desk lamp which goes perfectly with her glam, girly style. Check out her finds on her blog.

Twelve Chairs
581 Tremont St.
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 982-6136

Twelve Chairs
Photo credit: Twelve Chairs

My last local stop, also in the South End, would have to be Twelve Chairs, where you can buy anything from coffee table books to the vintage furniture piece of your dreams.  It's one of those places you could spend hours shopping in and only cover a corner of the store since the items are clearly hand-picked for customers that helps your home feel eclectic yet cohesive. Now, get decorating!

Related: Boston's Best Stores For Swimsuits

Cameron Bruns is the founder of and co-author of Just Us Gals Boston. She lives in Boston's North End, where her goal is to promote ethical, stylish, and sustainable lifestyle choices to all Boston residents. Her work can be found on


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