Seriously, it is hard to find affordable furniture that is built well. Hands down my greatest furniture buys have been second hand. It is incredible the way old pieces last the rest of time and some simply TLC can give furniture another 50 years of life.
You don't need to a whole lot of experience to restore beautiful pieces. Some quick and easy way to bring new life to something old - new paint job and new handles. The most important thing, spending time on the preparation, sanding and priming.
Keep an eye on Trademe or pop into Opshops, there is always stunning pieces being sold for a lot less than they are actually worth.
Here are some of stunning restorations for inspiration from Pinterest.