March 10, 2013

How to Decorate Your Home on a Frugal Budget

Everyone wants to have an attractive home. If you’re like me, you’re on a strict budget.  Most of us cannot afford to redecorate our homes. Here are some tips for furnishing and decorating your home frugally. 

our old house

1.  Shop yard sales and thrift stores.  I’ve been doing this for years.  A few years ago I was at a yard sale and found a really nice living room couch and oversized chair.  The person I bought it from had only used it for one year.  She paid $1200 for it and I got it for only $120.  Sometimes you can find some really unique items by shopping this way.

2.  Check Craigslist.  You just never know what you’ll find on Craiglist.  Before purchasing our last home, the home inspector found some issues with the bathtub.  My husband found a brand new tub with jets on Craiglist for 1/5 the price.  It was one a contractor didn’t use.  Another great find was a HE washer and dryer. We got an almost new set for 1/4 the price.  The owners were moving to Hawaii and it would cost them more to have it moved.

3.  Think paint.  Paint is one of the least expensive ways to add warmth and color to your home.  It really is amazing how $30 in paint can transform a room.  

4.  Repurpose what you have.  Paint that old lamp or picture frame. Change your night stand into a bookshelf.  Recover your old pillows with fabric. Use a sheet for window treatments. 

5.  Get an outside opinion.  It helps to ask someone else’s opinion for ways to help your decorating space.  Many times friends will see things you didn’t see and have ideas you had never thought about.  They may suggest moving a piece of furniture or changing a wall hanging.  Those small inexpensive tips can make a big impact.

6.  Borrow furniture.  When I first got married, I didn’t have any living room furniture.  I ended up borrowing some things from my parent’s house.  All you have to do is get the word out to friends and family that you need some items for your home.  Some people have things in their basement that are just sitting around collecting dust.  Some will let you borrow things and others will just let you have the stuff. 

7.  Be patient.  You can’t expect your home to look perfect right away.  It takes moving things around, searching for deals, and tweaking things a bit.  It will all come together eventually.

8.  Bring in nature.  Consider filling jars with shells from the ocean.  Fill a vase with twigs.  Put some pinecones in a basket.  There are many things that we can use from outside.

9.  Do it yourself.  I am not one for creating things but if given an idea, I can usually duplicate it.  Thanks to pinterest, there are thousands of ideas at your fingertips.  I have pinned many ideas for future use.  Be sure to check out my boards “For the Home” and “DIY and Crafts”. 

10.  Update out of date pieces.  Our last home was one of my favorites.  It was loaded with charm.  The problem was that the fixtures were outdated.  Everything was brass.  We didn’t have the money to purchase all new lighting and bath towel bars so my husband gave everything an inexpensive update with bronze spray paint.  You can check out pictures of our chandelier makeover.

What tips do you have for low cost decorating?

image (c) Karen Weideman


September 23, 2011

It’s Time to Save on Outdoor Furniture and Accessories

Fall is one of my favorite times of year.  It cools off a little and makes outdoor time comfortable.  There’s a crisp smell in the air and it makes me long for hayrides, pumpkin patches, and beautiful fall colors.

Along with fall comes end of summer sales. It’s a good thing I had a little money set aside because I have found some great deals lately.

Monday I went to Lowe’s Home Improvement to see if their patio furniture was 75% off yet.  It was only 50% off but they only had three tables left of the one I wanted so I went ahead and purchased the table for $23.  I heard that the furniture was going 75% off on Wednesday so I went Wednesday morning to get the chairs I needed.

I have shopped around for a while for a table and chairs set I wanted.  I made due with a set I got for cheap on Craigslist until I could find just what I wanted.  Sure, there were other more attractive sets that looked more like dining room furniture but I decided on this set because it is durable, comfortable, and attractive (to me).  It also matches the firepit I got last year for my birthday.

Wednesday I purchased the chairs for $8.75 each.  I went ahead and got 8 of them because we plan to get another table to match this one.  We like to have the extra seating for company.  And let’s face it, you can hardly buy the cheap plastic chairs for the price I got for these metal ones.  The rude store manager almost sold these out from under me but thankfully my friend managed to snag them before he hauled them off.

As you can see in the picture I found some cushions for the chairs. These were only $5.25 each. They have a nice design on them but I’m not sure if I’m keeping them. They don’t exactly fit the whole seating length of the chair. I set them in the chairs to mull it over. What do you think?

I also got a 4 foot bench for only $20.  I’m excited about this bargain too!  🙂

It’s not put together yet so I’ll just show you the picture of the box. Soon it will be a nice addition to my yard.

Lowe’s also had some cute (and some very tacky) yard ornaments and accessories.  Two weeks ago I purchased three lanterns at 75% off for only $11 each.  I got two of them for my brother’s birthday present. I was so pleased that I was able to get him an $80 gift for only $20.

Wednesday I found this chicken for $4. And no, I am not a collector of chickens.  I just thought this one was cute and she made me smile.

My outdoor yard furniture is finally coming together. I am so pleased by the bargains I got.

Have you found any deals lately?


October 6, 2010

Our Thrifty Chandelier Makeover

When we bought our home last year, there was one thing that really stood out to us.  The home needing some updating.  Since the home was build in the 90s, brass was a theme in the home.  Due to the cost and time involved, the update has been a gradual one.  First, we replaced all of the brass ceiling fans in the home with some bronze colored ones that we found on clearance at Lowe’s Home Improvement.  That alone was a major improvement.

Recently, we decided that something needed to be done to the brass light fixtures in the home, mainly in the foyer.  We weren’t ready to spend $100 or more on a new chandelier, so my husband decided to try out some metallic spray paint in a bronze color.  First, he tried out the paint on an old lamp to see how it would look. We liked the results and so the chandelier was a go.

chandelier – before

Sorry, I didn’t have a picture of just the chandelier. This is from a set of pictures I took of the home while we were moving in.

chandelier – after

Putting the chandelier back up on the high ceiling was much tougher than the paint job. I was standing on the stairs with tools and screws, just praying for safety.

My hubby was so pleased with the chandelier results that he painted the two bathroom fixtures and all of the towel bars. 

bathroom – before

Wow, look at all that brass.  There were two light fixtures in the sink area and two towel bars and a toilet paper holder in the shower area.

bathroom – after

And for some reason, my flash was not working on this picture. I really need a new camera.  Anyway, you get the idea.

And that’s our thrifty makeover.  It cost about $5 and the results were great.  Do you have any frugal makeover stories to share?