One of the things I pride myself in, is making our home feel like a home for less. I love to thrift. I love to do DIY projects. I love to find ways to make things look nice without spending a fortune.
I am the type that loves to shop. However, because I am always wanting to find ways to do things for less, when I do shop, its hard for me to ever buy something new or for retail. We live in a lovely home. One that years prior I truly could have only dreamed of. Before our last house in Atlanta we always lived in very small houses. Most rentals. Or apartments. Our house in NC was actually a parsonage and while I have some precious memories from within those walls, that house was probably one of the hardest for me to live in, because the kitchen was so small I could literally touch from one side to the other, without moving. I was in that kitchen A LOT and not having space for me to do every day task, was hard. (THE PHOTO TO THE RIGHT above is a photo of myself taken back in 2010 I believe, of me in that kitchen. Heres another view of it, for memory sake.) It was TINY. Yet, you make do with what you have and learn to be content with it. No joy will ever come from dwelling on what you dont have. Throughout every season I was thankful for my home and enjoyed making it our own.
I know that our ability to afford a larger home now, has been made possible by blessings financially we got from the sale of our last home but also living in a way that is frugal, making it possible to afford other things. We do not live lavishly. We live within a budget and find ways to cut corners as best as we can. Its something you have to be intentional about… without a doubt! :) but its worth it.
Decorating and furnishing a home does not have to be expensive!
So in short, here are some ideas of ways you may can save… and maybe some inspiration.
I tried to label some images for the purpose of this post. I will also list below those photos the items with more detail.
This is our living room. We spend A LOT of time in this room… and so I wanted it to not only to function well for our larger family but also to have pops of color and a hint of fancy? I’m not even sure how to describe it. It has vintage items but also modern pieces of furniture too. Our end tables that aren’t really shown well in any of these photos are modern, yet slightly distressed. They came from TJMaxx and I believe cost $25 each. Those for me were splurger items! We needed end tables when we moved in though and the price didn’t seem to bad considering they are solid wood. I love mixing those modern tables with the center coffee table that is very old and vintage. The former home owners left it. No idea why though, its lovely. It needs some repair work but its beautiful even as is… It opens up too and has lots of storage space.
So lets break this down.
Sofa’s – the longer one and short love seat sofa, cost $350.00 (FOR BOTH together) – we got them used from a thrift store. They look brand new. The store we got them from even delivered them! Can’t beat that. We had looked to buy a new set of sofas when we moved here but the cost would have been well over $1,000 for a new set. I just couldn’t justify spending that sort of money on a set that our kids would probably ultimately destroy over the next 10 years. So used IMO for things like this are wise choices with small children.
Coffee Table (old vintage chest) – FREE
Rug – From Ross. It was a splurge item for me too. $80.00 – however its HUGE, and beautifully made. I believe it is made in Turkey. Ross always has the best rugs. I believe retail on this rug was well over $200.00.
Floating Shelf (behind sofa) – My dad made this. So I can’t really estimate the cost, but I imagine it probably cost $25 to make? My dad can chime in if I’m wrong on that. Hes crafty though and made me this after I explained what I wanted. I LOVE IT!
Items on the shelf – The letter W I got from walmart for $1.50 I believe. I covered it with inexpensive gray yarn. Turned out so cute. A few of the other items on that shelf I was gifted… and the photographs of our family I accumulated over time. Since im a professional photographer I get all my prints at a great price. ;-) I guess thats a perk of the job.
Pillows – Most of the pillows I got new. Those also were splurge items for me. We had a little spending money when we first moved here to use on stuff like this. So I did go out a bit and have fun with it. :) The blue pillow came from walmart, as did the white ones. They were very affordable. Under $10. The yellow pillow is down and so soft. I got that one from TJMaxx for I believe $12. The purple pillow I got on clearance at World Market for $7.00.
Throw – My lovely mom made me that. :)
Items on the Built Ins – Many of those items I got thrifted. The framed pieces are name art (my friends mom makes them here). We have one for each of the boys and love them. The blue suit case at the bottom of the larger build in space was thrifted as well for $3.00. Such a steal! The basket on top of it I got many many many years ago at Michaels for a couple bucks with a 50% off coupon. It holds some misc. toys.
Throw Ladder – My sweet friend Lindsey gifted me with this. So it was free. Its a great functionable piece but also looks great! The throws on it I have accumulated over the years. Many I used for photograph newborns in years back. So they were actually business expenses I was able to write off. :) Some I got thrifted, others on sale at places like Target.
The small baby table under the white window – This was free. My parents handed it down to me. It was mine as a kid. We love it. Reed plays with his cars on it, or watches ipad on it… or has a snack on it. Great little table. Solid oak too.
Our Flatscreen – FREE. Thanks mom and dad :) – my parents upgraded their flat screen and gave us this. Its perfect for our living room. The device holding it onto the wall too, also free. Well sorta. The former home owners left it, so it came with the house.
Smaller items in the room you can kind of see in the photo where I got them. A few of the decor pieces ill mention below in more detail…
Curtain Rods – FREE – left by former home owners.
Curtains – World Market, 60% off!! I forget the cost but it wasn’t much. I think around $12 per set of curtains with the discount.
Beautiful Art – This lovely piece I got as a trade of talents. One of my sweet friends and local Atlanta Artist did this for me. She has been named Atlantas Top Artist for years now. I did her family portraits (or it may have been an event for her, I forget. Ive done lots of work for her and love her!). In exchange she painted me this painting. I also have another painting of hers upstairs in our bedroom. They are very nice paintings… I treasure them.
Small touches I thought id mention a bit more about….
This DIY Paper Wreath I made a few years ago. Heres is my blog post showing you how to make your own. This was so easy and fun to make!! It cost $2.00 to make, if not less. I think it looks really nice too… and I think those who see it would think it cost a lot more than it actually did.
These types of projects don’t take that much time either. I am naturally a crafty person. Something my mom passed onto me I guess. :) I love dabbling into things like this… but it truly is worth doing. You can make things like this up and give them as gifts! They take effort but they are items people will love getting and keep for a long time.
I plan to do another paper wreath project soon. Once I do, ill be sure to blog that as well.
Be sure to follow me on Pinterest HERE. I pin all sorts of ideas like this that I hope to try.
and one last item. Coasters. The coffee table chest we use does have some coaster stains. So I knew I wanted some coasters to prevent future stains. Although Im pretty sure with some stain I can fix those. Just haven’t gotten the chance to. These adorable coasters came from Walmart and cost $.65 cents! SO CHEAP yet so cute! I love cork coasters too. They to me work better than any other coasters you can buy.
So thats it for this room. Hopefully this post made some sense and was helpful. :)
Another source of inspiration. If you have netflix, watch Fixer Upper. I LOVE THAT SHOW!! Joanna Gaines on that show is so inspiring. She is also a believer. Shes on instagram too. I love seeing what she comes up with.
So some final tips…
1. Shop used. Thrift stores are the best! Not all thrift stores are created equally. :) So look around and find those gems.
2. Never turn down free. :) We have been blessed with lots of free furniture over the years. I am all for freebies.
3. Make what you have work.
4. Less is more. :)
5. Shop at stores like TJMaxx, Ross, Marshalls and Home Goods. Great stores to score unique pieces at a much better price. Walmart too some times has some great gems, just takes looking.
6. Don’t worry with getting it all at once. A lot of my rooms came together “over time” with years of saving my pennys to purchase certain items.
7. Clearance. Coupons. USE THEM. :) Those World Market curtains didn’t happen by just walking into the store. I had to wait until the store sent an email saying curtains were on sale (via their mailing list), I then had a 15% off coupon on top of that. So it brought the savings up even more. Almost every store has an APP. So download them. I use Carwheel by Target, Michaels App, Bed Bath and Beyond App and I recently just downloaded the app called ibotta. Shop seasonal clearance too. Right now a lot of stores have winter clearance. You can score some great deals on throws and winter themed items. Many of those can be used year round. Like the purple pillow I got recently from World Market for $7. :)
For me, a home is what you desire it to be. Mixing your styles. Your loves. No two styles are a like… and we each have our likes and dislikes. Find what works for you and makes you happy in your space. No matter what that is, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. :)