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From Jennifer Allen
After my husband and I bought our house I wanted our home to be a lovely inviting place. However, we most certainly couldn’t go out and buy everything I would want full price, or at once. So began my slow but steady process of getting our home decorating in order. Here are some things I took in consideration before I began.
1. What are your favorite colors? How will they look as wall paint in your home and with coordinating decorations? Applying some new life in your home is as simple as painting your walls for a fresh start. This will help you decide what colors you will use in a room or rooms. When we bought our house we knew we would need to re-paint the interior of the house before moving in. I had already been in several friend’s homes that had paint schemes that I liked. In fact one friend even had the paint names and colors to give me. I went with those two colors, a tan and a sage green. I tried to think about the color schemes I would want in each room based on the furniture we already had. That helped me decide what rooms would be tan, and what rooms would be sage green.
2. Furniture is next. We were very blessed when we got married to be given most of our furniture as wedding presents. My in-laws blessed us with furniture and my thrifty Mother-in-Law found it all on Craig’s List. You can try Free Cycle, Craig’s List, EBay, and local Thrift Stores to find what you need. My parents were moving and gave us some of their furniture. Maybe you know some friends or family wanting to get rid of something extra in their house? If you have a really yucky old couch but can’t afford a new one consider a slip cover. An old scratched up table? I am trying to prevent that from happening with mine. I have a beautiful table cloth I found at Kmart for $4.00. I bought some medium duty plastic and covered the tablecloth. Any spill or accident can be wiped up, it looks pretty, and the table is being protected. If your really adventurous you could re-stain or re-paint some old furniture that needs a helping hand.
3. Decide what look you want in each room. Make a list of items you will need, then be patient. I made a list and had a very definite vision of how I wanted each room in our house to look. We bought our house in October of last year but didn’t move in until January because of all the work we needed to do first inside. I still have one piece of furniture I want to buy for the living room, and finish the library room. I have been looking at clearance racks in stores, thrift stores, Craig’s List, EBay, and most important of to me, garage sales to find the items I could use in our home. Slowly over the months I have found great deals on items I was looking for. Need new curtains? Here’s a idea I gave when I scored some great deals on table cloths to sew up into curtains. I’m going to through several rooms in our house so you can get an idea of what I planned and where I bought items that brought a room together.
The Library Room
The goal is to have pictures of my husband’s favorite US Presidents. So far we have Lincoln and Washington. I will be buying the prints off EBay, at Antique Malls, EBay, Hobby Lobby, or anywhere else I find a president Neil wants. Once we find another print I will buy the frame at Hobby Lobby or Kohl’s during a half off sale.
Our Rec Room
I had the picture of Jesus. The candles and candle holders were what I asked for as a birthday present. I found the fireplace set at a garage sale for $4.00 and the black wire basket at a church sale for $3.00. The beautiful flowers that matched so well? A huge black bag of these at a garage sale for $2.00. They were brand new with the tags still on and worth about $45!
In our living room we were given the couch and seat as a wedding present. The curtains were given to me from my Mom and the pole lamp we found free. The frames and curtain rods I bought half off. The sheers were given to me from my Mom when she was moving to another home. I found the blinds for $1.50 each at Cargo Largo, only to learn later they normally cost about $45-60 each.
On the other wall in our living room you can see where I decided to use the black picture frames my husband had before we got married. Neil took some awesome photos when we were on our Honeymoon in Oregon. We decided which photos we would like to enlarge and had those printed. For the price of the photos we had a collage of lovely memories to line the walls of the living room. The chair was free and the piano was a gift from my parents when they bought a newer one. I found the piano lamp at a garage sale for $2.00.
In our bedroom I knew I wanted to use my favorite colors. Sage green, rose, black, tan, and white. Most of these colors are in our quilt bedspread. When we were preparing for our wedding I thought ahead to being able to keep flower arrangements for decorating our home. My Mother did all the dry flower arrangements for our wedding and these are the largest two. I found the vases half off at Michael’s and all the flowers were bought half off at Hobby Lobby as we waited for the sales. I love Hobby Lobby! They run half off sales on items on a rotating basis. The candle holder and candles were also from our wedding. Again everything was half off. The black frames in our room are from Kohl’s, half off normal price. All the photos are prints from our wedding or honeymoon.
this side of our bedroom I found the frames half off at Kohl’s. The lamps were on clearance at Wal-Mart several years ago and I held on to them. We bought our phones off Craig’s List for a good deal. For about 8 months our bed was just sitting on the floor. We couldn’t afford to buy a new frame, headboard, and foot board. Our bedroom set came from Craig’s List at a really good deal, but missing anything for the bed. My Mother-in-law found our bed frame and headboard at a Thrift Store for $30. I was so excited to be off the floor and have a headboard that would match our set!
In our kitchen we had cabinets with space for some decorations above. I had put some random items on them. My husband isn’t into decorating so when he was commenting on my “weird” set of mis-match items up there I knew it had to go. I took everything down and the cabinets sat bare for several months. I don’t have China dishes but a small set of pretty rose dishes. I had the thought one day that rose glass bowls and plates would go well with the set and look pretty above the cabinets. Several weeks later I found this rose glass bowl at a garage sale for $1.00.
Then I found this rose glass plate for $1.00. I remembered I had a rose relish tray from a great-aunt. So began my little collection. I’ll add to it a little at a time.
I had seen this set of curtains at a friend’s house and loved them. They would match perfectly in my kitchen! They were sold at Kmart. When I went to look at them I saw they were over $16.00 each. No way was I going to pay that! On another visit to Kmart several weeks later I noticed they were on clearance. Not only a few valances, but the table cloths as well for $4.00 each! Read here to see how I planned on using my extra tables cloths to make curtains.
As you can see I had a list of what I wanted then had to be patient and find great deals on what I needed a little bit at a time. Almost one year later I still have some things on my list. However, everything I bought has been in my budget. We never used a credit card or bought anything brand new. You may not be starting from scratch in a home as I was, but I hope this gives you some help and ideas as you consider decorating your home on a budget. Keep in mind your home may never look like a magazine cover (mine never will!) but with some creative thinking and bargain hunting it can be a home sweet home to you and yours.