I’m not a wealthy woman, my husband isn’t a wealthy man either. Chances are most are fighting the rat race to get by in life. I have some relief for you. You can decorate your whole home for extremely cheap! I’m talking free to pennies on the dollar cheap! Roll your eyes at me if you’d like. Say this is just another DIY girl telling you to re-use your paper towel roll for some weird art. Go on, I know how this sounds. You’ll be missing out. I just looked around my apartment and found only 3 things that I paid full price for. Oh great another bargain shopper! I’ll take that as a compliment! Quite a few items we didn’t even buy! What!?
When my husband and I first married he had a very set style, his parents style. We all know that 80’s/90’s style with the brocade, and mauve, and leather. OH BOY! My parents were the same minus the leather but still the brocade, wallpaper borders, that splash paint abstract art style. I have never liked it. I did everything in my power in my bedroom to make it look like you were entering a different home altogether. Sure I had my phases but the vast majority was no to the heavy and saturated styling of the 90’s. I had to fight for about 4 years to get all of that style out of my husband’s system.
After our accident, that left me with a broken back, we had to make some updates for recovery. We moved our bed into the guest room. A new bed was a huge must. I was in agony on our old bed, which was already 10 years old when we got it.
Did you know that Mattress Mart has an outlet for Factory Certified Returned beds? At first, I was a little creeped out by the fact that the bed was used by a stranger. After I heard the list of requirements each bed has to pass to be able to be resold, I felt much better. My husband also has a champagne and caviar palette, so he was wanting a higher end bed. There was no way a person would purchase the bed he wanted without purchasing all the extra bells and whistles. I mention this because when you buy from their outlet you do lose the option to purchase the ‘extra’s’ for the bed (unless the bed previously had the bells and whistles added before they returned it, ie, extra protection chemical spray). We got the bed my husband loved and my back didn’t complain about at a 75% markdown!!
We needed a larger bed too, or to sleep in separate rooms until my back was back to 100%. We decided upgrading to a king was the best choice, neither of us is comfortable sleeping without each other anymore. This upgrade did force us to buy a new headboard and frame. I found a set from Target. This accounts for one of the items that we paid full price on. Unless you count free shipping as a discount, which I’m not.
Another splurge was our nightstands and dresser package. Again full price. Our last full price item in our home? Anyone care to guess? It is one of those cute phone speakers that looks like a vintage Gramophone. $20 at Target.
We have really lucked out in the gifting category. Looking around our Kitchen, Living, and Dining rooms I can count over 20 items that were gifts! I know what you are thinking…
“No one is going to buy the things that are my style.”
While this can be very true if you speak up for yourself from the start in what you like and don’t like people will hear you. It may take time, just be patient and don’t shove it down anyone’s throat. Sure some won’t listen to every detail but then you can try your hand at some fun DIY idea’s to make it your style.
A great DIY Change to “Close but not Close Enough” to Your Style
I have a lamp I bought years ago working my first job for my bedroom. At the time I never cared about mixing metals. Once we started redecorating after the accident, I started paying attention to how everything looked okay but was still off. We had a floor lamp with a black base, and then my lamp brushed nickel. I had a can of white chalk spray paint, it didn’t match but they looked beautiful together.
You can do it as well! Someone bought you an awesome ceramic elephant in a pretty pink… You love elephants but hate pink. Take some sanding paper, sand off the outer protective coat and lightly spray paint it the color of your choice. Make sure to let the layer dry before you do the next layer. If you get drips, let it dry, sand it again in that spot, and paint it with the next round. Keep doing this until it looks finished. You probably should do several clear coats for protection as well.
The options are endless with spray paint. They are my personal friend if our accent color ever changes in our household. I take the items sporting the old color out to the garage and give them a new coat of paint.
Bare with me for a second, I promise I’m not going off subject. I used to have this boss. He is a wonderful man. He doesn’t know how to shop for deals. He sees it, he likes it, he buys it! I made the startled head shake and put my hands up as a barrier when he told me. It’s insane! It’s an extra search window. He really couldn’t comprehend that if you find an item you like online, copy the name of the item and open Google. Paste the name into the search bar, click on shopping. You will get a complete list with all price differences right there. Easy Peasy!
Oddly enough this mindset was the general consensus in the office! One woman tried to say she was frugal but admitted to buying things at full price if they really wanted it and wouldn’t wait for a sale. I can admit that has been an outlook for myself before. As I mentioned our three things in our home. It’s not always bad to spend money, it’s just bad if, like me, you can’t afford it every time.
Here are a few ways you can pull off Champagne & Caviar Style on a minimal decor budget.
- Just open that extra browser window and search the item in Google shopping. Even though Google doesn’t always list every single price out there, you can still find a better deal than that of the store.
- Use what you have or change them to look like what you want. Another example of gifting we changed was a large mirror when we moved into our first “home”. We didn’t have a mirror in the master bathroom and I was doing a Moroccan style and the mirror looked perfect in there. It didn’t make the people who bought us the mirror happy that we didn’t use it in the dining or hallway, but it was needed and looked amazing where it was!
- Have a set of people who know your tastes. You don’t always have the money to fully furnish a home when you get married or get your first place so you take what you can get. When you make your tastes known to people, as in describing your vision for your home, they will listen. I have found that my closest friends who are around me the most and go window shopping with me are the ones to trust. They can see my thought process and understand parts of my vision even if it’s not the whole vision.
- A great looking home takes time. I’m not willing to settle for a home I’m okay with (decor wise). I will hold off on something until I find the right something. And then I will hold off longer waiting on that sale. Another note for this point is that a staged home always looks staged. A home that is decorated has items that have happened over time. Our pieces have been gathered over the course of our 9 years in marriage. Or are passed down to us from previous generations.
- Adopt a new mentality. Speaking of time, this one will take it. Stopping that urge to buy the shiny “new” babble you just saw for the first time. Companies make a ton of the same item to sell all over the country and world (most of the time). Chances are if you hold off from buying immediately it will go on sale or better yet, clearance!
These 5 tips aren’t going to massively change your way of decorating but it will hopefully help you weed through what you have and what you want/need. We have pieces from our childhood, pieces passed down to us from loved ones, gifts, prizes, etc. We use it all to decorate. We do spend time deciding if a piece is really our tastes or something someone thought was us. If it is the latter we either change it or get rid of it. Only true emotional attachment (such as my Grandmother’s old coffee Table Bible) sticks and beats out style. We even have pieces that I have won at our old Church’s Ladies Game nights. They work in our style and make great decor.
So look around, what is there because you just had to have it but now it doesn’t really work? Is your home looking staged instead of lived in?
If you aren’t sure what staging looks like go to the nearest Model Home’s center. These houses reflect a house but not a home. The decor looks like it’s never been moved, or shows signs of wear. The artwork is so impersonal and set to appeal to a large group not describe the owners at all.
Staging is beautiful and I enjoy the art of staging, but creating a home is much deeper. You are showing a piece of you. Sharing your life with anyone who steps inside.
Do you have some great ways of living in style for less? Please share!