Since our addition/renovation started, I have been trying to find ways to get the look I want and save money at the same time. I purchased eight French chairs off Craigslist for $20. It was a great deal if you don’t mind putting in a lot of work. Each chair takes about six hours to strip and sand by hand. When all is said and done. I will have spent about 48 hours working on these chairs. For me it is well worth the effort. A similar chair would cost about $350 each. By doing the work, I am able to have beautiful French chairs at a fraction of the cost. Saving money this way is not for everyone. I happen to love what I do. Over the years I have found other ways to decorate on a budget without all the work. One way is the high-low price game. For this game you have to mentally give up your high priced dream item. Open yourself up to something similar in style, size, shape but at a lesser cost. The hardest part of this game is giving up the dream item. But once you do, you would be surprised how you begin to look at things differently. This has happened to me many times, but one of my favorites was side tables for my front room. I was looking at a Ballard Design catalog and fell in love with a metal side table with a mirror top.
This is the table. I would need two, one for each side of the sofa. I could already see them in the living room. At $200 times two, it was way out of my price range.
So I started the game and a few months later I found an alternative at Home Goods.
Compared to the Ballard Design table, they both have metal bases, round tops, and are small in size. But wait a minute, where is the mirror you say?
When I was looking at the table, I noticed a space between the wood insert and the top of the table. I thought this might be enough space to fit a mirror.
I purchased two of the Home Goods tables knowing full well I could return them if a mirror could not be installed. I took them to a glass shop and was very happy when they said there was enough room to put a mirror in. Hurray!
This is what it looked like after the mirror was inserted. I love the way they look! By opening up my mind to other possibilities I was able to find two tables for a little less than $150 versus $400.
Artwork can be another expensive décor item. I for one, will likely never buy an original piece of art, but prints of an original can be just as beautiful.
These are just two of the prints I have. The children on the beach is by Mary Cassett and the woman and child is by Renoir. I always get my prints framed at Michael’s. It takes the print to another level and besides, they always have coupons.
What is the saying “Go big or go home.” Another way to save is by using one large piece of artwork instead of several.
This piece sits over the couch in my family room. It not only draws you into the room visually, it covers a lot of wall space. If I had chosen smaller pieces of art, I would need several pieces to get the same impact of this one.
Thinking out of the box can also produce beautiful art at low cost. I like to use plates to hang on walls. I found some melamine plates from Pottery Barn with a Shibori print on them. When I hung them on the wall, it just didn’t work. They were too small and got lost on the wall. I was not sure how to fix it. So I went to Michael’s to see if anything jumped out at me. What I found were shadow box frames that I thought would work perfectly.
Because the plates were light weight melamine I was able to hang them with velcro.
I centered each plate. The backing in the frame came with a linen matte. How great was that!
Hung them up!
There are so many ways to decorate your home on a budget. Let your perfect item go, open yours eyes to alternatives, think outside the box. But most importantly have fun!!