Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Decorating Our Home on a Budget...

My beautiful friend ANDI left this lovely comment on my last post and I thought I would copy and paste my response here in a separate post (hope that's ok Andi!). It was a great question and one, as a self-confessed-lover-of-cheap-home-decorating that I've asked of others over the years too.

So Andi's comment was,

"Lusi, You are a wiz at home decorating...someday when you are ready for sharing...maybe you can share with us how you decorate your home and the cost decorating with no budget! Anyway I love taking tours of your home!"

Thanks so much Andi!

Well here was what I wrote in response to Andi's question about how I decorate our home...

"Hi beautiful Andi!
I really love doing our home up on a budget! I mean sometimes the budget is zero and other times there might be a little extra to spend but it's never a huge amount. So i have to be inventive ;)

Here are some of the things I love to do:

1. Honestly, we have been given so many things over the years by so many loving friends and family. We thank Yah for this! We've been given things ranging from baskets and cots to our learning room table and the girls' white bedroom furniture setting. I love re-purposing these items! If we'd had to buy all the things we'd been given over the years, we would have had to spend a small fortune (or just gone without!) So it is no small thing for me to acknowledge the generosity of others and the blessing of Yah first and foremost.

2. We have a council chuck-out here once a year. Basically, you put onto the curb anything that you no longer want. I have sourced quite a few things (including the beautiful bookcase that Brett painted white for me in our loungeroom) for free!

{bookcase to the right was the freebie from the council chuck out about 5 years ago}

3. I am thrift-shop girl. I just LOVE going into (what we call an op-shop) and seeing something that has already been owned by someone else and giving it a new life and home with us.

{white cane mirror sourced from the op-shop. It had brand new $45 price tag on it and I paid $8 for it!}

4. If I buy brand new (like the cushions on our bed in this post) I wait until they are on sale. Two of the cushions on my bed were $3 each, one was 50cents and another was $5 all bought at different times actually for different rooms!

{foreground cushion is flocked and was $5 new while the two black and white ones behind were $3 each and the one behind that which is plain white was 50 cents}

5. I try and reuse what we already have here at home before buying something brand new. For instance, in this post, the baskets in the changetable were ones I already had except one (which i bought for $1 from the second-hand store). I had purchased these baskets a while back from Ikea and they were housing other items in the house. I then shuffled those areas around as I wanted these square cane baskets for bubba's clothing.

{Re-purposing baskets we already have}

6. I make alot of things myself. I used to be heavily involved in the Australian scrapbooking industry and was fortunate to have been given alot of product over the years. I've saved that and now use that to decorate places in our home. The frame wall that we have behind our large dining table (which by the way was one of the only big things we've bought new over the years since we saw it as a long lasting family investment!)was made up of a whole lot of raw wooden frames that Brett and I had collected over the years even from before we were married. I painted them all black and then either printed off images from Google Images or put scrapbooking papers or photos inside each one. I think this wall looks great but it was really cheap to create!

{raw frames that we had collected over the years painted black to give uniformity and allow the coloured photos really pop. The red 'A' was new from a cheap store for $4 raw and I painted it red.}

7. Sometimes there are things that I buy that are more expensive but I always check that I can't first buy it at a thrift store, on ebay or on sale. Then Brett and I discuss whether or not it is something we can justify spending money on. We evaluate if it will really be worth the money - like for instance the rocking chair. We wanted one on gliders because I've used one like that before and it was SUPER comfy. We sourced this one through ebay but it was $70 which was more than I would like to spend. We discussed whether or not I would get use out of it and decided that I would as I really had wanted a comfy spot for breastfeeding Zippi. When I kind of 'outgrew' the look of it this pregnancy, instead of getting rid of it, I made new cushion covers (which cost me about $5 for the material) and then just sprayed it white with paint we already had in the garage.

So I guess all in all we try to be thankful for the provision Father gives us, try to buy second hand, reuse what we already have and really evaluate if it will be family investment to buy something if we get it brand new.

Hope that helps in some way Andi!
With so much love,
Lus x "

There are seasons in life too aren't there? Like during some seasons in our life, we have been hard pressed to find money for milk and bread each week let alone new furniture! When that is our season, I don't buy anything for the house because of course, the priority is that we eat! But then there are other seasons of plenty when there is an opportunity to buy something to help make my home my castle! When that is the case, I still try to do it on a budget and be a good steward with the money we have. I'm not perfect in this but I try to learn from mistakes and really make a concious effort to buy second-hand first. 

Since I spend so much of my time here in our home, I really love it to be somewhere that inspires me. Since I am a visual person, I love having photos up around our home to look at. I love having candles burning but I won't go to a candle store to buy the candles and pay $10 per candle - I'll go to the cheap store and pay $2.50 for each one and that is only when we really need them once in a while! During a season of drought in our family, I gathered pine cones and put them in a textured cane basket. Another time when we didn't have a lot of spare money, I gathered different kinds of autumn leaves and brought some lovely colour from outside inside our home. Being on a budget didn't stop me from trying to decorate our home with colour and texture that made me smile each time I saw these parts of Yah's creation in my home.

These are some of the practical things I've learnt as I have embraced my position of being planted within our home.

So what about you? Are there ways that you enjoy decorating your home on a tight budget that you could share with me? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Thanks again Andi!
Love to you all,


Nat said...

I just LOVE your decorating tips hun, and I have already used the paper lantern idea, and love it! (they are still blu-tacked up though until I find out if we're moving or not)...
For me it will all have to be on a budget too, but it certainly brings a lot of character to your house when you don't have the same things as everyone else. LOVE IT!!

lusi said...

Thanks beautiful :)

Enid said...

Love this girl!!

lusi said...

Thanks for the encouragement Enid!
Love to you :)
Lus x

Andi said...

OH HUGE SMILE and a thank you my dear sister! Blessings to you!

lusi said...

Most welcome lovely Andi!
Love and blessings to you too my friend,
Lus x


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