Thursday, January 22, 2015

Saving Money Series - Decorating Our Homes

Good morning to you! I am continuing with my Saving Money Series today. In case you missed the first installment, find it here

Today I want to talk about decorating, the inexpensive way. We are so bombarded with Pinterest perfection and incredible, professional magazine layouts that we may think we may never be able to attain that kind of beauty or decorating prowess in our own homes. I want to show you how I decorate, on a very small budget (which, at times, has even been non-existent). With a little creativity, there are ways I can make my home a lovely, welcoming haven, without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars. I realize that it can take a few years to collect some decorative items, but most of us can probably shop our cupboards or pantries or yards and come up with some neat displays or arrangements to make our homes more beautiful, inviting and peaceful. 

And just a quick side note, I discovered the world of a couple of years ago, which can be a great resource for adding things to your home or decorating collection. People often give away perfectly wonderful possessions that they are tired of, don't have room for, or have simply replaced with something bigger and better. I am often amazed at the offerings in my local freecycle groups. Another great resource, is of course, the yard sale - both the old school kind in your own neighbourhood, as well as the new Facebook yard sale options for your town or city (check out the coffee table I once got free of charge!). (Use both of these online resources at your own discretion and with care and caution. Follow all rules of safety as specified in each group.)

As a homeschool mom, one of the things I've had to come to terms with is that since we are mostly at home, my house is not going to look like a two-page spread out of Better Homes and Gardens or Kinfolk. I have, though, been able to carve out a few spaces that can be the exceptions to the rule and lovely displays of beauty amidst the messes.

We use our dining room not only for family meals, but also for school, of course. Puzzles are also worked there, painting is done there, and much more, so it is a heavy traffic area. I try to have the kids put away their school books after use and keep it picked up as much as possible. The sideboard functions as a cupboard for much of our school paraphernalia, which is such a lifesaver. I like the top of the sideboard to be an appealing focal point in the room and not covered in clutter. 

During Christmas it looked like this, simple yet festive:

The poinsettias were very inexpensive (from Aldi). I pulled the candy jar out of the pantry and filled it with Brach's Christmas Nougats, Hershey's Candy Cane Kisses and candy canes. The little red and white dish came from Target, on sale. The wooden sleigh was a gift, as were the Santa and the cloth manger set. So the main expense on this display was the candy.

I enjoyed moving the pieces around, and eventually, the rest of the surface was covered with the Christmas cards we received in the mail. 

For January and the rest of winter, I wanted to do something fresh and simple, but I didn't want to spend any money on it at all. I shopped around the house to see what I could come up with, and this was the result . . .

Lately, every time I have walked out my back door, I have thought how pretty the dead hydrangea blooms looked, so I cut some and put them in a vase I already had on my shelf. The old globe belongs to Ava and was free from a homeschool mom who was having to quickly sell her house and move. The small blue vases came from a lady who made colloidal silver, and I've had them for ages. The photo was a gift from my very talented photographer uncle. The vase with the greenery in it was a wedding gift. The greenery itself is from my back yard.

I've rearranged everything a couple of times and like this arrangement the best so far . . . 

Another tip for creating a beautiful space in our homes is to purchase a simple  and inexpensive bouquet of flowers (or pick them from your garden, if you have them). I adore flowers and believe they can brighten up any area, no matter what the season. I bought this bunch of Alstroemeria (also known as Peruvian lily) for $5. I love this variety of flower because it lasts and lasts, so my $5 goes a long way. They are still sitting on the coffee table in my living room, almost three weeks later!

How do you like to decorate your home inexpensively? I'd love to hear your ideas and experiences, especially the money-saving ones!

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Blessings and love. xo

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  1. What a great grouping. I love the globe and the way the browns and blues in your arrangement.
    I do a lot with framed photos of our family and with books. I move things around a lot too looking for the perfect combination. I also read somewhere that things grouped in odd amounts are more pleasing to the eye than even amounts. I tested this and it's true so I use that as a rule of thumb.

    1. Thank you, Jennifer! Yes, I agree about the odd amounts in decorating. Even numbers create symmetry and odd numbers create more visual interest and harmony. I try to keep that in mind when I'm decorating. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  2. Hi from Friday Favorites! I've yet to really see anything on that I'm interested in, but I've heard good things about it. I've started getting into the thrift store scene lately :)

    1. Hi Emma, thanks for stopping by. Freecycle has to be like a treasure hunt for me or it can be disappointing. I don't have time to look at every single email I get every day, but once in awhile I come across something pretty cool or even useful. Ha! I love thrift stores, too. It's always a treasure hunt there, as well!

  3. How lovely! It's amazing what we can do when we 'shop' our own homes, rearranging and trying things in new places. Thank you for all the wonderful tips. I agree, fresh flowers add a certain something special and make everyone happy!
    I'm so glad you share this at the Hearts for Home Blog Hop last week, I"m including it in my featured posts today!