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August 08, 2012

Guest Post by Abbie from Five Days 5 Ways

 

Hi there, guys!

My name is Abbie from:

 five days five ways | because every day is different

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—where I literally blog about a little bit of everything, with a theme for every day of the week (Try-it Tuesday: tutorials, Wardrobe Wednesday: fashion, Feature Friday FREE-FOR-ALL: where I feature YOU in all your awesomeness at my weekly linky party, etc. etc.).

And I am super-excited to swing by Kendra’s place to meet you guys today.

Kendra and I are definitely kindred (or is that Kendrad? Ha!) spirits when it comes to home décor on a budget.

My blog isn’t actually sponsored by Goodwill, but sometimes I think it should be, considering that so many of my décor pieces come from there or other thrifting sources.

So, given our shared love of decorating on the cheap, I thought I’d show you what works for me when it comes to creating a stylish, comfortable home without spending a fortune (or even a fraction of one).

1.

Think outside the box

Sure, things look better in threes. Symmetry is good. And light-colored walls do open up a room and make it look bigger.

But sometimes, things look even better when there are 20 of them. And your nightstands are extra-charming when they don’t match and aren’t even the same height. And an accent wall of pure black can bring so much drama to a room.

Decorating guidelines are helpful, useful things.

But (cliché alert), rules were made to be broken.

When I couldn’t find a stair-runner I liked, I bought these patterned rug-runners, and my husband spliced/stapled them together up the length of the stairs, which gave me a custom stair-runner that I actually love for way less than than the price of the ugly prefab variety.

I made an awning for my kitchen window because curtains and shades just weren’t quite the vibe I was looking for.

Heck, I even painted/stenciled my washing machine with polka-dots, which may sound a bit loony but has overwhelmingly been my most popular blog project to date (with 45,000 repins on Pinterest).

I probably wasn’t “supposed” to do any of those things.

But I did anyway, and you know what?

The world did not stop spinning, and the sky has yet to fall.

Sometimes doing the unexpected is only way to go.

2.

Do what you love

This little piece of advice goes hand in hand with #1 because the primary reason for creative, rule-breaking design is the designer’s desire to create a space that she really owns.

After all, if you love color but paint all your walls white and only accessorize with beiges, creams, and wood-tones because that’s what popular at the time, you may end up with a lovely, soothing room…that you hate!

I love to glean inspiration from others (most of whom are much more talented than I), but ultimately, I choose to decorate with something because I like it, or better yet, love it.

Even if it means that someone else walks in, cocks her head, and says, “Huh. Interesting” (which we all know is code for: “Nasty McAwful. What where you thinking?”).

Thing is, passion in decorating is contagious, and I’ve had plenty of people tell me they love something I’ve done in a room even though they would never have chosen it for themselves (that polka dot washer being a prime example), and I feel the same way when I walk into a room full of pieces and ideas that the owner loves, whether it’s my style or not.

(That stained glass chandelier wouldn’t be everybody’s cup of tea, but I love how it picks up on all the other jewel-tones in my entryway).

3.

Secondhand is your friend

(I know Kendra is saying a great big, “Amen!” right now).

Furniture is expensive, y’all.

And so are decorative odds and ends.

You can quickly drop thousands on home décor.

OR…

You can take advantage of the incredible deals to be scored on craigslist and at Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other thrifiting havens, chain and otherwise—and end up with a look you love for at least 50% less.

One of my favorite rooms in my house is my living room, and it’s a perfect example of mixing retail and secondhand to achieve a cohesive look for not too much money:

The couch was new from a furniture store (brand: Corinthian…for a very reasonable $475 including tax, and I LOVE it), and the 10X12 wool rug is Pottery Barn, which at $400, was a ginormous splurge for me (even though I “ebayed” it for about 40% less than the retail), but those larger purchases anchor a room that is almost entirely secondhand otherwise.

Take for example that ottoman (my second most popular project to date) that I made from a craiglist coffee table.

Only $115 total, which looks pretty good when you do a price comparison and find out its retail equivalents are anywhere from $500-$2,000.

Or how about practically every single last one of the decorations on my shelf built-ins and sofa table?

Yup, Goodwill—for an average of $1-4 a piece.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

It doesn’t have to be new to make your space look great.

4.

Use what you have

You’d be surprised what you have lying around your house just waiting to be turned into a fabulous vignette.

Shopping your own house is one of the easiest, most economical (and fun!) ways to do seasonal decorating or give a drab corner a much-needed facelift.

Here’s another shot of my living room sofa/table with a Spring-y update—bright cheery colors, lots of florals…and I didn’t leave my house or spend a penny I hadn’t already.

And, yes, most of those little doodads are either thrifted or deeply discounted as well.

5.

Embrace color

I love color, so this is easy for me, but even if you’re obsessed with neutrals, it’s never a bad idea to add a pop or two—pillows are some of the easiest ways to do this—of at least subdued hues to break up the monotony.

Emily of Jones Design Company does a great job of adding bits of color (yellow is her favorite, and she even has that same Target rosette pillow from the above pics) to her usual palette of whites, creams, grays, and blacks.

I think I’ve already proven my deep and abiding passion for color, but perhaps the best example of it is my kitchen, so I’ll throw a quick shot of that in here as well.

Color galore, right?

If you want to see more of my colorful rooms or read about how we built our house from scratch, be sure to click over and read away.

And don’t forget to say “hi” while you’re at my place.

I love meeting new folks!

Oh, and a huge thanks to Kendra for asking me to stop by!


 

 

One Comment

  1. This post is amazing! I want to thrift so badly and start some new projects for my home. Now I just need to hunt for some time…

    Nicole
    http://settleinn.blogspot.com/
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/Coleandco