Getting Creative with Thrifty Decor

It’s been made pretty clear that during the summer time I thoroughly enjoy traveling around the county to various garage sales and thrift stores on my Saturday mornings, picking up unique, pretty, and CHEAP items for my home.  Here are a few more!

These glass bottles looked like a miniature version of the glass milk bottles that my family used for favors at my baby shower so it was instant love at first sight!  At $2 there was no way I was going to pass it up either.  I intend on using these for several uses such as storing dried herbs from our garden, holding candy during Halloween or Valentines day, but for now it is going to be a home for my scallions.  I love to use scallions in almost everything I cook.  And if you put them in just a little bit of water they will continue to regrow as you cut them!  This fits perfectly in the window in my kitchen and looks completely adorable! 🙂

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One of the newest obsessions that my husband as gotten into are old wooden crates, preferably explosive crates.  In a short amount of time he has started up a small collection.  I knew I had to come up with something clever to use these crates with before I went absolutely bonkers looking at them scattered around the house serving no purpose….  my answer….. Our new shoe cubby.  Because they are so old and have “weathered many storms” if you will, I don’t feel bad about putting our dirty shoes and boots in them.  I was surprised at how cute they actually looked in them and the best part was… Chad even liked the idea! Victory!

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I guess I have to thank my husband for deciding to collect random objects because it forces me to get creative with my decorating… it also keeps me from losing my mind with him 🙂

He loves the look of old pharmaceutical bottles as well.  I struck gold at a local barn sale where the owner had shelves and sheaves of them.  I only had a few bucks on me left from a successful day so I picked out 4 of my favorite looking ones and got them for $1 each.  I was able to get an old glass Listerine bottle, Halls Sore Throat Remedy, and a medicine bottle from Montclair NJ. I have to admit they are the cutest little things and a great part of history that make a wonderful conversation piece when people visit your home.  I, myself, am guilty of collecting old bottles at garage sales so I gathered up a few of them and decided to make a nice centerpiece for our dining table.  My inspiration was from Joanna Gaines from the HGTV show Fixer Upper.  I see her put various greens in each bottle to and normally put it on a fireplace mantel.  I found bunches of greenery at Weis on sale so I picked them up, cut to size and placed them in varying heights on the table.  I think it came out pretty well!

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Thrifty Children’s Art Station

The idea for a little art station started when my mom came across this adorable wooden children’s desk at a local consignment shop.  It has been painted numerous colors before landing the most recent classic white and was made out of solid wood.  She was so excited, as any eager grandma is when they find something for their grandkids, and at $8 who could blame her?!  She sent me a picture asking if I would want it for Liam and of course I couldn’t pass it up.  We went the next day to purchase this little gem and bring it home.  I could have given it a fresh coat of paint to spruce it up but I liked the weather and worn look, showing its many years of service to little boys and girls.  It then became my mission to find a chair to go with it.  The season of garage sales had just begun so I added it to my list of “must have’s” and set out on our usual Saturday morning search.

I wasn’t expecting us to find it so quickly but a week later there was a community sale within a section of town homes not far from us that we decided to check out.  Sure enough, one of the homes had a little wooden chair sitting off to the side (as if just waiting for me to bring it home) with a yellow sticker reading $5.  It was old, built solid, and beautiful.  I measured to make sure it was the right size for the desk and as fate would have it, it was.  The older woman selling it saw my eyes light up as I ran from the edge of the driveway to get a closer look (a small rush that happens when you look for something specific and actually see it for the first time).  She told me it was an old school chair from one of our local elementary schools which made it even more worth while.  I had recognized this woman and have actually bought things from her sales in the past.  She always had fun things that were right up my ally…old, weathered and worn, with stories to go with them.  The last time I was at her sale I bought a box of old mason jars that my husband and I used for decorations at our wedding.

I grabbed the chair and without question paid the owner.  Liam’s future art station was coming together!  Now I know I may be getting ahead of myself as he is only 9 weeks old…. but seriously, how can you pass up an $8 desk and $5 chair that will hold up and look so perfect in his playroom?!

To complete his station I used a rustic candle holder that I had bought a while from Home Goods and was using in the bathroom to hold cue tips, cotton balls and bath salts, and switched it out for crayons, paint brushes and colored pencils.  I used a wooden painted banner my sister in law made for my baby shower as a finishing touch to tie his little creative corner together.  It is both exciting and sad to know that I will blink and all of the sudden Liam will be sitting at that desk coloring pictures all day long.  And all for just $13….  Gotta love thrifty treasures!

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Care For A Spot Of Tea?

Chad loves his tea…I mean LOVES it! He knows all the different kinds and what they are good for, has special tea pots that look like they should be in a lab and a collection of class jars housing all of his favorite loose leaves.

Needless to say this little obsession took up some space in the cabinets of our very teeny tiny kitchen.  When I was pregnant with Liam I knew we had to make room in the cabinets for bottles, cups, bibs, and what ever else comes with feeding an infant.  Not really sure how we would squeeze everything together I went into the adjoining sunroom and looked around for some unused or underdeveloped space.  Since our kitchen is so small we couldn’t actually fit our garage cans in that room so we kept them just outside in the sunroom.  I hated the look of it and it really brought the whole room down.  I asked Chad to build a cabinet to house both the garbage can and the recycling can so it wasn’t so …. in your face….

After the cabinet was finish and I painted and stained it, it really worked well in the space.  I thought, why don’t we take this one step further and make Chads one Tea/Coffee bar to use up the space above the cabinet in a unique way that will display his glass jars and tea pot as well as free some some cabinet space in the kitchen.  I saw this idea of course on Pinterest and also on the HGTV show Fixer Upper.  We used chalk board paint to write on and scrap wood from other projects we did around the house.  It costed us almost no money at all and now is a great conversation piece and gives the sunroom a much needed homey look.

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coffeebar

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New Life!

It’s true when they say one’s trash is another’s treasure.  It’s summer time, which means I have my list ready and every weekend I’m off searching the many garage sales and flea markets around the county to find the perfect pieces for my home.  There is something so satisfying when you find a tired and worn down item, big or small, and with a little tender loving care, it breathes new life and serves new purposes for years to come.

Last year I found an out dated sewing table and had this idea I wanted to flip it into an outdoor bar table.  I had seen it done before and thought the idea was genius!  The sewing machine is housed inside the table and when the top is closed it looks like a regular night stand.  I found it at an estate sale and bought it for $20, more then I wanted to spend, but I had dreams of up-cycling it and then selling it for a profit. I took out the sewing machine and placed a roasting pan in its place.  This is where the bottles and ice can be held for the out door bar.  The top door of the table then becomes a countertop to hold glasses and napkins.

My cousin’s wife had just done a large painting project with this beautiful light blue color and I thought it would be perfect to use on the table.  It’s bright and cheery for summer and I thought it would really make the piece pop.  I should mention that all this came about after I watched a marathon of Flea Market Flip with Lara Spencer.  I promise the same will happen to you if you watch the show 🙂 They make it look so easy!

Well, I tried selling the table at a local garage sale and with no luck….

Everyone loved the idea and thought it was really clever but just not enough to take home.  However, as time went one I was happy I didn’t sell it.  A small part of me wanted to keep it for my own home but felt guilty doing so because I had made my mind up that this was going to be my first successful flip!  But that guilt quickly went away when I found the perfect spot for it in my living room!  Now it holds a few books and some flowers and is one of the first things you see when you enter the room.  In the end I am happy I didn’t sell it and can continue to tell it’s story for some years to come.

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sewing machine flip

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Letting Your Home Breathe

It’s finally spring! Which means it’s time for cleansing your home and decluttering all that you have collected over the past year.  And for my family that means garage sale time! Anyone who knows me well knows that I love garage sales! Ever since I was a kid my family had a huge garage sale every year.  It was always held at either my parents house or my grandmothers.  It was always my family, my two Aunts, with my cousins and my grandparents.  We spent weeks before the sale collecting, cleaning and pricing all of our stuff we wanted to sell.  For us kids it was exciting because whatever money we made from selling our old toys or clothes was ours to spend how we wanted.  This was a great incentive my parents encouraged so we would be more willing to help out cleaning the house.  We loved it! We would sell lemonade and constantly ask my mom (who was always keeper of the “books”) to see what our running tally was.  Most of our stuff was priced under $1 and some anywhere from $5 to $10.  My mom always told us it was not about who could make the most money, it was who had the least amount of stuff to BRING HOME at the end of the day!  That was always the worst part of the day….cleaning up and boxing up all the things that didn’t sell and trying to find a place for it back in the house….. No kid wanted to do that after just helping to haul it all out, clean it up, and individually price every item.  So we priced cheap!

There is something so nice about doing a complete purge of your home.  You really get the sense of your house taking a deep breath and saying….” AHH Thank You!”

Over the years I developed rules for myself when it comes to choosing whether something stays or goes.  For the most part, if I have not worn the item of clothing or played with a toy for a year then, in my eyes, I wouldn’t miss it if I got rid of it and there is surely someone else out there that will find it, appreciate it, and use it much more than me.  I know when I go out to sales and I find that special something I have been looking for whether just to have or to repurpose it is a rush of excitement because you felt you have searched high and low for it and, of course, you got it for a great price!

I have been going to sales every Saturday with my mom, Aunt, and when she was alive, my grandmother ever since I was a kid.  We loved it! my siblings and I all had a little change bag we would bring of our coins and dollar bills we have collected from chores or saved up from birthday money and we were ready to find our treasures.  Even now at 28 years old, I still get excited to go out every Saturday morning to see what I can find.  My friends are always in awe to see what I have bought or repurposed and now give me lists of things to find for them since I have such good “Luck”.  But the truth is, there are many weekends we go out all morning, and drive all over the county and come back with nothing.  Which is fine with us, it’s more of the chase that we enjoy; the people you meet, who are doing them same thing you have always done. Clean out their buried treasures that they have no more use for and allow someone else to find, create and enjoy them.  Allowing there homes to breathe fresh air again.

 

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Preparing for Liam

With a little over a week to go until we meet our son Liam, I have been cleaning, washing and mentally preparing for his arrival.  When we found out we were having a boy I immediately starting thinking about how I wanted to decorate the nursery.  I knew that I didn’t want to be held to any specific theme which I know is very common these days.  I wanted to keep the room as neutral and tranquil as possible because inevitably it will be filled with colorful toys and clothes and what ever he becomes interested in as the years go on.  Keeping the main decor simple will make it easier to change out details later on to cater to whatever his new “thing” becomes.

Storage is always very important to me and a cluttered room always seems to make me anxious 🙂  Not that I am a neat freak by any means, I just like to have a place for everything, even if it is not always in its spot.  At the baby shower we got so many boxes and baskets to store diapers, blankets, toys, clothes etc in that it really helped out with setting up the room.  One of my favorite pieces in the room is our wooden chest.  Chads mother bought this chest for us and had it reclaimed after we got engaged.  It was used as our “Hope Chest” keeping bath towels, dishes and little items for when we got our first apartment after the wedding.  The Hope Chest was the perfect addition to the nursery and now has a new purpose as Liam’s toy chest.  I am sure it will fill up faster than we can imagine!

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Chic Little Man Baby Shower Invites and Decor

My sister-in-law Jen is so incredibly talented and I am so blessed to have her in my life.  Everything she dreams up and creates constantly leaves me in awe.  I wanted to highlight her talent in a post showcasing the invitations, thank you cards and decorations she did for my surprise baby shower a few weeks ago.  Both my family and Chad’s family worked so hard to put this shower on and it was a true success.  The amount of love and support that was poured over every little detail for this shower as well as all of the amazing gifts helped Chad and I feel a bit more easy about welcoming our son into the world.

My mother-in-law made my adorable favors!  Small glass bottles were filled with hot chocolate mix and marshmallows and a blue party bag was filled with hershey chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows for a quick s’mores snack.  Everyone loved them and they really added a unique touch to the party.

My Aunt opened up her beautiful home to host the party which gave the shower a great relaxed feel and my mom and in laws came over the week before to get all the decorations just right.   My mom also used an old wicker bassinet to hold donations that guests were asked to bring for a local charity called the Mommy and Me program at a local drug and rehab center.  I can’t begin to thank everyone for everything they did for Chad and I.

I took a few pictures of the invites and thank you cards my sister in law made as well as the favors and decor.  This is a snippet of Jen’s talent and be sure to check out her website Dahlhouse Design! click on her ad on the right hand side of this site (if on a computer) or at the bottom if you are using a mobile device.

Enjoy!

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Rustically Beautiful

I love home decor that has a natural feel.  They add a sense of warmth to a home as well as a unique flare.  For the winter months I found this cool preserve boxwood wreath at Home Goods for $20 to hang on our front door.  It still has that winter/holiday feel without being your standard holiday wreath.

My aunt for christmas a few years ago found these amazing birch tree candles at a craft fair and knew that it was right up my ally for how I wanted to decorate my home.   I don’t ever burn them, they are too pretty!  I set them right on my coffee table and everyone who sees them for the first time loves them.

Another one of my favorite pieces is my wire basket planter I got at a garage sale for $1 that I made into a cute organizer for my bathroom.  Instead of plants in the glass containers I put cue tips, bath salt and cotton balls.  Have fun with non traditional pieces that can make memorable statements in your home.  Play with natural textures and colors to give a home a more inviting feel.  This does mean that I only have natural, distressed details in my house.  I love mixing modern with rustic. For the most part they will always pair nicely together, in my opinion 🙂

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DIY Farmtable. Made with Love

My dream in a home was always to have a long, weathered, farmhouse table to sit and enjoy times with family.  There is something about rustic simplicity of a handmade table that adds so much depth to a house.  Farmhouse tables are being more and more popular these days which means you can be paying big bucks for them.  Lucky for Chad and I my parents were installing a new fence around their pool and throwing out the wood from the previous one.

For my birthday Chad and his brother took at wood and hand made a one of a kind table with corner storage bench for our dining space.  It came out beautiful! I asked if they could leave some of the blue paint that I had spent every summer repainting since I was a child while they were sanding it down to refinish it.  The storage bench was a perfect solution to all our random kitchen gadgets you acquire over time and a great place to throw thing in to hide when company comes over.

Everyone that sees it in person loves it and compliments on how well suited it is for the look we are trying to achieve in the home.

Thank you to Don and Chad for the hard work and one of kind birthday present!

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Farmhouse Bathroom Makeover

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When we bought this house our bathrooms were straight from the seventies.  Gross Mar-lite paneling, cheap linoleum and dark cabinets.  We knew that those rooms were going to be some of our first projects.  This bathroom was small and with no room to expand I knew I had to use light and airy colors and design to make it seem bigger than it was.  We ripped out the paneling in the shower and replaced it with white subway tile for a clean and classic look.  A fresh coat of paint on the white paneling around the room really made it come to life and I chose a light green for the top half.  The color I found was Dew Drop by Behr.

I am IN LOVE with the vanity because I bought it for $20 at a yard sale and it was brand new!  The people selling it were a moving company that collected items from homes that the owners no longer wanted.  It was in great condition but I wasn’t crazy about the wood color.  I painted it a light grey (Dolphin Fin by Behr) and bought new hardware and sink top at Lowe’s.  Vanities that size we were finding were around $300-$600 and ours was only $140!

I begged my husband to let us put in real hardwood on the floors because I absolutely love the look of old reclaimed wood gives to a bathroom.  I imagine original wide plank floors, sanded and poly’d to this vibrant finish.  However after much discussion it was agreed that with us starting a family that tile would be more durable for the years to come and kiddos splashing water all over the floor during their baths.  I was thrilled to find these porcelain tiles that look like real hardwood!  We found them in Lowe’s and the color was called Gunstock. They really pop against the light colors and give the room a rich feeling.

I accessorized the room with items I found at Home Goods and TJ Max including a textured white curtain, decorative shampoo and conditioner dispensers, and wire basket.  Needless to say this my favorite room in the entire house at the moment! Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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