Friday, May 11, 2018

Decorating on a Shoestring Budget

It seems like the topic of decorating can hit a nerve with people.  Some love it, some hate the thought.  Most of the time there is one more thought right after the love/hate thing … decorating is too expensive!  I’d like to take this newsletter to talk about decorating on a shoestring budget.

First let’s look at what a shoestring budget is.  From Investopedia we find this definition …
A slang term used to describe a small amount of money that is considered to be inadequate for its intended purpose. A shoestring can be used in a number of idioms, such as: "The company financed that last project on a shoestring," or "Jim is living off of a shoestring budget."


BREAKING DOWN 'Shoestring'
Although a shoestring budget is considered inadequate, it may just be enough for an individual to live on or for a company to profit from a project. For companies, a particular project's return on investment would be much greater, due to the lower initial cost.

You can read more here.

Most of us do not have unlimited funds so let’s look at ways to get the most from what we do have when it comes to decorating.  There are many styles of decorating.  We won’t look at one particular style but how we can pull off our style no matter what it is.

If you are not sure what your style is, look at Pinterest or Instagram for ideas.  When you find a photo you love, save it to your Pinterest/IG and go back to it later.  I believe you’ll end of finding your style when you have several photos saved.

So, what can we do to save money and still have our home look stylish?  Here are 4 ways to decorate on a budget.

1) Clearance Sales
       When I go to a store like Hobby Lobby or Kirkland’s, the first place I look is the clearance section.  Often at Hobby Lobby in our town, the home d├ęcor clearance aisle has items that are the “last one” or it may have a slight defect.  Sometimes it has a chip or a scratch.  Sometimes, I have found something I loved that took little (or no) effort to make it work.  I once found a lamp that was about 90% off the original price because it was missing something like a small clamp.  I bought it for less than $10.00, maybe as little as $7.00, and my husband got it fixed for just a dollar or two in no time!  It has worked fine ever since and looks great!  You do have to inspect the items carefully to be sure there is not a defect in it that would inhibit you from using it as you wish or that could cause harm when handling the item.  Sometimes the defect may be a small scratch or rubbed area.  This can be covered up sometimes with paint.

      In the crafting section at Hobby Lobby I found out some interesting information, at least in their store in our town.  If they have an overstock situation on certain items, then the overstock of that item gets marked down to a clearance price.  A young lady that worked the paper crafting area once pointed out some items on clearance that she knew I often bought and said they were considered overstock.  There was nothing wrong with them and of course I snatched up the reduced items right away!  These reduced items in the craft section can help us better afford what we need to decorate a piece for a room.

2) Thrift Stores & Flea Markets
I love going to thrift stores and flea markets!  I am amazed at what I can find in thrift stores each time I visit them.  As they say, one woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure!  Often the prices are low and very affordable and many of the goods are one of a kind.  If I see something in a booth at a thrift store over the course many weeks and it’s still hanging around, I’ll make an offer.  Obviously, it has not sold for some reason.  It is taking up space that could be used to display something else the seller may have at home or in storage.  If it’s not marked “firm” on the price tag, I feel free to make an offer.  Sometimes the offer is accepted and sometimes it’s not.  It is business, not personal, so don’t let it hurt your feelings if your offer is not accepted.  Since stock turns over often at successful stores, it pays to go often and see what “new” items have come in.


3) Auctions
We had a long running auction at one time our town.  Auctions, in one way, are like thrift stores.  The offerings change from one auction to the next.  It’s never the same stuff twice in a row.
When my family moved to our current home we used the auction to find furniture and decorative items like curio cabinets, paintings, furniture and so on.  We attended each week’s auction over a period of months till we felt we had all we needed to fill our formerly sparse rooms.




Over the months we attended the auction we bought 2 all wood and glass curio cabinets.  One is an art deco style and the other a rustic, more primitive style. 
We also bought several solid wood side-tables.  They were all 2-tiered tables with an upper and lower tier and stained, not painted.


We also bought a solid wood antique art deco style dresser for the amazing winning bid of only $80.00!  It is truly unique, and I have not seen one like it anywhere else, either in person, online or in any thrift or antique stores.  This dresser is in our bedroom and has made an awesome storage piece that is quite a conversation piece as well. 



Also, we obtained a painting that was already framed in an all wood frame.  It is hanging in our dining area.

4) At the In-laws and the Outlaws
One time my husband, daughter and I were at my father-in-law’s home.  Somehow, we got to pulling stuff out from under a bed in an extra bedroom.  Under the bed we found an old framed print.  I fell in love with the print and the character of the whole piece.  I wanted it!  I asked my father-in-law what his plans were for the piece.  He said I could have it if I wanted it, all for free!  Yay!  This print now hangs in our living room.

      As our parents and grandparents age, many of them want to start downsizing and decluttering to make life easier for themselves.  This is an opportunity for them to share some of their treasures with the younger generations.  I am not saying to scavenge their home for good with a greedy or covetous spirit.  However, as these conversations come up, it could be the time to let your parents and grandparents know what things are special to you and why, so when the time comes for the piece to depart their home, maybe it will end up in your own.

Now that you have learned some ways to save money on decorating it is time to go to my website and look at the sale section!  All the items in my sale section are between 10% and 50% off.  Sale prices are noted on each item.  Click here for the sale section.






     Memory Frame




Happy decorating on a shoestring budget.  Visit my Facebook business page and share your ideas of decorating on a budget.  Click here to go to my biz page to share your ideas.

God bless,
Cindy

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