I hate using that word “rules.” How about “guidelines?” Guidelines is gentler, but too long for a post title.
Want me to get to the point?
In my infinite budget decorating wisdom (ahem), I have decided to share with you the top five TOP SECRET “rules” that I follow when beautifying my home for the tiniest of price tags. I’ve learned these guidelines over time, from various sources, and after a LOT of trial and error, I finally figured out that they work.
- Be Patient. This might be the rule I struggle the most with. I’m all about instant gratification, so it’s hard not to run to Home Goods and pick out new lamps just about five minutes after I’ve decided that I NEED them. If I reign myself in, stop and think, take a few deep cleansing breaths, I can usually either wait for an awesome deal, or come up with an alternative.
- Think Outside of the Barn. Pottery Barn, that is. Or whatever insanely expensive store it is that appears in your dreams. Those stores don’t own the patent on style. Go to Target or Walmart and find your style for less. Or better yet, scour the thrift stores and flea markets and find the piece you’re dreaming about. Just remember to refer to Rule #1.
- Pay For Function. What should you pay good money for? In my humble opinion, your couch, that’s what. Those pieces you use and abuse every day should be the best you can afford. Or…shop Craig’s List and buy something that was the best someone else could afford before they got tired of it.
- Make Your Storage Stylish.
You gotta have storage, so why not make it cute? We use this toy box for a coffee table. It’s been repainted and embellished with wood appliques to better fit the style of the family room. Inside are magazines, blankets for snuggling, and ALL of that Wii equipment.
This old Pepsi crate sits on top. I found this at a flea market for $7. (The PB ones above are $24 each!) What a great place to store remotes and small books. The stuff stored in the coffee table is much easier to access without a lot of separate knick-knacks on top.
These fabric covered file boxes store construction paper in the DINING ROOM. Yep, you read that right. It’s right under the WINE. If you’re a parent, you KNOW the reason why it’s good to keep the wine near the craft supplies.
- Use Your Scraps. Don’t worry, I’m not advocating that you hoard a disgusting amount of trash and end up on that reality show everyone’s talking about. But…
Wood scraps make great lettered signs.
Fabric scraps mistreat windows.
And paper scraps embellish candles. I totally stole this idea from my friend Amanda, at Imperfectly Beautiful.
What are the “RULES” you follow when decorating your home?