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Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Virtual Tour of Cheapness

Expensive Taste vs. Budget....It's a WIN, WIN!

You ask yourself:
Because the economy sucks right now and so does my budget, why should I sacrafice good taste??

You Shouldn't, and I don't either!

I don't know about you, but nothing makes me feel better than nice things.  Well, there is getting those NICE THINGS FOR FREE or NEXT TO NOTHING!

After recently moving to a smaller place with character and charm and more to offer than my old place, I was faced with a few challenges:  What to keep (I want it all!) and what to ditch (all of my friends got some great deals!), and finally, how to decorate!

In checking out my new GALLEY kitchen, my sister, Stephanie and I had the same thought...NAUTICAL.  How fortunate that I just so happened to have many of the items needed to pull it off!  I didn't worry about where my table would go, I had that covered.

In keeping with the red, white and blue nautical theme, these Clearly Canadian salt and pepper shakers looked too cute with the fish votive holder.  The nautical knots picture was just purchased yesterday at Twice Is Nice (Hartville) for $1!  All of these items were purchased at local thrift stores.

The kitchen cupboards were the deciding factor on the nautical theme and look great with the decor.  With the exception of the microwave (bought retail for $40, still cheap), the rest of the decor came from local thrift stores.

One room down, four to go!

Straight out of house beautiful or what??
The chair is an "alley scarf" I picked up for free from the curb! The black table was $5 courtesy of Goodwill.  The plant was retail from Michael's.  Curtains were a bargain at Burlington for $20 per pair.  The armoir was bought retail on sale at Target for $50 and is used for a pantry.  The items on top were purchased at local thrift stores.  The beautiful mirror was given to me by my friend, Liz.

The dresser was $40 at Salvation Army and doubles as extra storage space.  The matching side lamps were $10 each (I know, too much, but sometimes you just need to splurge!) at Goodwill.  The TV was a freebie thanks to my son-in-law, Kyle, who dropped mine in the move.  Not really, they were getting a new TV anyway.  He felt real bad about dropping mine though.  No problem, Kyle, it was old as the hills anyway, but thanks for the UPSIZE on the TV with the built in DVD player. 

The couch was free and given to me by my friend, Gail.  It's a sofa sleeper and made my decision about needing a spare bedroom.  NOT! 
Now I can use that room for something cool (like a dining room since I now have a galley kitchen) and still have a place for sleepovers with the kids and out of town guests.  After going through many, many, MANY couches in the last 10 years, I found that what I was in search of for comfort came directly from the 70's.  Petite yet comfortable.  Not digging today's oversized styles, my only problem now would be how to get around the blue colonial print that came with my new couch and matched nothing that I had for decor.  ENTER THE COUCH COVER!  A big thanks to my friends Karaoke Sherry and Ronnie who just so happened to have an extra they weren't using and it was just the right color.  I love it when a plan comes together!
The mirror on the wall (looks like something from Snow White, but I haven't been granted any wishes regarding my knight in shining armor yet!  Still waiting...) was given to me by Kathy, a waitress at Desert Inn, and it was from her Grandmother's estate.  Totally appreciating your grandma's things, Kathy!

Britten Contini came to visit with my daughter, Ashley, and decided that she had the PURRRRRRRRFECT picture to go over the couch and donated it.  You're right, Britt, it looks FABULOUS!

This cart cost me a whopping 3 bucks at Salvation Army and makes an excellent side table for my easy chair (a tan reclinger, not show here) that I jackpotted from Salvation Army for (a drum roll, please.....) $9.99!  All of the other goodies shown also came from local thrift stores.

This sweet little table was given to me by a friend as it was merely hanging around his storage unit.  The Ameritech phone retailed for $200 in its day and was purchased for a mere $2 at a local thrift store.

Let's Take it to the next level, shall we??

As I mentioned earlier, I don't need no stinkin' spare room!  (Sorry, got caught up in the movies!)

My computer armoirs were bought online from and cost me $104 each and were shipped from site to store for FREE!  They look excellent and apparently were lost in the decor of my last place as everyone that sees them thinks they are new.  That's a complete makeover in itself!  Lamps and other goodies were purchased at local garage sales and thrift stores.

Picture, mirror and lamp courtesy of local thrift stores.

Curtains courtesy of Goodwill for $14.

And here's my $200 pub table from K-Mart looking all kinds of SPECTACULAR!

This little beauty was given to me by Dondi Bellamy, my granddaughter's namesake and other grandmother.  Not only does she have beautiful children who make even more beautiful children, she's got great taste in furniture as well.  It also doubles as storage.  Thanks for everything, Dondi!

These beaded curtain tie backs are actually necklaces I purchased from Twice as Nice in Hartville for $3-4 each and are couresy of the Claire's Boutique lady.  Sorry, forgot your name, but I do know and love your product!


Don't forget to decorate the most visited room in your house!
Don't make it too comfortable, we don't want anyone lingering, if you know what I mean!

It doesn't get any cheaper than this:  I bought some one time expensive Home Interior pictures from the thrift store at a fraction of the cost and replaced the pictures with one to fit my decor that I printed on my home printer.

Other decorations brought to you by local thrift stores.

And for my next trick....(no pun intended, I haven't stooped to those levels for making money)


The only thing bought retail in this room is my platform bed (even talked that guy down like he was a car salesman!) and bedding.  The sheets were purchased at Marc's at a discounted price..who cares if the stripes are running the wrong direction?  The bedspread is courtesy of Walmart's falling prices.
Curtains and accessories all courtesy of local thrift stores and consignment shops.

Another one of a grandmother's favorites that nobody wanted and I got for FREE, this very functional dressing table is the center of every woman's universe.  The chair was purchased for $2 at Salvation Army and covered with a $6 towel from K-Mart.  (Actually, half of the towel, so $3)

I don't usually like to keep repeating myself, so you know where the wall hangings came from, don't you?

Nothing like a good live auction to score a great piece of furniture for a mere $20.

And then there's the $23.50 kick-ass jewelry armoir that I scored from Twice is Nice in Hartville.  Well, actually...I traded it for earrings!  I consign earrings there and had a balance to cover the EVER SO LOW cost of this item.  Yeah, Baby!  That's what I'm talkin' about.  (Sorry, can't stay away from the movies) you really think I'm gonna fill it with expensive jewelry?  NO-NO-and HELL NO!  It's costume and home made jewelry all the way!

Matching Mirror and sconces courtesy of Twice as Nice, $8.95!!  Dress form picture courtesy of Value City (Oh, how I miss you!), $14.95.  I need a few more scarves to complete the whole over-the-bed sexiness I've got going on, but I'm waiting to get them at a good price...and I will..eventually!

All accessories to include the nightstand are courtesy of where??  LOCAL THRIFT AND CONSIGNMENT SHOPS! what have we learned here???

  • You can be very frugal and still manage to have great decor
  • Your house can look like a million bucks without spending it.
  • It's okay to shop resale...unless you're buying something I really wanted!
  • NETWORKING is huge!  If people know you are looking for something you will find it.

Things to work on after you've achieved this great level of cheapness:
  • The urge to howl when your insurance agent asks you to put a replacement value on your furnishings should they be destroyed.
  • The ability to wipe out a room and transform it into exactly what you want at the moment for minimal prices.
The best way I can describe myself is that I am EASILY DISTRACTED BY SHINY OBJECTS.  This being said, six months from now I am liable to be posting a whole new complete makeover to my living space.  One thing I to be sure of, though, its that it will not cost me an ton of money to do it!

Oh, by the way, I scored a BASEMENT with my new place.  Stay tuned for the ultimate jewelry making workshop / hobby room / storage room makeover.


  1. you must have one great landlord !! to allow you to put soooo many holes in the walls and wow what a diff paint makes on dark cabinets you are one heck of decorator

  2. I do, and I forgot to mention what a wonderful job he did refreshing the paint and all, but he wouldn't want that spotlight! LOL

  3. I'm not a bit surprised. You're awesome!! Can't wait to see it in person.

  4. Fabulous as always my dear!!!!
    The Queen of thrift....I bow to you!!!!

  5. You are my Idol! Everything looks fab, and I am totally jealous of the jewelry armoir! I need one so keep your eyes open for me.