- Set a budget for each project and save money each week or month for that project. Try to pay for your projects with cash. Again, this will take patience, but beauty has a price and sometimes the hardest thing to part with is your time! It is rarely worth accumulating debt to get a look you want right now when you can get the look with a little more time/patience. Not only will you have a beautiful room or home, you will have the peace of mind that you are not putting yourself into financial ruin to do it.
- Curate inspiration. One of the best advice I got when I was getting ready to buy a home was to start collecting ideas that inspired me. Pinterest is a great place for this. (Check out my Pinterest profile: Lucyjohome.) You can also tear pages out of magazines, copy and paste pictures, collect fabric swatches and take samples that are available through the home improvement stores you walk through. Just like a vision board helps you create the life you dream of, a mood board helps you to make your home decor/design ideas a reality. [A mood board is a collection of images and products that will inspire your decorating/designing.] Take note of the homes you love to visit and the places you travel to that bring you joy. If you can’t get a picture, write a note about the area and what you remember the most about it. When it is time to actually buy your materials or commission work, you will know exactly what you want and that feels good!
- DIY projects are your best friend. There are so many DIY ninjas out there. Follow their blogs; try the projects they feature and create pieces for your home that you love. Some of my favorite projects have been creating floating book shelves for my children’s books, reupholstering a kid table and chairs, creating a headboard and framed state silhouettes for my front room. A lot of the project ideas I used came from the book Young House Love, and the others came from Pinterest posts that I saved. Investing in your home through your sweat can help you feel like you are making progress. Warning: Don’t get caught up in doing a ton of little, low-cost projects if you need to save your money for larger projects. Do you need a wreath when your kitchen tile is falling off? Make priorities based on your needs and not just on your wants. Also, carefully evaluate the cost of creating something yourself and the buying it new. There have been some DIY projects we opted not to do because it was less expensive, and less time-consuming to buy the item. Be wise with your time, money and energy.
- Remember that less funds does not mean less beauty. Scarcity is the mother of invention. Get creative by taking stock of what you already have and how it might be used in different ways. Could that old mirror be new again with a coat of paint? Does that old couch just need a new slip-cover? Do you have some fabric to cover those stained pillows? There may be projects to do in your home that you just haven’t thought about yet. See your stuff with fresh eyes. A book that really inspired me to make the most of my home was The Nesting Place. The author always emphasized “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”
|Lindsay prepping the room.|
I met Lindsay my sophomore year of college. I remember seeing her at church and having the thought that we could never be friends because of how pretty she was. Boy, my first impressions were wrong!
I was a president of the women’s organization at my church when I first saw Lindsay, and I was trying to decide who I should choose for my counselors. Lindsay got up to speak and I knew that although I didn’t think we could be friends, I knew that this gorgeous, gregarious, faithful person needed to be one of my counselors. Little did I know that Lindsay would be a a fast friend and we would be close for many years to come…12 years so far. Like so many good things, Lindsay has only gotten sweeter with time.
She is still beautiful and the life of the party, but I have always connected to her genuine and kind personality. It was such a treat to spend time with her and her family while I was in Utah these past few weeks.
Not only does she have a stylish home, she has a home full of energy and love. She is the mother of four boys (two of which are twins). She amazes me and I am not surprised that she can keep up with all the responsibilities she has. Everyone in her home depends on her and she wants to rise to the occasion and does.
Take a look at how she has decorated her home…it is so fun and beautiful! Lindsay exemplifies true beauty. She has created a lovely house AND a home of heart, faith and laughter.
What is your favorite part of her house? I wish you could meet her in person and tell me what you love about her too. It is easy to love her.
|Dining Room looking into Living Room|
- Buy, Sell, Trade Facebook Groups: These groups can be a little more safe than Craigslist because there are administrators monitoring regularly (hopefully) and people’s profiles are attached to their post.
- Craigslist (see story below)
- Thrift Store: Remember that visiting frequently will increase your chances of great finds. People that find great deals don’t go in once, they go in weekly. This takes patience, but it often pays off!
- Online second hand furniture stores: Here is a list of companies to check out. (Chairish, Etsy, Viyet, Krrb, EBTH (Estate Sales)
- DIY furniture projects:(There are so many IKEA furniture hacks that truly are stunning. It is less expensive, but the sweat equity is a factor. Check out my Pinterest boards for ideas. Lucy Jo Home is my Pinterest profile name.)
- Look at the pictures and pick up on clues. The picture quality of the posting I was interested in wasn’t great, but the fact that she made the slipcovers said she had some sense of style and beauty; she actually had decorative pillows on the sofa and her end table was styled with flowers and a lamp. We are on to something now. And the fact that she named the brand of furniture was also an indication that she valued quality.
- I knew what I was looking for. I am refreshing my basement, and I knew I wanted a white sofa. After realizing that my budget was not going to allow for a brand new piece, I started to look on my local Facebook Buy, Sell and Trade pages and on Craigslist. I was so pleased to see a white slipcovered set of Baker Furniture for $100 on Craigslist.
- The next step was to contact her. She had only one source of contact, email. I always ask about things that are deal-breakers–smell is one for me. Confirm price, and arrange to see the piece in person. I always ask if it is smoke-free and pet-free home. I do not buy furniture that smells like smoke or pet urine and I doubt you would want to either. Now, just so you know, I took a chance on the furniture this weekend when she told me that she had pets. I was worried, but I also figured that if they were white slipcovers that she wouldn’t be selling it if is was ripped up by a pet or smelled to high heaven. Again, I did make an assumption, but it was a calculated risk.
- Go get it! I took a good look at all the furniture and when I was ready to buy it I handed her the cash. I didn’t negotiate on price because I thought it was very fair for what I was getting. If it is worthy of buying but not worth their asking price, you know what to do. Offer what you think it is worth.
Do I want to buy brand new pieces of furniture? Yes, I am looking forward to it, but in the meantime, I can create beautiful spaces and still stay true to my other super important goal of paying off debt instead of going into debt. It is fun to create a challenge for yourself and make the most of what you have. I will post pictures once the basement is done.
What are some ways that you have furnished your home on a budget? Which ways have you used to get affordable furniture.
|Marion and Maureen Panganiban Family Reunion 2017 (not pictured: Adell Simmons)|
We have been in Utah for nearly two weeks and it has been filled with a lot of good memories, but memory-making comes at the cost of routine and sleep. When my girls and I are at home we have a tight schedule that we keep for good reason. Naps and quiet time are not just for me to have a break; my kids really need that time to rest. So, as we have been visiting friends and family and traveling back and forth between them and home-base at my mom’s house, my kids have not had their naps and if they did, it was at a home they were unfamiliar with. So, last night as we drove the hour to my mom’s house, my kids were completely strung out. I heard a lot of the following–in screaming form:
“I want my Coty (their dad).”
“Where’s my daddy?”
“I want to go home!”
I have thought about this since and I see a lesson. My kids needed rest and comfort from a long day of new people and places. We pushed the envelope of their mental, emotional and physical capacity by strapping them into car seats to drive for the tenth time that day. During this time of stress, they yelled for their dad and home…two things that would ease their burdens and bring them peace in an otherwise hectic day.
This made me realize just how important our homes are and what home really means. The definition of home that I have formulated lately is
a space to be our true selves and room to become better.
Our homes are literally havens (a place of safety or refuge). It made me feel good that my children yell out for home; that means that they feel that safety. I am also equally glad that they call out for their dad. In a world full of absent fathers, they know that they will find strong arms to hug them and tender kisses on the cheek from a man that sees them for who they are and who they will become.
I hope that every child of God has a place to rest from their cares–a place to call home.
I recently interviewed a few of my family members about some pain points for them in regards to decorating and designing their homes. I am excited to address some issues that are real and hopefully they will be helpful to you.
- Which photograph do like better?
- When you walk into a room, what do you notice first–how clean and organized the room feels or that there are a lot of cool things to look at?
- Which do you prefer?
- Which of these styles do you relate to the most? If you don’t know what one of these looks like simply put the word and then add interiors into a google search.
You can like more than one style, and many times, the ones you like can be combined. Emily Henderson has an awesome Style Wheel that helps you to see which styles can be combined without one overtaking the other. Like finding complementary colors on a color wheel, you want to choose styles that are across from each other on her color wheel to find your style’s complimentary partner.