Six Decorating Tips to a Beautiful and Budget Conscious Home

Over the past couple years one of my main focuses has been renovating and decorating our homes. I have spent more hours than I'd like to admit pouring over design magazines, home furnishing catalogs, decorating websites, and of course making the occasional shopping trip or two. Furnishing a home can be an expensive endeavor, and through this process, I've picked up some tips and have gained a bit of knowledge that I thought I'd pass along to you. Now if this were a post about tips to creating a beautiful home with endless funds, this would be a list of 60, and not six. Unfortunately, that's not the case over here, or in most situations.

1) Don't be too proud to shop at garage sales, craigslist, thrift stores, etc. Some of my favorite pieces have been purchased from unconventional means.

Chair purchased from craigslist and reupholstered. Crock purchased from estate sale

Chair purchased from craigslist and reupholstered. Crock purchased from estate sale

In addition to buying something at a great price, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing it is a unique find. I guess my whole business plays into this belief as well! I'd much rather have a custom made dresser than buying one from a major retailer that thousands of other people have in their bedroom as well.

Head chairs purchased from Craigslist and reupholstered. Side chairs purchased from estate sale. Table purchased from auction and refinished. Lamps purchased from antique store.

Head chairs purchased from Craigslist and reupholstered. Side chairs purchased from estate sale. Table purchased from auction and refinished. Lamps purchased from antique store.

2) Buy what you love. I know this isn't my first time saying this, but I REALLY do mean it! Even if you don't have a place for it at the time, you'll eventually find one. I much prefer building a home where I can look around and truly enjoy every item in it.  

Custom made coffee table...because i couldn't find one already made that I truly loved!

Custom made coffee table...because i couldn't find one already made that I truly loved!

3) Wait 30 days before making any large purchase. Ok...this piece of advice may actually be coming from my husband, but I've slowly learned to adopt it as my own. It's hard, I know. And those 'limited time offers' and '20% off today only' specials make it that much more difficult to use restraint. However, if you screw up buying a couch, the sad reality is you're probably stuck with it for awhile. The thought is, if you're about to drop a hefty sum of cash on something, the last thing you want is buyer's remorse. And after 30 days, if you still can't get that campaign dresser out of your head, go for it!

Custom finished campaign dresser by Bernhardt

Custom finished campaign dresser by Bernhardt

I say this rule applies to all areas of life, and not just home decor. For example, if you've talked about wanting to buy a boat for the past 30 days (or 30 years), it's probably safe to say you've had time to think it over and you're not going to regret it!

I may be sounding a bit hypocritical here, seeing as we made an offer on our lake house after only a 15 minute walk-through at an open house. Yeah...definitely let the 30 day rule slide on that one! But these are tips, not rules, right?!

4) Buy once. Cry once. Some items are worth the splurge, and as painful as it may be at that moment, you've just got to bite the bullet and do it. In the long run, it pays off in both the longevity of the item and the enjoyment you'll receive from the item. There are certain items where it's just not worth it to settle on something you find only ok. You'll probably spend more money in the long run buying numerous ok items that you quickly tire of. As I'm writing this I'm staring at the space above our sofa where I have been patiently waiting for a De Gournay hand painted wallpaper panel. It's what I want, and I refuse to settle for something less, so until then, that space will remain bare. (And yes, I have waited the mandatory 30 days and still want it).

De Gournay wallpaper panels

De Gournay wallpaper panels

5) Invest in classics, accessorize in trends. Like fashion, home decor cycles through different styles. Stay up to date with trendy or seasonal decor with less expensive items. Splurge on the more classic pieces that will withstand today's trends and can work their way into a multitude of decor styles. 

Traditional four poster bed

Traditional four poster bed

6) Reuse. Repurpose. Recycle. This one pretty much sums up my business. Why buy new when you can repurpose an existing item for an even better end result. A good deal of my business comes from client-owned pieces that they are looking to have freshened up. This kinda plays into numbers 4 and 5 as well. When you buy quality pieces, they'll last forever, and often times all they need is a little refresher which is way more economical than repurchasing something brand new.

Have any tips of your own? Send them my way, as I'd love to hear them!

Linking to:

Sunday:  Finding Silver Pennies  

Monday: Between Naps on the Porch | Coastal Charm 

Tuesday: Cedar Hill Farmhouse | A Stroll Thru Life | Knick of Time 

Wednesday: Savvy Southern Style 

Friday: French Country Cottage | Patina Paradise

Saturday:  LifeOnLakeshoreDrive