Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Decorating Doesn't Have To Cost The Earth

Recently, after I received a sweet comment from a reader of the blog that said "you have a lovely home" I was thinking about that afterwards and felt a little bit self conscious amongst the pride (funnily enough). I thought that it might be a great time to remind everyone that you don't need to spend loads of cash to have nice things.

So much of my house is home made, up cycled, second hand or a hand me down and I wanted to give some examples of that.

Firstly a bit of the history given that not everyone will know my story. My house was an old retro dwelling that had never been renovated. It had shag-pile carpet, gaudy wallpaper and hideous retro features everywhere. The 60's were certainly not subtle in many ways, let alone the house styles! That said, the era also has many endearing features and I think the key is to keep the good bits that keep the house's soul but introduce the modern too (because lets face it, a house needs to be practical).

My style is defiantly to "strip" a house back to the basics. I love white walls, floorboards, neutral colours and lots of texture. It doesn't date as quickly that way and it means your decoration style can be the feature of the house.

In my lounge room I have kept the original fireplace but have put in a modern wood heater. I got rid of the heavy drapes and shag pile in exchange for polished floors and blinds which gives the space a much roomier, simple feel. Once the major stuff was done, it was down to the decorating. Given that I have small kids, having "stuff" only means they break it or it gets thrown around so I don't put a lot out on display. I use lots of house plants (most of which I've grown from a cutting or were left behind by the previous owner.)

I love my entrance to my house yet it's quite simple. I kept the original front door (again, keeping the odd retro feature) but teamed it with new dark tiles, a cheap kmart front door mat and a plant that my mother in law gifted to me.

Where are all the shoes you ask? They're in the cupboard in the hallway. I'm a big believer in cupboards, they hide all the crap away!

Most of my decoration stuff actually comes from the op shop or the tip shop. For example, most of the pots that I have my indoor plants in are from the oppie, as are the dishes and plates that I sit them on. This old swan vase (Betty) was again a second hand score and fits in my retro house like it lived there all along!

I don't have the money to buy expensive art so I often buy second hand art from the op shop which I take out of it's crappy frames and modernise by putting it in simple black frames. This Christine Ellis original art work was found at the Vinnie's store in Invermay and I love it. Cost me a few dollars, the frame about $10 and when I looked online, it turns out it would be worth a few hundred dollars. Score! I've framed tea towels, friends drawings, photos and none of it costs the earth.

I love amber coloured glass which is good because I often find old retro glassware, plates, light fittings etc at the tip shop. Each item only costs a few dollars at the most.

All my chopping boards are home made by my hubby out of scraps of timber. It doesn't take long to cut them into a sharp and sand them. The marble tile I found at the tip shop for a whole $2! It really is a case of luck of the draw on the day. I must admit I'm a bit addicted to that feeling of finding something really cool that I can give a new life.

Lots of my furniture like the sideboards and drawers are all from the tip shop or Gumtree. I give them a bit of a sand and an oil and they're like new. I think the key is to not go too overboard and have EVERYTHING old/retro. Mixed with a bit of modern stuff, they look quite good.

I think I've mentioned this one before but I often buy more expensive designer pillowcases and team them up with a cheaper doona cover or blanket that I might already have. Saves spending hundreds of dollars on a whole new "set" and satisfies my desire to have the latest linen that I'm seeing in the homewares magazines.

Throw a bit of Kmart new stuff in the mix and go through your cupboards to rotate what you already might have and neck-minute, your house looks pretty and you haven't spent your life savings achieving it.

I hope everyone is having a great week so far.


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