If you’re a follower of this blog, know that David and I can be very budget conscious. But… our house started out completely stark naked when we moved in. Over time, we’ve cultivated an environment of “farm house cute” on a fairly tight budget. Here are a few of my favorite resources (that aren’t Ikea or HomeGoods!) for budget home accessories.
5. The grocery store
My wine crate shelves? My kitchen centerpiece of lemons and fruit? Fresh herbs to scent the kitchen? So much of my decor comes from the grocery store. Many high-dollar wines come in wooden crates– crates that the store can’t really do anything with, except throw them out. If you know a wine shop or grocery store that carries high-quality wine, talk to the wine manager and ask if you can come pick up the boxes when they’re done unloading shipments.
4. The book store
Need cheap art? Head to the remainders section of your local Barnes & Noble. What are remainders? They’re the “bargain” books that are always on super sale in the back of the space. They’re the books that were printed en mass… but didn’t sell before the book moved to paperback, or a new edition came out. You can often find expensive coffee table books on the remainders shelf for 50% or even 25% of the original cost. It’s time to slice and dice those suckers into posters and wall art. This is also a great source for art for kids’ rooms.
3. The office supply store
This might be a no-brainer now that Martha has an office supply line. But when you (like most people nowadays) are digitally snap happy, this is is a whole other way to get great art for your home. Just head to Staples and have them print large-format pictures for you at the fraction of the price of “real” printers. Also? This is where you pick up metallic Sharpies and cute stationary for some DIY craziness. Now’s also the time to go for Back To School Sales, during which you can pick up art supplies and organizational items that are a bit more stylish than they are during other times of the year.
2. The side of the road.
I don’t mean picking up stinky sofas left by college students in the alley. I mean: flowers, interesting objects and nature. David once had friends from Australia who referred to the green space on their street as “the nature strip”– and that’s now how I think of this decor oasis. It’s teeming with wildflowers this time of year (duh) that are just waiting to be trimmed and put into your home. They can also be dried for more permanent fixtures, pressed for wall art or (wait for it!) harvested for seeds for YOUR garden. Succulents at Home Depot cost $2-5 per plant here in Southern California, but they actually reproduce asexually. So, if you like the style of one succulent, you can (surreptitiously) just snap off a branch, plant it in some dirt, have have a plant. As long as you don’t, say, kill your neighbor’s plant, no one will notice.
1. Apparel lifestyle sites.
I remember when I was a teenager, I wanted my *entire* bedroom to be decorated with the housewares from Delia*s. It looks like they don’t have housewares anymore, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look at other “lifestyle” sites for housewares. You know what my favorite stop is, for both clothes and home? ModCloth. It totally has the right personality for our house. And while they’re a weeeee bit more expensive than other housewares, since you don’t need a lot of “color” in your house, you don’t have to throw down a lot on these accessories. Here are some items I covet from the site: