Category Archives: Budget Decor

Dining Room Reveal: Use What You Have Decorating!

Whew! What a jam-packed weekend! Friday I shopped thrift shops, Target, and Wal-Mart. Saturday, I shopped my own home and did a little DIY-ing. Sunday, I pulled it all together.

I started painting back in March, and while I still have far to go, I was determined to finish up the dining room area so we could enjoy our meals there.

We started with this hot mess …

… and ended with this!

I’m so excited and proud. There may have been a happy dance involved with this reveal. Just sayin’.

Let’s take a look around, shall we?

View from the kitchen:

View from the dining room nook:

Forgive me … I used a different camera than usual for these shots and the lighting is making the paint color change from angle to angle. I’m still learning. However, one of the interesting things about Behr Sculptor Clay is that it really is a trickster, always adapting to the light and turning from a light beige to a warm gray, depending on the light source. The great thing is that ALL of its tones, no matter the light, are lovely.

The biggest challenge was our budget, which was, namely, zilch. Or close to it. I poured into the project a little of my own “mad money” I had stashed away, to get the key components in place. Outside of the paint itself, our grand total for the transformation was just under $25. I already owned all of the pictures and items used to decorate the walls.

Budget breakdown:

  • $13, curtain rod (Target)
  • $4, curtain clips (Target)
  • $3, vintage sheet (Goodwill)
  • $3, sticky tack (Wal-Mart)

I whipped up the curtains from the vintage sheet … tutorial on that to come soon! Daniel helped me install the curtain rod hardware, and after that it was an intense hunt through our home to decorate the empty walls.

Here’s what I came up with:

Yes, I realize the numbers are out of order! Oops.

1) Engagement photo by Kristyn Hogan, printed out by us; 2) Antique printer’s type tray (12 pt font, for any typophiles like me out there); my parents purchased it from an antique store for me several years ago; 3) Vintage serving tray, Pre to Post Modern, Nashville; 4) Small print, stilletoheights on Etsy, 5) Craigslist frame, unfinished quilt begun by my aunt.

Not in any close-ups, but also part of the list, is the vintage tin canister on the table (antique store), vintage books (paternal grandmother and thrift shops), and, finally, the crocheted table runner (maternal grandmother … possibly from my great-grandmother).

That’s a lot of history for one little room! I feel surrounded by my family, my love of vintage, and I did it all for $23. Not too shabby.

Personally? I love that it is my most feminine room in the house, and Daniel still likes it. We both agreed we are MUCH more likely now to sit down at the table and enjoy a meal and some good conversation. In fact, Daniel claimed the table as his reading spot last night.

Mission accomplished.


Linking up to:

Centsational Girl’s Paint Project Link Party


Filed under Budget Decor, Dining Room, Home Improvement, Painting

Long Weekend = Project Time!

I have been so far behind on my cleaning that I’ve had to focus on that before I can get to the organization and decoration of our little abode.

I have the blessing of a three-day weekend this weekend, however, so I’m attacking the projects with gusto! I’m playing Pandora through our sound system and getting the cleaning out of the way so I can revisit the dining room project.

As usual, money restrictions have given us the “opportunity” to be creative with our decorating options. I’ve been torn for the past couple of months between waiting and saving for quality furniture and decor versus DIY-ing it to the max and doing something for the meantime. After months of living with a plain jane dining room, I couldn’t take it any longer. Something must be in the spring air, because I’m itching to get my hands dirty again and take up the paint brush, sewing needle, and glue stick. So I’ve accepted that our house is a literal work in progress and its organization and decoration will be an evolution of style and not a coup d’etat.

So be it!

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Filed under Budget Decor, Cleaning, Ponderings

DIY Curtain Fabric Inspiration

I spent some time on Thursday evening, using their fabulous “Design Wall” tool while hunting down the perfect fabric for some do-it-yourself curtains I have planned. I didn’t hold myself to a particular price range, so I may not be able to afford a few of these, but I can still use them for inspiration. I plan to take a printout of this image with me while looking for my fabric, whether new or vintage.

The result will be a part (I hope!) of a weekend-long project that should stretch my DIY moxie, let my creative artistic side soar, and miraculously stick to a practically non-existent budget. If I succeed, you’ll be the first to know!

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Nashville Craigslist Finds: More Mid-Century Modern

I’ve been at it again! I’m hunting down some dining room furniture and night stands. It’s been a long hunt … but I’ve found a bunch of stuff that might be helpful for other vintage-modern eclectic decor loving Nashville residents.

If you are one of them, I hope this helps!

1) Looking to sell this mid-century sofa (Clarksville), MAKE OFFER; 2) Mid-century Modern Cabinet – $275 (murfreesboro); 3) Mid Century Westnofa style Lounge Chair – $150 (Nashville); 4) 50’s – 60’s Round Wooden Coffee Table – Mid Century Modern – $75 (Berry Hill, Nashville)

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How to Paint a High Stairwell

I’ve been worrying about our painting. There’s been a lag in the process due to the weather in Middle Tennessee (tornado/rainy season), but that’s not what is really worrying me. What I’m most concerned about is my stairwell. It is tall and narrow and mocks me. I don’t want to make big mistakes on that stairwell … after all, I rent, and I am striving to leave the house in better condition than I found it. The color we’ve chosen is a good neutral that will brighten up the space and be a good backdrop for many different styles of design, should the new renters (way in the future whenever we move out to our own home) have different tastes from us. Plus, it will cover up the dingy paint that has seen years of wear and tear.

So, what’s the big deal? I could just leave the stairwell the color it is, right? Wrong. Our home has an open floor plan. Each room runs into the other, including the stairwell space. Uh oh.

So I did a little research, and I found a helpful video over at Renovate Your World that gave me more confidence that we could do this. That, plus reading on contractor’s forum that I can avoid getting the carpet messy when I cut in around the base of each stair (no baseboard!) simply by either using duct tape on the edges to pull the carpet fibers away from the wall, or just using a large metal (clean) spackle knife to push down the fibers while cutting in with a good paintbrush. My two biggest fears solved. Hooray!

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Filed under Budget Decor, Home Improvement, Painting

Nashville Craigslist Finds

Anyone else in Nashville looking for some quality furniture at a reasonable price? I know I am. Now, I can’t use these, but if anything catches your eye, I’ve found a few things you might want to click on and check out further. I’ve add things that catch my eye in the mid-century modern, modern, and eclectic styles. Happy hunting!

Mid century modern lane side table/coffee table – $89 (Franklin) (ABOVE)

Mahogany Armoire – $300 (Hendersonville)


Pair HOT PINK Mid Century Modern Arm Chairs – $175 (Franklin)

Modern Floor Mirror- Black Distressed – $199 (Nashville)

West Elm Bond Desk (Large) – $200 (Franklin, TN)

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Dining Room Sneak Peek

I don’t want to do a full reveal until I have some decoration up and go for a full SHAZAAM! but I’m thrilled with the lovely results and so I can’t wait until then … here it is a sneak peak with some fresh spring flowers I gathered after work today.

{Images: Andrea B @ Behind Closed Drawers}


Filed under Balance, Budget, Budget Decor, Dining Room, Painting

Dining Room Nook Shelves With Wallpaper Ideas

I had a brilliant idea for affordable “wallpaper” in between our shelves in the dining room nook. Paper Source has some gorgeous fine decorative papers. I want to paint the walls greige and the trim a brighter white, so I used some Photoshop and did a rough comp of the new paint colors next to the possible paper choices, and this is what I found. So many pretty options!

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Filed under Art, Budget Decor, Dining Room

Save it For a Rainy Day: $150 Or Less

Today it rained and rained and rained and rained. Part of me was a little worried we’d end up flooding all over Nashville like it did last May, but the other part was eager to wear my cute rain boots. I was glad I did … I got several compliments on them!

So, considering my late start on the posting today, I decided to capitalize on the the theme. Some days are just those stay-in-your-pajamas-and-watch-tv kind of days. Others, when the weather gets warmer, are the take-off-your-shoes-and-dance-in-the-rain kind of days. Whichever it is, you still have certain things to take care of if you go outside and come back in at all. Things like an umbrella, wet shoes, and bits of gravel that stick on the bottom of those shoes.

It’s a Saturday evening, and it’s still raining. I’m going shopping!

1) Adesso Contour Coat Rack, $74.99; 2) Frankford Golf Bubble Umbrella, $36.90; 3) Two’s Company Owl Umbrella Stand, $139.99; 4) TV Trends Shamtastic Super Absorbent Towels, $12.99; 5) Beslagsboden Coat Rack, $18.35; 6) Puddletons Bees, $39.99; 7) Majestic Boot Tray, $4.89

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Filed under Budget Decor, Entry Way, Shopping

Laundry Zone, Cont.

There’s only so much you can do on a limited budget, but that forces you to get creative … to think outside the box.

I daydream of days when I find somebody’s old mid-century modern castoff sideboard from Grandma’s house tossed aside on the side of the street, waiting for me to take it home. Or I purchase a rare decorative item ready to be spraypainted into new life, that had just been sitting on a shelf in Goodwill and on sale for .99 cents. I get excited when I find a starburst mirror at Target. Obviously, I’m not going to go out and buy a Saarinen dining table tomorrow. Now, if anyone has one they want to give me, I’ll take it! I’ve only been drooling over it in every major design magazine layout I’ve loved for the past ten years.

In the meantime, while we pay off debt and built up our savings, I re-use, recycle, and renew. Take, for instance, the familiar dining room nook:

It’s not where I want it to be yet. That will come later, in time. But for now, there was a basket, a vase, a figurine with great emotional significance given to me by a dear friend of my mother’s, and some matching bowls I made in one of my college pottery classes. I “shopped” from other rooms to find some items that suited this nook. Total cost to us: $0.00. Well … maybe¬† .45 cents. The flowers were on clearance at Kroger for .99 cents and I split the bouquet into smaller groupings throughout the house.

The basket is dual-purpose. Gotta love that! It not only adds some visual interest, but it also holds the extra kitchen towels that won’t fit in the drawer, and the stain removal pens. The counter top I left empty … ready to use to fold laundry, like the shirts I have on there currently.

We’re getting there! It’s definitely a work in progress.


Filed under Budget Decor, Dining Room