Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Decorating On A Shoe String Budget Part 3

Ta Da!!
This is the wall opposite from yesterday's post. Let's take a step back shall we?

I guess we can enter through the inside of the house today. What do you think? I just love it. Everything on top was already there but there was nothing on the wall before or any decorative accent of any kind. Let's see what the before looked like....

Ho hum, boring. During my trip to Wal Mart to buy chalkboard paint I saw some great black oval baskets. I even stopped and picked one up, they were so pretty. They were $5 a piece and I said to myself "These are so perfect for my laundry room! I can use these to tie in all of the black and I can use two of these black wicker baskets instead of the two white wire baskets that hold all of our socks waiting to be folded." It just seemed so perfect and would tie in all the colors so prettily. I have a lot of black on the opposite wall but very little on this wall. Just the sign and accent piece in black, gold and ivory. Not much black, these would help bring it all together and be much prettier than the wire ones. As I was contemplating the purchase I realized that I already own two of these baskets but not in black. Mine are in the natural wicker color. One is holding building blocks in Braxy's playroom and the other holding hair paraphanalia in my bathroom cabinet. So what does a girl on a budget do?

I didn't have the cash for spray paint but I still had my leftover gallon of black paint and a paint brush. This was the first coat of 3. Hey, this is a shoe string budget remember? Stop laughing. After the third coat they looked very respectable. Maybe later when I am rich again I will buy some black spray paint and give my pretties a touch up. Maybe. But for now my "new" black baskets are all FREE.

I was going to do a fourth coat but I decided I kinda liked the shabby chic look with some of the natural wicker peeking through. Okay, who am I kidding? I just wanted to get it done and the baby kept screaming every time I went outside to do another coat. I'll do the fourth coat this weekend when people are home to watch Mr. Braxton for me. Y'all are my friends, I can't lie to you.
This is the view coming in from the outside. I think these black baskets are much better than my wire ones. The cabinets were being discontinued from our kitchen cabinet maker and I bought them for $25 when we built the house.

The picture of flowers I already had. I arranged the flowers myself, I was going for a wildflower look. Nothing too perfect. The picture beside it was a clearance Hobby Lobby find. It cost $2, can you believe that? $2 and nobody had swiped it up yet. It was meant for me.

I didn't do a close up of this one yesterday. Not bad for a cost of .59 cents.

Total cost of this wall: $10 sign from Hobby Lobby. $19.99 x 50% off sale = $10. Square decor plaque $2. Clearance section at 80% off. Total cost: $12

Total cost of this wall: 2 framed artwork pieces $1.18. (I painted existing frames in the house) 2 pieces of scrapbooking paper from Hobby Lobby @ .59 cents each. Black barn star $10. $19.99 x 50% off sale = $10. Chalkboard paint $7.97 at Wal Mart. Total cost: $19.15

Total cost for laundry room re do: $31.15 plus sales tax.

Not bad, not bad. She squeals with delight! I just took an idea that I had and looked for ways to use what I already had and got creative about what I needed to purchase to achieve the look I wanted. A funny side note: As I was just starting this post my 16 year old Alexis walked over to the computer and the very first picture was up. She said, "Oh mom, thats a really pretty laundry room. Oh wait, that's our laundry room!". That made me feel really nice and we both laughed about it.

Room additions: I think I would like one of those vinyl letterings over the barn star that says "Welcome" pretty large. I think I would also like a W monogram someplace in black. I definitely want me some black and white toile fabric so I can make a pretty window treatment over the window on my outside door. The door is just begging for some toile love. But, it's not in the budget just yet and maybe some crazed looney person will have donated some black & white toile to the Goodwill so I can come along and buy it. Hey, I can dream. I hope you like it, I know I do and for $32 it sure is a big improvement. Please check out the post below to see how I did the other part of the room.

Decorating on A Shoe String Budget part 2

What a coincidence! I was ready to unveil a laundry room makeover on a shoestring budget using toile and http://prettyorganizedpalace.blogspot.com/2009/03/toile-party.html is having a toile party today. How fun is that? Please go check it out and see all the wonderful toile love going on over there.

Hello and welcome to my home. Please do not be offended that I am taking you in through the side entrance. This is the room we are going to be looking at today! That's right, my laundry room. In the previous post I talked all about decorating on a shoe string budget so I thought I'd put my money where my keyboard is. So I did a laundry room makeover. This will be a two post edition because I have lots of pictures and I didn't want this post to be a mile long.

Would you like to see the before?

In January I decided I hated what I had on the walls in here and moved these two picture frames (which I sell at my store) and the pretty bird picture in here and hung them on existing nails planing to paint the following week and put everything where I wanted it. Well, life happens and the painting never got done because a gallon of paint is expensive (when you don't have money anyway) and everything was going to cost around $100 that I wanted to do. So I just didn't do it........ and it made me crazy. Do you know what else makes me crazy? That little box cut out into my wall for the intercom system my husband was going to put in 8 years ago that never got done. That hole really bothers me.

This is the bottom part of that wall. It is all scraped up from kids scraping book bags across it and me scraping past with handfulls of grocery bags. Now, that really bothered me because it looked dirty. What to do? My 2 year old Braxton spends lots of time in this room with me becuase with four kids, hey, I have lots of laundry to do and I like to keep my laundry room neat and clean. And ORDERLY. I know, I'm a freak.

This wall really got me. Braxton took a pencil to the middle part of this wall and it drove me crazy!! Like I said, Braxton likes to spend a lot of time in here with me.

So the question became "What can I do to this room with practically no money to make it look beautiful and make it a place that I can enjoy being in?". Right after I asked myself that Braxton toddled in with a crayon and tried to color on the wall and it hit me. Chalkboard paint! So I headed to Wal Mart and purchased chalkboard paint for $7.97. Okay, now I will have a lot of black in the room so how do I tie all of that in? With no money. I know all y'all have some frames with old prints or pictures that you don't like anymore or they are sitting in a basement or closet because you might want them again right? Well, I had 2 prints hanging in my dining room that I really didn't love anymore.

So here is what I did.

I already had black paint in the garage. Love me some black paint for accents. Do you have any extra paint stored that you can do something with? I can paint these frames black and it will tie in with the black chalkboard walls, yes!! But what to put into the frames? Surely not these greek hunks.

Yes it's true, steak knives can be used to creat beautiful home decor. I'm such a professional. Just cut the back of this paper backing off if your frames are covered. But be careful with it....

Because in my case this paper backing made the perfect mat background for my new fabulous print. The mat that was in the frame had a peach tone to it and it just didn't look good at all. I was going with black and gold accents to tie in with the light green and black walls. So the paper backing was perfect! And it was FREE! I simply used blue painters tape to attach the two together. BUT..... I did have to cut down about half an inch on each side for it to look good. No big deal.

Stephanie over at http://www.notesfromthesoul.blogspot.com/ is always mentioning the Hobby Lobby so last week I happened to drive by one. I already knew what I was going to do with the frames but I had no idea what I was going to put in them yet. So I decided to go in..... I went straight to the scrapbook section and look what I found!! Some black and white toile, oh how I love me some toile. They were only 59 cents each!! So I bought 2 papers for my frames. Total cost of new artwork: 1.18. I already had the frames and the paint.

There she is all put together and I love it!! Finally I can have some toile in the house. The hubster hates it but oh, it must be a woman thing because don't all women just love toile?

Hello big boy...... $10.00 on sale at the Hobby Lobby. Was $19.99 x 50% off = $10.00.

Entire cost of this wall: $19.20.

Now I have a room I love and Braxton has a whole huge chalkboard wall that he can play with and enjoy. Bookbags and grocery bags can't hurt it and it will always be beautiful. And might I say.... I think my laundry room looks updated and elegant. Very soothing. Now I have some good stuff going on on the other wall. But that is for tomorrow's post so stay tuned!!





Did you notice that I hung one of the print frames over the big hole in my wall? Bye bye ugly wall. I love it! It's different, which I like to be different. How many people have black walls in their house? But I think it looks pretty and it will be covered over and over with Braxton's colorful drawings that will keep him busy instead of pulling my clothes down off the folding tables ha ha. I used what I had and was creative about using inexpensive items to give me a look that I really love. The other wall? I love it too and it really brings the whole room together. I can't wait for you to see it. I'll give you a few hints of what is to come. The total cost of the other wall? $12. Here is a sneak peek of what you will see:

The point: If I had another $50 plus dollars could I have made this room look even better?

The answer: YES! But right now I don't have $50 extra and neither do a lot of people. Don't wait to live a beautiful life. Be happy where you are right now with what you have. Use what you have or can afford (I spent $1.18 on new artwork) to make your home the one place where you can relax and feel good. If you are waiting for whatever reason to make your home the place you want it to be then stop waiting. Because whatever it is that you are waiting on may never happen and you are worth more than that.

Don't wait to be beautiful.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Decorating On A Shoe String Budget

Firstly I just wanted to say "I love you" to my mom who is in the hospital right now. The doctors have no idea what is wrong with her and she needs a lot of prayer right now. Can I encourage you today to let the people you love know how much you love them? It's never a wrong time to say I love you!

Something I have been thinking a lot about lately.......
photo courtesy of BHG

How to have a beautiful home with little or no budget. Of course I want to tell you to go to my shop http://www.southerncharmhomedecor.com/ and buy something but.... I won't do that today. Today is about a shoe string budget. My home for instance is filled with beautiful things. Some of those things I paid quite a bit of money for and they were well worth it, for instance my 20x20 frames (absolutely gorgeous!) but some of my pretties are all handmade D.I.Y. projects from a shoestring budget. And they all look great together and nobody knows. So please take a look at some of these ideas and go ahead and give them a try, you might just surprise yourself. Do you like the look of gallery wrapped wall decor such as these? Need to fill a wall in a hallway or bathroom or like to change the look of your walls regularly? Try this..

Gift Wrapped
Create artwork to ooh and aah over by covering inexpensive 12-x-12-inch artist canvases with attractive paper patterns. Wrap the canvas like a present with a 1- to 2-inch overhang. Attach the paper to the front with double-stick tape, and secure the excess paper to the frame's back with electrical tape.

I have seen this done with scrap booking paper and fabric and it always look great. Clip you a 40% off coupon for Michaels from your newspaper and head on in to get your supplies. Canvas is pretty inexpensive and you can use your coupon for that. Scrap booking paper has some beautiful patterns and just recently I saw the most beautiful fabrics at a local Wal Mart while on my way to purchase some games for the kiddies. You can wrap the fabric easy too. When you are ready for a new look, tear of the old and start new. The canvas can be reused over and over. This is especially good for the kids rooms as they never like anything for too long.

photo courtesy of BHG

What a pretty look! This room makes me want to stop and enjoy the surroundings. The prints on the wall pictured here are photocopies made from books or calenders. What I have done before is use the frames from old existing prints in my home that I am tired of and purchased a pretty calender with pretty English garden flowers (like pictured here) in muted shades and cut the calender photos down to fit my frames. Or you can take a book or magazine that has prints you like and take them to a local store with a color copier (Kinkos, UPS store etc.) and copy away you some free home decor. Simply cut down your copies and place into existing frames at home or very inexpensive ones can be purchased from the dollar store on up depending on your budget. Have a frame you don't like? Spray paint goes a long way ladies. Like the window treatment but don't have money for new curtains? Take some of your prints and a paint swatch if you have it (I always save mine when I have paint mixed and keep them in a folder) and take a trip to a fabric store and yes even the larger Wal Marts have some great fabrics and hit the clearance bin first. Find you a pretty panel on the cheap and don't even buy a curtain rod. Purchase some upholstery tacks and just tack that bad boy up. I have hot glued my hems many times as I don't sew and you can't even tell. This scene can easily be copied on the cheap.

And don't forget.... white, black and red make great accent colors. A trip to the local thrift store and some spray paint in whatever of those three colors you choose can bring you many many possibilities for new decor additions without much cost.

Now more than ever I believe it is so important to make our homes a haven. A place of security and calm to ease troubled minds. We can do it!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Prom Dress Shopping

This is me and Lexi in front of Macy's on Saturday. It was our first and last stop. We had planned on a wonderful and long day of shopping but it ended up being wonderful and short. Ha ha, but we had such a fun time. What a big mile stone in both of our lives.... I thought you might like to come shopping with us so I brought along the camera.

I didn't like this dress but she loved the color. It is a good color for her but a bit to informal for the prom I think.

The orange looks good on her but no way Jose on the cleavage!! The black and white damask purse back there is mine.... I love it and I bought it from myself!!

I really liked this one. Very pretty. And she is so skinny it makes ya sick doesn't it?

Here is the back...... Oh la la!! I like this dress.

Here is another pretty one. I like this one very much too. The other thing about looking for a prom dress is this.... She is also doing a Queen of Diamonds pageant on Saturday March 14 and she is wearing her prom dress to the pageant. So the dress has to do double duty. Normally we don't do pageants but it is a fundraiser for the school's baseball program and they needed girls to participate badly and she was asked by one of her friends who plays..... so she said yes. So we were having fun trying on dresses and thinking our decision was going to be a tough one.

But STOP the PRESSES!!!!
Without question, as soon as I turned around to see her my jaw dropped. This is THE DRESS!

This is the back. Aye chi wa wa..... hot mama. It was made for her, it fit her like a glove. She doesn't want to try on any more dresses and I agreed. This was the dress. Plus, it was perfect for the Queen of Diamonds pageant because it's all diamondy. What do you think?

Look at her face.... she just knows this is the dress for her. She looks excited and happy.

There's only one problem with the dress. It is a wee bit over our budget. We had an idea of what we would like to spend and then a ceiling of what was the absolute most we could spend. This dress was over the limit. What to do? We have had layoffs and I just closed my physical store. Sales have been slow so I could not spend the extra money. So I said... Call your father. We are divorced and we never call and ask him for money so I said, hey this is an emergency. Call your dad and see if he will give you the extra money. It wasn't a lot so she made the call.

This is kind of funny. The only place in the dressing room she could get reception was in the corner. I knew this because my other kids had already called me to tell me that Braxton had sprayed Pledge in his eye. I was like..... Where is your father? Then he caught them calling me and telling on him and he started yelling at them not to tattle on him and they hung up. Ah, good times. Braxton is fine by the way.

Still talking..... we he or won't he???
If he says no we are thinking of this dress.

And still talking..... Sheesh. I got bored and decided I was having a pretty good hair day and thought I would preserve the moment.

Alright! Thumbs up, he said yes!! The dress is hers. Yay.

She put it back on to make sure and doesn't she look beautiful? She looks very happy. She worked very hard to earn prom money. She babysat and cat sat.

It is just gorgeous and I think she doesn't look 16 here at all. Oh, my sweet baby is turning into a woman. So this is the dress and we love it! What do you think? So much fun shopping for the dress. I hope she has a wonderful prom.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Yearning for Spring

When I came across these red porch rockers I fell in love. The exterior of my home is beige with natural stone so these red rockers should really pop. A few plants, some interesting tables or benches and my porch should be an inviting place to sit and sip. The fun part for me will be doing this on a budget. I am going to build (okay, I'm having my husband build) some cute small bench seating chairs like in the picture and I am going Goodwilling for some interesting rockers. Since I plan on painting them anyway they don't have to be in great shape. Some new paint, some pretty cushions and I'll have some great rockers that are rockin red. The key is to discover something that inspires you and go for it. Looking at this porch makes me want to go outside and relax with my kids or watch them play.

I just can't wait until these little beauties are popping up!! Oh, Spring hurry up and come.

Every year about this time I become itchy for Spring and really bored with my home. I start moving accent pieces and artwork around. New pillows for the couch or bedding. I switch out picture frames and make a few design changes to keep things fresh and current. I am a sucker for anything sentimental so if you have visited the http://www.southencharmhomedecor.com/ website you will have noticed many 20x20 painted wood frames with quotes on them. Well, I have a collage of them in a hallway and a couple in the laundry room even. I have been switching those around too. Sometimes you can just move around what you already have and maybe purchase one or two new items each season to keep you home looking great.

I love this seating arrangement! Before my husband was laid off 2 years ago we were getting ready to build a new home that had a stairway a lot like this one except we were planning on building built in bench seating into the stairway. Oh, it was going to be so perfect. But if you have a stairway like this one and many homes do..... this look is totally doable for you. You don't even have to re paint the walls, if you already love your color then make the fabric work around your color.

The seating? Easy. You know your man loves the home improvement store so send him there with a list. These legs can easily be purchased along with the decorative trim details you see along the bottom and then just nailed on to the frame. The frame can very easily be built with a few cuts and a nail gun. When we built our fire place mantle we went to the home improvement store and bought some wood decorative accents, nailed them on and painted away. A high end look for practically pennies. As for the cushion? Well, you can go to the fabric store in my area and they have foam cushions all ready to go. Just place your cushion over a piece of wood and stretch out your fabric and staple gun it on. Paint or stain your wood bench and then place the cushion on it with matching or coordinating pillows. I don't sew but I do staple and glue gun. I also know it's pretty inexpensive to pay a seamstress to sew pillows for me. Get yourself some foliage from a local nursery and you are done. What a great place for the kids to lay and talk on the phone, share a private conversation or just sit back and unwind. Not to mention having a great first impression of your home when guests arrive. Or you could just go to the furniture store and buy one... but you'll pay a whole lot more for it.

David Bromstad (one of my favorite designers!!) says blue grey is just coming into it's own. I love this color paired with chocolate browns too. I think people have been under stress and they are looking for calm when they get home.This color palette is definitely calming. Grey-blue, beige and white is always a winner.

Here's my chocolate brown. A grey-blue bedroom with chocolate and beige. I could do without that picture over the bed though..... we won't discuss that.

Do you ever get the Spring itchies? If so what do you do about it?

Tumbleweed Wine & Martini Glasses

Too Cute! The minute I got these in at the physical store they started selling like hot cakes.

I have one of my own and I always smile a little as I pour my wine. A little wine...... a little fun, we deserve it. I will be loading quite a few of these wine and martini glasses onto http://www.southerncharmhomedecor.com/ this afternoon. They are such fun gifts and you know I had to have one for me too. They come in really nice gift boxes and the presentation of the gift is really fun. Do you have a fun or special glass that you like to use or give?

I loaded some beautiful nightlights yesterday along with some other really fun gifts. I have a couple of these Ibis & Orchid nightlights and I have given several as gifts. I love mine and the people I have given them to have always loved them so much that they bought some from me for gifts as well. Gift giving doesn't have to be expensive, these Ibis & Orchid nightlights are only $14.99.

When I am thinking of someone I am buying a gift for I always try to make the gift something fun and usable. We are so serious these days aren't we? These are serious times for certain. Even in my family we have had to deal with lay offs and isn't that a tough thing to go through? So I always look for something that will make the recipient smile and be useful at the same time. I love my nightlights, in the evening this little birdie illuminates the kitchen. In the hallway is a beautiful hummingbird on a hibiscus flower and it is just so beautiful!! Ladies, never forget to laugh and surround yourself with things that make you smile. Life is short, so enjoy it!

I have so many new items to post onto the Southern Charm Home Decor website since I have closed our physical store that it makes my head spin. But check back with us frequently as I will be loading new items every day. My 2 year old Braxton sure keeps me running so I have to load around Braxton's schedule. You ladies know how that goes right?

This is me and Braxton at our local park. It is finally going to be warm here on Friday so we are already planning on a picnic lunch and a fun day of playing after being trapped in the house for 2 weeks! He is just dying to get out again and slide. He is such a cutie isn't he?

Thank you again for visiting my blog and thank you for shopping with http://www.southerncharmhomedecor.com .