01 October 2014

Upcycling: Style your home on a budget

People are always asking me for advice on how to style their homes on a budget so I thought I would share my knowledge and tips that I have picked up from my own experience decorating my home.
It is so easy to think that the only way to fill your home with lovely furnishings and accessories is to go straight to the department stores and high street shops. Oh how wrong you all are!
 In fact, its so much more exciting to buy things secondhand, make your own accessories or even salvage a few things! Unless you prefer an ultra modern, clean and crisp look to your home, being thrifty with your purchases can create a lovely vintage and shabby chic style.  Lets face it, the pieces with character and charm aren't the ones that came from reproduction style stores.
Up cycling
I am always banging on about how cheaply I furnished my home to anyone who will listen, because I am constantly astounded at some of the things people will just give away!
Just have a look, these are just some of the things I have found at my local recycle centre.  Someone has literally 'thrown' these away.. whattt!? Granted, most of the things I find here have needed a little bit of TLC to wake them up and give them a new lease of life but it really only requires some paint, a paint brush and a little time.

 I picked up this set of three little pots and tray for just a couple of quid.  I painted them using ASCP 'Old White' (a trusty fav) and transferred the words using carbon paper.
They make perfect pots for my kitchen herbs, just got to fill them now!
The vase I got from a charity shop - very cottage chic :)
 Read how I upcycled these tables here
This is a work in progress piece,  I got the TV cabinet from an old charity shop for £15, I plan to paint it but haven't decided on a colour so am waiting for the right inspiration.  For now, it looks okay.
Found these mirrors - bargain only £3 each! they are so big and heavy so I knew they were good quality, I just painted them with a couple of coats of ASCP and they were good to go!
Second-hand Sales
eBay and Gumtree... my two favourite and most visited websites.
eBay is great...if you have the time to sit at your computer during those last couple of minutes while that item you so desperately want ticks down the seconds.  And of course, if you can handle the heartbreaking rejection that is the 'you did not win the item' notification. BOOOO!
Gumtree is easier but I have found there is a much smaller selection of items.  I suppose because eBay has established a more trustworthy and reliable site.  Gumtree also lacks lots of features that eBay excel at such as delivery options, payment options and a better messaging platform.
You can also find selling pages on Facebook - these are also great and you can find some lovely things in your local area.
However, I have managed to grab a fair few bargains from eBay, Gumtree and Facebook in the last few months.  Here is a small selection:
Sofa from eBay- £50.00 and came with two free cushions
 Solid wood extendable dining table from eBay - £50.00
 Sofa from Gumtree - £100.00 with not a single mark anywhere to be seen
Set of two lamps from a Facebook selling page - £14.00 one had a broken plug but was easily fixed.
Do it yourself!
If, like me you have a caged 'inner crafter' bursting to get out then you will enjoy making your own home accessories too. Pinterest has some really easy DIY home ideas and gave me so much inspiration to get crafting.   Here is what I came up with:
 I made these two framed pieces using colour cards from B&Q, a heart and butterfly punch and some glue.  So easy!
I saw this idea on a number of websites like Not on the high street and Etsy and had to give it a go.  They are the locations of where I met hubster, where he proposed and where we got married.  Cute!
 This was an old piece of wooden board that I painted and carbon transferred on an image.
Perfect for our kitchen :)
Another easy peasy one - just bought a plain wooden letter rack, painted it and transferred the letters on. Simples.
 My favourite quote printed onto an old piece of wood with a few nails hammered in for the rustic effect. I like to read this quote everyday as I walk out the door.
 My attempt at chalkboard art - thought it would be difficult, I was very wrong!
Just painted a backing board from a frame in black chalkboard paint then transferred the design using chalk and went over the design in a white paint pen.
 I just painted these two cute boxes white and wet-transferred the image on. I thought they looked quite bridal so displayed them next to our wedding photos.
After our wedding I pressed three of our wedding flowers whilst we went on our honeymoon then framed them in matching frames. Such a simple idea and a nice momento from the day.
A little display above our stairs which includes a few handmade things... some candles, an Abraham Lincoln quote mirror and 'three little birds' scrabble tiles on canvas.
Another great way to style your home for free is to re-use wedding décor.  We had so much leftover that we didn't want to throw away so we kept it all. The photo above has our 'thank you' signs that we used for our thank you photo cards.
And I have these hanging hearts all over my house!

I have also been lucky enough to have a talented mum who has painted some lovely watercolours, so I have those up around my home too.  Just to remind me of places we have lived as a family and keep our home feeling homely.

Oh and last but not least - we got this cuddle sofa (bobby's bed) free from the previous owners.  They didn't have room for it in their new home so said we could keep it. Love a freebie!

I hope this has inspired you to get thrifty with your home décor  - I don't think I will ever buy 'new' again!

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