My oldest daughter and her husband moved into a new place last month. Our son-in-law is going back to school, and they were able to rent a small apartment on campus … a small apartment with giant blank white walls! Because the two of them have worked as house parents at a group home for the last few years, and they’ve not really had a place of their own, they didn’t have much in the way of home decor. So, I asked if I could drive up for a long weekend to help decorate, and they accepted! My younger daughter came along, and we had so much fun – shopping, eating, building, decorating and just enjoying each other’s company, and we put together a cozy, welcoming space, AND we did it on a really tight budget!
I tried to keep track of what we purchased where and what the cost was so that I could share with you, and I’m mostly going to let the pictures do the talking. (The prices are all total prices. If you see two of something then the price listed is what both of them together cost.)This area is sort of what you see when you first walk in the door. Our son-in-law, Chad, is learning to play the guitar, and he already had a string swing to hang it. I love that it’s functional storage, and that the hanging guitar gives the room a feeling of youth that doesn’t scream frat house! The shelf in this space is one that we had displayed in our house for several years. Since I’d changed up my wall decor, it was just sitting and waiting for a new home.
I put my minimal wood-working skills to work on this wall! With some guidance from Ana White, I built this picture ledge using pre-sanded and pre-cut wood, a bottle of wood glue, some finishing nails and a couple of long screws for mounting. We wanted a green stain, so we bought a sample-size container of green paint at Home Depot, then we watered it down, and wiped it on and back off again. The mini-quilt on this wall was a house-warming gift from me. I’ll share a bit more about it later.
The open back on Morgan’s and Chad’s TV stand originally made the corner of the room look messy because you could see all the cords hanging behind it. Since our budget didn’t allow for a new stand, we filled in the shelves with boxes and baskets. These give the corner a more finished look and provide storage for video games and remote controllers. The curtains here were a great find at Target. We found them marked down on one of the clearance end-caps because someone had purchased, opened and returned them!
Morgan wanted valances for the kitchen windows, and we found these for a great price at Big Lots. The only issue with them is that they came with a pocket for a 2 1/2″ rod, and for budget reasons, we were sticking with standard 1″ rods. We fixed that problem easily by ripping out the bottom line of pocket stitching, washing and drying the curtains (to remove the holes and help the fabric drape a bit more nicely), and then sewing a new bottom line of pocket stitching 1 1/4″ below the top line. Morgan had already set up her Keurig and K Cups on the little metal rack in the kitchen, so we went with the idea of making a little coffee station for when she has all her new friends over for lattes.
There’s a funny bit of a story behind this little space for Morgan and Chad’s French Mastiff, Dallas. When we were planning our shopping list the first morning, Morgan said, “Add an old piece of wood.” Huh? She wanted and old piece of wood to burn Dallas’ name into to go over her dish. I said, “Um. Okay, but I don’t think we’re going to just run across and old piece of wood somewhere.” Wouldn’t you know it? We walked into the ReStore warehouse and there in the middle of a pile of pressure treated lumber pieces was this perfectly-sized piece of old wood … for the perfect price of $.75!
We spent around $350 total for everything we used. In addition to the things listed we bought screws and wall anchors, curtain rods (Big Lots is my favorite spot for curtain rods) and other incidentals. (We had to buy a level because I don’t hang anything without one!) We did all the photo printing at the Walmart photo center. I loved that we could order online and just swing by to pick up the prints when they were finished! Oh, and the pretty wreath on the front door that you see all the way at the top? Morgan whipped that up herself!
Have you done any decorating or redecorating lately? What’s your favorite way or favorite place to shop to save a few dollars? I would love for you to share in the comments!