Creating a Beautiful Home on a Budget
I wouldn’t consider myself a “Susie Homemaker” although other people have referred to me as her. I just take pride in my home and feel the more comfortable my home feels the happier I am living in it. Before I bought the home I am currently living in I used to love watching home decorating shows and flipping through high end interior designer magazines to get ideas on how I would style each room in my house. The reality hit me when we moved into our “dream home” with two young children that not only were most of the design choices unrealistic for our family, but also unrealistic for our budget. I wasn’t ready to give up my dreams on a beautiful house, so I have been on a mission since I moved in to find cheaper ways to get the same looks for less.
This designing on a budget and do it yourself trend is huge right now, creating many opportunities for people like me to make their beautiful homes on the cheap a reality. What I have learned so far is that there are a ton of hidden places spread throughout Louisville, filled with everything you need to make your home what you want it to be. The hard part is finding these places.
The first place I am going to talk about is the most mainstream; Craigslist. Nowadays, most everyone uses www.Cragslist.com, whether it is to buy or sell goods or services. The key to Craigslist however, is getting good at using it. On the buying side, look for specifics, I have had the best luck on the site when I search for something particular. Most people don’t know what they have or are eager to get rid of it, so negotiate. Also, make sure you check out the product in person before you get suckered in to buying it. If you don’t know what you are looking at, bring someone who does. You don’t want to get it home only to realize you paid $50.00 dollars for something that is falling apart.
A huge secret in Louisville is George’s on 7th and Market. When I first showed up to George’s on a Sunday morning I had to wait outside the gate for George to finish watching his Church programming. Exactly at 9:30am his handyman opened the gate and I entered what looked like a junk yard, and I immediately questioned what I had gotten myself in to. I continued to scour the outdoor yard filled with appliance, furniture, bicycles, and basically anything you could imagine. I told George I was looking for dining room chairs for my new kitchen table and he lead me inside. The inside of George’s is packed with collections of everything for the home. There are three floors filled with whatever you could need, all in rough shape of course, but with a little TLC most anything at George’s could come back to life. I went into the basement and found four wooden chairs that with a little bit of a wipe down looked fine enough for my purposes. George took $5.00 each for them and I was on my way. A quick sanding and coat of baby blue spray paint and I have four beautiful and modern chairs that add color and a bit of whimsy to my breakfast area for about $30.00! There are some things you have to be careful for at George’s. With any big warehouse style place, mold and wet furniture can be a problem, so make sure the furniture you pick is in good shape. Also, NEGOTIATE! People like George would rather sell four chairs for peanuts than let them sit for another five years. George’s is a great place to go, but know that you will have to put some work into whatever you buy.
Michaels is one of my favorite places to go for the décor in the kids rooms. If you check out the Pottery Barn Kids catalog you will find them selling some of the same products that I have made for crazy prices. Michaels sells wooden letters that can spell our your kids’ names, add a little paint, hang them with fun colored ribbon, or nail them to the wall and you have a cheap and striking addition to their room. My opinion is that your children are going to want to change their room so many times throughout their life, so why spend a lot of money on it anyway? Kids rooms should be fun, so let them be a part of it, let them paint a picture and frame it for their room. Michaels has a million ideas for the kids’ rooms.
I believe in mixing high and low pieces. We splurged on our staple pieces in the house, like our dining room table, couch, chairs, and bed, but everything else can be questionable. When you mix and match, people don’t know the difference. This allows you to change your room when you want to and allows your budget to breath a little!