Repurposing : The #1 Budget Friendly Decorating Hack

I often get asked about decorating in general, and the cost associated with it. It’s no secret I am an epic bargain hunter, and I think that’s why repurposing old items is my favorite budget friendly decorating hack. The possibilities are only limited by your search terms on Pinterest!

Don’t like an old cabinet or buffet taking up space in your garage? Add some new paint and hardware and turn it into a decor display cabinet or changing table in a nursery. Looking for inexpensive ‘new to you’ furniture? Check out your local thrift store or salvage yard, and then spruce it up a bit.

Today I have a few examples of repurposed items currently on display in my home, and I will share the cost of the items and the updates that I did to them. Feel free to pin any images for later reference!

First up, my medicine cabinet turned decor cabinet! I found this beauty at a local thrift store, and I believe the price was only $10 (it was even on sale!). I completely updated it for only $5, and it now sits as a permanent fixture on my entryway wall, and I simply change out the decor for different seasons. For details on how I updated the cabinet, click here.

Total cost: $15

Medicine Cabinet, original condition

Medicine Cabinet, original condition

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Next, I have an old shutter style hinge door on my front porch that I simply use hooks to hang different decor on depending on the season. This item was FREE, on a local facebook marketplace group. All I did was clean it up and bit and do a small amount of sanding. Here are a couple examples of how I have used it so far, and the photo on the left is how it looks currently.

Total cost: $0

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I’m not afraid to get a little dirty and bust out the chalk paint when necessary, and this comes in handy when an item needs a fresh look. A perfect example is a set of 3 spindles I picked up at a salvage store, and I was determined to make them look like candlesticks. I had Adam cut them at different heights, for a total of 5 candlesticks made from the 3 spindles. At $2 a piece, my cost was $6 total. A little chalk paint and sanding later, I have 5 pretty versatile pieces of decor and you will see them in my home during every season. For the full tutorial, click here.

Total cost: $6

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Lastly, I have a deep love for decorating with old farm items. These might look like junk to the untrained eye, but the history in each piece is what calls my heart to them. For example, this chicken feeder from a local flea market sits on my dining room table almost year round, filled with various seasonal decor. I sometimes find myself wondering how many chickens ate from this trough over the years and what other stories this item holds, not to mention it makes a great centerpiece because it doesn’t obstruct views of people sitting at the table!

Total Cost $10

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I hope today I could show you that having a vast assortment of decor and/or decorating your home for each season doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, I get such enjoyment searching for that bargain and then bringing new life to old items. How do you decorate with repurposed items in your home? I would love to hear all about it!

I hope October is treating you well, wherever you are!

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Laundry Room Makeover

I am always looking for inexpensive ways to update and/or decorate our home, and my laundry room was recently at the top of my list of spaces that needed serious help. I had seen several designers recently posting about using wallpaper to update a space, and my first reaction was not a positive one. I mean, wallpaper?!? Who has time for that??

Well as it turns out, I had time for it, and so do you! Wallpaper has come SUCH a long way from the days where I remembered my grandparents mixing paste and matching patterns, only to have it dry and shrink just enough that it no longer lined up perfectly. I was curious how this “new” version worked, so I ordered a roll from Target’s website, which has dozens of options.

Today’s version of wallpaper has no mess, simply peel and stick. Make a mistake and need to remove it? Just peel it off the wall, no damage to the paint/wall, and you can re-use the piece! This feature in particular makes a wallpaper project budget friendly, I did this entire laundry room makeover with only one roll, which was $30. Don’t worry about matching patterns either, the print I chose has a tiny pattern line on it so you can easily tell where the next piece should line up.

So I went for it and ordered the wallpaper….

Before I show you how it turned out, let’s take a look at some ‘before’ photos!

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This laundry room functioned just fine how it originally was, but I wanted a space that was more inviting and had a ‘fresh’ look. I first shopped the garage for some shelving materials, then picked up a vintage window for the space above the sink, and finally picked out the wallpaper that would tie it all together Somehow, I roped Adam into helping me.

Neither one of us had ever worked with wallpaper, and thus we had no idea how to install it. I envisioned unrolling it and sticking it to the wall (why make it more difficult than it needs to be, am i right?), however Adam had other ideas.

He approached the situation as thought it were flooring, and found the center of the wall and the center of the wallpaper pattern and started there. As a result, the first piece took about 45 min to place, but the rest of it went much faster.

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After the wallpaper was applied, we placed a small white trim around the top edges to give it more of a polished look. Then all that was left was to mount the shelf and hang the window, and suddenly the laundry room had been transformed! Here are a couple photos…

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This budget friendly update has made quite a difference, and I am really happy how it turned out. This was a learning experience, but it really was quite easy, so if you are looking to freshen up a space consider using wallpaper!

That’s all I have for today, I am headed back outside to enjoy this second Summer that Iowa has given us this week! I will be back soon with our latest outdoor client project, as soon as I load and edit the photos :)

As always, thank you for stopping by the blog today! We really appreciate it!

-Rachael

Spring Dining Room Decor

It’s March, and I am determined it’s time to decorate for spring, regardless of the fact it remains very cold here in Iowa. Today I want to share with you my quick and easy dining room decor that I refreshed for the new season.

This is quite possibly the last time I decorate this table, as it is on the project list to be sold and replaced with a barn wood farm table, much like this one pictured below (photo from a client’s home).

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Hopefully by mid summer we will have the table built and replaced, but as always it is hard to find time to do things for yourself. At least we won’t have snow removal getting in the way of our projects by then!

Well I could talk for hours about plans for my dining room, but let’s get back to the current task at hand….decorating for spring! Traditionally, I have never done a whole lot for spring, and as a result I only have one tote designated to spring decor (I have like 8 for Christmas!). Regardless, I dug that tote out a few days ago and got to it.

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I picked up these pastel eggs from Target, either last year or the year before, and I have really enjoyed them. They add just a hint of color and are so versatile to use. And since I don’t plan on changing anything up before Easter, they are going to serve dual purpose as the Easter decor!

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Here is a closeup of the table, which I kept very simple, and all of these items I had on hand except for the small glass plant mister which was at the Target dollar spot, score! If we zoom out a bit you can see the rest of my dining room below.

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My buffet and large rusty metal pig are permanent fixtures of the dining room, and I change up the buffet decor for the different seasons. As you can see I used some faux greens and DIY candlesticks (if you missed that tutorial click here). Also, I have had some eucalyptus and faux flowers in the window boxes for a couple months now, but I will most likely leave those as is until we are closer to summer.

And there you have it, my simple refresh of my dining room for spring. I would love to refresh my front porch as well, but my winter decor is currently frozen to the concrete so that will have to wait for another day and another post…hopefully sometime soon!

Well I am off to tackle some spring cleaning, I must harness this motivation while it lasts! Thanks for stopping by the blog today, see you soon!

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Spring Farmhouse Decor Items on Amazon (Budget Friendly!)

Hi there!

I know it’s wishful thinking for most of us that spring will be here soon, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to de-clutter, disinfect, and decorate with bright colors. If you have been following for a while now, you know I love all things budget friendly and that includes decor. I frequently make my own decorations, but there are some times when a minor purchase can really make a difference to a space, and today I have brought you my top picks for budget friendly spring farmhouse decor items from Amazon.

*Note: This post contains affiliate links, for my full disclosure please click here.

Quick and Easy Updates

If you are like me, you might not have a ton of time to refresh your home for the next season, which is why I love simple pillow decor. Just bust these out of storage and pop them on the couch! Done!

Incorporate the Outdoors

Spring is a great time to start bringing your indoor and outdoor spaces together. This can easily be accomplished by decorating your front flower beds or starting your garden early indoors. Depending on your weather patterns, this time of year can be busy with planting. For us in the upper Midwest, we have a while to go yet before we can get our hands dirty outside so until then we bring the outdoors in!

Prep the Kitchen

With all the fresh food that will be coming in from the garden, I like to take time to reorganize the pantry. These hanging baskets will be perfect for fresh produce (we are going to try and do a ton of onions this year)!

Everyday Essentials

These last few items can be versatile for many seasons, making them worth the time and effort of installation!


Don’t forget to Pin this post for the future! Simply hover over the image below, and the Pinterest icon will show up, easy!

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I hope this post brought you some inspiration for your own home. As always, I love your feedback and feel free to leave a comment on this post or shoot me an email if you have something specific you would like me to look for. Make sure you are following us on Instagram for all of our updates!

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The Epic Barn Beam Bed Frame!

Hi all! We are in the home stretch leading up to Christmas and many of you are probably already on break for the holidays (this season seemed like it flew by faster than previous years). I have one final post for you before we transition into full Christmas mode at my house, which will consist of a few days computer-free to enjoy this time with family. So if you are sitting in an airport waiting to travel to your holiday gathering, or maybe need a 5 minute ‘break’ from all things Christmas, I have just the post for you!


Recently, we finished up a client project that turned out to be the biggest piece of furniture we have ever created, thus the title of this post. This bed frame required long hours of prep, assembly, take down, haul to its final location, and reassembly, but as you will see it was well worth it and turned out stunning!

The materials for this project included authentic reclaimed barn beams and these were SOLID 8x8 beams, which made them very heavy.

Prior to use, the beams had to be cut, sanded and assembled at our shop to ensure they all fit together properly and weren’t warped by the last 100 years of extreme temperatures of Midwest weather. a simple frame was assembled to keep the beams up off the floor in the client’s room.

Next, each beam was secured in place. To eliminate some of the weight of this piece, an alternate framing technique was used to comply with floor joist specifications and it was completely covered by the mattress and otherwise not visible once assembled.

Here the frame is being finished up and mattress added.

To show you just how big this bed frame is, the mattress pictured is king size!

Pictured below are some up close photos of the wood details on the headboard and beams, each of which are unique. There is just something about the look of authentic barn wood that cannot be recreated with other materials.

The finished project photos!

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This bed frame turned out truly stunning!

I absolutely love how it all came together. A sincere thank you to the client who chose us to make this item for her!

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The Friendship Fireplace Project!

Hey all, one week until Christmas Eve! Are you ready? (It’s OK, I’m not either!) I’m not too stressed about it either, there’s plenty of time left for that! All of that aside, I am excited to share with you a client project we recently finished up called ‘The Friendship Fireplace’. The street address for this home contains the word ‘Friendship’, thus that is how the project name was developed. We do a number of fireplace/mantel projects and have to keep them straight with unique titles!

The fireplace is often the focal point of the living room as well as the backdrop for family photos, and this homeowner wanted a total remodel of this space to bring it out of the 1970’s. To do that, we first had to start with a clean slate!

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Aside from the fireplace itself, there was not any part of the original design that was worth keeping…it all had to go.

And as you can see we made a huge mess, but it was worth it!

 

Progress photos after some new framing, insulation, and cement wall board.

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We needed to redefine this space, and the easiest way to accomplish that was to add a new texture or wall surface. The homeowner chose rough sawn weathered shiplap, which is pictured below. It’s a gorgeous light grey, and really makes this space ‘pop’!

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These barn beam mantels are always my personal favorite. Every single one is unique, bringing a different century-old story into each home. This one was mounted with simple gas pipe wall plates and fittings.

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And here’s a full length view, complete with fresh tile at the base of the new wall. This family will have a fresh new space to take all of their family photos and the mantel will surely be a talking point with guests for years to come!

We really appreciate the homeowner choosing our business to complete her fireplace remodel!

The fireplace insert remains in original condition, as the homeowner has plans to resurface that herself

The fireplace insert remains in original condition, as the homeowner has plans to resurface that herself

And some bonus mantel pictures, because I can’t help myself!

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My (No-Cost) Holiday Front Porch!

Last week I wrapped up my decorating for the year by completing my front porch, and it was a challenge! If you follow me on Instagram (@aps_design) you already know that I posted the whole process on stories that day, attempting to do the entire porch with items I already had at home, no purchases!

This was a personal challenge I came up with because I know I have a ton of items at home that I should be creative with and use for decorating, but I usually forget to do that and just purchase what I need instead. But, in the spirit of budget friendly, I went with a no-cost front porch this year! Now I will admit, I have a large collection of random items that helped make this task possible, but I did have to get creative in using them and some of these methods could inspire you as well!

Lets get to it!

I worked on the right side of the porch first, collecting items and putting them in a wagon that I found in my garage. I had made some ‘presents’ out of blocks of wood earlier this season and decided they would go well together in the wagon. The crock that is also in the wagon could probably use some greenery but in the spirit of not buying anything for this porch decor, it remains empty.

The large rusted milk jug is a staple piece for my front steps, so it always stays out there in some capacity. This season I gave it some height by positioning it on top of an overturned wooden apple box.

I piled the wood slices up in front of the wagon to add more of a woodsy/rustic/tree farm feel to the picture.

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The left side of my porch was a bit more challenging, as I did not have any Christmas lights on green wire, but in the evening hours when the tree is lit it’s not as noticeable. I simply put the tree in an old wash bin and stacked some wood slices in front of it.

During my scavenger hunt in the garage, I found this beautiful vintage sled and half barn door that I had previously forgotten about. I grabbed a little greenery and tied it to the sled. Ideally, I would find some old ice skates to pair with the sled, if I wasn’t doing a no-cost challenge!

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Here’s the final look!

Again, I would have done things a little bit differently if I wasn’t doing this little personal challenge of not purchasing anything for the front porch, but this did force me to look through things I already had and be creative in using them. I hope this can provide some inspiration with your own budget friendly decorating! Merry Christmas!

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