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

c0edd002344cffd1a190c0d93ee6e9d7.jpeg
61b629c2be992f0a4cde38b896f5be6b.jpeg

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

41818817d8985fa0c01dc2d005b50001.jpeg
c7d39c325a8db0d22febb31f53a45ad9.jpeg

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

IMG_0556.jpg
72180625e2e09fc44735d0b5648560a7.jpeg

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

7bc5c3be65b2a17a0337531036ca3948.jpeg

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!

Signoff.jpg

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!

IMG_2833.jpg
IMG_2834.jpg

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.

1700ca29aa1eba020faa98dd6bf2a176.jpeg

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…

1196adc30beb1d6a26cf52087c461b89.jpeg
6364e2c8af2997e941723f82ab8f0f20.jpeg
c605325eff2465490afd16c2625ed5a7.jpeg
c3aa0964342bad40dbdea099c8f6c1b4.jpeg
5217d21cd956a95bb9bb2501809c70cc.jpeg

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

Fall Front Porch Decor Guide

Ok, we made it to September, which means Fall decor is in full swing!

I have the pumpkin bread in the oven, harvest candles burning, and a huge bale of straw on the front porch. It’s just not officially Fall until a bale of straw is on the front porch!

Our porch is west-facing, and has quite a bit of afternoon sun & heat throughout September. For this reason, I have initially decorated with only faux items as any live flowers or pumpkins would be scorched by the elements. I imagine around the beginning of October I will be able to add some Fall mums and pumpkins to the mix. For now, I will share what I have done so far so you can hopefully find some inspiration for your own porch!

As I mentioned above, a bale of straw is a must! I picked up one at a local farm and fleet store for $5. If you wanted a super simple front porch setup, and didn’t have time to round up other decor, a simple stack of three bales of straw would work perfectly!

10e92e66358603552256d087b322b80f.jpeg

Here I have my bale of straw sitting on end, matched up with some other items I shopped from my garage!

Next up, I grabbed some trimmed dead grasses and stuck them in a rusted metal milk jug that usually resides on my porch year round. I also had a few faux pumpkins and put them in a crock along with a fold out sign. The vertical barn beam is the front pillar to our house (neat, right?!).

895b8c9b5448ed2aa1f9ff0bf04a42d8.jpeg

If you have been following along for a bit, you might remember the thrift-ed set of white shutter-style closet doors that I picked up this spring, and how I used them on the porch to hang buckets of succulents. Well, that set of closet doors remains in place, only this time with a few Fall items….as pictured below!

37dd5432f190a903cc32fbd12a4ec9b7.jpeg

We are still in the process of getting a black door, but for now I have to work with what I have! I found the door hanger in the holiday section of a local craft store, and I am extra excited about the fact that it doesn’t make any noise when it blows in the wind!

My last important piece of porch decor is this metal sunflower, which is one of my all time favorite outdoor items. Around November I will have to retire this guy until next Summer, but for now he stay’s put!

847e348cdc44357c989d5930e0ce0393.jpeg

Well friends, that’s all I have going on for the front porch this time around! As I mentioned above, I will be adding some live flowers and pumpkins as the days get cooler, and I will be sure to post an update. Until then, happy decorating for Fall and thank you for stopping by the blog today!

-Rachael

The Final Summer Porch Refresh!

If you have been following along you might be aware that sweet corn season officially started this week here in Iowa, and I might be just a teeny bit excited about that! In fact, I had to incorporate the first delivery of corn into my final Summer porch refresh of the year. That’s correct, the next time I redo this space it will be with pumpkins!

But for now, I had to take down the 4th of July decor and I wanted to incorporate a few farming pieces to set up for the future harvest season. As a collector of all things random and old, I happened to have everything I needed stored in the garage (which has kind of unintentionally become my decor locker, just don’t tell Adam). This John Deere seed planter from an old tractor is a great example…

74906d4031a1b99e1e184eb495f70cb0.jpeg

The fresh ears of corn in this photo are from our local CSA/farm share program that is delivered weekly throughout the spring and summer. For more information about farm shares, you can see my full post here.

Here are a couple more photos of this newly refreshed space!

3a82275f7f885595fa0b0334e6447638.jpeg

For the other side of the door I snagged some of the decorative grass from my front landscaping that is currently out of control, and stuffed it into an old rusty milk can that i picked up at a garage sale a couple years back. The black metal ‘hello’ sign will stay for now, but I might take it down for the winter months, as it gets pretty cold here and I don’t want it damaged or warped in any way.

8c410791a4ce8682d44f2dfbf638e95a.jpeg

Here’s a front shot of the whole front porch, which is one of my more favorite area’s to decorate at my home. Now, if only I can light a fire under Adam and have him replace the construction door that’s been there for 4 years next month! It’s the little things….

8f61029b17d664610d873b31d0628ba2.jpeg

That’s all I have for you today, thank you for stopping by the blog and I hope I have been able to inspire you on your own decorating adventure! As always, feel free to share your projects and questions either here or over on Instagram.

Happy Summer!

Rachael

The Easiest Decor DIY Ever!

Hi there! I’m writing to you from sunny Iowa, and while 40 degrees might not be warm where you are from, it’s certainly a welcomed sight in this region! Today I have a super easy and quick DIY ready for you, perfect for filling in those small spaces in your home.

You will need:

  1. Twine

  2. Clothespins

  3. Scissors

That’s it!

Let’s get to it!

I picked up these clothespins and twine from Lowes

I picked up these clothespins and twine from Lowes

Now that you have everything gathered up, take the scissors and cut a 2 to 3 foot section of twine and begin to wrap it around a clothespin, with no particular pattern. I like to choose varying lengths of twine and make some clothespins ‘fatter’ than others, so they all appear different when piled up together. Repeat this process as many times as you desire, and you can either hot glue the ends or simply tuck them in.

These little twine clothespins are great fillers for any decor, since they are neutral and not specific to a season. Here are a couple photos of how I used them just today.

a71d47622b411b621d3957acb9cb4488.jpeg
f8b947043b83bacaeee2691de36f575d.jpeg

This project was also very budget friendly, I think the grand total was around $7. For those looking for clothespins, I found them in the cabinet organization section at Lowes (don’t ask me why they keep them there, I never understand how that place is organized).

Well, I am headed back outside now that all of my winter decorations are officially unfrozen from the front porch….it’s time to clean that area up!

As always, thanks for stopping by the blog today!

Signoff.jpg

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).

IMG_4069 (1).jpg

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.

IMG_1155.JPG

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!

IMG_1166.JPG

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.

IMG_1168 (1).JPG

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!

Signoff.jpg

The Kitchen Reveal You Don't Want To Miss!

Sometimes there are home improvement projects that linger, for years. This would be one of those projects. Our kitchen was 95% finished for the last two years, all but for some 6 or 8 back splash tiles and decor. Well, since this winter is approximately 15 months long, we had time to finally get a few things done around here and this project was one of them!

A little background info:

the home we currently live in was designed on a piece of notebook paper by my husband. We eventually had to have an architect develop the house plans off of our drawing (because let’s face it, we know nothing about truss systems for roof structures) but the floor plan stayed the same. Now we had previously built additions to homes, and remodeled existing structures, but building the entire home from scratch was a new endeavor. Oh, and did I mention we had never designed a kitchen… (yikes!).

So off we went with our notebook paper drawing to meet a local cabinet maker and have him help us come up with something. He told us what worked logistically for wiring and plumbing, and showed us some basic layouts he had in production. I knew I wanted something different and unique and by the time we left our first meeting I am pretty certain he thought I was nuts.

Fast forward to that next summer, and we were laying tile and painting the walls in preparation for the cabinet maker to bring and assemble the cabinets. I don’t have many pictures from this point in time (maybe because we were literally building our home during the night and working during the day), but this photo below shows you the basic outline of our cabinet system (excuse the contractor lighting and pizza box).

IMG_4543.jpg

The next step was to add counter tops and appliances, which then made this kitchen functional. We were on a time crunch, so finishing touches and decorating took the back burner. We just needed our kitchen to pass the final building inspection and we could worry about the rest later.

Originally, I was interested in concrete counter tops but my husband talked me out of it. We cook A LOT at our house, and he was afraid that we needed a stronger material that could take a beating without showing any signs of wear. I am happy to report that after three years of constant use, these quartz counter tops have held up perfectly and have zero imperfections.

We did add a stainless steel back splash behind the stove area pretty early on, and then gradually finished the rest of that wall with subway tile, as you can see pictured below.

IMG_1205.JPG

One of the first comments people usually make when they see our kitchen for the first time is that our cabinets look ‘beat up’. Well, I think this is where our custom cabinet maker thought I was nuts, but I wasn’t going to budge on the distressed look. The material is knotty alder, and we chose all of the wood that had the greatest amount of natural knots and ‘imperfections’. Then, combined with black glaze and iron knobs and pulls, this kitchen has the appearance that the cabinets are older or re-purposed, when in fact they are brand new. I know this is a unique look, and it’s not for everyone, but it really came together in the end and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

Ok, fast forward a couple of years to present time, and the last of the subway tile was installed over the kitchen sink. During the notebook paper design phase, I had pictured a window for this space but it was not feasible since the garage was on the other side of the wall. I still decided to put a window in this space, but just had to be a bit more creative.

IMG_1201.JPG

I found an old farmhouse window at a salvage barn for $5, and I immediately knew it would work for this space. All of the glass was removed, which was perfect since it would make cleaning a breeze. This window frame is very light, and thus I was able to install it easily with command strips. Plus, I didn’t really want to drill into the fresh tile! (yikes!) And while I love our sink, I would have preferred a copper farm sink but that just wasn’t in the budget for this house (maybe next time!).

Here are a couple more photos/angles of our kitchen:

IMG_1192.JPG
IMG_1197.JPG
IMG_1206 (1).JPG

Well I could go on and on about this kitchen, it really is the focal part of our home and I am so excited that it is finished. This was a huge lingering project that I can finally cross off of our list, all thanks to our epic long winter this year. If you have any other questions about the materials or process, feel free to leave a comment here or catch me on Instagram. As always, thanks for stopping by the blog today! We really appreciate your support!

Signoff.jpg

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!

Blocked In.png

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!

Signoff.jpg

Vintage Inspired Book Sets

Hello! It’s below zero today in Iowa, and I am not planning on leaving my house for any reason, (except Starbucks of course) so I am using this day to catch up on DIY projects, book orders, and various other items I have lined up for you guys!

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I recently started making vintage inspired book sets as cute personalized gifts for family members and friends. Well, it turns out there was a bit of a demand for these, so I recently created an Etsy shop to streamline that process. However, if you are local feel free to contact me via email/phone/etc to avoid shipping costs!

I believe these are so popular in part because of how neutral they are, fitting in to virtually any home’s existing decor, which could be especially beneficial as a house warming or wedding gift. Here are a few examples:

Aren’t they cute?? I love how each set tells a different ‘story’.

Well, I had better get back to my to-do list while I have the chance. Stay warm out there!

Signoff.jpg

Spring Faux Greenery Guide

Hi all! I know you might read the title of this post and think to yourself it’s January and too early to decorate for spring, and while I certainly agree, I do like to add a pop of greenery to my winter decor to keep things fresh. Iowa has a habit of being brown, with the exception of snow, for months on end and I personally prefer a hint of green to keep me plugging away until spring!

First, let’s discuss where I like to shop for faux greenery.

I get a lot of questions about where I find my stems and it varies by season. For example, I like to shop at Hobby Lobby for fall and winter stems due to their extensive selection and great prices on seasonal items. For spring or year round items I prefer Target or Amazon, due to their rock bottom clearance prices. Target usually has more of the style of faux greenery I prefer, and there is the satisfaction of seeing it before you purchase, however Amazon reviews can often times answer any questions you might have prior to buying and it helps they have a hassle free return policy on most items.

Next, lets take a look at the types of faux greenery available.

Below you can see a couple different examples of greenery currently in my home. The left photo shows more of a softer look with muted tones and a ‘fuzzy’ texture. I prefer this type of greenery for any stand alone plant that I decorate with, as it matches the softer tones throughout the rest of my home.

The photo on the right shows a mixture of large matte eucalyptus leaves with a smaller, more ‘shiny’ plant. When creating a display with multiple plants, I prefer to use different textures so the individuals stand out.

Softer, ‘fuzzier’ look

Softer, ‘fuzzier’ look

Matte vs Shiny

Matte vs Shiny

Here is another example of how the matte, softer looking plants work well with the decor already in my home.

This greenery is from Target. Book sets available  here

This greenery is from Target. Book sets available here

Here are examples of mixed textures with multiple plants in flower boxes that I have in my dining room. I did add a hint of color to these displays, and I plan to continue to add to them later on in the season. I like how each type of plant stands out from the bunch.

IMG_0629.JPG
IMG_0630 (1).jpg

If you are looking for a few greens to get started with, I rounded up a couple options below from Amazon. You just can’t beat the bulk pricing and quantities!

Note: These are affiliate links, and you can read my full disclosure here.

Well, that’s all for today! I hope this post was able to provide some inspiration for your own decorating!

Signoff.jpg