Creating a Look Without Breaking the Bank

Do you ever find yourself looking through Pinterest, Instagram and those glossy magazines with their beautiful curated pages of interiors wishing you could create that look in your own home without breaking the bank? Well, I do… on a daily basis!

I hate when I have been lusting over a beautiful piece of furniture or a gorgeous piece of art, only to find out they’re only available on a different continent – where the postage charge alone equates to that of my monthly pay packet! Say what!? My mind then starts ticking over as I challenge myself to find and create the look for less. A girl must have it, right?

I’m not going to lie, my home is filled with both high and low-end pieces. I have no shame when it comes to integrating second hand pieces either. As the saying goes, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure! Come on, tell me who doesn’t love to hunt through thrift shops or even scroll on gumtree. I do, I love it!

Recently, I found 8 Chinese Chippendale chairs on Gumtree for just $400 – that’s less than the price of one brand new! Don’t get me wrong, our old dining room chairs were perfectly fine, but let me tell you, when I came across the Chinese Chippendale chairs my heart skipped a beat. The search took me almost two and a half years! They weren’t the white I was after but mahogany with ugly red fabric. I purchased them with the intention to paint and reupholster them. Even after opting to have them painted and reupholstered professionally, I still saved over $2000! However, before you go leaping into buying everything you see at a bargain price, stop, sit down and think about what look you’re going for.

Here’s a few tips. First ask yourself – What is my style? Are you Hampton’s Coastal or Farmhouse, Scandi or Industrial? It is best just to stick to one style, no matter how much some aspects of the other styles appeal to you. Unless you’re a wiz at putting it together, you may find it difficult to make them work. It is not to say that you can’t mix styles, you so can, but it’s an art that can be hard to pull off successfully.

So, let’s get to the point. My best advice is, create a mood board and cut, pin or save all the pieces you love. Mood board constructed – only then begin your search to bring it to life. Be patient, it can take time. Items bought over time look more considered and less contrived. Only buy items you really love. Search thrift shops, FB marketplace, Etsy stores or Instagram sellers who sell vintage finds. Join your local buy nothing page. There are always people giving things away for free! I’ve had a coffee table, books and a beautiful blue lantern donated to me. (I also use this platform to pass on my own unwanted items too.) Enter competitions – I’ve entered such on Instagram and was the lucky winner of a stunning blue and white quilt. If you’re loving the Hamptons look, watch out for blue and white vases or ginger jars and little brass trinkets; they’re always timeless and can be used to create beautiful vignettes.

Display supermarket flowers in a jug, fill a simple glass vase with shells gathered from the beach which can be displayed on a stack of books bought second hand. Shop online to find the cheapest deals. Shop sales! Refuse to pay full price for anything. I’ve always shopped sales, even if it means waiting! Ask yourself, why pay full price?

Armed with these tips and tricks anyone can have the style they want. It just takes time and a little happy bargain hunting!

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