How Penny-Pinchers Decorate

  Ryan and I do not like to spend money unnecessarily. Ever since I was little, I have always been shocked at how much things cost. Why does a 5×7 rug, which is nothing but dyed cotton fibers, cost over $100? Why does a canvas print from Bed, Bath, and Beyond cost $75? Why on earth are THROW BLANKETS almost  $100? It doesn’t make sense. So, being the frugal souls we are, most of our furniture and ‘decor’ are bargain finds or have been given to us from family members. 

We were given a table and these interesting sun & moon chairs from my aunt when we moved in together.  We can’t put holes in the wall to hang anything, so we have to do what we can with command strips. The flower panels above the television are fabric-covered cardboard, and the New Orleans art above the chairs is a poster Ryan won from the Crescent City Connection Bridge Run. (Yeah, it’s cheap, but we’re happy with it!)

apartment corner

Sun and moon chairs! Entertainment center is from Costco. Is it weird to have a Costco membership at age 25? 

The rug in the picture above came from Big Lots, which was a wonderful find because most of the carpets there were just plain ugly. It was $60, while a nearly identical carpet from Target was $110.

garden table

This is the table that my aunt gave us to go with the sun and moon chairs. We decided to make it a “garden” table to put on our itty bitty balcony. Mrs. Kathy gave us the succulents, which are super easy to take care of!

On the wall directly across from the kitchen, we hung three plastic Target plates. I really liked the designs on them, so I bought them for just $1.50 each. They weigh practically nothing, so they are the perfect decoration to hang with command strips.

target plates

Target plates. I’m sorry you have to look at my low quality pictures. I’ll work on it =)

And I love this piece from Athens, GA that my friend Emily gave to me! We found a nice little nook for it in the kitchen. 

athens folk art

Athens folk art, by “The Cap Man”

I also gave a Pinterest idea a try. I’ve seen a few tutorials on a no-sew fabric pillow cover, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try. It’s….okay. I haven’t decided if it looks too cheap, even for me. 


It’s the one in the middle with the pink flowers. Oh, and the blanket came from Tuesday Morning. $15 throw blanket? Yes, please.

So my question today should be obvious: What cheap decorating tips/tricks do you have? I would love to hear about it =)

Tomorrow, I have two recipes I’m excited to share: Paelo meat sauce and slow-cooked carnitas with cauliflower cilantro-lime rice. 

Good Night!



5 thoughts on “How Penny-Pinchers Decorate

  1. Well I think I have the sewing advantage on cheap decor. My pillow covers are pretty easy though if you have a machine. And making your own throw blankets is really easy.
    I bought my kitchen chairs at a garage sale. But I made sure they were ones where I could unscrew and remove the cloth covered seat. Some pretty fabric, wrap around like a Christmas package, staples galore, and beautiful chairs are yours!
    Keep an eye out for quilt panels. Unlike regular patterned fabric these are images in sections, sometimes intended for making pillows or other projects. But they can be gorgeous. I got a series of rectangular images of the ocean once, they make great decor.
    Last year I made a bunch of oversized tissue paper flowers for a project. When I was done with them I attached them all along the top of a window shade. Looks great.
    Also, not sure about your exact apt. But sometimes the trick to `no nail` walls is to insert the nail where the ceiling and wall meet…and then use wire or fishing line to hang a picture farther down.
    You might also look at wall decals on Etsy, or similar site. Many are removable and cover a lot of space.
    Annd spray paint, you throw some gold or frosted spray paint on anything and it looks awesome. A vase, a weird statue from a thrift store, go nuts.

    I`m full of weird little ideas on this subject.


    • Wow you have so many wonderful ideas. I wish I could sew something more than a basic stitch. That’ll have to go on the to-do list. Have you seen the ReFashionista blog?

      I will definitely try the fishing line idea. If we put holes that high up near the white paint, I’m sure we could easily hide it once we leave =)


  2. I love the plates on the wall! A lot of our furniture was also given to us by family who were downsizing/moving, so wonderful. We are also rocking some CCC posters for artwork. We didn’t feel like spending money on night stands, so we’re currently using moving boxes with solid fabrics draped over them (to cover up the fact that they are moving boxes) as our nightstands. They work great, and no one can tell!


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