Friday, July 13, 2012

"Where thou art, that is home."
- Emily Dickinson

It's in my nature to love old, beat up, rustic things. They have more character; they have a story open to interpretation, which itself adds value to a room that nothing else can quite satisfy.

My mom was an antique fanatic and most of my youth was spent in antique stores, little thrift shops and rummaging through an occasional yard sale or two. She would always choose historical pieces and things that had a multitude of former lives written across them. A spinning wheel (or two), an antique carousel horse, rocking chairs, spindle cabinets and phonographs. Fun things.

I haven't lost that appreciation for well loved pieces full of history and I never will.

Aside from my undying love for antique pieces, I'm also quite the sucker for anything I can do myself. Why spend $100 for a brand new antique replica mirror when I could actually find an antique mirror and paint it to match? Style logic wins again.

So with all of that in mind, here are a few suggestions for creating a playful and inviting space yourself without breaking your budget.

Because I know we all have more important things to buy.
You know.

Like shoes.


You don't need to spend a fortune creating a perfect zen space. The only two things required are an open mind and a good eye for thrift store finds. There are plenty of fun places you can score sweet swag. Flea markets, estate sales, garage sales and who can forget Craigslist? 

I can even go further and suggest you check out your neighborhood back alley. I can't even stress this enough! I've found plenty of treasures behind homes just piled up on top of the trash heap, waiting to be loved and refinished by someone with an open mind and an open heart. Give that trash a chance. 

Goodwill. Good for everything. About two years ago I went through a mirror collection phase (craze). Cheap, classy, easy to paint. You can find them for a few dollars just about anywhere, but aim for the ones with more interesting frames. 

1. Start a good collection of about 5-8 and make a little gallery of sorts on your wall

2. If the frames have been worn out - or are unreasonably hideous, just use painter's tape to section off the frame from the mirror and give it a good spray. I'd suggest gold, white, or rose gold spray paint. Or if you're into colors - try mint or a bright neon!

3. Hang your collection above a low piece of furniture. That way the statement will predominately be on the amazing collection of vintage mirrors you so stylishly placed on your wall. You'll get so many compliments on your amazingness. Promise.

Honestly, all white is one of my favorite looks in fashion and interior decorating. If I wasn't such a messy klutz, everything I own would probably be white. It's classic, elegant, fresh and bright. I always think of sunshine when I think of all white.

1. A little white spray paint can spruce up your old lifeless pieces. That coffee table you've finally decided to trash would make a great test subject in this experiment. 

2. Just get creative with white spray paint. Most everything is spray-paintable! Chairs! Shelves! Knick knacks! 

3. If you're too worried about purchasing a white couch just consider throwing some inexpensive sheets over that old dingy thing. 

4. If your room ends up looking too much like a dental office - Give that stark white sheet a pop with patterned or neon pillows. Even couch covers can be fairly cheap and easy to change if worse turns to worst. There's always that one person at the party with red wine and a total lack of balance.

5. If you live close enough to an ikea though, you can score some sweet deals on cheap and stylish white furniture without selling your organs on the black market. If that's still just a bit too much for you - then how about reupholstering a few old dinner chairs in stiff white fabric? There are plenty of tutorials online that can help you knock that shit out in less than an hour. Don't underestimate your DIY power!   

Cactus and succulents make perfect outdoor statements this time of year! If your home isn't conducive to growing these prickly guys outside, think about bringing a few miniatures indoors or alternatively, succulents - which are just as adorable and significantly less painful to plant. 

Spruce up that boring, dirty door with a bright neon shade! I can't get over this. If I owned my own home, this would most certainly be the shade of mine. 

It really is a simple, cheap and stylish trick to create an inviting entrance.

This would be another fun project - and contains infinite variations and possibilities! 

Image Credit:
 1/ Design Sponge 2/ Unknown Tumblr 3/ 4/ Curbly  5/ Tumblr 6/ thesettingstakeme 7/ Pinteres

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