Moving into a new home can be exciting and provide you with a wide variety of opportunities—new beginnings, new style, new furniture, an ultra clean kitchen—but the road to making a new place feel like your place is not always smooth. Whether you are redoing a room in your current house or beginning projects in a brand new abode, you will need to research styles you like, look for the perfect items to replace the hand-me-downs you’ve been using since college (I’m shamefully guilty of this crime at 26 and 11/12 years old), and fully commit your hard-earned money and spare time to the cause. I am nowhere near an interior design whiz—although HGTV is one of my favorite channels to have on while I’m multitasking around the house on the weekend—but I am a newbie in my house, and I am ready to make it feel more like a home. This post is the first in a series of many geared towards the everyday girl (or guy) who wants a personalized home but does not have the instinct or cash to match that of the beautiful rooms portrayed in magazines or on TV. Whether our tastes are similar or completely different, this article may help provide inspiration to get started on your next home improvement project while sharing some ways in which you can save money along the way.
When to Start? I make my best attempt to remain conscious of my spending across all areas of my life, and putting together a home is no different. We moved into our new place 4th of July weekend and have slowly been acquiring small items and brainstorming how to start the process of completing our home, which is why now—at the end of October—we have just begun really feel some changes within our home. Remember, everyone is different, but if you are looking for a rough idea of how and when to get started, here are the factors that significantly impacted our decision to start making more major changes now:
- We have a consistent and reliable income: Both my boyfriend and I work in the school system, and our jobs did not officially start until the beginning of August. No work means no paycheck, and groceries and other bills were taken care of using the money we had stockpiled before the move. Now that we are financially stable, we can take home décor off the back-burner.
- We have time: When you move, things get crazy for awhile. Now that the dust has settled and we feel comfortable in our new lives, we can dedicate time and energy to turning our home into a place that we love.
- We found greatness: We have had our eyes open since we moved, but have just recently found a couple of major furniture pieces that we love. Once those are in place, it is easier to build a room around them.
- Snowbirds: We want to have a nice, warm, cozy home for all of our favorite snowbirds when they decide to fly south for the winter. In our minds (probably more my mind than my boyfriend’s), the “deadline” has always been just before winter gets annoying in the Midwest.
We are in the first phase of decorating our Master Bedroom. Pictures and Prices below:
Breakdown of New Pieces and Prices
Antique Divider Doors
Textured Picture Frame
Total Expenses Thus Far: $11.00….Still Looking For: Curtains, Curtain Rods, Bed Skirt, and Small Lamps
5 Ways We Save
1. Slow and Steady: Even though it would be nice to have our interior projects completed as fast as a snap of the fingers, it is not monetarily a priority or creatively possible for us. To avoid debt and intense downfalls of cash flow, we have slowly made purchases over the last few months as well as saved designated spending money that never left our envelopes for the items we know we will need to spend more on.
2. Thrifting: I am officially a thrift store regular, and I am loving it. I don’t buy something every time I go, but thrift stores are great places to find plant pots, dishes, mirrors, and frames for less than $5.
3. Use What you Already Have: We have used tables, curtains, pots, baskets, lamps, and most recently a pair of antique dividing doors several different ways. Sometimes items will endure a timeout in the back of a closet or the garage for a couple of months before we realize they are the missing piece of a complete different interior decorating puzzle—and out they come!
4. Don’t be Afraid to Push Pause: You can start without finishing. if your place isn’t being photographed in Better Homes and Gardens this month and you aren’t having guests over anytime soon, don’t feel like you need to move from start to finish without stopping to catch your breath and rebuild your funds. It’s okay to use a storage chest as a nightstand or have pillows that don’t match your color scheme for a few days, weeks, or months. Cut yourself some slack!
5. Splurge Sparingly: Sometimes a splurge needs to happen. Every once in awhile won’t put much of a dent in your budget, but every single time will sink your ship. Splurge wisely.
How do you know you are ready to start a major (re)decorating project? What are you tips for making your home look good on a budget?
Less than ONE WEEK until we post our October Debt Tracker Progress Reports!