Archives for posts with tag: budget

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As the British explored the world, they began incorporating designs, motifs and materials of the locale they were in with their own.  Think plantation, coastal, breezy.  Antigua, Africa, Tobago, Barbados.  Rattan, leather, wicker, cottons, linens, sisal, jute.  Dark woods like mahogany.  Tropical plants. As they traveled, they drew and published prints of plants and animals.  Want more inspiration?  Motifs of pineapples, elephants.  Zebra.  Banana leaf shaped ceiling fans.  Then give it a little pop with an eclectic mix of accessories, including a little sparkle with crystal, glass, metals.  Keep your eyes open at thrift stores for items that fit into this design style as they are often available.  The woven box, pineapple base lamp, and white paisley semi sheer fabric panel were all purchased at a thrift store.   

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Thrift store wall candle sconce

Another thrift store score

It’s nice to have some accents on your walls that are not pictures, that add depth, dimension, texture, and other visual interest –  something that either extends out from the wall just the right amount, and/or something that is sculptural.   I feel the same way about something coming down from the ceiling although there are probably less choices in this scenario.  There are a lot of metal candle holders available that are meant to be hung from a wall but they do not have the substance that I am seeking.  Even though I like quite a bit of wall space to be decorated, I do keep away from small items – some have their place, and it is often amazing how one object strategically placed in a small wall area can dramatically change the ambience of your room.  They can also guide your eyes around the room – like a decorative journey of decor discovery!  I was quite happy when I got this item for only $4.99 – admittedly I passed it by on two visits and this was probably the first time ever that something was still available.  hehe….and don’t think of trying to hide something so you can return to the store later and purchase the item if you change your mind – everyone is on a fishing expedition 🙂  and it WILL be found!  It will be fun changing out the filling from time to time for a fresh look.

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Or perhaps they are not mutually exclusive!  Probably everyone reading this knows what this beautiful gold glass container is (liquer?) but although I may not always know specifically ‘what’ it is I’m buying, I do know whether I like it or not 🙂   I suppose some may have looked at this in the thrift store, and viewed it as an ‘elegant’ item and through their minds they worked out whether or not it would fit in their decor, within that framework.  When I looked at it, I immediately thought magical!  Although it is transparent, it reminded me of a genie bottle.  I also remembered seeing miniscule versions of designs like this at boutiques that sell items from India – for fragrances perhaps? essential oils?  (here I go again not knowing what those were for, just knowing they were adorable!) only this is a giant version of those adorable little works of art.  

In this particular vignette, it seemed more ‘right’ to have it a little unbalanced with a small but striking object to the left of two taller, larger ones.  The jug with greenery is acting more as a prop for the glass decanter, and the butterfly ‘book box’ is somehow a flirty image that draws the eye around the vignette.

What is magical for you?

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In this case, I paid a llitle more than you should expect because I found it at a store that sells crafty upcyled items.  It came with the two side windows taken out, and vintage lace skillfully inserted into place.  I also liked that it was ready to hang, using what seems like a ribbon rather than a wire, but is probably something stronger.  Windows from old houses of varying sizes and styles show up at flea markets, restores, and antiques stores and they are an easy way to add old-house or shabby chic character.  One could even use good glass paint to design a faux stained glass decor element – but it is probably best to keep these handicrafts in a shaded window.  You can even get little clear glass pebbles and other embellishments to glue on.  You might automatically think that the best place to display this would be in the window, and that would be a good place, but if you have a door opening with enough space above, you could also hang it from there, mimicking a transom window!  hmmm…..I remember seeing a larger window with mini-frames at a store – it might look great in a bedroom window!

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I saw this lovely teapot set at the thrift store, and picked it all up for $18.00.  hehe….I saw a tag under the sugar container for $9.99 and thought the whole set was $9.99 until I went up to pay for it, and voila, another tag under the teapot!  C’est la vie – I I’m hopelessly attracted to all things of creamy colors and I love the cut-out trim.  I had the set sitting on my kitchen counter for quite some time as a decorative feature, since I don’t really drink tea :-/  but it just looked like more clutter, and disappeared into the off-white counters and backsplash.  Tidying up one day, I gave a second glance at this wicker tray that wasn’t being used for anything, and while I was cleaning the counters, put the trio tea set in, and a transformation occurred before my very eyes!  I’m not sure why I was so surprised because I’ve seen this happen time and time again.  If you have a surface where you have a few things on display, try putting them into a tray and see what happens.  It is often amazing!   You would think that thrift stores would be overflowing with trays of all kinds, but I don’t really see them very often, so if you recognize the difference they can make, and want to collect a few to change up your vignettes, if you see one that you like, I say tuck it under your arm and head for the cash register!

Lampshade Embellished with lace cutouts

Embellished Lampshade

I can see already that using the imagination where lampshades are concerned could become addicting! And what a fun way to change out the look of a lamp; and thus, the ambience of your room. At the thrift store, I found a nice square ‘tablecloth’ for $4.99. A small one that might fit to cover an end table or just the centre area of a dining table. Sometimes they have these in the tablecloth section, other times they are with the doilies. The centre was – for the most part – plain cotton, but the edges were lovely. I singled out this ‘motif’ and simply carefully cut them out. You should see it when the lamp is turned on in the evening – enchanting!! These would look nice on drum shades too, of course! As an aside, I want to mention that I was in a shop that upcycled vintage’y’ objects. She had a beautiful decorative umbrella that was made by sewing together a plethora of similar motifs from various lace tablecloths, and probably clothing articles too. So much to do, so little time 🙂

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Ooh, I was delighted first of all, to find this lovely little shelf unit at the local thrift store!  I’ve been keeping my eyes open for any type of shelves – wicker, metal but they just weren’t showing up!  (One of those things that always seem to be there when you are not looking for them!)  It was $3.99.  Now, long ago I used to have a few tiny perfume bottles but somewhere between all my moves, they seem to have disappeared.  I’ve been keeping my eyes open, but perhaps the thrift stores don’t put these out, thinking noone will buy partially used bottles.  Then much to my delight, I was in an antique store that has SHELVES of these – must be over 100!  These little cuties were $2.00, $3.00 and $5.00.  As it turns out, this metal shelving unit is just delicate enough to be able to showcase the perfume bottles, and the antique while color is a beautiful backdrop for them.  Did you notice the chandelier crystal hung from the top right shelf?  I picked up a handful of these at a local flea market for $2.00 each thinking I would someday make a mobile with them, but it is the perfect embellishment here!  Initially for the bottom shelf, I only had the seashell and light blue riverstones, but nothing else I had seemed to work well.  Looking for other ways to decorate the shelf itself in my little box of scrapbooking decorations, I came across a long scrap of ivory crocheted trim, which gave me the ‘aha’ moment we all like to come across now and then.  It was just the right complement for the bottom shelf, including the little paper flower leaning against it.  The tiny bit of greenery is a nice touch, but I must say, the vignette looks just as lovely, but different, without it!

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Normally I love to layer, lean, stack, hang, embellish, and anything else I can think of to add interest to a vignette, but every once in a while, simplicity just seems like the right way to go! The earth and metal colors of the woven box, with its domed and hinged lid is the star of the show for me. The other two decorative elements, although similar in size and very nice on their own, play the supporting roles perfectly. A little greenery always adds some life and movement, and the neutral vintage jug has a beauty all its own. The shade of blue is a lovely addition of color, and the pattern of the base is in keeping with the exotic flavor of the box. The box was found at a local second hand store for $3.00. I was tickled pink to find it – although many types of decorative objects can be found, boxes that suit me do not come along all that often.

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Right now I wish I had better photography skills, to correct the lighting, but this is how my paper chandelier for the bathroom turned out!  I wanted something uplifting and colorful, but also different and personalized, adding texture and dimension to the bathroom, and bringing the eyes away from the walls.  I’m already collecting paper and embellishments for another one, it was so fun, easy, and quick to make!  This was the first decorative element added to bring life to the bathroom.  Although the first step for many to add loveliness to a bathroom is to put up new shower curtains, I am hoping to add personality everywhere else first and finalize with different curtains if needed.  Next step, the walls and counters!  More to come…

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 Oriental design, calming green, the ornamental rose and dragonflies, all contribute to the serenity of this vignette, as well as the overhang of greenery and soft flowing draperies.  The whimsical dragonfly broaches were $4.99 each, and I must say, the vignette didn’t seem complete until I added these in at the last minute – looking for a touch of metal, these were the perfect little embellishment.   The (fingerbowl??) seven piece set  ($3.99 at a thrift store), sits atop an empty cigar box – often little shoppes that sell cigars will keep the empty boxes and sell them for a small price.  Something a little different. The black background of the design in the photo frame helps ground the table arrangement.