Thursday, February 4, 2010

Plan Ahead, Save Money: Part I

Wouldn't it be so easy to decorate your home if you had a huge budget for every room?  I would pretty much look in a Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware catalog, find a room I liked, buy everything and transplant it in my house.
 Ta da!  Done and done.

Having a small budget (sometimes no budget) has forced me to be resourceful and learn how to plan ahead.  I am not a planner, but I wasted enough money on things I ultimately didn't like that I finally learned my lesson.  I've also learned to be patient.  Planning forces you to figure out exactly what you want...then you don't buy a thing until you've found "IT".  Sometimes it only takes a few days of searching and sometimes it takes months. 

This was my kitchen wall for about the first eight months we were in our house:

Absolutely blank, blah, nothing.  I finally decided what I was going to do with it and came up with a plan.  I didn't have super fancy PhotoShop or any other kind of editing software, so I used the Paint program that's on every PC to sketch out what I wanted the wall to eventually look like.
Nice, huh?  I already had the small frames ($1 in the Target dollar spot bins years ago), medium frames ($5 at Michael's) and the clock (wedding gift!) so I knew what to draw on the wall.  I was missing the plates and the large frames.  I knew that I was going to get a large frame from Michael's for $10.00, but I didn't know where those plates were going to come from.  I got the frames and clock up and for about four months my wall looked like this:

Empty spaces with empty frames.  I was able to fill the frames pretty quickly with free botanical prints I got online, but plain, solid, plates (I decided on red instead of orange or yellow) were a lot trickier to find.   All in all it took me about a year to get it the way I wanted it.  

It didn't come out exactly how the first draft I made in Paint looked, but I didn't waste any money on stuff that I didn't like or that didn't work. I spent $10 on a frame, $10 on the plates and about $2 on the "R" that I stained myself.


  1. I love it! That looks so good. Your kitchen looks almost exactly like mine....."Pale Silk" on the walls, dark cabinets and countertops, and black appliances!


  2. The red plates really give it the life it needs. You're on my blog list, but I see I'm not a follower- I will correct that.

  3. I'm with Kim...outstanding POP with those RED plates!


  4. I love the creativity. Looks great!

  5. I love what you have done wiht that wall and i so know about the having to wait and a project taking ages due to budget restraints. I think it makes it all the better when I finally manage to complete it.