Design on a Dime

I love having a designed and beautiful home, but equally important to me is living a frugal and financially sustainable lifestyle. Yes – sometimes I feel the pinch when I splurge on an item for a room – but overall, I’ve found some great resources for getting the look you love, for a little bit less.

Craigslist: If you have not met yet, let me introduce you to your new best friend, craigslist. Not only do I find lots of great pieces of furniture and other home items on craigslist – I’m also able to sell lots of stuff that no longer fits the bill here as well to help fund future home design projects. Man – it’s crazy the staff people will buy on craigslist. Case A: We had a bunch of ferns that kept popping up at our old place – I didn’t like the look or the location – sold em’ on craigslist. Old doors, sold on craigslist. Bushes out front. Old furniture – list goes on.

Yeah – you have to be willing to dedicate the time to people coming by your abode, but overall, I like the thought of a few extra dollars in my pocket. Often when I am saving up for something for a room, or a project in the house, I’ll hold off on buying the item until I have a stockpile of cash to pay for it from our craigslist sales, which helps me feel better about spending the cash.

Here is a table that I purchased off of craigslist. I got a set that now flanks the couch in the living room for $15 each. Solid wood – so not too bad!

Craigslist Table
Craigslist Table

Resale shops: For my price point, I typically find much higher quality items at resale locations than I do if I’m buying them new. Sure, IKEA and Target have their place, but sometimes you are looking for an item to stand the test of time. For instance I scored the dresser in the picture below for $20 from our local salvation army. Sure it’s got a few {small} scratches on top – but for the workmanship and quality you simply cannot beat the price, right?! The mirror was also a resale find, a local favorite {Treasure Mart}, and I was able to snag that baby for $40. A wee bit higher – but still much better than what you would pay at a full-price retail location.

Living Room: Progress
Living Room: Progress

Look for discounts, shop sales: As hard as it can be to resist an item you have your eye on, I make sure to train myself to hold out and wait for a sale or coupon {ideally, both!}. For instance, Overstock.com is always sending out coupons, so I waited to get an extra 10% off on the living room rug. I’ve got my eye on another rug from World Market, but I know that they often discount their rugs up to 50%, so I am waiting {on baited breath} to pick this rug up.

If you don’t mind getting the extra emails – sign up for email notifications from your favorite stores. Overstock, Macy’s and World Market {to name a few} are constantly sending me coupons that I keep on hand for big, and small, purchases I intend to make.

Here is the rug I want from World Market. I’ll be the first in line to buy in when it goes on sale. So. hard. to. wait!

World Market Rug
World Market Rug

Estate Sales: This is a new one for me, Jay and I recently stumbled across this – and I got to tell ya, it’s fun! It’s like the perfect trifecta for me – touring people’s homes, snagging great bargains and hunting for the perfect item to help complete our space – I really love estate sales. Sure it’s sorta creepy to be buying some dead dudes stuff … but ya, know, can’t win em’ all, right? Sometimes estate sales are total duds, but usually we find a few winners in the mix.

Recently snagged these paintings for 50 cents at a recent estate sale. Score!

Estate Sale Paintings
Estate Sale Paintings

Search for the look for less – or – DIY: As mentioned in our bedroom renovation post, we found the look of something we loved, and decided to try our hand at making it. Sure, the $2,000 version may look a bit more polished BUT I prefer the extra $1,800 in my pocket, and a bed that looks pretty darn close to the real McCoy. If your willing to put a bit of extra work in on your end – you can save mucho dinero.

Bedroom: Progress
Bedroom: Progress

Do key word searches to try and find similar items to one’s you have your heart set on, but are out of reach for your current budget. These chairs for instance really fit the look I wanted for the room, and at $199 each {on sale}, I couldn’t resist em’! I had my eye initially on one’s from Pottery Barn that were over $1,000 each – so I was pretty happy to pocket that extra cash and still have some great chairs for our living space.

Upholstered Arm Chair
Upholstered Arm Chair

Homegoods! Seriously, pretty sure this one needs it’s own category! 🙂 I think half of our house is from Homegoods 🙂 First thing I do when I hop in is take a quick scan of the clearance section – which usually has a few winners right off the bat.

Splurge! Sometimes it’s alright to splurge 🙂 If you find an item that you love, and you know it’s going to last for the long haul, it can make sense to just fork over that extra cash and suck it up. Yes, it pains me to spend top dollar on something, but if I know it’ll be with me till my final hour {or a solid chunk of time} than I bite the bullet and just commit already.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention online locations like Overstock.com {great for rugs} and Wayfair {great for lighting}. If you are looking for a specific item, it always pays to do a thorough search online to see the locations that have the best deal for you.

All things considered – I really like the hunt of looking for bargain’s on beautiful pieces for our home. One of our favorite weekend routines is to hit up our favorite locals for deals. I find it pretty satisfying to snag a deal on something you know will look lovely in your space.

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