My sister studied in Austria, and as she travelled Europe, she collected espresso cups. Though they weren’t the easiest things to take back to the States (miraculously she only broke one), they do make great decoration pieces in our apartment. Here are a few of my favorites.
Munich, GermanyNice, France; Lake Forest, Illinois; Portsmouth, New Hampshire
My aunt and uncle were kind enough to provide a whole bunch of used furniture for my new apartment. Most of it fit well into the place, but this piece below was a little trickier. We didn’t have enough space in the living room and certainly not in our tiny kitchen. As a result, it ended up as shelving in the garage. I also happened to be missing a dresser and considered thrifting around for one until I realized that this piece could be the perfect dresser. I painted it a mauve-lavendar and bought cloth containers to act as drawers. The result is a versatile “open” dresser that matches my intended room decor and cost me far less than anything else I was considering to buy.
Total cost of this project?
Shelving unit: Free
Total Cost: $12
Because I could use some inspiration on this rainy evening.
Giving credit where credit is due. Where I found these photos (most come from some pretty interesting blogs and are worth checking out!):
I recently attended the Art Fair on the Square in Madison, WI, and, since I am now making an income, I decided to purchase a piece of art for my bedroom. I gave myself a budget of $50, which is pretty modest considering the price of much of the work. As expected, the most striking pieces were large…and expensive. I was nearly out of hope until I found collage artist Chelsea Hrynick’s booth. She creates amazingly intricate and symmetrical patterns out of origami paper and painted wood. The medium is perfectly simple, letting the details of her designs stand out.
(Photo from artist’s website. Visit it here!)
To me, they reminded me of Venetian lace and Native American textiles. “I incorporate design patterns seen in different cultures throughout history such as Celtic jewelry, Islamic rugs, Modern architecture, and Ancient Greek pottery,” writes the artist on her website. “I feel a passionate connection when I work with patterns; decoration somehow transcends distance, time, and beliefs.”
I bought two small square pieces for $30, which I think is a great deal given the quality of the work.
Have you had any luck with art fairs this summer?
Yep, the title is correct; I found Baroque style coasters complete with ultra-realistic, chiaroscuro-filled mythological and Biblical paintings. Did I mention they were $4? I picked up these treasures at a barn sale in New Hampshire, and not only did I come in under budget on coasters (I was expecting to spend more like $8), I found a coaster set that trumps any inexpensive one I could find at Target. Now if only I could find a real Caravaggio at a barn sale…
Have you had any great finds at garage and yard sales this summer?
I ran across this Vogue article about Bettina Prentice’s NYC apartment and found that her space has the essence of what I want to achieve with my bedroom (on a much smaller budget, of course). What I’m drawing inspiration from in Bettina’s apartment is the eclectic mix of lots of stuff. Having traveled Europe and having a penchant for antiquing and thrifting, I’ve collected a lot stuff, and I like the idea of displaying it all and incorporating it into your decor. I’ve chosen, for example, a pallet of purples, yellows, and blues to match my Venetian masks and vintage cameo collection. Centering the room all around these little things not only fills up space in an inexpensive way, it also keeps them from being stuffed into a box in my closet.
Images from Vogue.com
So far, I’ve created inspirational bulletin board jewelry organizer and bought a shabby chic comforter. My place isn’t like Bettina’s yet, but I hope soon enough to have an eclectic, shabby chic bedroom full of lots of stuff.
My sister and I just moved to a new town, and we recently explored the local antique shops. For my bedroom, I had decided to find a Native American-inspired rug in subtle pastels.
Urban Outfitters offered a pretty one, which was $40 at the time (and can be found here), but then I ran across a
beautifully worn down cotton rug at the local antique shop for $30. Not only did it cost less, but to me, it felt more real and less like a trendy buy. I’m excited to incorporate it into my bedroom soon.
$30 for a vintage rug at local antique shop
What is a great find you’ve discovered lately?
I knew I wanted a bulletin board over my vanity/desk. I liked the idea of fashionable images that will help inspire my morning wardrobe choices. I also knew that my jewelry didn’t belong on my vanity (that is way too cluttery for my taste!). My sister came up with the idea of hanging necklaces and bracelets from tacks at the base of the bulletin board. The idea is simple, but I think the result is striking (not to mention extremely cheap).
The cost for this project?
Bulletin board: $4 at GoodWill
Images: Free from fashion magazines
Tacks: $3 at Target
Total cost: $7
What are some good jewelry organizer ideas you’ve ran across?
I ran across this project on Pinterest, and I figured it was worth a try given 1) I currently don’t own a sewing machine and 2) even if I did, I’d probably never get around to actually sewing. The two pillows I covered took only about twenty minutes and look pretty gorgeous! See the original DIY post here.
The cost for this project?
Pillows: free (took them from my parents’ home)
Fabric: 5 Euros at a Florentine market
Total: about $6.50
Do you know of any other creative ways to cover pillows on a budget?