Tuesday, November 9, 2010

On Thrifty Home Decorating

There is no reason to pay more for things unless you just want to spend money because you can.

If you have been following my blog you know I've been thrift store shopping, am a first year snow bird in Arizona, and have added many fun, and some very useful things to my little pull-along-camper-home.

There's more to my thrifty furnishing and decorating. I shop the discount stores and take advantage of sales whenever I can.

Yesterday I found a seasonal table cloth in a store marked down. It was the largest size made, but it was two dollars less than the smaller ones. It was cheaper because fewer people need the really large cloths. Perfect for me. I bought it and used it to make cloths for both my table inside the camper and the one on my patio. there was also enough cloth left to make a table runner, and two place mats.
All this took was measuring and cutting the cloth into the sizes needed and then only straight sewing to hem them. The cloth is a plaid. This made the cutting soooo easy, as I simply cut along the lines on the cloth. It was also easier because the design was woven and not painted, so it was straight and not printed crooked, which happens often with designs printed on.

A few weeks ago, after looking at the window treatments which came with the camper and getting very irritated with how none of them were at the same height, and all were slanted and not straighten-able, I talked my husband into ripping them down. We replaced all but one window with mini blinds. Additionally I made, and remodeled existing curtains.

Of course the curtains came from a discount store. The longer curtains were the same price as the shorter. Some of the windows are quite wide but all are necessarily short. Knowing I would have to hem every curtain, I decided to get the longer ones and use the cloth that had to be trimmed off to make other curtains or things I needed, such as a dust cover for my printer and to recover the head board on the bed so it will match the curtains!
The camper is used, and the previous owner had replace the kitchen sinks and faucet, and counter top, which was good and bad. There were a few things my husband had to fix better and tweak, but it's more homey looking than the standard camper kitchen.

And .... something used to be in one corner of the living area, but it wasn't there anymore. So we had to find something to put the TV, computer and printer on. The table I found was actually another thrift store buy, on half-price-day at Goodwill! That was a bit of good luck, but also a result of frequent shopping.

The piece of furniture fit the space well. The laptop fits nicely on the pull out shelf meant to hold a computer key board, and the cabinet on the side holds lots of things and hides them nicely. Under it where the chair would normally sit we've used for storing, and to hide a trash container.

To hold address and phone books, and some other necessary stuff, sewing and painting supplies, we found three, three shelf book shelves on sale at a discount store. They work great. One is inside and two are in our shed.

For my little crystal lamp I told about in my previous blog post on thrift store shopping, I bought a light bulb and a shade, at the discount store, of course. The lamp, light bulb and shade cost me $13.00 total. It's perfect. The shade matches in color with the decorations already in the camper, and it's much easier to see what I'm sewing.

Other items that are very useful and were not expensive are a little table for my sewing machine, which is actually meant to be a computer table for a laptop and a folding stool I use when sewing, or at my 'desk/entertainment center/storage cabinet'. Seasonal items, which work perfectly with the existing decor in the camper, include a quilt, and pillow cases in a co-ordinating color to dress the bed, dish towels which I cut in half and made into window valances for my kitchen area. Additionally I purchased an inexpensive but fun clock, rug and spoon rest to match. A three dollar clock for the living area, a small digital alarm clock for the bedroom and a comfy chair and afghan, and finally a foot stool, on sale, that also holds sewing supplies round out my decorating and furnishing.

The total expense for all my thrift store finds, decorations and furniture I'm estimating at around $500.00.

My point is this. Anyone who wants to decorate inexpensively can. It takes an investment of time, a little thought about what colors you like and that will work with things you can't easily change, some imagination and a good measure of enthusiasm. It's so much fun when it all comes together. Other RV park residents who have seen our little home have been very complimentary, calling it a little doll house! Cute.

Go out and shop the discount stores and thrift stores and have fun making your home pretty and functional!

God bless and care for you all.


  1. Your decorations look great, thanks for sharing.

  2. Thank you Toyin. I love fixing up our place no matter how small or large it might be.