Dorian over at The Personal Financier got me thinking with his recent post about the time and money and effort that goes into creating the perfect home.
I’ve never had much desire to “decorate”. I guess that’s a good thing because I have never had a lot of money for decorating. Or, maybe that’s WHY I don’t have much desire since I wouldn’t want to go into debt for that purpose.
I admire beautifully decorated homes, and I even feel embarrassed when I compare the “Better Homes and Garden” homes to mine… and I have walked through the home departments at Target and Walmart, and wondered how it would feel to have the money to just go to the store and buy all brand new purple towels, hand towels, washclothes, fluffy purple toilet seat and lid covers, and then matching toothbrush holder, washcloth holder and all the other little pieces to go along. Oh, and a matching shower curtain, with shower curtain hooks and wastebasket.
I have never had the extra money to do such a thing.
I have done some decorating, but on a very frugal level. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit this was done during the few months we were having financial difficulties and using our credit cards to stay afloat. But I did try very hard to keep the cost down.
Last March, I got the urge to for our living room to look a bit nicer. My couch was awful for sitting or laying on. Now I know to many people, buying a new couch means spending hundreds or thousands. My friend who I recently mentioned in A Credit Card Debt Story wanted a new couch a couple of years ago. She had no money but she’s got credit. She walked into a furniture store, went directly to the credit department and signed up. Well, they gave her one thousand dollars and she picked out a couch that spreads from one wall of her home wrapping around to the other, with a pull out bed. It cost right around one thousand dollars. I could never do that and would be horrified if Mr. A wanted to do something like that. What I did was go to the nearest town that has thrift stores and looked to see what was available. I was so tickled when I found The Salvation Army was having a 50% off sale. I found a couch for $49.97. It looked brand new and was blue with purples, it has a Southwestern look to it.
My color theme for the living room was blue. I decided on the blue because I had half a gallon of dark blue paint that was left over from painting in our old home – four years earlier. The paint was perfectly fine and there was just enough to paint an accent wall. I bought the paint originally from Home Depot in the mistinted paint section for $5 for the gallon. It was an expensive brand of paint, so perhaps that is why it was still perfectly usable four years later.
These were my other finds:
Blue lamp, including lampshade: $4.25
End table, dark wood and glass inserts: $7.13
Stain Pin to make the end table look new: $4.98
Two blue frames: $1.17 and $1.37
I also bought material at Walmart which cost me $1/yard and made new curtains. Our blinds were filthy and old and pieces were broken, so I replaced those: $7.00 for two blinds from Lowe’s.
My living room got a total makeover for just over $100.00.
Not too long ago my family and I were invited to a party. The host and hostess live in a beautifully decorated home, with a swimming pool, in a golf course community that is gated. Their home was truly gorgeous. It is large enough to throw a party, and invite dozens of people.
My family and I were the last ones there. Shortly before we left, the husband mentioned that they were planning to have a party on Labor Day weekend. He then said that they didn’t have to host the party, if anyone else wanted to host the party they could, as if he was giving us the opportunity to volunteer. I couldn’t help myself when I blurted out, “Well, it won’t be us. You’ll never see our home.” Smooth, huh? LOL. It’s funny how we live 90 miles from them and we’ll drive to their house, but I could never imagine them coming to visit us at our place. A lot of that is because we live in a manufactured home, and it’s not big and gorgeous!
The only way I’d ever have a huge home is if I had several million dollars and could afford to hire a staff to keep the house clean, without my having to direct any of it. LOL.
So how about you? Do you have some credit card debt caused by decorating your home?
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