Beauty & the Budget: Project “tea, anyone?”

Beauty & the Budget…it’s been a while!  But don’t be alarmed, that doesn’t mean I don’t have some great tips to share.  :)

So, it recently it hit me that my baby was actually not really a baby anymore and the appliquéd quilt of farm animals hanging on her wall probably needed to go.  Sigh…they grow so fast!

In proper English fashion we decided upon a tea cup theme for her ‘big girl’ room.  On a budget, with hardly any space in the room to actually decorate, one might ask what could be done?  Ah, never underestimate the power of a few simple touches that can totally transform a room, especially a tiny one!  I hope to share more but for now enjoy this super simple project that took me about 15 minutes start to finish.

Classic. Sweet. Simple. Perfect!

Check out the graphics fairy’s (found here) enormous and incredible collection of vintage images.  All images are free to download and can be used on millions of fun D.I.Y projects!  I could spend hours upon hours on this site.  And if you don’t have any sort of design software, don’t fret.  Download something simple and free like Picassa (found here) and just open the images in there and add text at the bottom.  Super easy to follow the icons for adding text, etc.

Decorating Tips from a Military Wife: Part I

-written by Megan, a military wife that will soon be a graduate wife

I couldn’t tell you how or when I first stumbled upon the Graduate Wife blog but I do distinctly remember finding myself able to relate to a lot of the experiences that I read about here, and I’m not even a graduate wife, I’m a military wife!  Well I’m a soon to be graduate wife but that’s a whole other story!  Each role requires tough personal sacrifices, long separations from the one person who you can’t bear to be separated from, and both include frequent moves where sometimes your new pad is less than stellar.

Staying in the present and decorating for your current home is always tough when you know that it is only temporary.  Everyone wants to make smart decisions about their home décor, but its hard not to worry if what you purchase now will fit into the next place.  In addition to that mindbender, many times in this gypsy lifestyle the best option is to rent rather than buy, which we all know places limitations on how much you can do.  As a military wife who has moved three times in four years and formerly employed as an interior decorator here are a few decorating tips!

1.     Paint, paint, paint!  Definitely ask your Landlord if this is allowed, but I promise you that nothing will have a greater visual impact per dollar spent then a few gallons of paint does.  Paint walls, paint doors, paint baseboards!

Sources: http://andwhatalicesaw.tumblr.com/post/16458386971, http://intermissionthoughts.blogspot.com/2011/04/pink-door.html, http://pinterest.com/pin/31243791134483467/, http://addicted2decorating.com/colorful-painted-interior-doors.html, http://homeautodesign.com/2011/10/kelly-green-interior/color-spotlight-kelly-green-door/, http://everydayartpics.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/interior-sliding-barn-doors/, http://www.creamylife.com/interior-design/6505/color-your-front-door.html, http://burrsandberries.com/2011/03/color-inspiration-smokey-green-and-black/

2.     Keep main pieces of furniture and window treatments conservative but have loads of fun mixing and matching patterns and colors with everything else.  If you are worried about curtains lengths (like I tend to be) just realize that hems can always be let out, topper treatments improvised to add height, and an oversized horizontal banding in a lovely coordinating fabric can always be added to the bottom.  Even in my very colorful home I stuck to leather furniture and grey drapes in the living room and an espresso bedroom set with white curtains in the bedroom.   But this doesn’t mean that EVERYTHING needs to be brown, black, or white; go bold with color!  Pillows, rugs, blankets, art, tchotchkes, these are all the perfect opportunity to liven up a space!

Same furniture, two different looks:

3.     Be very picky about what you buy at places such as Ross, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, or any other store like that.  Look for items that can serve double duty.  An apothecary jar can be used to hold flowers in the spring and Christmas tree ornaments during the holidays.  A basket can hold firewood when it’s winter and dog toys when it’s warmer.  Look for things that might work in any number of rooms of your house.  Maybe a pretty lamp would look nice on your foyer table, but in the next apartment you use it in your bedroom.

4.     Don’t be afraid to put holes in the walls.  Multiple holes even, because we all know it takes at least four tries until you get the picture hung juuuusttt right.  After painting this follows as the number two tip at making your house feel like a home.  Get creative with your art, it doesn’t have to be expensive, but in my experience a frame and mat can make even the most humble of art look gallery worthy!

5.     Houseplants make any space feel more alive and its healthy for you and your home.  ‘Nuff said!  Just make sure that what you bring home isn’t poisonous to Mister Dog or Madame Cat!

Sources: http://ii-ne-kore.blogspot.com/2011/03/good-for-soul.html, http://twoellie.com/two-ellie/2011/5/31/and-george.html, http://www.marthastewart.com/274714/houseplants#/235741, http://pinterest.com/pin/201254677067708510/, http://www.designsponge.com/2011/12/sneak-peek-josh-diana-of-casa-de-perrin.html#more-123175, http://haus-therapy.tumblr.com/post/6526331806/floor-plant-envy, http://www.grahamandgreen.co.uk/?source=cj, http://knightmovesblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/houseplants-and-their-containers.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+KnightMoves+%28Knight+Moves%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Come back next week for Part II!