31 Days - Thrifty Decorating

October 12, 2015

I admit, I'm terrible at 31 Days this year. But this baby is going to be the death of me if he doesn't get past this growth spurt soon.

But on with the 31 Days...

I love a beautifully decorated house as much as the next female, but I've learned over the years that buying it right this minute... and at full price... isn't always the best way.

Something I've had to learn over the years is to live within my means, not the next door neighbors means.

When Jeremy was in graduate school (and I know I revisit this time period a lot) we were as broke as broke could be. That year my 31 Days topic was frugal meals, and we ate on 60 dollars a week for the entire month of October just to prove that I could do it.

The issue was this, I still wanted a cute house.

How exactly are you supposed to buy things when you are making less than your cost of living?

Get thrifty.

It started when I was in college and lived close to my favorite decorative store on earth, Paul Michael Company. If you haven't been there I suggest you check them out. They have many pricy items, but in the very back of the store lives a magically place called their markdown room and withing it's walls is the hold grail of mark down items.

Many of the nick-nacky things in the house have come from there.

While living in Thibodaux I learned the art of "dumpster diving." 

Doors. They were all over The Nesting Place several years back and I was in love with her door that hung over her couch. The issue was locating a door.

I knew of a antique store in Monroe that carried a ton of them... but that's kind of 5 hours from Thibodaux.

It just so happened that driving home one day I saw an apartment being renovated and perfectly good doors in the trash, well one side was perfectly good. The other had a hole.

After a few months of playing with modge podge, scrap book paper, spray paint, and Vaseline I finally achieved the look I wanted.

Another great "left outside by the road" find has always been old windows, you just have to scour the older neighborhood to find them.

Sometimes, if you're lucky you can find chairs and recover them. I would only do this with a dining room type chair that was wood and had minimal fabric that could be replaced.

I know how to do this, but need to actually do it just for the tutorial process. It's surprisingly easy.

Good Will, Salvation Army, and the Habitat for Humanity Store have always been great finds for a few of my friends. One of my Thib ladies joking refers to Good Will as the GW Boutique!

The key to these stores is to go often, which I'm terrible at.

I've found great books over the years there but not much on the furniture side for myself.

I do however find pants there, shirts no so much, but designer jeans have popped up from time to time.

Last but not least is the Target end cap & dollar bins. 

Here I have found a number of cute decorative items over the years marked way down.

Just recently, in my attempt to make bunting for holidays to hang on the mantel, I used a $3 burlap bunting I found in the dollar bin and painted thankful on it with blank acrylic paint. It maybe cost $3.05 when I was done. The IG photo below was after I traced the sharpie and before the paint.

A photo posted by Emily (@labride) on

Hopefully you found a few helpful ideas about the place I love to browse for decorating bargains. I'd love to hear a few of your favorite places.