SAVE vs splurge

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I was having a lazy Sunday morning, lounging in bed and reading the newest issue of Style at Home mag, when Editor Erin McLaughlin's words leaped off the page at me!

  • "In the past, having limited funds felt humbling and was something we kept under wraps. Now, we're proud of how little we spend - and how much bang we can get for our buck". - Erin McLaughlin

FINALLY!!! A mantra that I have been living for almost my entire life has become the 'new reality'....


Saving money is now 'trendy' ...I HATE that term (trendy)...but it's true! Even those celebrities and extremely successful business folk (who could afford anything and everything they could ever imagine) are making a point to show off how little they spend on items to decorate their home!

I, on the other hand, have ALWAYS been proud of this! Don't get me wrong, I do splurge on items from time to time, but 95% of the time, if it is on sale, is a deal or a steal and I love it....I'm ALLLLL OVER IT! And in addition to being all over it, I enjoy sharing where and how to find these deals (like I will in this post).

This was my view Saturday morning as I was having my latte and ritual Saturday morning cupcake....

I'm sitting at my dining room table ($80) from the Hanover Market  that I gave a 'face lift' to last year; on one of my dining room chairs ($10 - | paid $40 for the set of 4 at an auction and they will soon be getting a face lift); looking at my sideboard/buffet ($325 - and it also has a mirror that I use in a different room) from Craigslist and almost every object on top of the table or sideboard are deals I have found in shops across Southern Ontario (including the $7.50 tulips from the Guelph Farmers Market), or were gifts from amazing family/friends.


Not too shabby for an entire room of furniture and decor items for well under $1000.00!! What I almost love more than the amazing deals is the fact that everything has been upcycled as they're quality, solid wood pieces that just needed a bit of freshening up (you can see why the chairs will soon be getting a face lift). You truly cannot find this type of quality furniture being made nowadays, unless you want to pay thousands of dollars for just one piece. I will have my sideboard forever! It is a classic and one of my favourite pieces in my home as it is THE perfect blank slate for so many design/decor options in the room!


Then there's my living room. How do you like my coffee table ($10)? A friend spotted it at a yard sale and thought of me, so she bought it for me. I then brought it home, gave it a fresh coat of paint and, VOILA! My club chairs ($20 each) were another Hanover Market find and after having them professionally re-upholstered with fabric from Tonic Living, they were still less than most chairs you would find in retail stores and the best part - they're custom!! 


My 'entertainment centre'.....After years of looking for a rustic and unique piece such as this, I finally found it in the small town of Neustadt at a shop called Refurbishment. It was WELL within budget (less than $275) and I LOVE IT!!! It was well worth taking the time to find it as I think it 'makes' the living room with it's raw edge and weathered appearance.


This corner of my home has also been years in the making....I have had some of the photos/art pieces on this console table ($125 - a clearance find at Home Outfitters) for over 12 years! Pieces like the apothocary jar ($7.00 at an annual clearance sale in a small town near my parents - I can't share ALL my secrets *wink*) are multi-functional and can be used in every season by placing season-specific items within it. The little black leather stool ($5) was an auction find (I got 2) and the silver tray on top ($2) was from another cute little shop in Neustadt. The white deer ($15) and the 'Family' pieces (between $8-$20) are from The Garage in Belmore.


This is my bed side table and....drum roll was FREE!! My Dad and I made it (which makes it even more special) from barn board from our old house (the one we lost in the fire) and a solid iron frame that was once used to hold a barrel of oil. It truly is a one of a kind piece and encompasses everything that making a house a home means to me!

How do you make your house a home on a budget??

  • Buy/upcycle/make only what you absolutely love! You will be drawn to certain styles/items much more so than others. When you find 'your style' and you see a piece that fits into that style and that you LOVE, get it! Chances are, you will always find a way to incorporate it into your home for years to come!
  • Don't be in a rush! Take your time and wait for those pieces that you love. It has taken me years of searching small town shops and boutiques to find just 'the perfect piece' and it was well worth it. If you're working with a budget, there's no sense buying something now for the sake of buying it, just to buy the same item in a year or 2 because you finally found what you're looking for.
  • Buy multi-purpose pieces! The more versatile the piece, the more bang for your buck. The more you can rotate a piece through your home in different rooms and in all seasons, the more worthwhile is it to bring into your home!
  • Shop locally and frequently! There's no better way to stay on budget than to become familiar with your local stores and boutiques, be-friend the owners, and shop there frequently! You will become familiar with their stock and what they tend to carry, they can add you to email lists regarding promos and sales and if you shop there regularly, you'll be the first to check out when items go on sale!
  • Don't be afraid to DIY! Hop on Kijiji or Craigslist regularly too. When you see a piece you love, for a great deal, but it requires a bit of a face lift....go for it!! Purchase a test piece and try refinishing/re-painting it yourself. If you're not comfortable doing the refinishing, you can hire someone like myself to refresh your piece and even after paying for paint and the service, the piece will still likely be MUCH cheaper (and of better quality) than purchasing something brand new.

These are just a few tips to help with the ongoing transformation of making the house you own or live in your own!

If you would like more assistance with anything and everything related to your home, send me an email to and we can work together on your project(s). 

I'm off to stock up on spray paint and make a visit to a local shop that has a piece I have been eyeing for some time now....Think I MAY just have to get it (it went on sale the other day)!!