summer living room on a budget






Hello dear readers.  Today I want to talk a little bit about decorating on a budget.  I know most of you probably already do but in case you are interested in how I've assembled the things in this room, stick around.

For me budget has always come first when decorating.  I wished and dreamt of gorgeous fabrics that were beyond my income but I always had to find ways to make things work for me.  Most everything in this room and the adjoining dining area were free or very inexpensive.  Decorating this way takes a TON of patience so it becomes a labor of love.  You will note that I use the word lucky a lot in this post.  Rather than go back and edit them all out I'm leaving them bc honestly, luck has a great deal to do with finding things when you are on the hunt!





The Pottery Barn sofa in this room was free with American Express reward points.  We also got our headboard with those points.  The large black armoire was purchased over 30 years ago from a furniture store going out of business. It's made by Lexington and I still love it.  The old luggage stacked on top was $2 for the 3 pieces.  Even the roman blinds were inexpensive from JC Penney.  They still sell them here!  These are actually a little nicer than mine as these are cordless.  I made the toile pillow cover out of a fabric remnant.

Some of you will recall I got the antique silk chinoserie screen from and estate sale for $12.  Such a lucky find.  The antique iron sconces were $1 each.  I paid $4 for the pair of hanging light fixtures in the room.





Little details add up and create warmth and texture.  These books were mostly given to me but I did purchase Gil Schafer's book - one of my favorites!  Dear reader Linda sent me Mark D. Sikes book.  The longer I own it the more I love it.




I rescued this trunk from my neighbors trash.  It's beat up just enough for me. The round peacock tin is another $2 favorite.  The glass bottle was a lucky $2 find.




I love this corner and everything in it.  That's saying a lot for me bc I've always been at war with it.  Nothing has ever looked right to me here.  But for some odd reason I breathe easy when I walk in the door and see it now.  The table was free bc it was broken in pieces.  All it needed was a little glue, it's one of my favorite pieces in the house.  The lamp was given to me by my daughter in law and the painting was obtained through a swap with Alex.  The fern is from my garden.





Catherine is a family heirloom and that little lucite lamp was 75 cents.  The childs concrete head was free and the books were either gifts or very inexpensive yard sale finds.





Some of you may have seen this branch on my Instagram on Monday.  I found it on my walk and I love it.  Here's a breakdown of everything here...

Mirror $17 estate sale
Desk Swap with Alex
Seascape oil painting $2
Coral free from friend
Vase $1 garage sale
Ralph Lauren book birthday gift (I get asked about this all the time)
HERE is one on eBay for cheap!
Antique Garden Urn $20 (huge, huge score)
Wall hook came with the house
Straw hat free
Riding boots $4 thrift store
Persian rug free from friend

So that's it dear friends.  Is this interesting or boring to you?  Let me know what you think in the comments.  Like decorating my home, slowly but surely, this blog has become a labor of love too! x




86 comments

  1. What a gorgeous space. I love posts like these. Xx

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  2. I love this sort of thing. Photos of your home are always lovely and I always get ideas from your posts. Joyce

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  3. I find it amazing how inexpensively you manage to decorate your house and make it look so sophisticated. A great post.

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  4. I love all the details....charming, interesting, peaceful and thrifty too! You find beauty in things many of us would pass by and later wish we hadn't. I really enjoyed the tour. Take care....loving your posts!

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  5. I love it! This type of post is very interesting to me because I don't know anyone in real life who decorates so much like I do--from thrifted and found or gifted items over time. I find this type of decorating really brings out my creativity (as well as patience) and I have a very low budget as well so it's a necessity. Thanks for sharing your lovely home with us.

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    1. thanks lisa, i hardly know anyone who does this either! x

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  6. I am slowly editing my house and replacing store bought items with older items.They just have more character. I don't own much and the process is relaxing to me. You were one of the first blogs I ever followed and you really have inspired me.

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  7. Love............my house is much the same with thrifted and gifted finds and at 61 yrs. it just gets better with time.

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  8. Love it! This is my favorite type of post. I can't get enough of photos of your lovely home and reading about your decor choices. It's like a mini vacation that I can return to again and again!

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  9. I love this post! You are the greatest frugal shopper! Your home is just lovely. ❤

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  10. Never, never, never am I bored with your posts! I pour over each photo like I would flip through the pages of a magazine. As always I am inspired by you. Hope you're finding some joy in each day. xo

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    1. thank you kathy. i am finding joy each day. i just have to keep my eyes open and its right there. x

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  11. Absolutely love these posts, so inspiring! After a recent move I'm taking my time redecorating and finding unique pieces to fit the space. It's definitely a process. Would love to know how long it took you to get the room completely decorated! xo

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    1. thanks F&F. well my home is always evolving. i move things from room to room all the time. usually seasonally but i've been here 12 years now and some things have changed and others are exactly the same. x

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  12. This is very interesting to me. I find all of your posts interesting. There are always good ideas, food for thought, etc, etc. I love learning how other people live their lives. And you do it all so frugally, which is right up my alley.

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    1. i'm the same jeannine. i love seeing how others live too. when a blogger opens her closet or pantry i'm thrilled. idk if that's normal do you? lol x

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  13. I love how you have such great luck at estate sales and the free stuff you find. Some of my favourite things were thrifted or found at the side of the road!
    I love these kinds of posts...I adore your home garden and your fashion style. When I see your post pop up I get excited! I usually read your posts several times they inspire me so much.

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  14. Like everyone else, I just love posts like this. Your home has such a serene look, & with your mix of frugal or free items it also has a personality all its own. To me a home should reflect the owner/decorator. I think we learn a lot about people by visiting their homes. I have always loved antiques, but as I have "matured" my taste in antiques has moved to older & older pieces...most in primitive paint that shows the years in a beautiful way. I have some pieces I have paid more for, but I also can mix in the things that aren't quite so old, but still have the right look. I have never liked matchy matchy poo-poo...a mix of items shows creativity, even when it is subtle. In the end I think we should live with what we love, but the frugal approach is my cup of tea as well. I am less likely to part with a $5 beat up piece of pewter than I am with something new & readily available. Your advice to be patient is very good...this takes time.

    Anita ~ the cabin on the creek
    ...all is grace!

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    1. oh i'm the same anita. a .50 book sometimes is more precious to me than a big glossy new book. i don't think you can achieve a layered look instantly. i mean, yes you can go out a fill a shopping cart - even at the goodwill you can do that, but when it evolves slowly it's just magic. x

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  15. Some of my favorite things were found at thrift stores or rummage sales. That seems to make it all the more special. I love the serene look of your home.

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  16. Of the many homes I've seen in webland, yours has always been one of my absolute favorites. Your home has served as inspiration for about a decade now. Love these posts.

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    1. thank you melodee. i cannot believe a decade has gone by. i hope to blog for another decade! x

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  17. Love your home and your blog. Always a pleasure to see a new post. Thank you!

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  18. Today is my first visit to your wonderful blog, and I will be back! I echo the positive comments here and add that your style of decorating is much kinder to our struggling environment than buying so many new things. Thank you.

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  19. I love your finds and now that I'm retired, it inspires me to hit the thrift stores and consignment stores once again. I don't need much but there's always some little treasure that provides a collected look. It's fun to remember where you find some of the great finds you have.
    xo,
    Karen

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    1. it's true, when each object has a full memory with it, like where it came from who you were with when you discovered it, lunch you ate! all those little things make it wonderful. x

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  20. This post is totally interesting. Of all the homes out there is cyberspace- your home is my absolute favorite. There is something so clean, pure, elegant, beautiful, peaceful about it. I have learned a great deal from your home decorating posts; mainly that you don't need to spend a lot to create a gorgeous space. Love seeing a post from you- it is literally like a breath of fresh air!

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  21. I loved reading your Decorating on a Budget. It must have been fun for you as well to reminisce over finding each item. Thank you!

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  22. The love shows through, Janet. Anybody can decorate "decorator style" but it takes heart, imagination, creativity and courage to decorate without spending a lot of cash. I too am one who reads your posts more than once, pours over the photos, ruminates on the ideas and goes back in the archives to re-read old posts. You are one of a kind. I too am one of those who hopes and prays that you find a little joy in every day and that this blog brings you joy so that you will continue writing. xo karen

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    1. thank you so much karen. this blog has become a source of joy and purpose for me so i thank YOU for reading. x

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  23. I love this topic. Also, your decorating style fits very well with the hot, humid summers we have in northern NSW Australia. Your home looks cool and inviting. June

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  24. Love this post! You have a great eye for styling! Your cottage is so cozy!

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  25. Anything you post is interesting to me!

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  26. I just keep wondering, how do you KNOW the way you do when you find things?

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    1. hmmm good question lisa. that may be a post! the easy answer is that i just know but what's behind that? hmmmm.....x

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  27. silly neighbor.... LOVE the trunk!! xxoj.

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  28. Love this post! I have followed for years and watched as you rearranged, edited and added to your home.
    I like old family or thrifted objects too and my home has evolved as I inherited pieces.
    I struggle the most with window coverings as windows are high horizontal rectangles in bedroooms with no moldings. Floor length curtains dont look right so left with stark looking blinds.


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    1. thanks connie. maybe a roman blind in the short window? it could work. x

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  29. I Love this post. Your rooms make me feel so at peace. I don't know you, but I love you too.

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  30. Your Blog is a favorite! The decorating, life style, and writing give me much insight. Thank you for sharing......About thrift finds, don't they just give you a thrill and continue on and on making you love them all the more. You have many gifts. A fan!

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  31. If I could live in your house I'd be thrilled. It's so peaceful and human-scale. I'm looking always for an equivalent - not in England where I live but in a more southern region of Europe because I need more sun and light; and white walls and wooden floors (which can be quite cold in England).

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    1. thanks anna. and oh i dream of living in london! swap? lol x

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  32. Janet,

    I am never bored of seeing your front rooms! I often scroll through all your pictures under the “My Home” category when I want to “fun-obsess” about styling. I’m fascinated by all the ways you have styled these rooms, and I learn a lot by watching all your iterations and do-overs and changes.


    Your home and style is the one that is closest to my personal style. I also greatly admire the interior pictures of Maura Endres. Both of you ladies help me refine and curate my own interiors.

    And I know exactly what you mean when you say a particular corner or vignette has given you trouble—and how crazy satisfying it is to finally “get it”!

    Sending you peace and love. xo

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    1. lauren to even be put in the same sentence as maura is such an honor. she is my idol! seriously. thank you so much. x

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  33. I too love your posts! I would love to know what your average day consists of. What is your routine now? I am still working part time for the health insurance, well the cash helps as well, but have four days a week free. I have a problem establishing a routine, or maybe I don't need one? How and what do you spend your time on? Would love advice.o

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    1. that is def a post i'm working on. i love it when other bloggers do a day in the life thing. i've been working on one. they are complicated to write (for me at least) but stay tuned! x

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  34. Shiny bare floors and no curtains are such a cool and refreshing summer look. Your house is just plain exquisite! The best decorator in the world could not make it more beautiful, coordinated and elegant. It's also not cluttered. That is my downfall. Do you have a storage unit where you stash stuff you don't use now but may in the future? Please tell what your tips are for finding thrifted treasures. And thank you for inspiring us to live in a mindful and healthful way by reducing consumption of junk foods and and overspending on cheap Stuff. Also, I heartily agree with Pinehurst Farm on how you spend your time accomplishing so much.
    So happy to have you back and in the groove again. Your is the only blog I have found that presents great style and quality for minimum cost. Cheers to you, Janet! --- from Jan-Leanne

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    1. thank you so much jan. no storage unit but i have a small basement that i can store things in that i don't want to get rid of but am not using atm. am working on a post about how and where i find my things! x

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  35. Always a delight to be welcomed into your home . . . this tour with explanations for each acquisition a joy. Your knack for placement, a gift. Gratefully, Linda

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  36. Hi Janet, glad to hear that you are still enjoying the Mark Sikes book! Did you know that he just remodeled his home AGAIN?? I really loved his old dining room with the animal print and blue and white pieces. Now it's gingham!! Have to say I'm not a fan. The bridesmaid dress I wore for my sister's wedding in the 70's was gingham.
    Thanks for giving us a breakdown of your LR pieces. I also have a lot of estate or garage sale items along with a few pieces that belonged to my in-laws. They were quite the collectors.
    Linda
    xoxo

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    1. hi linda! i truly am loving his book more than when i first got it! i did not know he is at it again?! he's gonna drive us all mad! thanks again for the lovely book, it's quite special to me. x

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  37. Well I guess technically it's checks but still looks like gingham to me!

    Linda

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    1. Hi Janet, his re-do can be found under the Architectural Digest website, just google Mark Sikes AD.
      His living room is also looking a bit cluttered to me...I think he needs to edit a few pieces but what do I know? :o)

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  38. Bella Janet,
    I love this post, and how you create such a lovely home on a {{budget}}. Is there a story behind your dining table? I would imagine so. All incredible, and thank you for sharing. Your fashion posts also amaze me-- the great things you find. I have really enjoyed going back to your beginning, and reading thru the archives.
    Thinking of you and sending positive thoughts from Bella Italia, Robin

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    1. thank you robin. the white wicker table? yes of course there is a story with that! i think i wrote about it. i'll try to find it. lol. x

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  39. I found your blog a week or so ago thanks to a kitchen feature. I just love your style and aesthetic. I went back and read through many posts and just cried like you were a friend.
    I think your labor of love is working. I like all your different subjects. I could look at your kitchen 50 different angles and not get bored.
    And finally, I need some advice. It's an odd situation...I hope you or a reader can weigh in?
    I bought the duster you love through your link. I'm so excited to use. It came with the handle snapped. Accidents happen. I can return it and get a new one. Or, I can try and mend it and use it as is. I am not asking this in any way because I think you led me to a defective product...I am asking because I think you live a sort of simplicity I appreciate. Do I get a brand spanking new duster and send the broken one back to likely hit the landfill? Or do I repair what I have and be grateful I have it? I'm leaning toward repairing it...I hope someone will weigh in!
    Cassandra of Northern California

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    1. that duster should last a v long time so i'd contact amazon or the seller with an attached photo and replace it. i use mine all the time and bc i use it to reach high i have to put pressure on it and if you tape it it won't hold. maybe explain your dilemma about it not wanting to wind up in a landfill and they perhaps would allow you to keep it and use it? x

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    2. Thank you, thank you for giving me perspective with experience! I so appreciate it. Looking forward to getting those high places then.

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  40. I love these kinds of posts. One question I've always had is about your toile bed cover- where did that come from? It's so lovely!

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    1. oh that came from ikea. sadly it's no longer available. dang it. x

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  41. I just love looking at your home, it is so stylish. You remind me of a friend who's house I visited for the first time who had lovely sofas and chairs and I thought she really must have bought really exspensive stuff, until one day she said she had gone round her room pricing her things and nothing was bought new lovely sofa given by sister chairs from a skip (dumpster) and other stuff from car boot sales (yard sale) and it all looked so good.

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  42. Janet! I love this post! And speaking of lucky... I feel so lucky to know you!!
    Xo

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  43. Your room looks so beautiful and peaceful, Janet! I always like how it looks, but this is my favorite, (so far)! I love shopping this way also. It's more fun to me, and certainly more economical. Yes, patience, is the key for sure! Can't wait for your future posts, as mentioned in the above comments. Kay

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  44. What a lovely living room! Even better on a budget. That's my style not only in decorating, but just my main standard of living. Thank you for sharing.

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  45. Wow, lucky is right! You've found so many treasures for so little. I love your easy going style.

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kindness is never out of style.

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