my decorating budget


Let's face it, at my age I never have to buy another piece of clothing or home decor for the rest of my life and I'd be ok.  But I'm a sucker for beautiful things!



These days things seem to come to me.  I don't even go looking!  My daughter in law recently went to an estate sale and bought me this statue thinking it was a Virgin Mary.  It's quite old, the estate dealer thought from the 1940's but I think it may be older.  It isn't a Virgin Mary but a St. Theresa (which is my oldest sisters name) who is the Patron Saint of Gardeners and she is a Carmelite Nun (which is the order of Nun's that helped raise me).  So to say this is a special piece is an understatment. 

I would have to say my decor budget is like zero unless I come upon something rare and so special.  This was $10.  There are several on Etsy that run over $300.  That's just how things go when it comes to 2nd hand estate sale shopping.

What is your decor budget like?  I'm so curious to know! x

40 comments

  1. Zero as well, lol. Really low on the priority scale.

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  2. What a beautiful find, and at such a great price! I don't really have a decorating budget, per se. I buy things I love if I can afford them. I love treasure hunting in thrift stores and antique shops.

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  3. Even though I'm 65 I've been single most of my adult life so it's taken me a lot longer to furnish my home than most women my age. Last year was a banner year for home décor purchases - I bought the bed of my dreams (regularly $6500, on sale for $1995), my first real coffee table, two wicker chairs, a ceramic garden stool, an indoor tree and numerous artworks - all on sale! That said, this year's decorating budget will be much, much lower (unless, of course, I find the bookshelves I've been seeking for my library … and maybe the twin bed for my guest room!)

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  4. Wow, I too just got goosebumps. If that piece wasn't meant to be, I don't know what is. What a wonderful story!

    Shelley

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  5. Zero budget here as well :) While I was looking at your photos and loving everything about your decorating, I thought of my mother-in-law who almost as soon as she sees a scratch on a table, will have it refinished. I don't understand it when people do that (maybe it's generational?), I much prefer patina, age, and chipped paint. It all adds up to character and charm to me because I think of the history of the piece. I love your decor so much, it's timeless!

    D.

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  6. Your St. Theresa figurine is absolutely lovely.

    My decorating budget is just about zero. I live in an apartment and there are always people who are moving who leave stuff by our dumpster. Lots of it is really nice stuff too. Sometimes it's even brand new. I also live very close to a Salvation Army, Goodwill and a couple of other thrift stores. I went through a stage where I bought anything I liked and now I feel a little overwhelmed by my collections. Time to downsize and keep only what I need/love.

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  7. I don't budget. I buy, if... I really need something or just gotta have it. And, usually that "gotta have it" feeling will be forgotten if I resist the emotion for a few days :). Beautiful statue!

    Renee

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  8. Hi Janet - possibly off topic - where did you get your teapot on your stove? Or what brand is it? thanks! LOVE YOUR POSTS!

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  9. Saint Therese, she is known as The Little Flower. She is one of my patron saints. She will intercede for you. I asked her to pray for you to have peace and healing and now she appears to you. Thanks be to God.

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  10. Spectacular find Janet, so meant to be. I shop like you do, mostly estate sales and such and only buy an item if it speaks to me. As we are of the same age, I too don't really need to buy anything so it has to be pretty special to come home with me. All the best to you. I love, love love your blog. From one gardener to another...

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  11. Hmmm good question. Last week I made a large, for me, purchase for the kitchen. I found a cabinet to hold every bit of my tableware and miscellaneous things I use daily. It was less than 1/3 the normal cost due to needing the shelves. A super cheap quick fix. Definitely less expensive than having anything built in. I actually have more fun finding something super cheap than anything expensive. I’m only tempted by something that’s extremely inexpensive and unique. I definitely keep a very low clothing budget. It’s the darn expensive necessity things that have been getting me down. Like a new pair of glasses.
    Best,
    Kathy

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    1. Kathy, a few months ago I spent over $500 on a new pair of glasses and that was with insurance covering some of the cost! The optometrist talked me into bifocals which I regret. I mostly wear them for driving at night which isn't often so my eyes can't adjust. So I'm using my old pair until I get the nerve to call and complain that I want the lenses replaced. More money. :o(

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  12. Yay I love this post and this sweet story!

    This year I got a pay raise and we have just spent quite a bit more money on decor than we ever have before. As a family of five, we really needed two sofas and a big coffee table. I got all the pieces from a vintage store and they made me the table from reclaimed barn wood. So stoked on my new stuff!

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  13. Absolutely love tis post and the sweet thoughtful gift from your daughter-in-law. I don't have a budget for decorating. If I completely fall in love with something, I will bring it home with me but these days it has to be something incredibly special. Thanks to you, I have learning to use what I have, mix it up and change it around so that things stay fresh. I also enjoy bringing nature inside so I have lots of greenery in my old crystal vases.

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  14. Isn't it wonderful to find a treasure that means so much to you on so many different levels and a bargain to boot!

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  15. Like you, I really don't need anything for my home or my closet. Still, there is something about treasures at thrift shops for $1 -$10 that draw me in. Your statue is amazing and how especially nice that your daughter-in-law bought it for you. I'm retired now and really do try to adhere to a strict budget, not always successful, but trying.
    Karen

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  16. Your St Theresa is beautiful.So serene. Several years ago, it seemed like every time I went into a thrift store I would find a Holy Infant of Prague figure. I thought the first one I found was so well painted. I continued for all of that year to find Holy Infants of Prague, some large, some very small. I brought all of them home with me and now have a collection of them. After that time, I haven't seen any more Holy Infants of Prague at any of the thrift stores where I always found them during the time I was finding them. I wonder if you will start finding St.Theresa waiting for you in other places.

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  17. What serendipity to receive that lovely statue. Except for my couch and beds, everthing in our house is second hand, some via my late grandmother and mother,some from my own adventures in thrifting. Like you, I don't need another new thing ever. I did get an instant pot this winter,last year's model so very cheap and it is excellent for beans!

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  18. I have to watch it- for books and decor, I am so tempted to spend. Most of my things are second hand treasures.
    The Little Flower statue is so fitting for you! One of my sweet old aunts, who was very devoted to St Therese, read her autobiography, she died when she was only 24, but said that she would spend her time in heaven sending showers of roses to earth. Whenever my aunt found a rose, she said it was from the Little Flower! I thought of your garden!

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  19. You lost me at the statue of ST. Therese...What a blessing you have been given. ST.Therese of Lisieux, aka, The Little Flower, is one you might want to investigate further, if you haven't already. I highly recommend reading her autobiography. 'The Story of A Soul' IT is a beautiful read, and for some a life changer.

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  20. Beautiful statue full of meaning and a bargain! That is the essence of thrift/vintage shopping, no matter the budget level. Have you talked before about the nuns helping to raise you? That captured my fancy immmediately!

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    1. I wondered about that too! And your sister stayed on as a Nun?

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  21. Well, usually our budget is very small. But my husband recently found some old retablos at very good prices and bought them. We have them mounted on the wall around a retablo style mirror. It really looks lovely! I think he spent $1500 on them altogether. My clothing budget is very large. I love new clothes! I have recently decided that: no more black pants, no black tops, no sweaters since I live in hot Florida!

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  22. What a sweet daughter-in-law to think of you. I'm very careful about our modest decorating budget. I tend to keep things for years, so I am careful about choices. Is this piece timeless? I look at the used market a lot. Our large metro area has an excellent craigslist. Lately, I have been intrigued with vintage pieces from the Hitchcock company. The sweet stenciling on chairs or small tables gets me every time. They occasionally pop up on our craigslist, and I am ready to pounce.

    We have recently moved from a tiny townhouse to a small home with more room. I have a lot more empty spaces, so I'm looking!

    Isabella

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  23. Each day I get a reflection from St Theresa in my email inbox. you can sign up for this at the Society of The Little Flower website, if you are interested. this year I was hoping to repaint my interiors and get a new rug for the upstairs as the cats had destroyed the current one. Since I only have the one kitty now and he is calming down as he gets older I thought i could do this. However, I need to get dental implants and this is far more expensive that I imagined, so the sprucing up will have to wait. Most the this things in my home are inherited from family or collected over the years from travels or gifts from family and friends. I think my only new purchase this past year was some throw pillows. I do have one extravagance, and that is fresh flowers which I place on the mantel where the cat can't get them!
    Darby

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  24. We have furnished our arts and crafts bungalow with vintage mission style oak furniture over the past 38 years. We don’t really need anything more but I love perusing thrift shops so I find a few pieces every now and then but don’t spend much. The most expensive purchases were the craftsman lights we ordered from California. Three large floor lamps with mica shades and two table lamps with mica shades. They add so much ambiance and they are very beautiful.
    Your St Therese statue is really sweet and I love the story behind it. She will watch over you in your home and garden...a lovely gift from your DIL.
    XO

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  25. I love your house, and now that I am in my 60's living alone too, I could easily live there! I have divested myself of a lot of possessions over the past few years, and have an odd assortment left. I hope to move next years into my forever home which will be quite small, and I was thinking of new for decoration. But now I will take some furniture, and look out for free stuff online.
    Janey

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  26. The budget here is non-existent, but if I need something, I get it. I'm less and less inclined to shop anywhere these days, as I'm very content with what we have. That said, we are building up the bank account to do some major renovations in a few years.

    The St. Therese is beautiful, with a lovely meaning attached to it. Enjoy her presence in your home.

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  27. This quote has been attributed to St. Therese:
    “May today there be peace within.
    May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
    May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.
    May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
    May you be content with yourself just the way you are.
    Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
    It is there for each and every one of us.”
    I have this quote framed and on a wall- a daily reminder.
    Sadly, St.Therese died very young- age 24- of tuberculosis.
    It seems she was very wise beyond her years.

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  28. Beautiful statue Janet! That was nice of your daughter-in-law to think of you. My decorating budget depends on how much money I have saved from selling on ebay or gift cards I have earned from my Discover points. (I call it my fun money) In the last couple years I have purchased multiple pieces of furniture and decor items. The big pieces were from retailers but always on sale. If I look around my house I also have things from garage sales, estate sales, Home Goods, the Goodwill and ebay. Most recently I scored a beautiful alabaster vase at the Goodwill for $7.99. I typically do not buy things there because their prices are high and often inconsistent so I got lucky that day! I am always on the hunt for something home related but do not like clutter so I have to watch it!

    Linda
    xoxo

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  29. What a surprise to see St. Theresa in your post! She is very dear to me & I have prayed to her for years. Everyone also knows her as my "parking space saint"!! I don't know how this started, but I will say in a crowded parking lot,"Toots, I need a spot!" And she always comes through! Please do not think me irreverent, but an elderly aunt had a dear friend named Theresa whose nickname was Toots so because I consider St. Theresa to be a dear friend, she became Toots to me! She also had a lot of spunk in her so I think she would love this! Janet, it is said that when you pray to St. Theresa, you will receive a little gift: perhaps a rose or other flowers or some other token & this has happened to us, many times out of the blue. How wonderful to see that Toots is watching over you now as well! xxoo Katie from Huntington Beach

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  30. It's beautiful. I'm so curious and intrigued that you were raised by nuns!

    I don't have much of a decor budget and am always thrilled when I find something lovely at a thrift store. Ideally I'd like new floors and kitchen counters but I'm fine without them and the cost would be a trip or two overseas to see family....so trips win out

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  31. I don't have a decor budget since I have more than I need and i did a no spend January. However, I'm guilty of finding the best thrift store deals like an antique wicker rocker with cushions for $4.50!
    Your statue is lovely and what a sweet DIL! ❤

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  32. I love your statue.
    I will go long periods of time without buying anything decorative for my house, with the exception of flowers.
    However, I went insane buying ginger jars to decorate when we moved last fall to our stone house, I just wrote a blog post about it. I sourced vintage jars for the most part for very reasonable prices, but for the larger jars I had to buy new reproductions, I couldn't afford the large antique ones, the prices crossed my eyes! xox

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  33. I do not have a decorating budget...but I have the goodwill outlet which sells things by the pound in my town. I have pulled out gorgeous antiques for nothing. So, as a result, you kind of don't care about stuff. I have a garage full of things and I give away a lot. I have a goal to have everything in my house be of beauty... even down to the smallest things. For those of you who have a goodwill outlet near you---you will totally get the super abundance. It changes how you view material things as the price is so low it is like stealing..therefore you aren't attached to things as much.

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  34. So pretty and special! I'm intrigued by your upbringing too! Would you share more about that? ~Miranda

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  35. when i say the nuns helped raised me i mean they helped. our school/church was literally in our backyard. my mom was our school nurse, my sisters and i helped cleaned the convent on weekends. the nuns had a profound effect on my life!

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  36. The St. Terese took my breath away! I have always felt a special attachment to her. That piece found you, not the other way around. :)

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  37. Janet she was meant to find you. Those finds are the best!!

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kindness is never out of style.

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