Inexpensive Home Decor

Our family being rather nomadic in nature (three moves in less than five years of marriage), I have learned that expensive, finicky décor is useless to us. What we really need are a few simple items that can be used to pull a room together no matter where we move, and that can be easily packed without taking up a lot of room. I followed this method with my son’s room and found the results quite pleasing.

The most expensive element in the room is the dresser. Not because it is a large piece of wood furniture, but because the wooden figures and paint had to be purchased new. My mother and siblings provided the labor, painting the dresser, the figures, and all the knobs and handles and then putting it all back together again. Aside from the beds, we also have in that room a small, inexpensive set of drawers (plastic) and a small inexpensive table and chairs. Occasionally a child-sized foldable rocker makes it’s way into the room (it tends to roam, for some reason). All were purchased at discount stores, yard sales, or are hand-me-downs, in beautiful shape. All are in our chosen theme colors, and all except the dresser will be easily packed and moved when the time comes. Both of the children’s beds are also very lightweight, and both purchased for a few dollars at yard sales.

Having basic sewing skills helped a lot. I was able to find brightly patterned flat sheets at a thrift store, which were turned into curtains and covers. One became a simple one-piece window covering. I only needed to hem one edge to create a pocket for the curtain rod, having made use of the already hemmed end of the sheet. My mother put the other sheet together with some corduroy (thrift-store bought, of course) and turned them into a light blanket that can also be used as a cover for heavier blankets in cold weather. A $6 mat on the floor serves to pull the room together a little bit.

The room and it’s contents are not perfectly matched, but they do coordinate with each other well. The differences simply provide and element of interest, especially to the boys, who like the variety (why have just cars when you can have cars, trains, planes, and trucks?). I covered the top of the dresser with a small runner and use that space to display baby pictures and small odds and ends and sentimental keepsakes, as well as a lamp.

Putting the boys room together reminded me of the phrase pounded into my head as a grade-schooler-“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. People are always getting rid of stuff they see no use for, and with a little imagination, it’s easy to turn a sheet into a curtain or an old dresser into a like-new dresser. I have followed this method with every room in our house, gradually putting together bits and pieces of things I find until I’ve got each room covered and looking nice. Our home décor isn’t sleek or perfectly matched, but it is welcoming and comfortable, and best of all for tightwads like us, it’s cheap!

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