Approaching the wrap up stage of my spring cleaning, and my urge to purge, I was browsing home furnishings online thinking that a little more closed storage in the form of a couple of well-placed bookshelves is what we need, what with my son’s growing book collection. Dusting is such a headache and I really don’t have the time -or inclination – to do it on a daily basis.
Back in July this year, I pledged to give something away every day and have kept it up, I am thrilled to say. Talk about double benefits: joy of giving and less clutter. While a new home is what I’d really like, I figured the next best thing is to redecorate.
This took me back to the time when we bought our apartment – ah, fond memories of how we completed the purchase on my birthday that year. While we were richer by an apartment, we were very conscious about being frugal for the next few years with loans to pay off and there was no way we could splurge. So essentially we got the painting done and looked for affordable ways to decorate our new home.
Simple works best
As much as I might dream of exotic stuff, ultimately the utilitarian design is what I always go in for. We have moved cities so many times that I actually love the process of settling in. Before the WWW, we used to do a lot of leg work. Not only was it tiring, but also frustrating when we didn’t find what we wanted. But thanks to the internet, I realized that it is a good idea to look online for used stuff – what with the tight budget and long wish list. Naturally some trial and error must be factored in…but we put our heads together and found ways to transform our place into a cozy home.
- Never buy big chunky stuff. It is tough to place and tougher to dispose off. Small pieces of furniture that can be stacked or separated and used where necessary work better.
- Used stuff is fine. I am a DIY fan and enjoy restoring things. And? It is affordable – and a great way to go green!
- Go in for light furniture. Solid wood is great in small pieces. I personally love cane. It is affordable, easy to maintain and comfortable, besides fitting into practically any décor. The furnishing options are limitless. I have a few of these and love them. We use them with or without cushions:
- Extra seating is easily taken care of with these pretty, sturdy, stools that are strong enough to sit on and double up as side tables.
- Easy to get that revamped look with furnishings and rugs. Just change the curtains and cushions and drape your furniture with new fabric – and get a whole new look. Print one time. Solid colors next time. I like to mix and match!
- Quilts are cute, too! Ever since I did a patchwork tablecloth for a crafts project back in Grade 6, I got hooked. I love making patchwork stuff – bedspreads, bags, cushion covers and baby wraps. The one you see here is made from saris. No I didn’t make it. I just coveted it and got it.
- Since we moved a lot, we have a few massive trunks that serve as storage as well as side-tables or seating, depending on where they are placed.
- I love to repurpose stuff, so I am always on the lookout for a nice piece of furniture I can adopt. I once found a kitchen shelf that I converted into a shoe shelf by adding doors. When it needed a new coat of paint, I made it into a family project and we had fun sticking a collage of pictures on it. I quite like it. We can always refresh the pictures when we get tired of these.
- Good to avoid open shelves unless you’re ready to dust. And no, hanging a curtain in lieu of a door doesn’t work because then, you gotta maintain the curtain as well as the shelf. Gah!
- When you don’t have the time to spruce up, clear the walls of artwork. Put up new ones. Nothing like displaying the work of an in-house artist!
- A vase of fresh flowers – so cheery!
- We use herbal fragrances to create a nice ambiance – jasmine flowers at the altar, frankincense, incense sticks – mmm.
- And then, finally, my favorite way to decorate is to wear a smile. Yes, the sun shines brighter when you do that.
Do you have some ideas to share? I would love to hear them!
P.S.: I am considering posting a few simple crafts ideas – What do you think? And what frequency would be a good idea? Once a month? Please let me know.