Monday, September 26, 2011

Decorating on a Dime

My sister, Jane, turned me on to HGTV. Now I'm addicted! As Jane says, "There's always a happy ending." She's right. And gosh, watching it sure gets your creative juices flowing.

My favorite program is the High Low Project. Sabrina Soto designs a jaw-dropping room for a lucky couple or person. Then she reveals the equally jaw-dropping cost. Next, she goes out and replicates that expensive decor for a fraction of the cost.

What have I learned by watching the show?

* Mix expensive items with cheap ones. No one will know, and you'll save buckets of cash.

* Shop around. You can find a cheaper copy of almost anything.

* Make it work. Repurpose things so that they serve your purpose, not the original one.

* Cover it with paint and no one will know. You can paint almost anything. Metal, glass, etc.
This empty bottle washed up on my beach. I added a smooth sea pebble, string, and a slipper shell. If you could see it in "real life," you'd see the wonderful pitted surface of the glass that makes the bottle very interesting.
* Study the high-price objects and copy them. I watched Sabrina and a co-worker replicate an expensive piece of art that looked like an empty wine bottle with a starfish stuck on it. That tickled me because I'd done a similar job on a bottle I found on the beach. (See above.) I felt great about recycling these found objects!

* Whip out that sewing machine and hop to it! The fabric portions of any room can easily be the most costly.

* Shop a variety of stores. My favorites are HomeGoods, Target, TJ Maxx, and Bed, Bath and Beyond. (Love their coupons.)

The second show I watch regularly is Secrets from a Stylist. Emily Henderson pinpoints clients' design style by observing what they like, listening to them, and asking them to choose one item from an array of things.

I looked in my husband's dresser drawer and saw all tailored clothes in khaki, white and navy. He sent down a model ship that he loved. He collects books about maritime antiques.

So this weekend I set to work. I knew our bedroom was a bit too fussy for my husband's taste. I admit it was bit too twee for mine. The bed was covered with a busy patterned dust ruffle, a white coverlet, and pillow shams that were too frou-frou. Instead of being soothing, the effect was tiring.

I found a Ralph Lauren coverlet at HomeGoods for only $40. I added a tailored bed skirt and shams that I bought at Bed, Bath and Beyond with my coupons for 20 percent off. Around the flange of the shams, I added a navy grosgrain ribbon. I moved pillows from the livingroom into the bedroom, which was a good repurposing because there were too many pillows on sofa. It had become annoying to move them each time I wanted to sit there. I found an ivory throw at Target, along with a wonderful lamp that looks like a surveyor's instrument. The brass trim on the stunning wood is reminiscent of sailing devices. You can barely see my recycled glass bottle on the side table.

I think the finished look is much more tailored, sophisticated and...nautical. I hope David likes it! I find it much more restful and soothing.

See the surveyor-ish lamp? Next to it is the salvaged bottle. The trim on the ivory pillows is ribbon hand-sewn on and also adhered with "magic" hem tape.


Carol S said...

Your bedroom makeover is just fabulous. The HGTV makeover shows are great inspiration to revive a room without spending a bundle. To make a house a home, it must be filled with what you love. My poor M-I-L's husband would go to the furniture store and buy a whole "room" and her house always had a 'model home' look. No personality anywhere.
Great job!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

I had a neighbor like that once. It looked so sterile. Just weird! This is definitely us. Although I need a bit more "Joanna" in the room. Hmmm.

Rochelle Staab said...

Great tips, Joanna! Your makeover is gorgeous.

I like to combine the cheap finds with a few high-end pieces and you're right—no one ever notices the difference. And it's the little touches of sentimentality that catch everyone's eye.

Now I'm in the mood to shop...

Linda O. Johnston said...

I love lovely looks at bargain prices, Joanna!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Rochelle, isn't it funny how you geet that urge?

Thanks, Linda!

Judy said...

Your makeover deserves to have it's own segment in an HGTV show. I admire you so much for trying to find a way to make your space more hubby friendly.

Mary Barton said...

good stuff I want to know what your husband thinks