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In My Former Life…


March 9, 2010

I wanted to be an interior designer… ahhhh wouldn’t that have been wonderful??? Although upon entering college at UT, I was told that I’d have to take loads of architecture classes and well as advanced calculus, etc. which meant advertising seemed much more up my alley, yet still allowed me to be creative.
Now that we are in the midst of decorating our home, I am constantly looking at Southern Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Architectural Digest, and countless other websites and magazines for ideas and room inspiration. I found this article this morning on Woman’s Day and I thought it was ideal for decorating on a budget:
“15 Inexpensive Home Decorating Tips”
With a bit of imagination and just a little cash, you can upgrade the look of any space in your home. Try a few of these punchy, practical ideas and brighten your rooms in no time.
1. Take a mattress on a metal frame to the next level with a new faux headboard. Paint and stencils will do the trick. Crafty tip: Pouncing (a dabbing motion used to apply stencil paint) prevents smears under the edges.

2. Create bold artwork worthy of a modern museum: Just wrap a large artist’s canvas with a patterned sheet or an eye-catching fabric remnant. Pull it tight and staple to the back of the frame.
3. Keep things versatile by covering major pieces—the couch, an armchair—in a neutral shade or plain white. Then you can add color and verve by changing out pillows and accessories rather than doing a total overhaul.
4. Find chic, unique pieces at flea markets, tag sales or surplus sales. Never been? Pros know to go early; the best pieces are sometimes gone even before the sale officially starts. This is cash and carry, so bring plenty of small bills and a strong back or cart. Have a measuring tape with you so you don’t have to pass on a great deal because you weren’t quite sure if it would fit in your space.
5. Paint a cabinet door or part of a wall with chalkboard paint to create a family message center.
6. Give old pressboard bookshelves (the kind with that fake wood-grain look that never fooled anyone), a fresh look. Cover them in self-stick paper in funky patterns or a quick coat of bright paint and add mod wall appliqués.
7. Turn a funny-looking lamp base or an odd vase into a conversation piece with a coat of flat black paint or high-gloss white paint. The look is hip, and draws attention to the piece’s shape rather than flaws like an atrocious pattern or color. Group several vases for a display with high impact and low cost.
8. Perk up a plain lamp shade with overlapping stencils in notice-me hues. DIY tip: Smaller stencil motifs are easier to hold down on a curved shade.
9. Pep up that tired chair from Grandma’s attic with a simple slipcover. Upholstered monstrosities transform into the comfiest seat in the house with large drape-and-tuck slipcovers. Hardback chairs feel dressier with new seat covers trimmed with wide grosgrain ribbons.
10. Don’t limit paint to the walls. A few quarts can give your floor a serious color boost and a touch of charm. Use a chalk line and a T-square to get perfect grids. Check a crafts store for thousands of stencils you can snag for a few bucks. Be sure to seal the deal with a protective coat of polyurethane.
11. Two words: throw rugs. Three more words: colorful, easy, cheap.
12. A small ceiling fan adds a pleasing element to a living area or bedroom. If you’re handy with a few electrical basics (or know someone who is), you can make this upgrade for under $100.
13. Puny windows are a perennial problem. Solve it with an old decorator’s trick: Hang stationary fabric panels on rods wider than the actual window frame to give the illusion of a much larger window.
14. Fill a large glass vessel (punch bowl, tall slender vase or squat pillar-candle chamber) with stones for a spa-inspired accent. Pick up pretty ones at a crafts store for less than $3 a bag, or take a walk by a lake or in the woods and pick some up for nothing.
15. Gather an armload of fallen leafy tree branches and make an instant arrangement in a sturdy vase or pitcher.

And pictures I am drooling over:

Ok really, I’ve got to stop googling and internet stalking all day–back to work =(

  1. Did you attend at UTK? If so, when did you graduate? I am TN gal too, and just love my vols. Oh, and love the bedroom in your pic…very modern and chic.


  2. Amber says:

    I seriously cannot wait to see pictures of your new home when it's decorated. You seem to have such amazing taste!

  3. Natasha, I LOVE all those pics. I'm so with you on being an interior designer…I really think it is my second calling in life, haha. I can't wait to see pics of your new home, I just know it will be fabulous!

    Have a great day, pretty girl!

  4. Sarah says:

    ooohhh, i love that first bathroom (it has my teal! :)) and i have been planning on doing a little fun with chalkboard paint in our kitchen! LOVE that idea!………i just have to fine a really big -maybe old and cheap frame! hmmmmm…..

  5. Neely says:

    I want my house to look like this 🙂

  6. Kickin' Kari says:

    I'd love for my house to look that nice!! But with kids and a Great Dane those light colors would be the dumbest color choice I could ever make! One day I will have a house that looked as nice as that! 😉

    You do have amazing taste!!

  7. Melissa says:

    I wrap canvases all the time. Cheap and easy way to decorate!

  8. Keri says:

    beautiful pics! I can't wait to see pics of your house as you decorate, I am sure it is going to be beautiful!

  9. Brown Girl says:

    I love learning cheap and easy ways to decorate because it's so expensive!!

  10. Juliana says:

    Can you PLEASE come live here so you can help me! Please!??!

  11. Silvia says:

    I seriously love that first bathroom! You have great taste 🙂

  12. Tina says:

    Oh my god I have totally drooled over those same pictures – even in my blog I think! I have actually gone to some classes for Interior Design too! 🙂

  13. Sarah says:

    Oh! I love the #15 idea…actually have done this many times. Last year, my friend Mary(an interior designer) and I decorated someone's house for her Christmas party. She had a low piece of furniture with a blank wall, and to fill the space, we cut holly tree(the kind without leaves)branches and Quick-creted them in a cute metal bucket. That filled the space AND looked like a really expensive arrangement. You can buy Quickcrete at any hardware store.

  14. melissa says:

    Great tips and gorgeous pictures. I could use your decorating inspiration!

  15. As much as I love design (I have a BFA in Interior Architecture), the whole field is full of back-stabbing meanies! I'm so glad to be out of it! The women really knock the life out of you!

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2024 favs

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colorful life + style blogger | native nashvillian | wife and mom to two darling little ladies | bringing you all the happy you can handle

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