Joel and I have had many discussions on the matter, and he does get it. He's not as visual as I am, but since he wouldn't allow ugly music to assault his ears, he understands my issues with having to be surrounded with beauty at all times.
Unfortunately, my preoccupation with having a beautifully decorated home often meets resistance from both my less-than-full bank account and my more-than-full schedule.
But, I do my best.
And go to Goodwill and yard sales a lot.
I usually buy things that I think have some potential for beauty, even if they're looking pretty ugly at the moment. This is necessary because most people don't leave the greatest stuff at thrift stores. Although you do find the occasional treasure.
When I get home from Goodwill, the spray paint inevitably comes out (usually black), and what was once broken down and ugly becomes worthy of display.
Here are a couple of little Goodwill projects that I have done recently.
This shelf and everything on it came from various trips to Goodwill. The shelf itself was white when I found it. White with chipped paint and some kind of gross stain. So, I cleaned it up, painted it black and now it looks Pottery Barn worthy.
I stalk the picture frame section at Goodwill. I love taking photos, so I'm always in need of frames. I thought this one was particularly cool. There was a chip in the frame, but a black sharpie took care of it.
The little picture tree holder thingy was silver with some green crud all over it. But covered in black spray paint, it looks great. I kind of like the modern-y look of displaying it here with nothing actually in it. I also used it to display Christmas Cards back in December, but it hasn't really had a home since then.
If there's one thing Goodwill has a plethora of, it's candle holders. I buy them here and there, and they are usually in pretty great shape. Sometimes they even have candles, but those can be so gross I don't even want to look at them. But I did get lucky this time.
Total cost of this particular little project, which is in my bedroom and makes me very happy to look at: $8.95. Take that, Pottery Barn!
My house was built in 1920 and my very favorite feature is the fireplace. We don't use it much, because it's so open, but we did use it occasionally this past winter. Nice and cozy.
(I'm thinking of painting the living room walls a subtle green...kind of close to the candles on the left....what do you think?)
(And yes, I see that I need to clean out the magazines. Sigh.)
Anyway, those candlesticks were the ugliest things you have ever seen when I first found them at Goodwill. They were a very gaudy gold leaf, with some fake marble stuff. Truly hideous. I stared at them for a while before deciding to bring them home and paint them. A few weeks after I did, I saw some really similar black candlesticks in Pier One for like 40 dollars apiece and I felt really smug about my thriftiness right then.
The candles that are on the candlesticks were purchased on clearance at ShopKo. ShopKo has great clearance prices, in case you didn't already know.
The wreath was one of those lucky Goodwill finds. One of the employees saw me carrying it around the store and remarked that if she had seen it earlier she would have saved it in the back for herself. Now I know why there's never anything nice!
Here's a close-up look of the wreath:
I found the poker set a couple months ago, after fire season. But we had wished for one all winter, so I snatched it up. It's really classy-looking, too. I like it.
The other little embroidered things were either on clearance at ShopKo (the bigger one), or free at Deseret Book with my accumulated points in their club (the small one, which has two counterparts that you can't see in the picture).
Total cost of the fireplace (excluding the things from ShopKo): $11.95.
Now, this summer I have decided to not even enter the doors of Goodwill or any other thrift store, although I may still go to the occasional yard sale. Instead, I am going to work on painting the dining room, stripping the wallpaper in Sophia's room and refinishing some furniture (all thrifted). This way we don't spend any money.
But, I love me a good find at the thrift store, that's for sure.