On Frugal Homemaking

You know it’s funny…I’ve become so attached to our little house.  A couple of years ago I could have moved out and I would have been sad but not very sad.  I don’t know, maybe it takes a few years for a house to grow on you.  I know it’s just a house but I do love it.  For what it’s worth…and I have to remind myself…It’s not going with me.

I spent some time with my sister-in-law and nephew Cooper yesterday.  We were talking about frugality.  Not having things, waiting to buy things…buying second hand.  That has become a way of life for me.  We either do not buy and if we do…it’s sure to be cheap, most likely second hand and I have grown to love this way of shopping.  The thrill of the hunt and even the thrill of waiting.  I even have begun to truly appreciate the “hardship” of not having.  Because you quickly see, not having is not a hardship at all…it’s simply refines ones character because we are not here to have whatever we want.  And stuff never makes us happy for long.  I remember in highschool and college whenever I bought a new outfit I would feel so great the first day wearing it but quickly the great feeling wore off.  After all, it didn’t change me, it didn’t make my day or my life better.  It was just a new outfit. The ultimate frugality would be spending nothing…But, I have such a passion for making my home pretty and that is where I spend any extra money I am able or can afford to spend.  I would rather go without a whole bunch of other things…

So my post today I wanted to share our finally finished living room. (Other than the still brown trim which is driving both of our dads crazy).  I thought it would be fun to share with you the little stories that go along with the furniture and where we got it…and please don’t think I am preaching this has to be your way of life.  Frugality simply has to be a part of ours.

Our house is really small.  The kitchen is our biggest room and it is very big…for which I am so thankful.  If you were looking from our kitchen into our living room, this is what you would see.

The window I bought a couple of years ago at my local antique store.  (Yes, my local antique store…they all know Cora by name and will babysit her so I can look around.  Don’t you love a small town?)  It was $5.  The candle sticks were inherited from my dad’s side of the family.  The painting was also inherited…done by one of the many fine artists on my dad’s side of the family.  The little pots/urns are yard sale finds or they are from the Hobby Lobby clearance aisle.  The basket is from goodwill and the blanket inside is also from my favorite antique store.

We did have two big splurges when we were first married.  This chair and our couch are actually new. (the couch Justin had in our house had a little mouse nest…ick)  We bought them on clearance from JC Penny.   The little red shelf I bought at Ross a long, long time ago. All the books in our living room were from our church.  They were clearing out their old library and let us take whatever books we liked.  I love antique books and so I have then on display.  The painting was done by a relative, the spindle was one I bought in Asheville, and the “stay” decoration my sister bought me in NY.

Our chairs were given from Justin’s parents.  The white table I also bought at my favorite place…as well as the wooden wheel.  The black piece of whatever was from Asheville. The mirror was mine as a little girl but I repainted it. The pillows are from antique stores or Ikea.  Except for these babies…these are what inspired my post.

While grabbing some supplies for birthday decorations I came across these floral pillows at Hobby Lobby…and I could not believe what I was seeing.  They were marked down from $99.99 each to $9.99.  I was thrilled but I must add…is it just me who has always wondered how in the world they can price their pillows so high?  Surely no pillow in the world is worth that much money.  Especially at Hobby Lobby.

Then there is our coffee table that I love, love, LOVE.  Before we had Cora we had this beautiful coffee table Justin had made but it had really sharp corners and was really big. One day I was in Goodwill and spied this coffee table.

It was really ugly but solid.  Justin and his dad painted and stained it.  It is still one of my very favorite pieces of furniture we own.  The tray and lantern on top…Goodwill, candlesticks Walmart and pinecones, courtesy of the outdoors.  Then there is the corner cabinet.  I always new there had to be a corner cabinet in the room.  It has a very big and open corner that I could not make work.  I looked and looked on craigslist for a cabinet and could not find one ’til one day I saw one advertised for $30.  I bought it (it was hideous) repainted it…and now I love it.

The little black table next to the corner cabinet I bought our first year of marriage from another local antique market.  It was white and I painted it black. The painting is another family piece and the lamp?  Cannot remember where I got it.

And finally there is the entrance to the room from our front door.  I never knew what would fit there so I looked and looked on craigslist for a buffet.  Finally this “pirate chest” as Justin named it, showed up.  It was $50, solid and has a lot of storage.  We bought it.  Once I had painted it and it was no longer an awful shade of brown Justin admitted it no longer looked like a pirate chest….I hope.

The silver pieces and chair I inherited (recovered the seat). Candle sticks-yard sale, wood thing-Asheville antique store..picture hanger, vase -favorite antique store.

So now I am curious.  We’re all so different…where does your creative passion lie? What do you especially enjoy?  Do you have a favorite girly hobby…like sewing, knitting, embroidery, gardening, cooking, photography…or are you like me and you would rather spend any extra money on your house?  I’m always curious to hear what other women love and let me tell you…I always love when you post little glimpses into your creative hobby.  I am one of those who is very inspired by other people’s passions and gifts.


17 Responses to On Frugal Homemaking

  1. Danelle says:

    great post, Grace. frugality is a great lesson to learn. I’m still learning it (in the clothes buying area…lol a new belt or tank top really makes me happy….for a week or two.) I bought a distressed white window for $5 too! It’s on top of my new bedroom armoire! Your house is a treasure, I know you love it and I love to look at pictures of it. You are a fabulous home-making. Truly, it’s a home; not just a house. It defines who you and Justin & Cora are. Simple, humble, intentional people. Love you three!!

  2. LeAnna says:

    I’ve said it before, but your home is just so beautiful! You definitely have a talent in this department, and it is art in every sense of the word. It inspires me to think deeper about the little touches I can make in our house, I often feel like I’m in such a rut when it comes to decorating. As you can probably imagine, I have a LOT of photos on the walls, because photography is my “thing”. I feel stuck in a color pattern of earthy tones, though. Did you just decide one day to start painting things white and the rest evolved from there? We have SO MUCH woodwork in our house, it’s like warm sticky honey everywhere (okay, honey pecan is more like it, but still….) and I would love to lighten things up somehow. I want to start by painting my kitchen cabinets, but because of our open floor plan (the living, kitchen, dining, breakfast areas are all open and in view of one another) but I’m afraid it will look crazy. Any pointers on where to start? All of my accent pieces of furniture end up being black or red because it’s the only thing that adds some contrast to the wood work everywhere.

    You are definitely an inspiration, thanks for sharing!

  3. bchallies says:

    I ask again, where, oh where, did you girls get your creativity from?….Oh, yes, I think I know….The other side of the gene pool!

  4. admin says:

    You know, I get in ruts all the time myself. For me there were two major things keeping me from being able to really enjoy my house. The color of our living room (It was really beautiful but dark and I crave light) and the color of our old kitchen (Also really really dark…just didn’t suit me) I have found that if I am trying to work with things I don’t like I can never make it work. It can even be beautiful to everyone else but if you don’t like it you never will…at least that’s what I’ve learned! As for white furniture it’s fun right now…but it may change:) That’s why I love used furniture…you can just keep repainting it:) I would just try once piece and see what you think from there. I painted one very small table white and i loved it. So I painted a couple more white…and now have a mixture of white, brown and black. Hope that helps..I feel like I’m just blabbing:)

  5. admin says:

    Thanks Danelle…and I so understand the love of clothes. Since having Cora a lot of that has transferred to her but I have been given so much beautiful stuff that I have been able to control the desire to clothes shop…but always I will love clothes and fashion too…just cannot help it:)

  6. Kendra B. says:

    Oh goodness your house is GORGEOUS. If I didn’t know any better I’d think your house came right out of an issue of “Cottage Living” or something like that. You are talented, girl! Our place is so eclectic, I can never decide on color schemes and just go with a whole bunch. I look at our living room and it’s all earth tones, and then there is this abrupt shift into our kitchen which has mint green walls, yellow curtains and red poppies painted on the trim. I guess there’s only so much you can do with a mobile home hahaha.

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: LOVE THAT CORNER CABINET!! Seriously.

  7. admin says:

    I love a variety of color but for some reason haven’t used as much color as I thought I would. Cora’s room is where I take out all my love of bright and cheerful colors:)

  8. rick says:

    my favorite girly hobby is…

  9. sherene says:

    Oh all I can say is ” lovely, lovely, lovely” :))

  10. Lindsey Sieders says:

    Lovely home Grace! you have a knack for decorating. We all have such different gifts, but decorating is not mine, I will stand in a store and stare at items and am lost at what look to go for and where to start.

    I LOVE the chalkboard idea, i amy have to copy that!

  11. admin says:

    Yes, we do all have very different gifts. That’s why I always enjoy seeing what other people enjoy…but I truly believe everyone is creative just in his or her own way/area.

  12. Mom always maintain that she has no creatiity. But her thought-life and her writing and her improvising sewing patterns would show that she does indeed, posess a creative gene.

    Anyhow, I LOVE how the living room looks. It does look brighter and more cottagey. Good job…on a dime!!!

  13. Betty says:

    Lovely home Grace. You definitely inspire me to be more creative in my home! One of my passions is gardening. I really enjoy it, but am not having much luck this summer. It’s funny because last summer I could care less how my garden did because I was huge and pregnant. This year, now that I (and Levi) have spent hours weeding and training vines and whatnot, my gardens have not done nearly as well as last year!

  14. Susanna says:

    Wow sis! As usual, your place looks AMAZING! I don’t enjoy any typically “girly” hobbies but one thing I am learning more and more is that I enjoy teaching my kids new educational milestones (like teaching Micah to read has been a huge thrill) ,writing and I love to take pictures like so many people these days. Unfortunately unlike many people, we only have the use of an average camera at this point which is sort of disapointing but anyways, such is life!

    Well, I’m so glad you can see our kids tomorrow! They are simply SO excited to see you and Cora! Thank you for being willing to have all three for the day! Please get some pictures?!:)

  15. Laura says:

    Grace, your house is so beautiful and inviting! I wish I had your creativity! I love, love, love that picture hanger. Is it actually for pictures or is it a plate rack?

  16. admin says:

    Thanks Laura!! So good to hear from you! It is a plate rack but seemed perfect for photos:)

  17. Vanessa says:

    Grace — your home is so beautiful! You have a gift for making a home cozy 🙂

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