How to cheaply decorate your dining room!

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When we moved into our 1,000 square foot little house in the country a couple of months ago I knew our dining room would be a multi-function room, which is a very common occurrence in American today. I put off sprucing up the place as I had to sort through a mountain of boxes that had been in storage for a few years. Let me break it down easy peasy! 

 

De-clutter your space

The first place to start with a room you’re unhappy with is to get rid of the items you know you don’t want in the room. Or maybe you have items in there that you need but they’re a big ol’ mess. Take the time to relocate those items out of the room so that they aren’t in your way. For me, this was removing the few boxes I had yet to unpack. I knew they didn’t belong in the dining room so they were just hindering the overall appearance.

 

Clean up EVERYTHING

Once you have your room broken down to just the furniture pieces that are going to stay in it I think the next best step is a great deep cleaning! I clean the walls, clean the windows and window sills (vinegar and water all the way), sweep and mop, dust baseboards, dust all furniture, etc. I do this so that I have a literally “clean slate” to start with and build upon.

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Use a piece of furniture for a different use

This is a great new trend but I’ve been doing it for ages; using furniture pieces for other uses. One of my favorites is to re-purpose an old dresser and use it for numerous other things. I haven’t had a chance to paint this dresser the way I wanted to just yet but I knew I wanted to use it as a dining room buffet because it provides so much storage which is paramount in a tiny house! So I used this to store all of our off season dishes, holiday dishes and small appliances not regularly used. The top is used to put decor items on and sometimes the theme will change up throughout the seasons.

 

Organize items in your room

Bringing the dresser/buffet into the room I made sure to organize the items as I put them in the buffet. I used the top row of drawers to put in small holiday decor items like silverware, napkins, napkin rings, etc. Then I used the middle row of drawers to house the fancy platters and dishes and the bottom drawer for small appliances. Putting these in an organized manner will save me TIME when I go to look for items I need in the future.

 

Bring in some color

In the next few months I’ll be painting the walls in the dining room and I know at that time they will be a very pale gray. But I couldn’t tolerate that temporary sheet over the window anymore. The old curtains I had from previous homes were all in this beige color tone that I just didn’t want in this house so I sold them after we moved in, which left us with no curtains. The heat got to be ridiculous over the summer so I threw a sheet up there, knowing we wouldn’t be having company right away anyway. So when I decided on my future paint colors I knew what accent colors I wanted and that is aqua/teal blue and pops of sunny yellow. So I ordered a double curtain rod on Amazon, ordered these great sheer panels from Amazon because it was the best price around and then picked up these chevron panels at Wal-Mart one evening! It adds much needed color to this area of the home and the curtains are the first thing that get my attention when I walk through the room!

 

Don’t forget window treatments

Some people like blinds, some like open windows, some like curtains that don’t allow in any light. As for us we live in Arizona where in the summer it can literally get up to 120 degrees (or more, truthfully!) and so we do need something to help with heat BUT I am a lover of all things outdoors and I hate feeling closed in. I need to be able to SEE outside, at all times. So I opted to go with the sheers on all the windows in our home (except bathrooms) and then added other panels to them for balance and a pop of color. This works for me because we have abnormally large windows, although not giant, they just aren’t your stand window size. So if I wanted my chevron curtains to be “closed” all the way across, I would have had to buy 3 panels anyway and these came in a pack of 2. If you are of the mind that you feel curtains make no difference one way or another, but you feel your room is bland, that might just be why. Even if I hadn’t wanted the beautiful, elegant or dramatic look of curtains I would have still had blinds on the windows with maybe a roman shade to “dress up” my windows. It totally makes a room feel complete to me, almost like hanging a picture on a bare wall.

 

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Make a flower arrangement

Flower arrangements make a table look beautiful and they’re so easy! I wouldn’t call myself exceptionally creative (although some might) but the day I decided I wanted a fall flower arrangement (because it is my favorite “season” for home decor) I walked into my office where I had recently bought a bunch of orange flowers, yellow flowers and orange leaves from the DOLLAR STORE. I had a random clear vase in a closet somewhere and I used those to put together this arrangement. I honestly don’t know why I even had the orange paper pieces that I put inside the vase but I do know those and the orange bow I got at the dollar store as well. I put those together and it took me a few minutes of tweaking it with my OCD tendencies and I loved it! It got some rave reviews on Facebook as well from my friends! You can do this with any type of flower, any vase, for any occasion!

 

Back to point here which is CHEAP! How to CHEAPLY decorate your dining room! I did use all the furniture I had (dining room table and chairs) but moved in another piece of furniture (the dresser) which I already had in another room that wasn’t useful. But if in your room  you don’t have a dresser but love this idea keep in mind that you can find dressers at yard sales or on Craigslist or even Facebook Buy-Sale-Trade groups ALL the time for $40 or less, and even free on the side of the road. Just put a little sweat equity into them and dress them up a bit.

 

The flower arrangement cost me about $10 in materials with items primarily from the Dollar Store.

 

The 4 curtain panels and curtain rod cost me about $45. Being as they have the biggest visual impact and reward, it was so worth it!

 

So with some cleaning up, organizing, rearranging and $55 in new items I was able to revamp our dull dining room at our new house!

 

Are there any sites you use online to find good online deals on used furniture?

 

I also contemplated making my own curtains with a painter’s drop cloth for MONTHS until I finally gave in and bought the chevron panels.

 

Have you ever made curtain panels by hand? If so, did they turn out or was it a “Pinterest Fail”? Lol!

 

If you like the content of this blog post please considering following my blog and subscribing to new posts by email over on the right side! And if you have a blog that you would like me to check out please just comment with it below and I’d be glad to check it out. In the future be on the look out for more content on home decor, homesteading, home schooling, doing everything as a single parent, etc!

XoXo,

Elizabeth

 

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09-19-15 Creating a new parking area

One day I met a woman via Facebook who has a property nearby that she said they might be interested in selling. After a few phone calls I setup a time to go meet her husband out at the property to evaluate it and let him know what I think the current market value of his property was. While there I noticed he had these beautiful river rocks (some white and sparkly) all over his property purposely placed along the driveway and around trees. I told him how beautiful I thought they were and we quickly found ourselves in a conversation about my little farm and my homestead dreams. This gentleman was older and said property he had inherited years ago as 5 vacant acres and throughout his young adult life and into married life and having children, he put a mobile home on the property, brought in utilities, planted trees, had a garden, raised a family, had horses, etc. Now that time in his life had passed and his children were grown and him and his wife had moved to a different smaller property nearby. One or two of his children had lived in the home as adults as needed on and off again and now the home sat empty and he was contemplating selling it. To be frank, my goal as a realtor is to get the listing to sell the property but in my heart of hearts if I myself had spent 30+ years starting and growing on a property like he had, I can’t imagine I’d ever want to part with it myself.

Our conversation about the river rock though lead him to tell me that there was river rock all around this area in ditches and dry creek beds that if I was ever out that way I should just stop and load up some and that people do that all the time. I made a mental note to do just that.

The next day he called me and asked me if I’d like a bunch of free river rock because at his work they were removing a ton and he was responsible for “getting rid of it” and so as long as I could meet him there THAT day then I could have however much I could take. I was super excited and free that day so I started getting ready. A friend was in the area checking out antique shops and had contacted me to see what I was up to that day. I told him about the rock and since he was in the area he offered to stop by and help me load it up. I threw on my boots, grabbed my gloves and out the door I went. Ten minutes later I was in an RV park and my friend was there waiting and we found the nice gentleman. They helped me load up my trunk and most of what was in that pile fit but there was a second pile that I just wasn’t going to have time to come back for today.

In talking with my buddy I had told him how I was leaving there to go straight to Home Depot to buy a wheel barrel because there was no way I wanted to start working on any sort of project like this (the one brewing in my mind) without a wheel barrel. I didn’t want to be that “old school”. He told me he had a super old one at him that he uses maybe 2x a year and if I wanted it I could have it, I just needed to come get it. Score!!!! He warned me it was really old and not pretty and slightly rusted and my thoughts were “It’s free!!!” And…it will be a back saver on the farm. I’ve already found myself amidst numerous projects wishing I had a wheel barrel but hadn’t made it a property yet.




So after getting home with the river rock AND my new free wheel barrel, I was super excited! The journey of awesome, friendly locals took about 4 hours out of my day but so well worth it!


This is how much free river rock I was able to load! When I got home I thought it really didn’t look like a lot but hey, free is free and so I was eager to unload it and start placing them along the driveway!

MY IDEA!

My idea was to use these as a phase 1 border for my driveway and parking area so that eventually as I have the funds, supplies or time then I will add in some top soil, mulch, add a few ground cover plants and maybe some pretty bushes. And with my recent research into permaculture I just knew I could add a few berry bushes throughout this side area under the trees for color AND purpose!


A few days previous to this not knowing I was going to find myself with a heap of free river rock, Riley and I found this old railroad tie on the property and I thought it’d be a cute feature as a “parking curb” to add where I always park under the trees. So it took us a solid 10 mins to lug it from one place to the other and not sort of any complaining from my little “City boy in transition”, haha! So this photo shows where that railroad tie is and then where we laid the rocks in a half circle under the 2 mesquite trees. I think I’ll have to start calling these trees the “Married Mesquite Trees” because they are so lovely there together, complimenting one another yet growing in opposite directions to create this beautiful canopy shaded area! <3 


A quick before and after of the area from in the driveway.


A more close up before and after on the Married Mesquite Trees.

Then we ran them along the line of 4 trees that border the fence line from the driveway to the front yard. This is where I hope to have many beautiful flowers and bushes one day, welcoming me home each time I pull up!


 




A before and after of the entire parking area of the driveway after just adding the river rock. I love that it adds some structure or definition to the area that was otherwise just wide open dirt. I like structure.

XoXo,
Elizabeth
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08-20-15 Storm clean-up and Arizona sunsets!

We had a Monsoon storm that took out an old dead tree in the side yard a few weeks back and I finally had a chance to take care of it.


I am becoming near expert level at “tree removal” and not much makes me feel more powerful and capable than welding a chainsaw! I am woman, hear me roar!!!!


In my excitement with removing said small dead tree in the first photo I decided to take out this bigger one that, as you can see, always hindered my view to the west from the porch. And it was just all dead and ugly. So although I didn’t get it ALL removed and there is still about 2-3 feet of stump, I was exhausted by the time I finished all this. Plus I can’t stop a tree project until I get all the limbs hauled off (to the side yard) and the ground raked so it all looks nice again, lol! But just the above before and after photo was totally enough for me to know this was absolutely the best decision!



Description on the photo says it all! Yay for mountain views! One of the biggest pros to living in the country!


Even though it is just August I LOVE fall! So even when it is still hot outside, the kids going back to school always gets me in “Fall” mode and indoor Fall home decor is possibly my all time favorite! So I made this center piece for our dining room table! And I am totally in love with it!



One day coming home from work and I was still on the porch and just walked across to look off to the west and see this gorgeous sunset! I love so many things about living out here and the glorious sunsets definitely make the top of the list!

XoXo,
Elizabeth
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