When I receive my monthly copy of Style at Home magazine, (a favourite of mine), I immediately flip open to the High/Low page. This page features two nearly identical rooms.
The January 2012 issue showcases a partial sitting room with a sofa, end table, lamp, artwork, console, coffee table, area rug, and a few items to add decor. The high page cost $15 787 and the low page cost $6326. They try to make it difficult to determine which room is more expensive thereby proving you don’t need to spend a fortune to obtain a particular look. However the thought that always pops into my head is: really, $6000 is low?
I enjoy taking their game a step further. I take the low page and surf the internet to create my own “thrifty” version. I’ve successfully brought in my cheap page under $1000 several times. (Sometimes under $500 if Kijiji has some good finds.) I do admit there is a vast difference in quality once the price drops to that point, but I don’t always need the best to be happy.
I suspect the majority of the population decorates on a more realistic budget then even the low page suggests. I love how Style At Home inspires me, (which I assume is their goal). But even if I could afford the glamorous options, given our combined family income I don’t believe spending $15 787 on a tiny corner of my living room is good stewardship of my money.
I want to honor God with my choices – and that includes my financial choices and how much I spend on material niceties. I do love pretty things, and I believe that God has created me to appreciate beauty in its many forms. I see no harm in creating a lovely home as long as it never overtakes my passion for God, my ability to provide for my family, or becomes an all-consuming obsession.
In our home responsible budgeting includes setting aside money we want to give back to God as a thank-you for His provision in our life and setting aside money for missions and charities that we choose to support. After paying the bills, buying groceries, and dealing with the unexpected events that come along in life there is a bit leftover for home improvements. From that amount we endeavour to create an inviting home that makes our guests feel welcome and encourages interaction within our family.
I believe it is possible to cultivate the atmosphere you desire in your home on a tighter budget than Sarah Richardson (who I LOVE – so no slam intended). I learned many of the decorating short-cuts I employ from watching Sarah and her crew. Living within your means involves compromise. It takes making the most of every dollar. It requires a lot of hard work, imagination, and might involve learning a new skill and doing a few things yourself.
Women are creative, resourceful and thrifty. We should help each other by sharing our decorating secrets. Maybe we’ll learn something new. Maybe we’ll be encouraged to try something that previously intimated us. Hopefully we’ll learn that although pretty things are nice, they are far down the list of importance long after God, family, and others in need.
Makeover Monday starts this Monday and will feature modest makeovers on a budget. This can be a room makeover or object makeover. If any of you have photo’s of a project you’d like to share, a room renovation, project renovation, or craft please contact me through the contact page. I’d love to hear how you pinch your pennies and feature your project on a Makeover Monday.
I hope to hear from you soon and check back next Monday for the first instalment!