Posted by: Lauren | May 7, 2010

frugal decorating

**I wrote this a few weeks ago, and forgot to publish. Oops enjoy!

Remember our remodel/fireplace installation from here and here and here? (Side note: just looked back at those posts and boy, the photography has changed a bit.) Anyways, since then, I’ve been wanting to decorate the mantle simply and without spending much dinero. Then one day, I realized this old window that we had hanging in our bedroom might look cool above the fireplace, so we brought it in, and I like how springy and fresh it feels now. We’ll probably hang it so that the white on white aren’t touching, but for now, it works.

I also added a leaf branch (from when Joe pruned the trees) to the blue wine bottle, and already had some candles and silver candlesticks. I spent nothing!


Joe found that old glass window about 4 years ago(maybe from a construction site?). He printed off some beautiful photos my brother took in Europe, covered them with transparency and we just stuck them on their with double sided tape. It’s hard to see in that picture with the glare of the sunlight, but this side view might help.


My mom got me that cool tea light holder (next to wine bottle) from Crate and Barrel for Easter with jelly beans at the bottom-love it!


I learned how to get off the stickers from wine bottles so easily from Young House Love-this blog rocks my socks off. Better than watching HGTV any day.

So here are my little frugal decorating tips in a nutshell:

1. See where you can rearrange things to create a fresh and “new” look. They do this a lot on home improvement shows, and it really does work.

2. If you’re looking for something that is more expensive (i.e. furniture), set a budget, save for it, and when you find a great deal and really like the piece, snatch it up. Like the media stand we found on clearance at Crate and Barrel.

3. Keep it simple, clean, and organized. (Some of this I’m reminding myself of!)

4. Accept gifts and free stuff gratefully. My Aunt Sheila was getting rid of an area rug that I loved, so I was happy and thankful to take it off of her hands.

5. Do It Yourself. It will be unique, a learning process, and more special (ok, ok, I’m not so crafty, but my husband is, so I’ll enjoy all the fruits of his labor).

6. Lighting. Oh lighting. One of my favorite things. I personally am a huge fan of lamps. I don’t like the feel of overhead lights and we don’t ever use them, except for the pendant above our kitchen sink and a ceiling light in the bathroom (in addition to a wall sconce in the bathroom). If you feel like your room isn’t very cozy, try shutting off the overhead light, and putting on two lamps and a candle. Ahhh….

7. Fresh flowers and candles. Enough said.


“But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15





  1. Gorgeous! Way to go! You have such great taste Lauren!

    • Aw thanks Julie!

  2. Wow, that mantle looks fabulous! Love the window with Stevie’s pics! How cool…’s like you went to Europe without spending a dime! Great job decoraing the mantle. Love you tons!

    • Aren’t they great pics?! It was fun to live through his adventures when he was there for so long! Love you!

  3. Oh yea…lights can totally make a room! And it’s a great idea to take what you have and try to reorganize…you can make it look completely new!

  4. Hi Lauren, I had to comment and say I was pretty excited to see your verse of the day at the bottom of the post. That’s my church’s memory verse right now! Interesting to see it pop up in my blog reading too…
    I love what you did with the decorating. 🙂

    • Hi Kim! That’s awesome! I really like the idea of having a whole church body memorize a verse together. We do that in our smaller groups but not as a whole. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  5. Thank you for these frugal decorating tips!! I’m going to be a grad student soon and living on a budget, so these are super super helpful. The saddest part about fresh flowers though, is that they die! 😦 I hate throwing out flowers.

    • Michelle, I’m so glad these were helpful! I know, I just had to throw out some dead lilacs I had in a vase from my yard. 😦 They are enjoyable while they last!

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