The Modern Home Economist: Budget Home Decor

This week as I've been doing work on my own home, I thought it might be fun to not only show you my photos but share a few from vintage magazines.  Home is the essential ingredient in home economics and making home a cozy, inviting place to be while on a budget takes real skill.  That's why I intend to share so many things that would naturally be included in a home economics course.

This week I'd like to share with you our new porch.
John and I are big fans of having our coffee outdoors on summer mornings, picnics, etc.  Last year we stopped at a restaurant that had a big covered porch and we ate our lunch there.  It sparked a conversation about how much we enjoy eating al fresco, and how much we regretted the small floor space of our front porch.  We decided to think about what we could do to improve and enhance our outdoor spaces.  I started with the purchase of a nice iron table and four chairs from a flea market that went on our front patio.  We put up a big umbrella (Aldi's for $30) and that was a start but as summer came on it was just too sunny even with the umbrella.

This porch is the fruition of thinking and planning and saving and working hard to pay off the loan we took from ourselves to buy a car.  We determined what we thought we could pay for a porch and then called my carpenter brother to get a quote.  He was finally able to schedule the work these past two weeks.  He's still working on it.  Today he came and power washed the floor and siding.  He'll be painting the decking this week.    We are sure to get a lot of use from this porch.

I've been working on the living room and master bath this week.  I will share the photos of the finished areas of the living.  I bought slipcovers for my old chairs and ottoman.  We had  a big windfall one year and I bought the chair and ottoman from a home furnishings store. I paid a lot of money for those two pieces but I've enjoyed them. The fabric was looking very worn and frayed after 8 years hard use, though.  The wing back chair is a true quality piece of furniture made of hard wood and is very heavy.  I paid only $5 for it, purchasing it from a friend of mine.  It had passed around her family for years starting with her mom, a sister, a brother and then herself.  Now I've had it for 5 years and it's still going strong.  I covered it with some curtain panels I found and liked and then stripped that off this past year.  I finally found cotton duck slipcovers that I could afford through

Sorry for the blurred photo of the chair/ottoman.  I thought I'd gotten a better shot.

Here's a few vintage magazine ideas that instruct how to wall paper and how to recover a lamp shade. Great instructions for a diy task that will work as well today as well as they did back then.

I found the next piece in a 1950's magazine.  Given the popularity of Chevron stripes today I thought this quilt pattern would be just as useful today as it was modern back then.  Just change up the colors and you've got a piece that fits perfectly in today's homes.

Here I show the new arrangement of items atop my bookcases.  This task was super easy and very inexpensive as in FREE since I used only items I had on hand.  You can see the old upholstery on the wing chair and that's not original.  The original was a red corduroy!

Are you working on any projects to make your home more comfortable, or to make it fit your family's needs and style better?  


Rhonda said...

Hi Terri, I so enjoyed the photos in your pretty home and I am so happy you have this beautiful new porch.

Around my home, just little things like looking for new lamps for the guest room, hoping to find a big dining table and continuing to sew down the supplies in that craft room.

Tracy Hathcock said...

Both your porch and home are lovely, Terri. Hope you get lots of use out of the porch this year! :)

Kathy said...

Love your porch! I know you will enjoy it. Your home is so pretty.

doe853 said...

I love the porch! We have an old screened in porch that we use all summer. I found a round glass top wicker table on Craigslist for very little and already had an old wicker set with chairs that I sprayed white. It is so comfortable on a summer day. One thing I did that you might think about is a pond pump in a big pot for the sound and the cooling of water, it is so refreshing on a hot day. Enjoy decorating the new outdoor space and post pics this summer! Dale

Anonymous said...

What a nice porch to enjoy morning coffee on or a picnic. So happy for you.

Yep, we are putting in a new kitchen. The flooring is going in as I type. I've waited 36 years! : 0) We can finally afford to pay cash for it.


a8383 said...

I can't wait 'til we have our coffee chat on that beautiful porch! I hear those chairs and a good book calling- love the egg basket for magazines- I may steal that idea. : ) I always think paint, fabric, and plants are the best and least expensive ways to make a home look inviting- oh and a good cleaning- haha. Well we are still looking for our next home, but I have endeavored to make our rental house "home." Angela

JoAnn Baker said...

Love the new porch! You and John are going to really enjoy it. I also have an old wing back chair that has been handed down - it's an ugly shade of blue that I have been covering with different quilts. I am saving up to buy a chair cover that fits well.

Anonymous said...

I love how you styled the new porch! Nice wide stairs and all. If and when needed those few stairs will be easy to put a slop on for a wheel chair. Good idea. thanks for the glimpse into your home. I do so love the comfy chair by that book case! The cover on the chair really fits so nicely. I love that it can be used with any color pillows for each season! Even including the new cover that pretty chair cost you hardly anything. You chose wisely with your decorating budget this year sprucing up so many rooms with your budget. Good planning! :-)
Our projects? Well they for now are only outside. We are kind of redoing the garden areas. Cost 0. Moving garden boxes for a better layout and such. We got a new bed for our bedroom a while back and saved the frame to use as a new garden box. It is heavy plastic. Silly but with just a move around and little things changed it seems like a whole new yard! :) Now I am excited to fill in the new boxes and get to planting and planning to pretty it up and get the veggies in!! We have plenty of things that need doing inside but they will have to wait for energy and time. :)
I saw a girl with a skirt on the other day. The bottom of it was flared and had the chevron quilted a few inches up from the hem. It looked very pretty. Enjoy our have brightened mine for sure! Sarah

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