Spend Baby, Spend: Part 2


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In part 1 of this blog series, I talked about saving frugally so you can spend when and where you want and even need to. In my case that meant a brand new bedroom set and completely renovated master bedroom. That being said, here are the areas I saved on:

  1. The master bath was intact and functional. I felt it did not need anything more than a fresh coat of paint. The contractor did point out that the bath really had not been caulked in many years so I did go ahead and add that to the renovation. The cost, given that he was already on site and had the materials, was just additional labor. Well worth the extra $125. The bath itself now looks brand new.
  2. In renovating the room, the color scheme changed dramatically. Out with the nasty, old peach carpet and greenish walls (don’t ask) and in with beautiful gray flooring and fresh, creamy white walls (one is Kauai ocean blue as the accent wall). Even so, two pieces of furniture survived. I kept a small side table where the tv screen sits that is black so it worked fine in the room and I had, months earlier, bought what was once a tall, narrow media cabinet on clearance for $18 at Habitat for Humanity. The ’70s were calling for that thing but I loved it. The laminated fake wood did nothing for the classic lines of the piece so I painted and painted, using left over supplies I had in the garage. I finally settled on a gray dappled color treatment, knowing I was going to eventually redo the room in gray tones. Once the new flooring went in, the tall, narrow storage cabinet blended in with the room perfectly. I kept the cabinet against a narrow area inside the door and use it for my jewelry, accessories and some rarely used clothing. My partner now has a large armoire so he no longer needed the storage but I knew I would since I was only buying myself one dresser.
  3. I don’t believe in spending a ton of money on embellishments in a newly decorated room. This includes rugs, drapes and such. We have dogs as most of my readers know all too well and we are often fond of telling the pups that they are the reason we can’t have nice things. We actually can and do have nice things but we don’t pay high dollar for any items that the dogs can destroy like rugs or blankets. Because the pups were not used to slick flooring, I did buy some floor runners and an area rug but they were not expensive at all. Same for drapes. I went with navy blackout drapes that cost about $30 a set. Cheap but no one can tell. They have a nice sheen so they look more expensive than they are. I spray painted the existing curtain rods and hardware black before the contractor re-installed everything. I made do wherever possible while still making the new room look beautiful.
  4. One of the things we immediately noticed was that when the room was freshly painted, it looked and felt twice as big. This was because there was not art on the walls. I had packed the walls with way too many family photos and pictures. I decided less was more and removed all the photos from their frames, donated the frames and put all the cherished family photos into an album. For images too large to place in an album, I actually reused them as drawer liners so when I reach into my dresser drawers to pull out something, I get a peek at cherished family memories. This is a great way to reuse photos. At some point we will buy a few large pieces of art for the huge walls but for now, I’m letting the room ‘breathe’ and thinking about what might work visually in the future. I do not want to lose that large, airy spacious feeling.
  5.  In the bathroom, I removed about 80 percent of the décor that had accumulated into clutter over the years. I just recycled and donated it. I kept a few cherished pieces but most of it simply went away. Now the bathroom seems bigger as well. The tiling in the bathroom was and is intact, very well cared for, so the color scheme didn’t change. I simply replaced the towels and mat. I had a whicker chest, small and compact and while I was tempted to replace it, I knew I had no reason to. It worked then and now so I kept that as well. I didn’t reinvent the wheel or spend for the sake of spending. With a fresh coat of paint and most of the clutter removed, everything in there looks new anyway.
  6. One of the few items I went out and purchased (the drapes and rugs were Amazon finds) were lamps. I had two lamps that worked in the room but needed two more for the new nightstands. I scored at Home Goods with  Lucite and silver pair for under $100. They bring some much needed light and airiness to the room.
  7. For functional things like my book caddy and small trash cans, I bought a can of navy spray paint. That’s this weekend’s project, making a final few functional items blend into the new color scheme. That cost me $4, a bargain when you think of what a decorative metal book caddy and wastebasket would cost to replace in time and money.

The only thing left is the walls. As I mentioned, I am keeping the walls uncluttered and clean. As time goes by, we will collect a few oversized pieces of art that have meaning to us but for now, the room breathes and is a joy to behold.


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