Well, hello again! Back so soon? If you read my post yesterday, you know that I’ve been challenged to write a blog post every day this week. Thank you if you came back to read again today…I love all my readers. I truly do!

I have mentioned in previous posts that I’ve wanted to write a post on the decorations around my house that have been made possible through thrifty finds….Goodwill, Salvation Army, and even more fun, junk on the side of the road!

I decided to do a two-part series on this subject that is seriously near and dear to my heart. Today, I’ll share a few photos, but mostly I’ll share the whole story of how this method of madness began.

Grab a cup of coffee, maybe a sweet treat, and enjoy the background story that I hope you’ll find enjoyable. It’s part of who I am, and I’m thankful to claim it as my story. Oh, and by the way…I was really serious about grabbing something to eat and drink. I’m drinking a cup of black coffee and eating pumpkin pie for breakfast while I write this post…yep, I really am. So, please, join me. 🙂

Six months into our marriage, God provided Tanner and I with a wonderful little blue house. It was cozy and we loved it! We poured our hearts into that house and called it home for five years.

Once we added two children to the mix, that small blue house began to feel even smaller. We began looking for a new house, and quickly found one that we loved. It appeared to be everything that we wanted from a bigger house, even though it needed some serious TLC and updating. It was by no means a huge house, but definitely would suite our needs for years to come. So, four years ago, we bought that house.

Ugh…it really DID need some lovin’!

Mauve paint, and lots of wallpaper with matching border. 😦

There’s a bit more to the story than that, and this is where the real story of my decorating style began. Suffice it to say, we had very little money at that time in our lives. Quite honestly, we probably should not have purchased the house when we did. We did not even have enough money in the bank to pay for a home inspection, of which we opted out. I’m not sure what the loan officer was thinking when they gave us the loan, but they did, and we proceeded.

We slowly settled into our new home, and quickly realized how much we wanted to fix, change, and update. But, that is not really possible with a very small bank account and a now higher mortgage payment. Several times we ignorantly took advantage of the ever-temping “no interest, no payment for a year” plans we saw at home improvement stores. It didn’t take long for us to realize the bad cycle those put us in.

Little money…a promise to not borrow any more money…and a bigger house to furnish. What’s a girl to do?

This girl viewed it as a challenge. She started shopping thrift stores and garage sales more often. She scoured Craigslist. She started noticing that people in her town often throw away great stuff, and she started picking this stuff up off the curb on garbage day. She started realizing how easy and fun it is to re-purpose other people’s discarded “junk.” She even started praying about some of the needs and wants in her family, and found that God not only listened to those prayers, but that He cared enough to answer and provide for some of those prayers. Though those provisions might have been a bit untraditional, they were provisions nonetheless!

I have found absolute joy in decorating my house in a very unique way! I see it as God’s gifts to me. I think He has given me a gift of seeing unearthed beauty, and the gift of desire to make that beauty appear. People often laugh that something is always different or new each time they come over. I laugh and say, “that might be true, but it cost me nothing! Wanna hear the story of where it came from?” I love that most items in my home have a story….to me, that’s what makes a house a home.

So, come along on a photo tour of my home. I’ll post a few photos today, and finish the rest of this story in Thursday’s blog post. A fair warning…I’m not the greatest photographer, so I apologize in advance for bad photo quality. Maybe you should just come on over sometime, take a look around, and enjoy some coffee with me. I’d like that!

Home Sweet Home…Come on in! I love to change my front porch decor based on the current season. The general idea is usually the same, I just fill the wooden boxes based on the season. The large box on the left is a huge wooden toolbox that I scored for $10 at a garage sale. I’m not sure I could have bought the materials to make one this sturdy for that price! I attached the lid to the back, and made it a display box. The white decorative dome behind it was rescued from the trash by my mother-in-law, who generously gave it to me. Filled with branches from one of my trees that needed to be trimmed, it looks perfect in that corner of my porch. The box on the right was rescued by my wonderful brother from a building that was scheduled to be demolished. It’s a really old shipping crate, complete with a partial address of where it had originally been shipped. So cool! Both of these items were cleaned really well and coated with an outdoor polyurethane to withstand the elements, and I think they make beautiful additions to my porch. The items filling these boxes are all things that I’ve either been given (like the red birdhouse, which Tanner’s grandfather built), or things that I’ve scored at thrift stores for very cheap.

If you head through my front door, feel free to hang your coat and/or purse on the hand-made coat rack made by myself, my dad, and my brother. It was a team effort, and I LOVE it!

This awesome chunk of wood was rescued from a dumpster by my dad, and we worked hard to bring it back to life. Lots of sanding and polyurethane, and the addition of some vintage hooks, made for a beautiful addition to my entryway, all for just a few dollars. The white bench beneath was, in it’s previous life, a hideous orange fabric covered church pew in desperate need of some lovin’. I picked it up for very inexpensively at a local second-hand store. My brother came to the rescue once again to help us shorten it from its original 9 foot length to it’s current 6 foot length. It was sanded, primed, and painted, and now serves as the perfect place for company to sit when putting on shoes. The baskets beneath neatly hide all of our hats, gloves, and scarves.

Another way you could enter my house would be through the garage door. If you did that, you’d still have a place to hang your coat and/or purse. I found this cool vintage-looking coat rack at Hobby Lobby on clearance for $3. I attached it to our door, and it serves its purpose there very well. The cute little blue shelf next to it was found on the curb waiting for it’s demise when I was on a jog one night. I ran home as fast as I could, and zipped back over in my van to rescue it. 🙂 It needed a good cleaning, but that’s it…this is exactly how I found it, and I love it. The items on the shelves were found at thrift stores. And, I love that the bottom shelf holds my little man’s tiny shoes!

Another thrifty trick? The picture frames hanging above the blue shelf were picked up at a garage sale for 50 cents each. They’re old and had awesome patina. For a simple and cheap way to display pictures, just tie some jute twine (super cheap at hardware stores) to the back of the frame, and use a decorative clothespin to attach a photo. I added a sprig of artificial berries to the one to add some visual interest. Total cost-$1.00! (I already had the twine and clothespin on hand).

Those are a few of the things I’ve used in my entry-ways…want to see more? Stay tuned on Thursday, when I’ll take you through the interior of my house, and show you the fun thrifty finds that make it a cozy home! See you all tomorrow!

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