High-end style meets bargain budget

I’ve concluded that I should have been diagnosed with a serious condition at a young age.

The condition of “Expensive Shopper Syndrome,” that is.

Urban Dictionary defines this syndrome as, “An unfortunate condition where a person tends to pick out the most expensive item available. If they are given a choice of ten different items, they could pick an item with their eyes closed and it would still be the most expensive item.” Hallelujah! Can I get an amen? I’ve always been drawn to designer bags, the diamonds that are the most expensive cut and of course even the excessively overpriced bubble bath. It really is a problem…especially when you are of all things a college student on a tight budget.

My family has taught me that while it is nice to have those extravagant things once in a great while, it’s not necessary.They are absolutely right. There are so many other causes and things that our hard-earned dollars could be contributing to instead of a $300 cashmere throw.

However, why can we not have the high-end style without the marked-up prices? Can we have our cake and eat it too?

With a few simple strategies we can!

  • Look through things that you already have around your home. You will be surprised how lamps, books, old photos or drawings, vases, baskets and vintage knobs can have a purpose that you never thought of before. Repurposing and upcycling are popular trends right now. It can be a helpful way to look at the items you already own and find a new use for them!
  • Prioritize. What upscale items do you absolutely need?
    • Make a list (I already mentioned my passion for lists–so don’t be surprised to see them as a common trend) and determine the necessities.
    • With the list in hand, make sure when making purchases: you are searching for quality over brands. You can save a significant amount of money on buying items like decorative pillows at TJ Maxx or Homegoods instead of going to an inline store at the mall.
  • Garage sales, thrifting and estate sales can be your ticket to great finds! While you may have to get past a lot of other people’s “treasure”, more often that not you may find a piece or an item that will be the perfect addition to your space. I’ve found everything from a marble shelf (see below) to new kitchenwares!
  • Remember the old term elbow grease? It’s very much alive today and you can create stylish, functional pieces for your space with some hard work. Remember that coffee table you found at one of your yard sale adventures? With a bit of TLC, a can of spray paint, some new hardware and love, it can instantly become a $25 focal piece for your living room.
  • Clearance and sales should not be taken lightly. Things that are “past season” or “price-reduced” still have great value. Use your creative eye and see what masterpiece you can produce!

Here are few simple ways I incorporated my elegant finds and creations into my space.

Accessory lamps don't have to be costly. This peach shade was found in clearance at Target and the lamp purchased at a re-sale store in Nashville. The grand total: $12!

Accessory lamps don’t have to be costly. This peach shade was found in clearance at Target and the lamp purchased at a re-sale store in Nashville. The grand total: $12!

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That marble shelf that I mentioned earlier: I paid $5 at a yard sale for it this summer! It’s a perfect decorative element right above my bath tub that adds a unique layer to my bathroom.

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One project I took on for my guest bedroom was fixing up an old wardrobe. After painting and finishing it, I added these simple yet classy knobs. The bronze knobs were being discontinued at Home Depot so I paid 22 cents a piece. Score!

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Another yard sale find. A once black decorative photo collage now is a chic silver piece of art for my wall. Total cost for spray paint and frame: $8.

I wasn't joking about the twenty-five dollar coffee table found at a yard sale. It really happened. With a really good sand, black paint, a semi-gloss finish, new hardware and baskets and boom!

I wasn’t joking about the $25 coffee table I found at a yard sale. It really happened. With a good sand, black paint, a semi-gloss finish, new hardware and baskets and boom! A vintage Pottery Barn twin.

What is on your top-of-the line items that you must simply get for your space? Can you find a way to make them or create them on your own?

Cheers!

Sara-Jane

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Room renovation: tackling the master

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What a busy few weeks filled with excitement, lots of craziness and elation. Fall semester in full swing brings lots of projects, assignments, tests and many upcoming deadlines to meet. The weather in Nashville is slowly shifting into cooler temperatures with autumn just around the corner, and that alone excites me: can you say no more humidity and finally some cool evening runs in the near future!

But I’m also delighted in getting the opportunity to recently share my new home and all of its current projects to some friends. The entire motivation for putting much planning and time into the project is to make others feel comfortable and enjoy the atmosphere as much as I do. While my eagerness is still driving, I’m enthusiastic to share an update on my first complete room in my home. Yes, one is officially done. We’re making big strides now.

Let me lay it out on the table right now so you’re very aware. I am a planner by nature and a planner in all that I do. It’s simply a part of who I am. The project of “planning” my master bedroom and bathroom started ultimately months ago, and my brain is still adding details and accessories to enhance the space. I know there are others out there that will understand where I’m coming from. Go, Team Perfectionists!

Part of my planning nature involves an abundance of lists. Lists are, and ALWAYS will be, some of my best friends. So let’s chat about an exploration.  Let’s go through the process of shaping a simple plan together. It will be a helpful starting point to creating your perfect space with a very simple list. Our first one won’t be crazy–I promise!

  1. Explore and get some inspiration. Sounds simple enough, right? Discover what YOU like. Use sites like Pinterest, HGTV, StyleAtHome or gather inspiration from blogs, Instagram or other sites you follow. It’s important to focus on you, and a few ideas, rather than an abundance of other’s ideas.
  2. Hone in on your top three inspirations. Whether it is a picture of an Italian garden filled with lush greenery, or your favorite sports team’s new uniforms colors. This will allow you to see your style and determine what you want in the space.
  3. Time for a scheme! Color is important and completely can make or break a space. Colors evoke emotion and colors stimulate ambience. It’s important to investigate colors and look at them in different lighting. Color is a powerful tool and a topic that we will talk about more on another day.
  4. Once the colors are in the works, let the creative juices start flowing. For me it’s sketching out my vision. I enjoy creating floor plans that let me see my space. Decide on a layout that makes sense for you. I personally think sketching and drawing ideas out is the best way to envision the space. But hey, that’s just me. Feel free to be creative with your process of visualizing.
  5. Think about what items are needed in your space. What is the space mostly used for? Is it a space where you spend a lot of time entertaining or a space that is mainly used for relaxing and unwinding? This shows you what items are a priority to have and what is more or less fluff and less functional.
  6. If you already have items in your home that you want to incorporate into the redesign, feel free to use those as a means to tie in to your colors. For instance, look at a favorite patterned pillow and pull out a shade of warm blue that you like. Look at swatches of colors and see if you can find something similar for your wall color. You will be surprised how small subtle colors can be interwoven in the space just by the details.
  7. Trust your intuition. So many will overthink the space and get caught up in the details. While the details matter, it’s important to step back and look at the whole picture. A space that is for you and to make you happy.

So here is my master bedroom, beginning with the sketching phase and inspiration to the final steps (thus far)!

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Sketching is an easy way to capture your ideas and see them come to life!

 

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Every day items can provide inspiration for you. This pattern was off of a tissue box. The colors are playful and vibrant. Definitely a vibe I wanted to incorporate in my space.

 

If you have items at home that you want to incorporate; take a photo of them. Use colors from the object within your scheme.

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Don’t be afraid to go with items that reflect your personality. I used a bold headboard and paired it with some playful pillows with fun textures.

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Use a limited number of statement pieces. One bold piece (such as this dresser) can be very powerful and speak volumes on its own.

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Incorporating a color in your scheme with your furniture is tricky, but if the right piece is found, it can be fabulous. This mirrored nightstand adds just enough wow and contrast to my bold peach accents.

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What is the first space in your home that you would choose to “tackle” and renovate if you had the opportunity?

Cheers.

Sara-Jane

 

Welcome to my Nashville neighborhood

Hi, y’all! I am excited to be a new member of the blogger community and share my experiences as I take on the challenge of turning my foreclosed fixer-upper and into my first home. Let me back track a bit and share  a bit about how we got here so you better understand what made me want to start writing.

A few months ago I decided there’s no time like now to continue on with my college education, and so I began my pursuit on a new degree in public relations. Helping, creating, planning and fixing are skills that come naturally to me—so PR seemed like the perfect fit. The more difficult choice was choosing a school to attend. Since I was young, I’ve always wanted to live where I had easy access to the beach and sunshine–or in a big city–where I still get my sunshine. It made sense that I chose to apply to a few schools on the West Coast along with schools in the good ole South (think Los Angeles, San Diego, Palm Beach, etc.)

What didn’t make sense is why I would choose a little school in Nashville, Tennessee; a place I’d never been before. A location that is not a big city, has no beach, or is relatively close to the beach ironically.

However, there was something different about this place. Warm and inviting even on a cold day in February. The people were lovely, the food was delicious, the music was simply wonderful and my heart told me that it was the place where God wanted me.

Fast forward a few crazy weeks later as I decided it was time to transition on to the next phase in my life. It was not a simple move, for I was and am so close to many of my amazing co-workers, friends and family. I didn’t want to leave behind those great friendships and relationships. As I get older, I realize more and more how important those relationships are and how important it is to keep the good ones close. But when you feel called to a new place, sometimes it’s just what you have to do.

So, that’s the beginning of my journey. Not being the typical 21-year-old and always having an ambitious agenda, I decided if I was going to relocate; I would create a place that was home. A place that was comfortable for myself and others. I did some research on the real estate market in Nashville. Correction: I did A LOT of research on the real estate market. Researching to the point where I felt like I already lived in the city for a good period of time. With the help of my real estate agent (and now new friend), I found the perfect place!IMG_0038

A two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo located just about 20 minutes from downtown Nashville. I visited the condo, and I knew it was the place I would eventually buy (fingers crossed).

I made that process sound quite easy–when that is far from the truth (Tip: If you ever decide to purchase a foreclosure–be prepared–it is a process with lots of hoops to jump through: see more on foreclosures here). Matter of fact, in a period of 48 hours my offer was accepted, countered, accepted again, countered once more, rejected and then somehow accepted over. Describing those two days as a roller coaster ride would be an understatement. With lots of prayer and patience  the I’s and T’s were finally dotted and crossed, and I was officially a home owner! Still living in Pennsylvania and planning without actually being there to “do” anything was demanding. Picking out colors, furniture, trim, fixtures, closet hardware, drapery, rugs and all the odds and ends between was a task. I do have a bit of a background in interior design; however, to be able to put a space together without being there–well that’s a true challenge.

 

 

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With some exciting tips, treasures, and fun ways that hopefully are helpful to add some fresh looks to your home too, today the journey and process of bringing my condo to life officially begins. Can’t wait for y’all to watch and see how my high-end taste and my college student “shoestring budget” unfold together! Things are for sure going to be interesting. Have you gone through a move, renovation, or similiar experience?

Cheers.

Sara-Jane