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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