Friday, July 9, 2010

Tips for Style on a Budget-Guest Blogger

The ideas below come from Greg Kinsella of London's Chelsea Harbor. He is guest posting on this blog today. What Greg offers us below are ideas that are creative, inexpensive to complete and can be done at home.

I especially like the use of doilies for the "Chabby Shic" style of decor and the idea for all those wine corks that I've been collecting for years. Now I know what I can do with them!! Also, take a look at the use of Indian saris on the bottom. I personally love this idea.

Thrifty Style: 5 Tips for Style on a Budget

Decorating on a budget can be lots of fun since it challenges you to adapt random materials that you can find for cheap into cool items that radiate personality. Here are a few ideas for turning often discarded items into treasures:

1) Sand Candles

Make the most of old candle stubs by melting them and making sand candles. Press a glass or vase into a damp bucket of sand to make the right shape. Embed some crystals or sea shells around the edges of the sand mold and pat it down so the sides are firm. Then pour the melted wax into mold and make wicks out of birthday candles. When it is cooled and firm, dig around the candle and remove it. Gently and evenly wipe some of sand off, but not too much. Use a hair dryer -- or blow torch -- to heat up the outside shell of the sand so the wax penetrates and glues the sand together.

2) Old Aquariums and Fishbowls

Just because a glass aquarium has a crack in it is no reason to put it out to pasture. Plant a terrarium using your favorite herbs and set it up near a window. Create your own frame for the front of the aquarium to disguise its original aluminum framework. For a great bookshelf light, fill a fishbowl with white Christmas lights and crystals.

3) Wine Cork Mats

Put those wine corks to good use to make your own a bath mat, kitchen rug or even a huge area rug if you have enough corks. Simply split the corks in half lengthways and design a layout using the different shades for your pattern. Use a hot glue gun to paste the corks onto a single piece of non-stick shelf liner that measures the size of the area you want to cover. That's it, you now have a new, cool mat that absorbs moisture and muffles sounds.

4) Lace Doilies

Turn old lace doilies into decorative accent pieces with a little imagination. Cover a plain white lamp shade with layers of overlapping doilies to create a romantic scalloped effect. Make a chain of doilies and hang them from the ends of the curtain rods to soften up a window's straight lines. Glue them onto the glass of ceiling light fixtures to give the room a soft, dappled light.

5) Saris

Indian saris are made of exquisite yet durable materials woven into single long pieces that can be used for many decorating concepts. Saris hung across the ceiling in a bedroom can create a harem motif. For a special touch, hang strings of white Christmas lights inside of the saris for a striking ambient light source.

Guest post by: London interior designer Greg Kinsella

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  1. I love your ideas! The sand candles, how to re-use an old aquarium and the Indian saris with Christmas lights inside! Awesome! I already have an idea how to decorate my living room this summer!

  2. Oh i just love those Sand Candles, i wonder if you put some food colouring in the sand you could have all different colours too. My Mum loves Candles, i will be telling her about this. Great Blog

  3. I think food coloring would work!! Great idea.