Free and Cheap Decorating

PhotoAt the tile store some time ago, salivating over the $30-per-square-foot tile, I asked the clerk a brilliant question: “Do you have any free stuff?”

I was with a friend who is pretty classy, and she gave a nervous little laugh and I wondered for a second if this question was crass. But the clerk said, well, yes, we do have free stuff, and showed us a door leading to the alleyway behind the store. It seems they regularly place broken, extra and discontinued items out there, and all one has to do is drive by and check out the selection.

On this particular day, one of the treasures was a 26-inch-square, 1/2-inch-thick piece of plywood covered with gorgeous glass and ceramic tiles. I grabbed it and put it in my car.

Bringing it home, I almost had buyer’s remorse. Or was it “takers remorse?” I wasn’t sure what I would do with this new thing, and I wondered if I now had another 30 pounds of stuff I needed to get rid of.

But I finally found a place for it, on top of a side table in my living room (seen here). I crackle-painted the top of that table some years ago, but I’m ready to go in another direction. I need to figure out some kind of edge molding.

By the way, that red metal lamp is just about my favorite “get”; I picked it up at the swap meet for $15, bargained down from $20. Wherever I place it in my home becomes my favorite corner. And the wooden horse? Five bucks at a yard sale.

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2 Comments on Free and Cheap Decorating

  1. Catherine Crandall

    Wise and smart moves! I am impressed. You truly proved that we don’t need lots of money just to have elegant furniture. And that sophisticated lamp doesn’t look inexpensive at all. This is an encouragement for all the readers out there who are out of budget but eager to decorate their homes.

  2. Jeannie

    Very nifty. I am inspired.