budget decorating

Guest post by Fiona Kelly from Fashmom

Fashmom back again.  Glad to be here for another guest blog while Manvi kicks back.

In accordance with Mochatini’s eco-friendly design premise,  I’m going to talk about re-decorating  on the cheap in an environmentally friendly way. Thrift shopping is the good old fashioned way to save money while saving the environment.  As they say, One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Though trash has negative connotations, I can tell you that after living in NYC for years, I’ve acquired some quality freebies from the curb.  A sold oak chest, an antique baby chair and Ikea shelves to name a few. If you’re not comfortable with “garbage shopping”, try the Salvation  Army, flea markets,  and garage  sales. They can be great places to score one of a kind pieces that will be the envy of your friends. If you are even remotely crafty, like you can pick up a paint brush, then you can breathe new life into other peoples cast offs.  A bright coat of paint over a beat up dresser can do wonders.  If you want more high end pieces and  have a little extra cash to spend there are great online auction sites and of course more upscale antique and furniture shops. Ebay and first dibs both have huge selections for just about every taste.

The bottom line is when you buy used (pre-loved) merchandise,  you cut down on production, manufacturing,  packaging and freight costs; environmental and otherwise.  Even small scale helps.
Here are some tips…
• Buy mismatched china instead of place settings from a department store.
• Collect bottles and use them as vases.
• Use tea cups for your herb garden.
• Instead of wall paper, cover a wall in framed photos, postcards and art you collect.
• A wall of mirrors looks cool and makes a space appear larger.
• Find beat up chairs. Re-paint the frame and recover the seat with new fabric.  Re-upholstering is a great way to make something old new again.  You can also just leave as is. Wear and tear shows character.

Enjoy the pictures and share some of your own budget decorating ideas.














Check out my related post on fashmom about vintage clothes shopping. Thanks again to Manvi.  Hope to see and hear from you at fashmom!

images: Living, Marche au Puce, Real Simple, John Derian, Haringtons Main, Zara

decorating tip: reuse glass jars and bottles as vases


Here’s an easy decorating tip from Better Homes and Garden magazine and stylist Donna Telley.


Cheer up dull spaces by adding fern fronts and single flower stems in assorted glass jars. Flea markets, thrift stores are good sources to score inexpensive jars and bottles. A more budget friendly source – your kitchen pantry. Recycle  daily use glass bottles and jars. Mix oil bottles with pasta sauce jars and clean wine bottles and milk bottles to create an assortment. A selection of varying shapes and sizes creates an attractive cluster.

I remove labels by immersing the jar/bottle in a pot of boiling water and soap. Scrub label and sticky residue away using a dish brush. For more stubborn spots BHG recommends using an adhesive remover, which can be found at your local hardware store. Let them air dry. 

Fill jars/ bottles with warm water and place flower stems and foliage. Viola!

images, MDH, BHG and Matthew Benson