Friday, January 28, 2011

A Little Bit at the Time (Baby Steps)

Have you ever had a room that you were so SICK of looking at and you just wanted to redo the whole thing?  And there was only one thing holding you back from transforming that room from drab to fab- you know what I’m talking about, money! 

Ah, if it weren’t for that one little thing, I would be living it up in a home that could grace the cover of the top home design magazines!  But, I’m tired of letting not enough $$$ keep me from getting the look (or at least close to it) that I want.  I just realize that I have to be more patient. 

If you are like me (and I know some of you are), you just don’t have the funds to rush right out and buy paint, flooring, furniture, and all of the accessories that you need.  Your decorating budget is like zero.  So, what do you do?  Nothing.  You just give up.  And you keep looking at that same room that you’ve been tired of now for 6 years.  But, what you COULD do is take baby steps. 

Start by envisioning the way you want the room to look- the colors, the style.  If you are like me, you have probably already been doing that. 

Now, take that one step further and buy or make something that would complement that style and in those colors.  It can be a piece of art to hang on the wall, some throw pillows, a rug, an end table from the thrift store- whatever it is, take that one baby step.  It need not be expensive.  It may not go with what’s there now but who cares?  You already know you’re sick of what’s in there and want to change it anyway. 

Once you have taken that first step, you can sit back and look at that one item and visualize how it will look in the room when it’s completed.  This will probably really get you going because you’ve already broken down and taken that one first step.  Or you may realize that it’s not your style after all.  No biggie because you haven’t made a huge commitment. 

Once you’ve gotten the ball rolling, as your finances and time allow, make another step towards your goal.  It may mean waiting weeks or months if your budget won’t allow it.  Just stay focused on that one item that you have.  You may want to make your second step a bigger step.  Maybe painting a piece of furniture that’s already in the room, maybe painting a wall.  You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to have a great looking room.  Be creative.  Try to make what you already have work for you instead of against you.  It’s okay to be taking baby steps in more than one room.  You may run across a great deal on fabric for one room before you finish painting the other room.  You just don’t want to spread yourself so thin that you aren’t really making any headway anywhere.

I’ll be taking some baby steps soon in my daughters’ rooms.  I’ll show you a little of what I have in mind for the oldest.  It may take me a year (or longer, I really hope not) to get it all done but I’m hoping to have it done in a few months.  If I had the funds, I could probably knock it out in a weekend but I don’t have that kind of budget.  I’m a stay at home mom, people.  No work = no income!!! 

In my tween daughter’s room, I’ll be doing a pink/black frenchy kind of look.  When I went thrifting the other day, I found this Eiffel Tower print to go on the wall:


That would be my first baby step.  My next was to buy her a new pink curtain (sorry no photo, I promise I’ll show you later).
I found this bedding at Kmart that I think will look good in there:

That will be my next step.  It will cost about $80 for the entire full size set (including the hamper).  Not too bad!  I plan to keep all of her furniture but I will have to paint it.  Right now she has a mismatched set with a large dresser with mirror, a dresser, a desk, and a nightstand.  I will paint some pieces pink and some black and paint the hardware the opposite color.  I have actually already spray painted her nightstand pink and her lamp black and lampshade pink.  Once I eventually get that done, I hope to paint the walls, add a rug, some more wall art (which I will probably make- in fact, I’ve already started), and maybe a few accessories.  She already has a few things that I know will coordinate with this color scheme. 

Now that I’ve taken a few baby steps, I’m psyched to get it all done.  But, I have to be patient.  It’s definitely not one of my virtues.  But, now that I have taken a few steps in that direction, I know I will be following through.  And that feels so much better than feeling like I’ll never do anything with that room.

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  1. I love this post! I think it's so true (and sad!) when people think they don't have the resources, so they don't do anything. When really, with baby steps and creative resources you really can create your dream. I'm excited to see your daughter's room. I love your ideas :)

  2. You are right on with your advice! Better to keep the eye on the prize by doing something toward the goal than to let the dream evaporate. I try to do something every week - even if I can't finish the project. That pink bedding is so pretty - bet your daughter is excited!

  3. How fun! Can't wait to see the end results. I do however think most of the time we can afford to paint and it can be the biggest and cheapest change. Most paint stores also have "oops" paint that that sale for just a couple of dollars!