Kitchen redesign featuring budget décor from antique stores, thrift stores and eBay.
By Debbie Manno
Tega Cay, South Carolina
Welcome to my favorite spot in our home, a light-filled space that showcases colorful budget decor! Some spaces just seem to inspire creativity. My kitchen and dining area are like that for me. Not so much for cooking, although my husband, Michael, and I do love inviting people over for meals. No, most of my enjoyment comes from trying fun and surprising ways to dress these areas up without breaking the budget.
Michael is a pharmacy manager. Me, I’m definitely a nester. Mom says I was rearranging family Christmas decorations to my liking by age 8! A couple of years ago I came across a decorating website that connected me with other people who love to refurbish and rearrange.
With their encouragement, I began blogging (debbie-debbiedoos.com) about my projects and ever-changing decor ideas, often in the kitchen. I just love the dining area, with windows on three sides. We left the tall back window uncovered because nature provides such a spectacular backdrop, especially in summer and fall. With that in mind, we chose a warm, buttery yellow for the walls. It’s worked with every color I’ve thrown at it with various accessories. And that’s been a lot of colors, and a lot of accessories!
I enjoy filling every nook and cranny, except the space over the cupboards, since I don’t relish the idea of regularly shinnying up a ladder to dust. I get a lot of satisfaction from trying new ideas to fit the season or my mood. Such regular re-accessorizing means doing it without breaking the budget.
Fortunately, Michael loves to poke around antique stores, thrift stores, eBay and clearance sales with me for items that speak to us. The most affordable are those that don’t speak to other people, often because they need a little TLC. I’ve even been known to drag home treasures that other people have put out with their trash, much to our sons’ horror. It just doesn’t take that much energy to point a can of spray paint at something. I’m no Picasso, but stencils and tape make it super-easy to get custom effects. And if you don’t like the results, it’s easy enough to start over. I truly believe color affects mood, so why not use it?
But it’s not just “new to us” items that get made over—and sometimes over and over. Likely as not, it’s a chair, lamp or some other long-cherished object telling me it wants some gorgeous new color, and maybe a new space as long as I’m at it. The bright-blue rooster you see on my porch now has shown up in various hues and in different places over the years.
No matter where they roam, most of my roosters eventually make it back home to my kitchen. I do worry about overdoing it sometimes—even our flatware has roosters. But to me, there’s nothing that says warm and homey quite like a cheery rooster. In just about any color!
Click here for a better look at Debbie’s kitchen layout.