March 27, 2013

Home Stylin: My Frugal and Artsy Home...Part 1

By Amy

Our front door!  I made this felt wreath, a Pinterest find.
A new apartment/house is chock-full of heavenly possibilities; just like a blank, white canvas. 

(Only metaphorically, though...we're renting, so I can't paint any walls!)

Every move, Patrick has to brace himself, because I morph into this obsessive decorator-freak!  And, since we are living off student loans while my husband goes to grad school full time (I make a little money teaching art lessons to neighbor kids--woot!) home is furnished frugally.  (In other words, we are thrift store, garage sale, and Craigslist junkies.)

There is something so satisfying in making a house a home, especially when you don't have much money to do so--You gotta be creative and willing to DIY!

I firmly believe a home should reflect the people who live there--their hobbies and lifestyle and personalities.  Even if a house is gorgeous--looks like it came straight out of Pottery Barn--if you can't see a clue about the people who live there, to me it isn't yet a "home".  There's gotta be those personal touches.  So, here's a glimpse into who we are...

Welcome to our home!

Home: Rented top floor of an old home; two bedrooms, 1 bathroom; located on a street filled with trees, a school, and an eclectic assortment of neighbors.
Who lives here: Amy (that's me!) Patrick (my cool, bald husband) and Hayden (our cute baby boy) 

I'll give you descriptions of how we acquired our stuff for cheap.  Skip the descriptions if you just want to look at pics.  Also, keep in mind that it has taken us 3 years to accumulate our furnishings.  There was a time when we had no couch, we didn't have chairs for our kitchen table for about a year (we sat on mismatched stools, including a bucket) and we've spent a ton of time looking online and at thrift stores.  It's worth the time, when you don't have the money!

Living Room.  This room shows our loves--what is most central in our lives.  We have a big portrait of our own little family, smaller pics of our larger fams, and pics that show our faith (The Temple where we were married and a portrait of the Savior).

We have a music corner set up where Patrick and I sing while he plays the piano or guitar.  And....we have my loves: Art, Geography, and books.  Oh, and I can't forget, Hayden's love: toys.  ( He adds his decoration style by pulling out all the movies and leaving every toy and book all over the room, but...I picked up for the photo.)

There are also some quirky little things that I love and Patrick tolerates.  Ha! True love there.  He is sweet, and gave up decorating control early on when he realized how much decorating my space means to me.  In exchange, I try to honor any of his "absolutely not, that is hideous" or "You've got to be kidding."  But, these are rare, thankfully.

I purposely keep this room open (no coffee table or big ottoman) because this is the rooms where Hayden runs around, where we bust out the dance moves, and where I work out to Jillian Micheal's DVD...she's a beast, huh?  Haha...

Couch on left: Craiglist.  Couch on right: Came from Heaven.  Ha!  Just kidding, I just REALLY like this couch; it was our first one--we looked for a decent, affordable couch that didn't harbor lice for's actually from the RC Willey Outlet ( was returned.  They are crazy people, cause it's SUPER comfy and reclines on both sides!)  I spent the majority of my first tri of pregnancy here, I read books to my son on here everyday, and my husband and I have cuddled through many a movie.  I'm quite attached to it.

Curtains: My mom whipped these up from fabric we found on sale at the fabric store.  Lamp: D.I. (it's like Goodwill. I am a D.I. rat.)  The base was originally brown, but I bought a sample-sized jar of teal paint from Home Depot and painted it in my kitchen.  The shade is new from Walmart.
Painting next to lamp: by me.  Pillows: leftover curtain fabric, a Christmas gift (the tan one), and a sweater I loved, but never wore, cause it fit me weird (the teal diamond pillow).  It flatters the pillow much better than it did me.  Guitars and Amp: the wild band-days of Patrick's youth.  Haha.  The end-table: Kings, of all places.  It was on clearance for $25!  Picture above guitars: gift.

The Music corner
Tall Lamp: Walmart right after we got married.  I hope to upgrade at some point!  Piano:  Ok, this was a real splurge (aka--not used or on clearance, though we did find a good package deal).  We bought it when Patrick graduated with his Bachelor's.

Charcoal Head Drawing: by me.  Family Photo: taken by my sister (free!)  Picture of Christ next to doorway: Christmas gift. Bookcase: Fred Meyers, buy one, get one free!  We'd looked on Craiglist and Amazon for months, but bookshelves I liked the look of were too expensive, or if we could afford them, they were not too pretty!  Yikes.  So, with the bogo deal, it was a good price! The other is still in its box, so when we live in a bigger place, we'll have room for more books. WOO!  (I still have a box or two full of books at my parent's house...)  Little Ottoman: Fred Meyer's clearance, $20.

The bottom two shelves are dedicated to Hayden's toys and books; I worry for the day he can reach the next shelf.  And, I am so happy to tell you, he LOVES his books!  He kicks and waves his arms gleefully when we ask him if he wants to read a book, and brings them to us for a read at any time of the day!  It does my heart good...I'm raising a book nerd, just like me! :)

Conch shell: I bought at a flea market in Hawaii on a High School Choir Trip.  Picture of the Temple: gift from my mom.  Giraffe: D.I.!  Little round box: bought at a craft store for like 50 cents, then I painted it with the paint I used on the lamp to add the teal accent to that side of the room.

I love reading to a point where I don't sleep, eat, or go to the bathroom when I'm under a book's spell. (sometimes I'll finally go to the bathroom, but then I just end up sitting on the toilet for a hundred pages before I realize that my bum is cold and falling asleep.)  Most of my books are from D.I., book orders and sales, and used.  I never just go buy a book full-priced.

TV: free, hand-me-down from Patrick's parents.  Entertainment Center: Craigslist, $50 (it was pretty dinged up, I used wood markers to resurrect it.)  Globe: gift from D.I. (I loved globes before they were cool, so ever since Middle School I got a used globe or two for every birthday and Christmas...I have 27.  For reals.  Most are still at my parents house.)

Watercolor painting: by me.  Treasure chest: gift from my mom.  Lantern: Ikea...I used lanterns at our reception, so I have tons!  Graham Sign: wedding gift.  Photo of Patrick and I: Alyssa, Patrick's sister took this...It's my favorite wedding pic!  And the plain wooden frames are all from the reception too.  The Owl Sentsy: last Christmas gift.  Drums: gifts from a long time ago.  Banana Chair: D.I.

Family Pics and Snapshots are really fun to have where your guests will see them.  It's nice for them to see where and who you come from and the snapshots are fun...less formal than what people usually have in their living room.

Hayden is getting ready to yank down all the VHSs...his favorite hobby.  Oy.

Box: gift that I repainted with the teal paint.  Fabulous Little Ceramic Pig: I found at D.I. and I did a happy jig when I did!  Patrick doesn't love it, but...he loves me, so there it is! :)

Clock: wedding gift.  And, I love our arched doorways and the cool windows in the door! 

KitchenI love the hardwood floors!  I was never into bright red much, but the owners painted it right before we started renting, and I actually have loved it! :)

Teal shelf: came from my parent's was in bad shape, but we re-painted it with the teal! (use what you got, right?)  Storage jars: gifts.  Wood bookshelf: Craigslist $20...We needed more storage, but it had to be high enough that Hayden couldn't reach...this is real wood, too!  Patrick's duffle-bag-of-a-lunch box sits on the second shelf when he's home from class.  Vase: gift from my sister, Sherie (check out her sweet home!)  And, there's the bucket stool in the right corner that I made at girl's camp...haha.

Print: BYU-I student art sale.  LOVE it. The colors perfectly match the vase! It's called "Call the Kettle." by E. House.  Do any of you BYU-I alumni know who that is?   Tiny Piano: a High School art project of Patrick's.

Watercolor Texture Painting: by me.  Clock: gift from my mom bought at Walmart, I think, we re-painted the outside ring, which was white.  Table top: free from a furniture company (it had a little damaged spot on the side, but it works great!) Table legs: Patrick and his dad beveled the bottom of stair rail endposts then Patrick stained them.  Canvas....oy.  I have yet to paint something on it, so for now it has scrapbook paper stapled to it! Ha!

This sweet little corner cupboard displays some of my favorite little nicknacks and heirlooms, along with a ceramic man with a top hat I made during my art school days.  Isn't he cute!?  His hat comes off.  He is supposed to be a cookie jar, but, like 3 cookies fit in his head.  Ha.  This cupboard now holds a hanging little globe instead of the lantern and a tiny ceramic globe ring holder. (I know, more globes...)

Knives set: wedding gift.  Cookbooks: gifts. 

Freaking sweet stool: D. mom bought this for me.  I would pay GOOD money for another one to make a set!  Isn't it so quirky and cool!?


Spice Turntable Thingy: wedding gift.  Knife Magnetic Strip: Ikea, $15...we love it!

I love how the light comes in through the big window next to the table every morning while we eat our breakfast and shines on us.  (It makes me feel like I'm meditating or doing yoga...or something like that...when really, I'm just eating Life cereal while my son throws banana slices on the floor)  I don't love how the dishwasher does not work.  It is currently holding our cleaning supplies out of Hayden's reach. (Clever, huh?)

Well, folks...that was a lot of photos, so the tour will continue in the next post! I know the suspense is killing you... :)
(Click here to read Part 2)


P.S. I love feedback.  What do you think!? :)

P.S.S. Do you think the furry stump stool is crazy or crazy-cool? (I'm trying to convince Patrick to make me another one!)


  1. Very cute home, Amy! I love the world map globe and the magnetic knife strip!

  2. E. House!!! That is Elizabeth House, whom I dearly love. She was in my book arts and printmaking classes. She is very talented.

    Here is her blog:

    She has been teaching classes and designing fabric for the past couple years, and has accomplished so much!

    PS. I love that you have your head drawing final framed and hung. My very similar looking drawing is definitely the best head I ever drew- by far. :) That was a fun final. I'm glad I had you to sit by and laugh with. :D

    1. YAY! The mystery is solved! Ha, I should have thought of asking you before now! Yes, even as a poor college student, I saw her print and had to have it. It still delights me! :) Haha, yep, that was my final! I miss that class and I miss laughing with you in that class! :)

  3. Beautiful home, Amy. I love it all! Especially the stool, there has to be another!

    1. Thanks so much Erica! I know, I wish I could surround my whole dinner table with little tree stump stools!

  4. so cute! I love your decorating style, Amy! And I laughed at what you wrote about reading - not sleeping or eating, then getting distracted on the toilet... bahaha! Me too! :)

    1. Thanks so much Maddie! Oh, I'm so glad it's not just me...I usually get stuck reading on the toilet late at night...cause during the day, I can't even pee for 1 second and Hayden is pounding on the door! Haha!

  5. I love this post! It's so fun to get a peek into someone's house(ok..that sounds a little creepy..but it's true)!

    1. Haha, then I'm a creep too, cause I totally agree! :) Thanks, Ashley!

  6. LOVE all the colorful books. I agree with Ashley, I LOVE peeking into people's homes...I guess we can all be creepy together.

    1. Haha...we're creepers, alright! Thanks, Larissa!

  7. Love your quirky fun style!!!! So many cute things! :)

    1. Thanks so much! Ha, I'm glad you think it's quirky, instead of weird. :)

  8. Amy, super fun pieces. I love to shop at DI and thrift stores as well. You never know what you will find for a good deal!!!


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