Thursday, February 25, 2010

Buy It as You Find It

Look at this thing! I put Baker next to it in the picture to show how enormous it is.

Why am I so excited about a gigantic bulletin board covered in scribbles?? Let me explain....

Whenever we decide to do a project around the house, I plan it forever. I draw it up in my mind, and on paper a million times. I dwell on the details. Usually, there is a long time between the initial idea, and the actual project. I like to have all my supplies ready before we begin. I collect it all as I find it. (to be honest, I am always collecting fabric and furniture).

I do this for several reasons.
-I don't want to make a quick decision that I will later regret.
-I like to "gather" things over time. I don't want everything to match like a perfect set.
-It spreads out, and lowers, the expense.

I love vintage things. (A nice word for old, used, and cheap). I also love a very, very good deal. I am convinced you can find almost anything you need at a great price if you are patient. That's not to say I don't splurge. I'll tell you about one of those in a moment.

A good example is my son's room. I knew exactly what I wanted. I shopped periodically for a year to get it all together. I still love it - even though he tells me daily it is no longer cool. The "cool" room is now under construction in my head.

My husband did all the building- and, yes, I know how lucky I am.

It all started with the collection of pencil sketches I found. They are all different breeds of dogs, in various poses.

I found all the frames in a box of junk at the flea market. I paid around $1 for each of them. Most of the mats are stock sizes, but the others I had cut at a local frame shop that is very reasonable. I asked them to use mat they would otherwise throw away - because I knew I was going to paint it....

I painted it all black. I used paint and some stain to age and distress them a bit.

It all went pretty much the same from there. I would find something I thought was wonderful, my husband would roll his eyes at me and mutter a few things that included the word 'junk'.

Here is a quick rundown of my year long treasure hunt.

=The other prints are from an antique book found at the flea market. The frames are from Wal-Mart, stained red.
=The stool is from a thrift store - I used $1 fabric from Wal- Mart to cover it.
=Light fixture and shade, $7 together from the flea market. I painted the light black.
=Ceiling fixture- stock outdoor light from Lowes $25.
=Bone shaped pillow was meant to be a dog toy. $7=Bedcover is fabric from a clearance bin. $17 total.
=I painted a faux finish in a bathroom for a seamstress in exchange for the tan pillows and curtains.
The splurge I mentioned earlier?? The 2 wool hooked pillows with the dogs. They are from Chandler 4 Corners. My husband would divorce me if he knew what I paid for them. Really. It was bad. But, I figured I was saving so much money on everything else...

= Chair - garage sale $15
= Pillow $7 at a craft fair
= laundry basket $6 @ Dollar General
= Please ignore the big spot of unpainted plaster. It is not a decorative touch. We accidentally knocked a hole in the wall while removing the cast iron tub from our bathroom just opposite this wall.

- Desk Chair - free from my mom
= Memo board - made from $10 Flea market frame, leftover fabric, and wooden buttons.
= Desk Lamp - $9 Flea Market
= All the things on the shelf came from random places. I know I bought the Milkbone tin at me neighbor's garage sale for .50 cents. Most of the others came from the flea market.
=The baskets came from Dollar General, at $1 - $3 each.
= black Leather 'E' Marshall's $8.

These lab hooks were $3.50 each @ Hobby Lobby.

I thought the buttons on the drapes made it a little less formal, more childlike. am so glad I was able to have a real professional make these. It was a rare treat. And, since this is the window that my kids use to see if Miss Beth is home (my WONDERFUL neighbor that my kids ADORE), it gets pulled back and forth a lot.

Even if you think this room is horribly ugly, I promise the process works.
Be patient, shop carefully, think cheap! The end result is much more rewarding than a bed in a bag.

I hope to soon post the pictures of my "ugly Chairs" - read about them here. I collected them this fall.

Oh, the bulletin board. The 'cool' room in my head has a wall area covered in cork, for all those posters, awards, etc. I had priced it, and it was going to run about $65. I came across this bad boy today at the thrift store for $12.99!! Since I planned on painting the cork the same color as the wall , the marks don't matter a bit. Now I just have to break the news to my husband that we will be storing it in the garage for a while.

I bet he's gonna be thrilled!

Littlebits Designs


  1. I am in love with this room, we are also doing Dogs for my sons big boy room!

  2. The bed and desk are amazing! I totally love it and will have to bookmark this for future reference!

  3. I love this room! So very classy! You are so talented!

  4. How fun is that built in bed!!! I want one!

  5. Stopping by from Kelly's Korner and all I can say is WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe this room is no longer "cool". I would want to have this room for myself!

  6. This is the neatest room I have ever seen! I would have never been able to come up with that! Very cool!

  7. Incredible job - this room belongs in a magazine!

  8. One of a kind room and absolutely awesome!
    You have a great eye for design!

  9. My nephew had a bedroom that was entirely cork board walls. They lasted for a very long time and I always thought it was a great idea. I think you will be very happy with your idea.