Home Decor

Decorating on a Budget – How to Spruce Up Your Home Without Breaking the Bank – Part 1

I think from time to time all of us feel the need to spruce up our homes.  I know I do!  Maybe you’re bored with the décor, the seasons have changed or you just plain feel the need for a pick me up.  Well sprucing up your home doesn’t have to break the bank.  If you’ve read my earlier post about how the drought is affecting our farm you’ll know that I can’t spend a lot of money at this point in time.  But I still want our home to look nice so I’ve come up with a few simple ways to keep your home a sweet home without spending too much.  I’m going to share these ideas with you in a series of posts.

If you’re tired of your furniture but don’t want to splash out on new pieces, then grab some chalk paint and re-paint them!  It doesn’t cost a lot and it will give the piece a whole new lease on life.  Don’t forget about the waxes because this can alter the look even more.  This dresser had a blonde stain (which I put on it several years ago).  I wanted to make the piece more dramatic so I applied Annie Sloan’s Duck Egg Blue for the first coat (to give it a bit of depth) and then Paris Grey and dark wax.  The original hardware was brass which I didn’t care for so I changed it very inexpensively.


We were given a coffee table for our bar by my sweet mother-in-law.  She had no further use for it so I put my hand up.  It was a little worse for wear but that was easy to take care of.  Once again because chalk paint is an easy, cost effective way to change your furniture I decided to go that route with the coffee table.  I painted it with Annie Sloan’s Country Grey and finished it with dark wax.


I spend a lot of time in my office so I want it to be a room that’s pleasant to be in.  A couple of years ago I repainted the walls and changed up the shelving a bit, and that was all good.  But the ugly gray file cabinet was still driving me crazy.  So I decided to repaint it with Annie Sloan’s Old Ochre chalk paint and dark wax and voila the room looks remarkably better!  On a side note I applied too much dark wax and wasn’t happy with the results.  Then I remembered that you can remove it with clear wax.  I rubbed a bit of clear wax over the dark, being careful to leave a bit of the dark and it worked a treat!


We’ve owned the console and coffee table that are in our family room for years and I’ve always liked them.  They’ve held up really well, they offer good storage and they haven’t gone out of style (at least in my humble opinion).  But (and that’s a big “but”) I got to where I hated the color!  It was a blondish stain and was just too light for my liking.  I struggled with what to do with both pieces for months.  I tried several different chalk paint colors (you should see the testing I did on the inside of the drawers), but nothing really grabbed me.  Then I started to consider re-staining them and decided that would be the best way to go.  I knew I wanted them to be much darker so off to the paint store I went.  I found a great stain and varnish in one and bought myself a palm sander (I’ve always wanted one of those!) and off I went.  I was really happy with the results!


So as you can see, for a few bucks, a bit of time and elbow grease you can change the entire look of a room.  Be it with chalk paint and/or wax, new hardware or different stain, don’t be afraid to just jump in and do it!  Now stay tuned for Part 2 of this series!





  • Carmel Kenniff

    Yes Leigh you have made such a difference with your painting! I do like the darker stain on the console. Is that a pretend window? Curtain? You added behind the console? A nice idea too. The filing drawers really came up well, very nice. Colour schemes are like fashion and everything else, they date with time. The very modern furniture that is back in vogue now, I really don’t like as Kevin and I had it when we married in 1963!! At my age I think I have gone full circle!! I am enjoying your blog very much x

    • leighsevil

      You are so sweet Carmel and I so appreciate you for reading my blog. I’m glad you’re enjoying it! I love writing it. It is funny how fashion, whether it be clothes or décor, always seem to go full circle. xx

  • Carmel Kenniff

    Silly me Leigh, I can see now that behind the console is a nice splash of colour with a painting!! I am going blind as well as deaf I think!!!

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