Elegant & Thrifty Sideboard Decor

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Who else here loves the thrill of the hunt? The thrift store hunt, that is. 😉 I don’t know about you, but I get soooo excited when I find something that I need and pay only a fraction of what it could have cost. I guess you could throw clearance sales and really good coupons into the mix too. Isn’t it so satisfying to finally find that perfect piece and not pay a fortune for it?

My sideboard decor had me puzzled for months. Ever since we knocked down the dividing wall between our kitchen and dining room as part of our kitchen remodel, it left us with a very long wall in our dining area. I originally had these cathedral arch windows above the sideboard, but it just felt off. I tried filling the void with a bunch of “stuff,” and it ended up just being cluttered. Yikes. 😮

I loved my cathedral mirrors – they were staying for sure, or so I thought. I sought the advice of the delightful “Bless’er House Budget Decorating Community” on Facebook. Those ladies have some great advice and came up with a lot of great ideas (you should check it out). Even after the great ideas, however, I was still at a loss. I was still trying to make those cathedral mirrors work because I had bought them for that spot.

Sometimes that’s the problem – we get it in our heads that something has to go in a particular spot and we lose our creative flexibility.

So in addition to being a Goodwill addict enthusiast, I also love Facebook Marketplace. I was browsing one day while the kids were napping and came across a pair of tall old windows – only $20 for the pair. I could hardly believe they were still available!

“How does this stuff just appear in our house?” – my husband

What the sideboard actually needed was something with more visual impact. The cathedral mirrors were too short and too many. It was looking squished and cluttered before I even began. As an aside, if you’ve never read the book Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith, I encourage you to check it out. Smith beautifully explains how to make the most impact in a room without making it cluttered, while her step-by-step plan guides you through your decor decision-making. It definitely changed my approach in some areas.

You’re supposed to paint old windows white, right?

Nope, you really don’t have to. In fact, I’m personally giving you permission not to. I was pleasantly surprised with how well the dark wood of the windows complemented the sideboard; it was the visual impact it needed. My handy husband strapped them together with metal brackets to form one unit, fitted them with D-rings, and hung them on the wall for me. ❤ He’s definitely a keeper. ❤

A few weeks later while on an outing to Goodwill, I came across two matching buffet lamps in excellent condition. $12 for the pair – win! I decided to switch out the original shades for something fresher and picked up two white shades from Walmart at $12 each. My thrifty side really didn’t want to pay the extra money, so I thought about painting the old shades, but decided in the end that a more modern shape would look better. Sometimes it is worth paying a little extra to get it right. 😉

Another day, my mom was kind enough to watch the kids while I ran some errands. All in one trip I found those decorative little balls (in the bowl) at Pier1 on clearance for $0.50 a piece and that lovely wreath at Joann Fabric for 60% off, plus an additional 25% off coupon! Woohoo! That brought the wreath total to around $12. I wasn’t even looking for those items when I left the house.

The vintage ironstone bowl has been in our family for years and was very sweetly given to me by my mom, so that was a freebie. ❤

  • Vintage Windows – Facebook Marketplace, $20
  • Lamps – Goodwill, $12
  • Lampshades – Walmart, $24
  • Wreath – Joann Fabric, $12
  • Bowl – Family Heirloom, $0
  • Decorative Balls – Pier1, $2
  • Total: $70

I love the glow of those lamps in the evening.

So the moral of our thrifty decorating story is…

  • Keep an open mind – you may stumble upon the right piece even if it isn’t what you originally had in mind! Not one thing on my sideboard is what I had planned, but I love how it turned out. 🙂
  • If a piece isn’t exactly right, ask yourself if it can be transformed into the right piece in a cost-effective way.
  • Don’t settle. Ask yourself, “Do I love it?” If not, walk away.
  • Be patient. You may walk out of a thrift store having found absolutely nothing, and that’s okay. Keep trying.
  • Keep an eye open for pieces that meet the needs of other spaces in your home – you may be shopping for candlesticks and run across a basket that would be perfect for holding all those blankets!
  • Always remember to check for sales and coupons at retail stores.

What types of places do you enjoy hunting for your thrifty finds? Drop me a comment – I’d love to hear from you! ❤

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