Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Renovating & Decorating Bargains

From the Ikea blog
Don't get me wrong, when the mood takes me I can go shopping and spend some serious money. But more often than not I find its not always necessary to spend top dollar and I love finding good deals and inexpensive but stylish discoveries in unexpected places.
Its all part of that thrill of discovering a bargain. Who doesn't love it?

Here are some of my tips:
Jump On It:
Sales can pop up when you least expect them and when you're not ready. If you see something you absolutely LOVE and its on sale at an incredible price, think seriously about buying it.

Someone who was demolishing an old house some months back asked my husband if he wanted some of the old windows as they were going to the tip otherwise. He jumped at the chance even though he didn't think he could use them at the time and storing them was inconvenient. Sure enough they have come in handy on a project we are working on now. It saved us something like $10,000 in joinery costs.

Top: Some of my bargain buys - stools at The Reject Shop
and a Kas suzani cushion for half price.
The "Daisy" light from Ikea is cheap and makes a real statement.
Go Mass Market:
If you are a regular reader you'll know I have mentioned this before...
I am not a fan of cheap, mass-produced tat but I do love going to places like Ikea, ideally with my husband who has an eagle eye. I like to have a really good look around, searching through the crowded bins as well as standing back and looking at the big view. Sometimes you miss things if you are just looking at eye level or up close.
In the overwhelming sea of mass-produced STUFF you can find some great quality decorating items - these are some of my favourites:
- slip covers in a variety of sturdy cotton fabrics
- feather cushion inserts
- loose cushion covers in plain colours or bold patterns
- inexpensive but stylish light fittings
- linen/cotton mix curtains
- christmas decorations, festive table-top ideas

For my beach houses sometimes I even look in those kitch beachy shops or $2 stores and on the odd occasion I actually do find something. (Which reminds me of something I found the other day in the Reject Shop which I will post).
I also keep an eye on the racks of K-Mart, Target, Spotlight and even Aldi.

I recently found some fabulous upholstery fabric on the sale rack at Spotlight. It cost me $8 per metre and it was 2m wide. I had some old chairs covered in it and they look a million dollars!

Bargain Karma - Garage Sales, Recycling Centres, Second-hand Stores, Online:
This is a pretty obvious bargain source but I find the trick is, make your visits random. Whenever I'm looking for something in very particular, it just wont find me. When I'm not "looking" I find great things. Go figure?
If you are driving past a second hand store and something catches your eye, stop. If you are looking for something, ask the salesperson as more often than not they have lots of stuff out the back and "it" might be there.
Then there is the plethora of stuff you can find online on sites like Ebay, Gumtree etc. To be perfectly honest  I don't often find things this way but I know others do. Maybe you readers can share some tips?


  1. I agree with your comments so much in this post!

  2. This post sounds like me and I guess many others. It is always the way when looking for something, you can rarely find it. It is only when you are not looking that you spot things and then often don't have the spare dollars. Oh well...

  3. Hi!
    Great ideas...I never thought of shopping in such a way...I think your ideas will really help me a lot in renovating my house in limited budget...