Budget Tips — Budget Wise Home

Introducing Fabric Warehouse Direct

I’m so excited to introduce my newest sponsor, Fabric Warehouse Direct (FWD).  FWD is a discount fabric boutique and the home of “Designer Fabrics Below Wholesale Prices.” They offer exquisite first quality, brand-name closeout upholstery, drapery, wallpaper as well as other home decorating products at more than 50% off retail prices. They only buy first quality designer goods from trusted sources that have been in the business for years. As a result, they pass on tremendous savings to their customers – you!

Huge savings here, folks, on all the big names like Kravet, Brunschwg & Fils, Lee Jofa, Ralph Lauren, Titley Marr, Osborne + Little etc.  I urge you to check out the site at www.fabricwarehousedirect.com.

They are having their annual holiday 30% off blowout on Saturday 12/1/12 so prices will be bargain basement on a huge selection of designer fabrics and wallpapers.   It is ONE DAY ONLY!!

Here’s a preview of what’s up there!

I’m loving this upholstery fabric from Kravet

And this floral is just so lovely.  I would love to reupholster an accent chair in this fabric.

I think this green ikat from Kravet would make gorgeous drapes.  And it is so crazy cheap for this brand!  I can’t get over the price.

There are also a bunch of fun cotton prints for just $6.00/yard.  I love this bold wavy pattern.  It also comes in a blue colorway.

And this blue paisley is so cute.

Not only can you get crazy deals on high end designer fabric, but you can also snag some amazing wallpaper.

I am totally in love with this geometric block wallpaper.  There MUST be a space in my new home for this paper on a feature wall.  Love, love love!  And again, the price is ridiculous (in a good way).

Please show Fabric Warehouse Direct some love and check out more fantastic fabrics and deals.  Seriously, you can’t find “to the trade” designer fabrics anywhere for these prices.

 And with their annual 30% off sale tomorrow only (Saturday), you can get some amazing deals.



How to Mix Patterns

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that I love bold, graphic patterns.  I am hugely inspired by pattern and color in all my designs.  So how is it done?  You can mix lots of patterns together as long as the scale is right.  There’s a simple formula that works every time: One large, one medium, and a few small=pattern success.  This room below is a perfect example.


The large pattern here would be the area rug.  The medium is the painted wall pattern.  The small is in the ottoman and pillow fabrics.  If you look closely, you will see a lot of different patterns going on here.  Because the patterns are all different scales, they all come together to create a balanced and pleasing space.  Notice that the sofa, curtains, coffee table, and most remaining walls are solid and neutral.  These things create a resting place for the eye and keep the space from feeling too busy.  It’s all about balance.

So how do you translate this formula into your own space?  Start with the patterns you already have.  Whether it’s a few pillows or a rug, build your space and layer on more patterns accordingly.  If you’ve got some pillows with a smaller scaled pattern, try adding a larger scale pattern with curtains, a rug, or wall stencil.

It’s not an exact science, but if you stick to the formula above, you can’t go wrong.

Metal Repair Tape Art

Last week I found this pic on Better Homes  & Gardens and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.  They used a few canvases and some metal repair tape to create some amazing artwork.

via BHG


I’m loving how these look!  They tie in beautifully with the other metallic, silvery accessories in the space.  I’ve never used this stuff before, but I really want to grab some and play around with it.  I love the geometric patterns they’ve created on the canvases.  You could even put this directly on the walls and create a cool treatment that would look like wallpaper.  Or use it to wrap around a curtain rod, lamp base, or frame.  It might look like a silver leaf finish, maybe?  Oh–the wheels are turning!!  Have any of you ever used this tape before?  I’m itching to try it out and I think I have just the thing to use it on.  Fingers crossed this stuff works and sticks as good as I imagine it to.


DIY Map Art

I love using maps as artwork.  They look great just about anywhere and are very budget friendly.  If you aren’t keen on framing an entire map, cut it up into smaller sizes and create a bunch of different art pieces.

via BHG

You can get a variety of different looks depending on which kind of map you choose.

My favorite place to buy maps is on Amazon.  They have lots of styles and most large prints are under $20.

Find more ideas on decorating with maps here.

Open Shelves and Glass Jars

I love the look of open shelving in the kitchen.  I especially love displaying glass jars filled with food.




I have an empty wall in my kitchen that is perfect for some open shelves.  So last week I picked up a couple of these Ekby shelves and brackets from Ikea.

 I love the clean lined look of the brackets.  I also picked up a few glass Burken jars to display my commonly used dry ingredients.

I think the best decor for the kitchen is food.  If something is not functional or doesn’t serve a purpose for the kitchen, it should find a new home in another room.

Magazine Organization

I have so many magazines and they are always piling up.  Do any of you suffer from constant magazine piles like me?


I’ve been gearing up to do some major magazine organization.  Right now I store all the issues I’ve already read in these file boxes on top of my desk.


This works great for storing the entire magazine, but I find that I NEVER go back and look through the pages that I marked and the things I wanted to remember.  So I really want to go through all of them and tear out individual pages.  I’d like to organize them by room.  Something similar to this.

 I’ve been debating how to best go about doing this.  I think the binder way, with sheet protectors, will work best for my needs.  There’s also the file box method.


I need some serious motivation to get started on this project, but it must be done.   How do you organize your magazines?  Surely I can’t be the only one with a million dog-eared pages.

Fabric as Wallpaper

I’m in love with wallpaper, it’s true!  I’ve never actually applied wallpaper myself and I don’t really want to try.  It’s a little daunting to me.  I will have a beautifully wallpapered room someday, but I’ll leave it to a professional to install.  There is another option, however, that seems less scary.  It’s also not permanent which is great if you’re me, and have the hardest time making decisions.
Placing fabric on your walls is a fairly simple process which will give you the same look as wallpaper.  The only difference is you are using liquid starch which allows you to easily remove and reuse as needed.  Yes, it’s easily removable!  This is such a a great decorating idea for any of you who rent your home.  It’s like having your cake and eating it too!


Here are a few simple instructions.


  • LINIT® Starch
  • Fabric
  • Paint Roller
  • Pan


  1. Wash the wall to remove any dirt or film.
  2. Measure from the floor to the ceiling and add a couple extra inches.
  3. Cut the fabric accordingly. If fabric has a design, be sure to match the design before cutting the next panel as when using wallpaper.
  4. Pour starch into a clean paint tray.  Apply starch to the top half of the wall with a paint roller.
  5. Smooth fabric into place at the top of the wall, leaving about one inch to be trimmed later. Use push pins to hold the fabric temporarily in place if needed. Apply more starch going down the wall as needed until you get to the floor.  Leave about one inch extra overlap at floor level.
  6. Apply starch to the top of the fabric, brushing and smoothing the fabric in place to remove bubbles and wrinkles. Be sure the starch penetrates the fabric evenly.
  7. Work your way down the panel, continuing to roll starch onto the wall, smoothing the fabric, and applying more starch.
  8. Position the second panel, matching the design along the edge. Repeat steps.
  9. Around windows and doors, leave a one inch overlap as with the ceiling and floor.
  10. Fabric overlap should be cut when the fabric is completely dry. It will then cut clean and easily and any shrinkage will have occurred        before you trim.
  11. For a finished look (if your cuts aren’t perfect) you will want to hide the edges. Molding or a decorative ribbon will get the job done.


To Remove Fabric From Wall: Peel one corner loose, then gently begin to peel the fabric off of the wall panel by panel. If the fabric does not peel easily, dampen the fabric with water using a wet sponge and it should come right off.  Easy peasy!  Your fabric can then be washed and re-used for another project.


So what do you think?  Is this a project you would feel brave enough to try?


This post was sponsored by Rentals.com

Rentals.com and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in their monthly blogger programs. As part of that program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. The winner of this giveaway will be randomly chosen and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.

Framed Ikat Fabric

I have a bit of a fabric obsession, as you know.  I’m especially drawn to the beauty of ikat fabrics.  I love the idea of framing a large piece of it to create a beautiful and inexpensive piece of artwork.

I don’t even mind the loose wrinkles in the fabric above.  It sort of gives the space a more casual feel.

You can get a quality ikat fabric anywhere from $15-$40 a yard.  Most of them run 54 inches wide, so just one yard of fabric would give you a large 36 x 54 inch piece of artwork.  That’s a great price for something that big.  Look for a large frame at a flea market or thrift store and cut your fabric to fit whatever size frame you find.



It’s just lovely, I think!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  See you back here on Monday.

Rental Tips & A Gift Card Giveaway

I have another exciting giveaway to announce today.  The lovely people at Rentals.com are giving away a $50 American Express gift card to one of you lucky readers.  Who wouldn’t want to win that?!

But first, let me give you a few decorating ideas for all those who are currently renting.  Now is a great time to make some fresh Spring updates to your place.  Most likely you can’t paint the walls, but that doesn’t mean your space has to be boring.  Here are my top 5 rental decorating tips that won’t break the bank.


Bring in the Color

You don’t need paint to add color to your space.  Pillows, blankets, linens, and rugs are all you need to create a space you love.  Add some colorful pillows to your sofa, get a fun patterned rug, and add color with curtains.  And the bonus: you get to take it with you when you move!


Swap the Hardware

A great way to make a quick update in a rental space is by switching out the hardware all over the house.  This can be anything from kitchen knobs and pulls, to bathroom hooks and towel bars.  Most rental places have old or very standard hardware that isn’t super attractive.  This is an easy way to infuse a little of your style into the space without doing anything major.  Just make sure you keep the old stuff and re-install it before you leave.  The bonus: you get to take the nice hardware with you when you move!


Add Some Artwork

A great way to bring in your personality and style to a rental space is with artwork.  Nothing is more personal and it’s also a great way to add some color.  Even if you’re not allowed to put holes in the walls, grab some strong Command removable hanging strips and you’re set.  There’s always a way to get around the rules.


Cover it Up

If you live in a rental that is already furnished, a slip cover could be your best friend.  There are tons of options these days to cover up something that may be an eye sore or just not your taste.


Offer to Pitch In

If your place is in need of a serious update, talk with the owner about a possible renovation.  Be prepared and approach them with a plan that makes sense.  Show them the benefits of the updates, like being able to charge more rent in the future.  Many owners are willing to make updates if you are willing to do some of the work and want to stay there for a long time.


Now it’s back to the giveaway!  Up for grabs is a $50 American Express gift cardTo enter, leave a comment on this post telling me what you’d spend the money on.  For extra entries you can “Like” me on Facebook, or sign up for my newsletter on the sidebar.  Just leave me a separate comment for each.  Good luck!  I will announce the winner next Friday.


Here are some more great resources and articles that are worth checking out whether you rent or own.

Looking for ways to get your home ready for warmer weather? Rentals.com has great ideas to help you prepare your home transition from spring to summer.
When you’re ready for a new place to call home, Rentals.com has the information you’ll need to find the perfect property for your family – choose from rental houses, apartments, condos or townhouses.
“Like” Rentals.com on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Rentals.comor follow them on Twitter @Rentals.com to get their latest tips on making the most of your home.  

Prioritize Your Home Maintenance Routine With The Rentals.com Checklist
Simple Steps For Getting Your House Ready For Warm Weather Months
Circuit Breaker 101: Learn What To Do When The Lights Go Out
Repair it Yourself or Call For The Handyman? How to Know Who to Call 


Rentals.com and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in their monthly blogger programs.  As part of that program, I received compensation.  They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. The winner of this giveaway will be randomly chosen and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.

Clever Organization

Here’s a look at some of the most clever storage/organization ideas I’ve seen around the blogosphere lately.  I’ve definitely got some spring cleaning on my mind.

 For Cleaning Supplies

Under Sink Tension Rod


Shoe Organizer

For Shoes

Wall-Mounted Crates

Shoe Ladder

For Wrapping Paper

Ikea Grocery Bag Holders

In the Bathroom

PVC Pipe Curling Iron Holders

Magnetic Make-Up Board

All these ideas have me motivated to get my house in order.