Designing on a budget!

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What do they call it? Champagne taste on a beer budget? That’s me. I LOVE for things to look nice, but I HATE spending money. Since we are a one income family, I try to stay innovative and do things as cheaply as possible. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and spend the money, but other times it’s so fun to see what you can do for as cheap as possible! When we first built our house, I went through THREE different breakfast nook designs. It took me forever to get a vision. Because of that, I don’t recommend tackling a project until you have a clear vision of what you want it to look like. TIP: Find a quiz online to help determine your design style. Pick a few items you love and design around them.

So here’s my before.

I loved the light that was hanging there, but because my area was longer than it was wide, and the light barely put off any light, it had to go. So my TIP for lighting is to pay attention to the amount of light it puts off, and also to the shape of your room when picking lighting for a specific spot. Be intentional, don’t just find a light you love and try to make it work.

And here’s my after…

Granted, I know the before picture is not a great shot. But a big part of that is lighting. So this light was hanging in my dining room, and again was one of those “I love this light, but it’s not perfect for this space” situations.  Suddenly, I had an idea. It took some convincing to my husband, but he decided to let me get a new dining room light and we moved this one to the kitchen. What a difference it made immediately. He also built me the window bench that you see in the background and pictured below.That helped to center up my light and provided more seating! I sketched out what I want and he made it come to life.The tops open up for storage and the middle provided a space for dog bowls without worrying about them being kicked and knocked over.

Next, we needed a table. We loosely based our table from these plans . Picking a stain was a challenge for me at first. Our kitchen cabinets are a dark stain, and I knew I wanted black to be worked in somewhere. I created a mixture using jacobean and classic gray from minwax and I loved the way it turned out! The legs of the table are Sherwin Williams antique white. TIP here is to paint the legs BEFORE you put the top on. So much easier… especially if you happen to have a big baby belly in front of you. 😉

Because I have 3 kiddos, I love the idea of the metal chairs. I found these at overstock and they have a lot of options/pricing!

Now that the fundamentals were in place, it was time to decorate! I felt like the window valance that I had before just kind of brought the room down. Something about it wasn’t working for me. I wanted something above the window so that it had a more finished look, but I didn’t necessarily want to draw attention up there. So I had the idea to just build one, stain it, and slap it up there. We just took at 1×8 pine board, cut it at a 45 degree angle to accommodate sides, added stain and called it good! Less than $15 for a window treatment just made my heart (and wallet) smile. 🙂

For wall art I painted a piece of ply wood we had with the paint I used for the table legs, framed it out with some extra trim pieces that I stained, and used the scroll saw to make the letters “EAT” which I spray painted black!

There are millions of tutorials and pictures of these shelves on pinterest .  

It is important to know you do have to buy three parts for the pipe. There’s the flange that is against the wall, the actual pipe, and the end cap. TIP we used for ours is to just take mineral oil and wipe them down. That eliminates the black stuff you get on your hands from touching pipe. I’m sure there’s some technical name for that, but we aren’t here for technicalities, right? Ha!

I got that Give Thanks Printable for free from Shanty sisters and found an empty frame laying around my house! The plant and container are from IKEA!The cute little “6” sign represents the number of people currently in our family, including the belly, and was purchased at hobby lobby. I added a few cookbooks(Double Delicious: Good, Simple Food for Busy, Complicated Livesthis particular one gives TIPS on how to hide veggies in recipes so kids don’t know it) I already had up there and Ta-da! Cheap shelf decor done!

I hope you’ve enjoyed getting a look inside my breakfast nook & I hope you’re inspired to challenge yourself! Remember, it doesn’t take a lot of money to make your space happy!

Questions? Email, comment below, or find me on facebook or instagram!

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