Budget Friendly Changes Can Make a Big Difference

When you’re on a budget, your dream of living in a vintage time capsule may seem quite daunting. You know what you want, or maybe just a rough idea, but your wallet is begging you to reconsider. I’ve been there — and I’m still there! So, what’s a gal to do??

Going vintage or even reproduction vintage can often carry a hefty price tag. But, what sorts of things could you do to update the style in your home without going completely overboard and broke? It’s easier than you think!

Here are just a couple very basic and budget-friendly ideas to help get you started!

1. Cabinet Facelifts:

Whether in your kitchen or your bathroom, changing out those cabinet knobs and drawer pulls can easily (and affordably!) give that room a much different feel. This was actually the first step I took in bringing in some vintage-style charm to this house, and I love it. The great thing is, there are so many styles of knobs, and so many places you can find them, that you can really do this on any budget and in any way you can dream up!

cabinet-1         cabinet-2

Before, the knobs had been the simple, contemporary brushed metal, and much too “blah” for my tastes. Fortunately, I found a really great deal at Hobby Lobby on knobs that look like milk glass! The transformation was really exciting! You can also find great deals at your local antique mall, or even online (which also allows you to price compare very easily)!

The wonderful thing about this transformation is that you can do this even if you rent. Cabinet knobs are very simply held in by a screw or a nut, and are very easy and quick to switch out. Just hold onto those original knobs so you can switch them back if you ever need to.

2. Update those Picture Frames:

Vintage photo frames are actually really easy to find, especially on eBay (that’s my go-to for pretty much all of my vintage shopping). You can find really great deals if you don’t mind some dings and signs of age — and it doesn’t matter if the existing artwork or photograph is to your liking, because you’ll be replacing it with your own!

Now, I know some of you out there may not approve of this, but let me tell you — it adds so much charm to your space to see your photos of friends and loved ones in those oval frames with the bubble glass!

Here’s a quick step-by-step on how to change from that rectangle photo into that bygone era oval:


1. Find a frame.


2. You may have to remove old glue. A utility knife works great!


3. Line up the oval frame insert over your photo and trace the shape onto your photo.


4. Cut out the oval.



















5. Now it’s time to assemble your frame!


6. The perfect vintage touch!









3. Flat Surface Treatments:

Doilies are probably one of my biggest vintage obsessions. I know some of you might think that’s far too “grandma-ish” for your liking, but there truly are some beautiful doilies out there in many colors and styles. They add such a softness to the room, especially if you place a vintage frame or collectible on it. Not to mention, doilies are super-duper affordable for any budget!

Other than hunting online, you can find doilies at many, many vintage stores. They are usually spilling out of a basket or drawer, and you may have to dig and sift through to find ones that you really like. You can also find like-vintage new doilies at places like Joann Fabrics and Hobby Lobby.

doily-1        doily-2

doily-3        doily-4

I love adding doilies to end tables, shelves, and even the mantle over the fireplace. Holiday-themed doilies are a great way to add a little extra color to your table settings, as well!

4. Think Small and Take Your Time!

Displaying small vintage knick-knacks and whatnots is a great way to dress up book shelves, counter tops, or maybe even the space above your cabinets (if you have that option). Often times, you can get great deals at second hand stores because someone somewhere is practically giving away “grandma’s junk.” Look for little things like vases, chalkware wall art, salt and pepper shakers, TV lamps, old kitchen utensils, or even an old cake plate. These are just a few ideas to get you started. You might even luck out with some larger pieces for your home!

The trick with this is honestly to collect over time. When you’re on a budget, the words “delayed gratification” are sometimes so frustrating because nothing haunts us like the vintage we didn’t buy. I have shelves and walls that are still mostly bare because I am patiently awaiting more opportunities to shop. However, it doesn’t cost one penny to window shop or fill up your Pinterest account with all sorts of ideas!

I hope the ideas I’ve offered here are helpful to your quest of creating a vintage style home. Please stay tuned for more posts about budget-friendly ideas for your home. What are some of YOUR favorite rooms you’ve decorated on a budget? Please share photos and your stories with me! If you have any comments or questions, I would love to hear from you! Please leave a message below!


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