The Recessionista-- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Nope, this isn't about being "green." This is about making do with what you have. I've wanted a matching bedroom set most of my marriage-- over 25 years. It's never been in the budget, not to mention DH and I have radically different ideas of what a bedroom decor should be. I don't find dark man caves at all restful, and he can't sleep in bright, breezy spaces. The closest we've ever come to agreeing has been an Oriental theme focusing on bamboo greens,  soft beige, haiku, with touches of black and gold. Needless to say, paint for all the furnishings and enough money to buy matching fabric for padded headboard, bedspread, drapes, bed skirt, and pillow shams has never been in the budget. Yet, that would be the most economical solution.

My mother is the past master at changing things around to create new and different "looks" using paint and a change of fabrics. She didn't like the way her ceiling fan housing looked. So, she found a carousel toy at a garage sale that was the right size and shape, painted it with faux stone paint, and voila! When she didn't need a certain glass and black metal bistro table and chairs out on her patio anymore, they were transformed with seafoam green paint into a charming table and chairs for her tiny dining area. An outdoor chair with a new fluffy cushion becomes a charming chair for guests in the living room. If it's shaped right and fun, Mom's got a use for it. Who else would find a giant sea turtle sculpture several feet long and two feet high and place it in the guest bathroom to surprise visitors if they're nosy enough to open the shower curtains? That's the same bathroom with a teddy bear perched on an antique child's potty chair with a pair of doll's glasses on his nose right next to the magazine rack.

She asked me to make curtains for her mudroom, and I've already been informed I'll be practicing my new window treatment arts in her house. She can't wait to go shopping for fabric. No matter what, I'm going to be working with fun and colors, exploring the creativity and possibilities. (I'll be recommending scarves and easily changed out drapes so she can change her mood any time she desires.)

Now if I could just master her skills at this, I could save a boatload of money. I'm looking at that scarred end table DH has used for most of our marriage and beginning to wonder if a new coat of paint might be just the ticket to give it new life.

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