Friday, November 20, 2009

Guest Post by Rhoda of Southern Hospitality

Today we'd like to welcome another special guest poster to our blog.
Her name is Rhoda, and she writes the blog "Southern Hospitality".

Rhoda's was also one of the first blogs I found while surfing the net one night in the Spring of 2008. Since then we've met up a couple of times, and it's been so fun getting to know her!

Here we are (with Susie) at the Endless Yard Sale 2009...

We had such a good time. I can't wait to do it again next year!

Now, let's get this party started......heeeeeeere's Rhoda!



When I first met Layla last year via blogging, I was immediately drawn to her warm and sweet nature, just from the emails that we exchanged in the beginning. She and I have become great friends over the last year and I have SO enjoyed seeing "The Lettered Cottage" grow and mature, and become what it is now a much loved blog by so many people.

When Layla asked me if I would be interested in writing a guest post for her, well, I was just elated to be invited over here! She asked me to share some of my favorite tips about how to "decorate on the cheap", which is something that I know a thing or two about since I’ve been doing it for many years now. It just seems to come naturally to me. My friends say I have a knack for finding bargains and scouting out deals. Personally, I've discovered it’s a much more rewarding way to shop!

So, my guest post will include 10 ideas that will beautify your home, without breaking the bank.
Now before I begin, I must warn you- I’m known as a "Yardsale Diva" and "saling" is my favorite way to find things for my home. I love the thrift stores too, but I have found SO many great deals at the yardsales, they still remain my #1 shopping venue.

10 Tips for Decorating on the Cheap

1. Burlap

This wonderful fabric has been around for a while now and has become a real staple in the decorating world. It's great fabric to use for updating a lot of different things. My favorite has to be when I used it to recover the lamps in my dining room. I just used on spray adhesive, cut my burlap to fit and then before adding it to the shade, I had a monogram stitched on it. Of course, to make it even more cost effective, you could easily trace a monogram and fill it in with paint. Same effect, but even more cost effective.

2. Light fixtures

About half the fixtures in my house have come from scouring the yard sales. Actually, my favorite ones were found this way, including the one above which came from a thrift store for $5. You can find all sorts of vintage and not-so-vintage fixtures out there for next to nothing. I’ve successfully changed out all the ugly builders brass that was in our home for bronze or antique brass, and what a difference that makes.

3. White dishes

Another thing that I look for while at yard sales or thrift stores is white creamware or ironstone. It's such a great thing to collect. Once you start, you won’t be able to stop yourself and you’ll be looking for it everywhere. It doesn’t take long to get your collection stocked up. My favorites are white platters, bowls, and tureens. White dishes can all be mixed, none of them have to match exactly. Slightly different tones are okay, creams and white shades will always look beautiful together.

4. Candle holders

There are so many great ones out there to choose from: glass, iron, wood, ceramic- you can mix them together and use them all around your home. I love using them on bookshelves, sideboards and in the middle of the dining room table. Having several on hand to choose from is a great way to freshen up your d├ęcor and get a pretty new look. These can usually be found for just a few dollars if you keep your eyes peeled!

5. Urns

The shape of an urn is just so appealing to me. I’ve collected many of them over the years- white ones, iron ones, ceramic ones and metal ones. All shapes and sizes. They really come in handy for decorating too. I have an iron one that's my absolute favorite. I picked it up at a yardsale years ago for $5. It's been a real workhorse for me. I’ve filled it with pinecones in the winter, and seashells in the summer. It works equally well either way. The white pottery urns are so pretty filled with sticks or natural greenery if you want to add an outdoor element to your shelves.

6. Natural elements

The last couple of years, I have really gotten into collecting things in the woods: pinecones, acorns, moss, sticks, hickory nuts, and sweet gum balls are just a few of the things that I’ve brought home to decorate with. Especially around Christmas time! They're all free and it just brings such a great element of texture from the outdoors to the inside of your home. Try it, you’ll love the things you can find outside!

7. Seashells

As a lover of the beach, I always have a few seashells around to decorate with. Now, whenever I go to the coast, I make sure I leave some time to beachcomb so I can add some new shells to my collection. It’s been a fun way to decorate because seashells are so pretty and unique. I've also found some very unique shells at yard sales.

8. Beadboard Wallpaper

You might not think of this as "decorating on the cheap", but it really is. If you have a wall or an area in your home that has zero architectural appeal, this great product can do wonders. Especially if you are like me and don’t have any power tools around. I’m the "handy girl" at my house, so when I discovered how easy this stuff was to work with, and how it looks JUST LIKE the real thing when installed, I became a believer. For just $25 per double roll, I had enough to do the ends of my kitchen cabinets, master bath cabinets, and a wall in the guest bath. That’s quite a big bang for the buck!

9. Books

Another great thing to look for at the yardsales, I’ve picked up so many inexpensive books over the years. Some of them I buy to read, and some of them just because I love the covers. They are great for stacking on shelves and using as risers for other accessories in your home. Books are textural and pretty, whether they are old or new.

10. Mirrors

Another thing I’ve collected so many of over the years is mirrors. These can be found very plentifully at yardsales. Adding a mirror to an area can expand it visually and really help to bounce that light around. I’ve never paid much for my mirrors, whether old or new, and I still have quite a few in my collection that I’ve had from my years of collecting. Painting them is a great way to reuse them in another spot.


That completes my personal go-to list of wonderful ways to decorate on the cheap!
I hope you got some ideas that you can try at your house.
Please come and visit me at Southern Hospitality for more budget-busting decorating ideas!


Thank you Rhoda! Kevin and I loved your post, and those were all excellent ideas!

Now if you haven't visited her yet, I encourage you to stop by Rhoda's blog, "Southern Hospitality" to see what she's got cookin' over there this will be so glad you did!


Elise said...

I love these tips! And I feel a lot better about all of the 'yardsaling' I've been doing lately. Heading over to Rhoda's blog now!

The McGraths said...

Where can I find beadboard wallpaper??

Katy said...

Great tips from Rhoda, simple and affordable...always the way to go in my opinion. :)

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

So, I had to totally watch the video again & remember how much fun we had. We HAVE to do that again! :)

pk said...

Great advice as always, Rhoda, and I just love your photos. They're so pretty and inspiring!
pk @ Room Remix

Funky Junk Interiors said...

Very nice guest post! Rhoda, I had the same birdcage! Looking at yours, now I wish I had mine back. :)


Traci@ Beneath My Heart said...

Those are 10 absolutely fabulous tips! I agree with every one of them. I am a yardsaling fool! And my friends think I'm lucky, but I'm really not. It's just looking for the potential in things. I love the black chandy in your bedroom. I know you definitely had an "eye" for great potential with that one. I love urns too. I'm starting to collect those. There is sooo much you can do with them.
Thanks for all the great tips, and thank you Layla, for a great guest post!

Nichole said...

There's a link to the beadboard wallpaper on her blog. But here it is if you want an easier route! LOL, it's from Home Depot.

Cottage Dreamers said...

You've found a lot of beautiful things to decorate with. Shopping for bargins sometimes seems like what my sister says about photography...take a LOT of pictures to get a few good shots. You must do a LOT of shopping. Great post! Thanks!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Love all your tips, Rhoda! I love containers {or urns} as they can be used in so many different ways and easily moved to another area in the house that may need to be filled in. I've also been using books I was going to donate ~ taking the covers off and using them to elevate things.

Alisa D said...

Great tips! I hadn't considered beadboard wallpaper before, but it sounds like a GREAT option. Thanks!!

Amber @ Two Nuts in a Shell said...

I feel like it's so hard to find yard sales that have some good stuff in them, and not just a bunch of other people's junk.

Layla, do you have any suggestions on how people can tell the difference? Or do we just have to hop in the car and go find out?! ;)

Amanda said...

What lovely ideas these are! 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, and 10 are either already used in my home or soon will be! In fact, my post on my kitchen today includes many of those ideas and makes me even more proud of it. :) Thank you for that! Also, we're planning to use actual beadboard, not the wallpaper on the ends of our kitchen cabinets thanks to your guest post. Thank you SO much for such a lovely idea! Hope to have you stop by for a looksy....

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

I love all 10, they are all just perfect. You always put things together so beautifully, and I always get inspiration from just looking at wht all you've found. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Marty

Craftify It! said...

Thanks Layla...and Rhoda. I always love finding new great blogs!

I have been back and forth about the bead board wallpaper & you have convinced me to give it a shot! I was worried it would not look real. I'm going for it!

Thanks for the great tips Rhoda!

Linden Townhouse said...

What terrific ideas to add beauty to a home! I too have "saled" for years, and I am continually amazed at what is out there in the used market. Thanks, Rhoda!

Olivia said...

Oh, I'm so jealous of that vintage To Kill a Mockingbird book!

adoptionroad said...

This is a great list to keep on hand. A question for either Layla or Rhoda... do you know of any design blogs that feature the mountain style? I'm not talking cow hide couches or antler chandeliers, but more of the West coast iron/leather/browns style. Thanks! When we move back to the coast, I'm going to use that beadboard wallpaper!

ourportablehome said...

LOVE the beadboard wallpaper!
Great post :)

abbieknaub said...

Great ideas! I've been doing a few of these lately - using books (of which we have HUNDREDS) and outside elements - with kids and a backyard full of sticks, pinecones, dried grasses and weeds. Easy, fun and cheap! And it looks good! I also love garage sales, but three small kiddos made those really hard this year so I've enjoyed thrift shops and estate auctions for some fun, inexpensive items!

La Petite Gallery said...

Hello Southerners,

I guess Burlap is back
It use to come in colors.
Lots of good Tips.
Infact all 10 are great.

Yvonne from Maine

Beautifully Inspired said...

What wonderful tips! I had never heard of wallpaper beadboard, however I am going to have to use it in my craft room! What a great idea.

Thanks again Rhoda


Love Where You Live said...

What an amazing list. Love them all, especially the burlap (which I love, love), the white dishes, nature's own, books. Layla, thanks for having Rhoda over. Plz check out my giveaway -- hope you'll play! cheers, -susan

sissie said...

Great tips. I might add too that a great place to find affordable light fixtures is at Habitat resale stores. I love collecting the white ironstone too. Yardsales are so much fun and the bargains are there to be found.

Marsha's Mpressions said...

Rhoda and Layla! Always love reading both of you talented gals!

Kathysue said...

Layla, what a fun post, I had fun seeing you girls at the longest yard sale. What a fun day to spend with friends. It was fun to hear Rhoda's voice. I have followed her blog and have emailed back and forth and she is such a sweet person so it was really fun for me to hear her talk with her great little accent, Love it! Thank you for sharing , Kathysue

FrenchGardenHouse said...

Rhoda always has the best tips! Thanks so much for featuring this Southern sweetie today, Layla. She is a doll, and has some fabulous decorating tricks up her sleeve ALL the time.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Rhoda is a good friend and I'm glad to see her hanging out at The Lettered Cottage. Next time y'all come to Birmingham I want in on it!

Hopeful Housewife said...

OK now I am incredibly jealous of you Layla! I love Rhoda!!!! Her blog is awesome! Loved her guest post, some awesome ideas!

Cindy said...

Rhoda really is queen of decorating on a budget. She does it so beautifully, too. So glad you had her on here today, I love her blog, too, I am a regular reader. I also love your blog, though. You and your husband have done amazing work on your house, it is sooo great looking!!! Hugs, Cindy S.

Susan said...

I have been following The Lettered Cottage for a short time as I am a newbie to blogland. I want to thank you, Rhoda, for your inspiration and genuine love for all that is "re"-newed. Is that a word? Love all of your ideas. Thank you!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Thank you ALL for the very positive comments! I enjoy doing all of this so much and sharing my tips has been a lot of fun today. HOpe you'll all come over & visit me as often as you can too. We do some fun projects too!

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Thanks for some great tips! laurie

Megan said...

Loved the youtube clip, still laughing, and "boo" when someone bought your mirror. Wish I could have gone along for the ride! Cracks me up you southern girls! Thanks for the tips!

The DIY Show Off said...

Great guest post Rhoda! I absolutely agree with your list. I love finding treasures...yardsales, thrift shops and outdoors.

Have a great weekend.

Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick said...

Awesome Rhoda!!

Tales From My Empty Nest said...

What wonderful ideas!! Thanks for sharing. I also collect white dishes (milk glass). You are such an inspiration Rhoda! Have an awesome Thanksgiving! Love & blessings from NC!

My name is PJ. said...

Great tips! I've never seen that wall paper before!!

melissa * 320 Sycamore said...

Yea, Rhoda! A fantastic post~I love each and every one of these elements. I would love to go yardsaling with you one day and watch you in action~

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

Loved all the tips, great post. Rhonda, You rock!

Melissa Wertz said...

Great tips Rhoda! Thanks for sharing.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Yes, certainly do have a knack. :-) Love this post!