Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cheap Decorating

My daughters talked about moving out for months. This August they finally did it. Kiah and Anna moved five hours south to LaCrosse, WI. I understand the need for independence, but wish they could have located two hours away, not five. At least they're in a town with three Taco Bells. 

Kiah came home for a week this summer and we worked like crazy getting things ready for their apartment. I sewed, Lani painted, Kiah cooked, and Anna floated from station to station, helping as needed.  

The world's most patient Wal-Mart fabric clerk helped us figure out much fabric we needed for five sets of curtains. These are for the living room.

Moving day was beastly hot and muggy. 95 stinking degrees. The girls' upstairs apartment doesn't have AC. Only love made us spend three days in miserable heat helping them set up. 

We're all pleased with the results. They turned this...

...into this.
(chair from used furniture store, suitcase and doily from Grandma Vik, 
bookshelf from my youngest daughter's furniture stash.)

The kitchen went from this... this. 
(homemade curtains, blue paint, dishes from thrift stores and garage sales.)

I showed Kiah an old brown spice rack I'd bought at Goodwill, saying I'd seen fun things done with spice racks on Pinterest. After I listed a few ideas, she asked if she could have it. I said yes and then asked how she would use it. She smiled and said, "As a spice rack." 

What a concept. There are so many Pinterest articles on repurposing things, that it was unusual to hear of someone using something for which it was intended. Their spice rack now sports a new pink paint job. 

They got this free old brown table from someone's storage 
shed and transformed it into a fun dining table/checkerboard.
(Chairs were purchased for $15 from a Consignment store. 
Paint was free from a local free paint exchange.)

Painting one wall is cheaper than a whole room.
(Yellow shelving was an $8 Goodwill entertainment center 
painted with free paint from the paint exchange.)

$1 Wall decal from Dollar Tree

They turned this...

...into this.

$30 Goodwill desk, light green paint, homemade curtains

Couch from used furniture store, coffee and end 
table from an uncle, pillows from Goodwill.

View from Living Room back towards the Kitchen.

I loved that getting them set up was a joint effort, a true family affair. I sewed, Lani painted, Amy and Erica helped carry boxes up the stairs to their apartment and unpack. Keith helped clean and organize. Kiah is a third year nursing student and Anna just graduated from high school, so they had a small decorating budget that we stretched pretty far. Now they're on their own, though another sister and their brother's family live ten blocks away. 

Needless to say, we miss them and Thanksgiving is a long ways away. 

“It is always sad when someone leaves home, 
unless they are simply going around the corner and 
will return in a few minutes with ice-cream sandwiches.”
                                       -- Lemony Snicket --

"A house is built of wood and beams,
A home is built on hopes and dreams."


  1. Great job ladies! It looks like a very nice apartment and decorated very much to my pleasing! I hope their liking it thus far!

  2. Looks great, you all did a good job!

  3. I think, Angie, you should pick me up here in Cameron. And we should go have tea together at the girls AMAZINGLY CUTE Apartment. I love it.

  4. I love the pink spice rack and pink checkerboard table! Adorable!

  5. That looks so cute!! I am just incompetent when it come to decorating. But their place is simply adorable! I can't imagine how quiet the house must feel.

  6. What a cute apartment! Hope they have a great time out on their own. Everyone did a great job!

  7. That is the cutest apartment ever! I love what you all did together. Five hours is a long drive, but those miles will make your together time so very magical and sacred. Familiarity can breed contempt, but absence makes the heart grow fonder. Think of Everybody loves Raymond having the family next just isn't the most loving and kind situation. I also hope that one day my daughter will want to live close to me, but if Karma has it's way, that might never happen.

  8. What a transformation! It really does look wonderful and inviting.

    And now... Thanksgiving is one month closer!