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Decorate on Dimes by Jacqueline Hardy

Suppose you could create new surroundings without spending much. Jacqueline Hardy, Design Studio Specialist with Potterybarn in Littleton, CO, is here to give you her free advice on decorating a home that brings out your best.


Before you buy in the bigger stores, check out Goodwill, antique stores. and estate sales. Perhaps you can find just what you are looking for, which will cost far less.


with these possible ideas:

  1. Baskets add texture and color, and if purchased second-hand, they are inexpensive. Baskets, of course, are an excellent way for a family to hide anything, but also consider using a basket to carry items up and down your stairs. Keep an "up basket" and a "down basket" handy at the base and the top of your stairs. When things get out of place, throw them into the basket to be distributed later when you use the stairs.

  2. Incorporate the elements of the season, such as pine cones or colorful leaves, into your home. Place them around the house. Besides bringing in the environment, they add a natural fragrance.

  3. Bring God's creation inside. Use fresh fruit on your table, or place ripe tomatoes in a bowl as a centerpiece. Seeing the fruit also reminds one to eat it.

  4. Use household items in new ways. For example, take an old picture frame and frame a colorful scarf or piece of cloth.


  1. Change directions. Take books and make five vertical and five horizontal. This is an easy way to add interest to an ignored bookshelf. Also, rotate items. If an item has always faced left, make it face right. Such small shifts really do help create a change.

  2. Make traffic flow. When you rearrange and rotate, please do it for functions such as traffic flow through the house. You also want to make an inviting gathering place with your rearranging and rotating. Think about how people will move throughout the space and strive to create an attractive gathering place.

  3. Create Eye Candy. When you R and R, you mix things up for the eye, so mix them up by colorizing things. For example, put all of the blue books on your bookshelf together, then all the red ones, etc. I even knew one lady who covered all of her books with plain brown paper, which gave her random reading collection a soothing effect.


Don't just see an item one way. For example, when Jacqueline saw two old schoolhouse chairs, they became right and left-side tables for her couch. Older things can be used in various ways too. I call this The Jehovahjireh Store. When I lack something in my home that I need, such as a flower vase, I see what I have and ask God for assistance. So my stainless steel wine cooler became a Mother's Day flower vase. Nothing to buy and store. The Jehovahjireh Store follows a Christian believer around like the internet. Just ask, and you will receive for sure with God's repurposing.


What about colors, collections, and candles? Well, here is Jacqueline's take on each of those.

Color-----What are the best colors to use? Neutrals, generally, such as greys and tans. One color Mrs. Hardy does want homemakers to shy away from is brown. She said we all were raised with the brown couch and brown tables. It makes a room look heavy. Try some lighter neutrals instead.

Collections----When I grew up, it seemed that people collected everything from barbie dolls to beanie babies, and everything eventually would be worth something. Not so. While visiting my friend's antique booth, Brenda stated that you could barely give away such things as Hummel figurines. She sells them for just a few dollars; whereas. years ago, they were worth a lot more. eBay and internet sales have driven down the prices; so regarding collections, Jacqueline states, "It is good to buy things we love, but too many of them is a pile."

Candles---If you want to use candles, use real ones, not fake ones.

So if you feel like refreshing your living space, employ some of Jacqueline's suggestions. All simple, guaranteed to enliven your room, and all worth trying.


* * * * *

Sirach 22:17--"A mind settled on an intelligent thought is like a stucco decoration that makes a wall smooth."


Martha Wild King, M.Ed., Author

The Frugal Catholic: Learn to live on less to give and save more.

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