I'm back again with more "Traditional Design on a Dime"! It's all about one of my favorite *cheap* ways to decorate walls --plates, trays and other traditional and/or vintage items.
When I first got out of college, I worked in retail management and made *nothing*. But, of course, I wanted a cute apartment. My first decorating project was to put up blue and white plates that I found in TJ Maxx & Marshalls, all for around $5 each. They didn't match, but I just wanted the feel of blue and white china. Here is a picture of how I used them, years later, in our old house:
In this house, I've been using a lot of white plates on the walls (all purchased for under $5, with the exception of one real ironstone platter that was $20). The powder room got the white plate treatment:
And the master bedroom....
I just love, love, love how these ladies used plates in their homes:
When we moved into our first house, we were again on a very tight decorating budget. Tole trays caught my eye at antique stores, so I started picking them up when I could, never paying more than $20. You may remember that it eventually became a large collection:
I may have gone a *bit* overboard, but it was an inexpensive way to fill up an awkward wall (that vent drove me crazy). When we moved into our current house, I pared down my collection and have used trays in my kitchen.
Both Holly Mathis & Trisha Troutz show them in updated but traditional settings. And, I really like how our Southern Home used them with red transferware in their guest room.
Another thing that I see dirt cheap all of the time at flea markets and thrift shops is old silverplate. I'm talking silver for under $10 or less. You can pick up candlesticks, bowls and trays for a fraction of the cost of new. The trays look amazing in so many settings. Holly Mathis hits it out of the park in the photo below (as usual), by mixing up elegant trays with wicker and ironstone. Eleven Gables also used a large tray on her range hood when she remodeled her kitchen.
Finally, here is a designer idea that you can DIY for just a few dollars! You may have seen John Derian's decoupage work in magazines or blogs...
I'd like one of each thankyouverymuch. However, a John Derian original is out of my price range. Luckily for you & me, decoupage is super simple and inexpensive. I used this tutorial from Opulent Cottage and made plates using scrapbook paper & paper napkins. I have them hanging in my bedroom. You can see them in the photo with the white plates and here is a close up:
I'm definitely not a decorating expert, but I hope that you are finding a few ideas on how to decorate on a budget!