Friday, 15 February 2013

Frugal Friday

Dead Ringers

If there is one thing I have learnt about being frugal and careful with the money we earn, it is you don't need to give up the styles and trends you love.

120aShabby Chic FurnitureThe White Company Bathroom Toiletries

However, neither do you need to pay the inflated prices for brand names to get the look you are after. There are so many "dupes" and similar styles on the market now to our well loved popular brands that you can easily replicate the look you want with a little effort and know how. This applies to clothing and home decoration, although today I am talking about home styling in the main.

So often all you are paying for is the name.

When I am making a purchase I always check the quality. Just because you are buying a well known brand will not always ensure you are getting quality - not always.

Although I am not a huge fan of her overly floral items, Cath Kidston is of course top of many people's lists when it comes to home styling.

 However, this budget does not suit many a pocket. 

Cath Kidston

There are so many different fabrics and designs on the market now for a fraction of the price that you can easily replicate her , floral, shabby chic style, at a fraction of the cost. You will of course be unique in doing this as your choices will not simply be a copy of everyone elses Cath Kidston decorated home. 

The other option is to pick a few items , maybe some bunting, or a couple of cups or a jug and leave it at that.

I find taking a look in a fabric shop is a source of great inspiration, even if you don't buy. I picked up some red spotted UPVC table covering for under £5 at my last visit. This happily covers my kitchen table and looks Cath Kidstonique enough for me, but I certainly didn't pay the prices.

Charity shops are also a great way to pick up a few unique items , especially pretty jugs. I even found a Cath Kidston plate for £2.50 in our local store. Yes, I did buy that one!

 I also love to browse the local "junk" stores or auctions. You can pick up solid wood furniture for next to nothing and treat this to a simple makeover with a tin of paint and a bit of wax. Before you know it you will have a unique item that would have cost you £100s if you had purchased in a well known shop. Give it a go - it is so satisfying! Start simple , like a mirror or a picture frame. 

Painted wooden mirror

I often will purchase pretty toiletries to display or give as gifts that have the look of a more expensive brand, but at a fraction of the price. I do check contents, but to be honest often the difference is the packaging or name and not a lot else.

Orla Kierly like hand cream

Cath Kidston like Bath Soak

I must admit my preferences for home decor tends to lean towards clean lines nowadays. I love greys and whites, slate floors and granite surfaces.I love the White Company and the palette they use. However, apart from the decadence of some bedding I have tried to replicate their style in other ways. I would choose plain sofas adorned with a variety of cushions of varying shades of a colour palette rather than the country cottage look , pretty though it is. I purchased these slate grey kitchen canisters from Tescos for our new kitchen ( yes I know it hasn't been built yet) as they are so similar to the Rowen and Wren ones, but again a fraction of the price. 

I also love seaside themes, and the blues and pale pastels this introduces. Can you tell I am getting excited about styling our new rooms? I just need to go through the pain of the building first!

What are your home styling preferences?

How do you go about getting the style you love for less?


  1. I went through a phase of mad pottery buying at the beginning of married life! Now the expensive bits are hidden away and I normally just use all white cups and plates!Bit of a waste really! enjoy your weekend Claire!
    ~Anne xx

  2. Great post! My style is what we like, and what's in our budget. I like traditional and light, husband likes everything that remotely resembles a man cave. In a small house like ours, we have to compromise :)

    1. My hubby is leaving it all up to me this time!!

  3. Great tips here Claire - I used to do lace and blue and white pottery in our old terraced house but now prefer cleaner lines but with rich colours - love the Art Deco period - our kitchen is fairly modern but warm - I do love black, cream, and silver together. Used to love decorating and planning themes but seem to have two minutes to even think about re-decorating these days! Can't wait to see your new kitchen! xx

    1. I used to love the clutter, but can't stand it now - all in the loft! I think it is having kids - can't stand noise and mess anymore!

  4. I really go for the lighter colours - after living in a beautiful character cottage which had small windows and a lack of light, I am totally drawn to bright airy spaces. I don't do much in the way of ornaments - I prefer less clutter - less dusting. Where I can, I throw in a little bit of East meets West as a nod to my culture and I like the fact that it's not a homogenous look pulled straight out of a Next catalogue where everything is just a little too co-ordinated. If I'm going for a look or have something in mind, I buy the look from different places to add a little quirkiness and character where I can. It's quite difficult in a new house which is what we moved to after the cottage (we needed the space and garden for the boys) but it proved an interesting challenge for me to decorate a blank space/square box. Like you, I bought a cheap and cheerful spotty oil cloth from Dunelm to cover our antique table. Quarter of the price of a Cath Kidston special. I have to say that is the only Cath Kidston like thing in my house apart from a dress skulking in the back of the wardrobe.

    1. I'm the same really - I have a few Cath K mugs ( which I was given) and a plate.
      We had the kitchen designer around this week - you should have heard me going on about clutter free and straight lines and not busy and light you think it is a post children syndrome? He asked what cooker I was buying - I said "one that is easier to clean than the one we have had for the past 15 years." Oh dear.

  5. You really have a way with frugality. I wish I did...although I'm trying to be more frugal.
    I was in an 'antique mall' the other day...its really like a flea market...and noticed they had a Pottery Barn catalog open on the counter. I flipped through it and realized that a lot of the featured items, furniture and home decor pieces were over-priced versions of reclaimed and repurposed pieces in the store I was in. It makes so much sense to repurpose cast off pieces or even buy them repurposed than to fall for the super expensive catalog versions of the same thing!
    Here's what I do to stay for clothing in thrift stores, sell Mary Kay cosmetics so that I can purchase my own at discounted prices and sell Lia Sophia jewelry for the same reason. I get great discounts on products and make a little money too.
    I have years of bad spending habits to I enjoy your frugal-minded posts!

  6. Loving those canisters, I couldn't resist a peek at the expensive ones you linked to and even if I was rich, I can't imagine spending that amount. x

    1. Me neither! But great for inspiration - the Tesco ones were £6.00 each!! More my budget. Hee hee. X

  7. Brand new follower! Would love it if you came by my place and said hi someitme!