When Alexa and Luke from North by North Photography approached me to be a part of their Halifax Bloggers feature, I was truly humbled. When they proposed they shoot the feature at our home, I was ecstatic! I mean, hello interior design enthusiasts' dream come true! I had met Alexa and Luke once before at the Aritizia opening (where they were hired to shoot the event), and continued to keep in touch through social media. It is really incredible how much community building can occur on social media platforms (and this is coming from the mouth of a city planner)! I am a huge fan of their very detailed but clean and minimal photography style, and the way their images so easily depict stories. The two graduated from NSCAD together, and their enthusiasm for capturing the perfect shot is major inspiring.
Most of you know that my husband is very talented at building furniture. He learned the tools and tricks of the trade from his father, and the family business. I may help design and drill a few screws here and there, but he is the brains and the muscle behind the calculations, measurements, architectural drafting, and manufacturing. While the design of the pieces we build very much reflect my personal style (hello high-gloss white finishes), the craftsmanship reflects purely him. To have these beautiful photos of our pieces is very sentimental, but even more so that they were taken in our first apartment together, where we raised our puppy Great Dane!
People often assume that I am a home decor shop-a-holic- but I confess I am not (and now I'm sharing some of my secrets)! I am very lucky that my husband can build custom furniture at much cheaper prices than ordering custom furniture ($$$). However, the pieces in our home that are not made by us have all been either great sales, gifts, or (my biggest secret) thrifted! You do not need to spend mega dollars to make your home reflect the images you see all over Pinterest- it's true. Check out below for a few money savvy tips:
I am frequenter at Value Village, because you can find the neatest things there! Sometimes you find an object in perfect condition, other times you can find things that would make great foundations for a DIY project. Some things I have recently thrifted there include the round copper dishes you see in some of these photos ($3 each!), the stunning 5 stand candelabra ($5), and my favorite find recently was a giant roll of leftover white velvet-touch fabric for $5! I also picked up four brand new white curtains for $6 a panel. They weren't the length I was looking for (ceiling to floor), so my sister-in-law sewed an extension piece to each panel with the white fabric. Bonus: I was left with a ton of extra fabric, so I see a new duvet cover in our future!
2. Frame Your Own
I also am a huge fan of making my own prints. I use Adobe InDeign, but sometimes you can easily make neat typography prints with Microsoft word. When it comes to frames, I find mine at Wal-Mart for great prices! Those huge white frames in our living room were only $20 a piece. I am a big fan of wide matting- it gives a clean look and makes your photos pop.
3. Affordable Lighting
When it comes to lighting- you can really use it to your advantage to make a statement in a room. I loved Target's selection of lighting, but now that they are no longer in Canada (RIP), I've turned to a few other places. Lighting can completely blow a budget, but if you shop smart, you can find similar fixtures for MUCH less. Wal Mart's lighting selection has really improved over the last year, so have a look there. There are also a lot of lighting DIY projects all over Pinterest that you can give a go (see my copper light fixture DIY here for inspiration).
Accent pillows can be a cheap way to pop some contrast or personality into a room. My emphasis on "can". Many accent pillows are over priced, and you can achieve a similar look for much less. I've picked up a few at winners in the past. I find the quality of the pillows there are great, but sometimes they can still be pricey. Tip: I make sure that the pillows I purchase have a removable cover, so when the covers get warn over time (hello Great Dane wear and tear!), I can remove the insert, and purchase just new covers (or even better- pick up discount fabric from the fabric store and sew some new ones!)
5. A Fresh Coat of Paint!
When you just don't know where to start for a room, you have a small budget, and/or you're in a rental that limits what you can do with a room- a bucket of paint is your best friend. A fresh coat of paint can set a whole new tone in a room. It also gives the walls a cleaner look, and can hide any dings or stains on the wall. A can of paint may cost you $50, but results in a much more valuable look. Tip: If you get overwhelmed with staring at the endless walls of paint swatches, head to Pinterest first. An easy "best grey paint colour" search will pop up with many recommended hues, and photos showing what it looks like in a real room!