Blogger designs on a dime
Erin Spain turns trash to treasure on a tight budget
By KATIE VANBRACKLE
Erin Spain loves the challenge of finding bargain furniture and accessories for the Johns Creek home she shares with husband Christopher and two young sons.
A self-described “Pinterest addict,” Spain is always searching for easy, unique craft projects and enjoys bringing old, outdated pieces of furniture back to life with stylish new colors and finishes.
Spain shares her best ideas with other do-it-yourselfers through her blog DIYOntheCheap.com.
What began as a way to share craft ideas with friends and family has grown into a small stay-at-home business for Spain, who loves the sense of community that blogging creates.
Finding time to work on the blog can be a challenge while chasing her 2- and 4-year-old sons around the house, but Spain loves her creative outlet and says her husband is happy with all of the money Spain saves by decorating their home “on the cheap.”
Spain advises other would-be-bloggers to start networking with other bloggers and look for conferences such as the Haven Conference for DIY/Home bloggers, which was held in Atlanta in June.
Sample blog below from DIYontheCheap.com.
Searching for diamonds in the rough
By ERIN SPAIN
Decorating has always been a fun hobby of mine. Although I am not a designer, I’ve always loved the process of turning a house into a home.
Now that I have two children and our financial priorities have changed, I have learned that having a beautiful space is still within reach. With a little time and elbow grease, it is possible to have a designer space without breaking the bank. There are several ways to achieve this, and one of my favorites is turning “trash” into “treasure” by giving old furniture a custom makeover.
I love breathing new life into old furniture. It’s amazing how a coat of paint and some new hardware can transform a piece. The key is to see a piece of furniture for what it could be, not for what it currently is.
You know that old dresser or table that you’ve been wanting to get rid of? Don’t! Or if you’re looking for a new piece of furniture, skip the expensive boutiques and start at the thrift store. You’d be shocked at the bargains you can find and transform into an expensive-looking showpiece.
Take this dresser, for example, which I purchased on Craigslist for $40. I stained the top with a dark ebony color, painted the base white and gave it a slightly distressed look. I loved the original hardware so much, I just gave it a good cleaning and opted to keep it. Now I have a custom piece of furniture that I could have easily spent hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on at a designer furniture store.
Finding the perfect furniture makeover candidate
- Check Craigslist, and check it often! There are always diamonds in the rough to be found.
- Check your local listings for yard sales, estate sales and auctions. You can score great bargains at all three.
- Get thrifty! Check your local thrift stores. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find the perfect piece right away. They are constantly receiving new merchandise, so check back frequently.
- Check out a flea market. They are great places to “treasure hunt.”
- Ask around – maybe a friend or family member has an old piece that they’re dying to get rid of.
- Once you’ve found your furniture, make sure it is structurally in good shape. Unless you want to spend a lot of time and money on repairs, it’s best to steer clear of damaged goods.
- You don’t have to be a professional, either. If I can do this, trust me, anyone can!
Erin Spain teaches others how to design on a dime through her blog, DIYOntheCheap.com.