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If These Walls Could Talk

Decorating on a Budget

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05/01/2010 - Even in these tough economic times we long to add grace and beauty to our homes. Through careful shopping, planning and prioritizing we can achieve that goal.

I saw an example of this recently at the home of Tom and Med Rush. Through the years they had updated part of their bathroom with warm-toned paint and pleasant neutral colored floor tile. However, the sink and vanity were 36 years old--- original to the home built in 1974. The formica top was in such bad shape that even the contact paper covering it was an improvement. The lighting in the bathroom was also inadequate and dated. Replacing these things became their priority.

Med, famous for her bargain finding, purchased a well-made dark wood vanity with a genuine granite top on sale for only $400. This beautiful piece had the power to add elegance to the entire room. The Rush's daughter Lydia, a teacher by profession, has a fine talent for decorating. She pulled the room together using the vanity as a focal point and added accents by re-purposing a piece of framed art and ornaments from other parts of the house. A large lovely mirror was purchased at a huge discount, and an exceptional light fixture was added. The entire project was completed for under five hundred dollars.

Careful shopping was part of what made the project affordable, but the cost of professional plumbing and electrical installation would have broken the bank. Therefore the installation was done by son Micah, a fireman, and son-in-law Matt who works for Keppler. Neither of the young men has had any professional building experience, yet the installation is perfect.

Though the only actual redo about the room is the vanity and light, the whole bathroom feels new. I credit this largely to the new lighting. They chose a fixture with numerous adjustable down-lights. One of the lights illuminates the wall art in gallery-like fashion. The others bounce off the granite vanity top and bring out all the natural crystaline sparkle in the stone. Though dramatic, the light is also subdued and peaceful in the warm-hued room.

Careful shopping, good taste, do-it-yourself elbow grease and beautiful lighting made an impact far beyond what one could imagine for the small dollar investment.

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