how to save money on home decor

I spend too much time on Instagram, dreaming about the ways I can make over my mold-infested, one-bedroom, fourth-floor walkup to make it look like the cutesy, refurbished Airstream I found on Instagram. Homemade oak shelving! Hammered copper cups! Green succulents huddled into mismatched trios!

We’ve all collected an inspiring curation of beautiful blogs, Youtube videos, Instagram accounts and aesthetically pleasing Tumblrs — like a multi-dimensional mood board we live and breathe whenever we explore the corners of the web.

Ew! I just saw a silverfish slithering across the floor. Don’t worry — I got it with a tissue. That was gross. Back to the post.

Morning vibes.

A post shared by tin can homestead (@tincanhomestead) on

The point is, I’m starting to realize that these media are more aspirational than inspirational. At least, in this point in my life. I’m very much into the philosophy that you should save your money so you can enjoy the nice things later. That means that I’m a budget.

Have you guys ever been on “a budget”? It’s fun. It trains you not to over-indulge and to ponder capitalist-soaked retail trends while deodorizing hand-me-downs. Oh, the trends. How I’d love to participate! Yet, I watch from afar as they pass and I’m thankful yet again that I didn’t get those fringed capri pants with the artisan frays in the bum. Most of you will just throw those pants away… or donate them in a year. And don’t get me started about where they’ll go from there.

I look at A Beautiful Mess article about “cheap” housewares and get sucked in once again. I browse Apartment Therapy and see a crisp white subway-tiled kitchen. I swipe through Instagram and click on an article about “how to decorate on a budget.” I abandon it before it even loads because I should know better — it’s most likely just a list of items under $50. Their version of “budget” is not the same as my budget. Or your budget. It’s not their fault they’re touting new products — these posts get them advertising money. And, like I said, there’s no harm in watching trends.

Listen to how boring I’m being! No one wants to be sold on NOT buying things. People only want to be told what they WANT! Whatever — I’m almost done.

So here I am, sitting on a sun-faded IKEA futon, its left corner torn to shreds by a menacing cat, lil’ tufts of artificial cotton billowing out like a cumulus nimbus. I’m thinking about my dream couch. It’s grey. It’s structured, yet comfortable. It’s got a chaise, like this. It would probably take up one-half of my NYC apartment.

Anyway, here’s the secret on how to save money on home decor: don’t buy any. Sorry I’m making you read a whole article to reveal that to you, but welcome to the internet!!

It’s taken me so long to be happy with the things that I have. In fact, I’ll be honest: I’m not quite happy still (hence, my lusting for a couch). These feelings are deeply ingrained, and I may never shake them. Dark, I know.

But we’ve got to learn how to embrace the cool things we have. I have a yellow chair I got from my parents, who got it from a person named Granny Ann. (She was not my granny. Just a granny. A grumpy granny.) Either way, I kind of like that Granny Ann’s chair has its own storied timeline. No one told me I needed this chair because it was on trend. I just needed a chair so I took it.

As you go on the rest of your day, think “do I need this?” Most of the time, you already have everything you need. Ugh, I hate admitting that.

^ The track that inspired this post. Taking suggestions for an anti-materialism playlist in the comments or on social meeds.

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