Longwood Gardens 10-7-10 053    007

Happily married to my husband, Joey, of almost 4 years, and living with our greyhound, Yoshi, in Delaware. We are on our second rental and just as before, I am on a mission to make it “us” while spending as little as possible and working around design dilemmas that cannot be changed.

We started out in a brand-new, builder-grade townhouse. We were the first tenants so everything was clean and in perfect condition. When we moved in I was faced with the challenge of combining two sets of mostly hand-me-down furniture, and learning how to pare down our belongings and organize what was left. Recently we moved into a smaller (but in a preferable location, hence the move) apartment that is just about the opposite of what we started out in: an old barn, built by the Amish, that has been converted into about 7 or 8 different apartment units. In many ways it has the feel of a townhouse (we have our own fenced yard and a deck -both firsts!- and tons of privacy), but being an older property, and a unique one at that, it also has many challenges and new decorating situations: a bedroom loft, a small poorly-lit kitchen, unattractive bathrooms, and a somewhat odd layout (the first room you see upon entering is currently our office/guestroom/mudroom/laundry room, and storage (until we find a home for items elsewhere)! Try making that a welcoming first impression! But for all the cons, there are also pros: tons of character, time-worn hardwood floors throughout, a spiral staircase, wooden rafters, and a great room with a vaulted ceiling, and huge windows on all walls. This room is truly lovely and full of potential, and it is what sucked me in (along with the yard). It is exciting to me to live in a place full of so much character, and to know that there have been others before us. Along with discovering this place’s full potential, my challenge is to pare down belongings even more and figure out creative uses of space (we had so much more before!).

My blog is named “thrift seeking” (a play on thrill seeking) because I love the challenge of furnishing and decorating a home through amazing deals and secondhand finds. I have an expensive design taste in a lot of ways, but do not feel comfortable spending the big bucks on furniture and decor. (Obviously there are times when exceptions are warranted.) I love looking at photos of beautiful rooms and then trying to imitate what I like about them using inexpensive or thrifted alternatives. I also think secondhand shopping is a great way to shop responsibly: you are keeping items out of landfills and not supporting unfair labor practices with your money. It also forces me to get creative. It would be very easy (if I had the money) to furnish a house with brand-new, designer items. But even if I had the money to do so, I don’t think it would be a good use of my money because there are ways to get the same/similar style for less, and ultimately I don’t think it would be honoring to God for so much of my money to go to making my home “pretty”. I like to shop, just like any other woman, but I especially enjoy shopping in ways that don’t contribute to a culture of consumerism.


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