Guest Post by Rhoda of Southern Hospitality

Today we’d like to welcome another special guest poster to our blog.
Her name is Rhoda, and she writes the blog “Southern Hospitality”.

Rhoda’s was also one of the first blogs I found while surfing the net one night in the Spring of 2008. Since then we’ve met up a couple of times, and it’s been so fun getting to know her!

Here we are (with Susie) at the Endless Yard Sale 2009…

We had such a good time. I can’t wait to do it again next year!

Now, let’s get this party started……heeeeeeere’s Rhoda!



When I first met Layla last year via blogging, I was immediately drawn to her warm and sweet nature, just from the emails that we exchanged in the beginning. She and I have become great friends over the last year and I have SO enjoyed seeing “The Lettered Cottage” grow and mature, and become what it is now a much loved blog by so many people.

When Layla asked me if I would be interested in writing a guest post for her, well, I was just elated to be invited over here! She asked me to share some of my favorite tips about how to “decorate on the cheap”, which is something that I know a thing or two about since I’ve been doing it for many years now. It just seems to come naturally to me. My friends say I have a knack for finding bargains and scouting out deals. Personally, I’ve discovered it’s a much more rewarding way to shop!

So, my guest post will include 10 ideas that will beautify your home, without breaking the bank.

Now before I begin, I must warn you- I’m known as a “Yardsale Diva” and “saling” is my favorite way to find things for my home. I love the thrift stores too, but I have found SO many great deals at the yardsales, they still remain my #1 shopping venue.

10 Tips for Decorating on the Cheap

1. Burlap

This wonderful fabric has been around for a while now and has become a real staple in the decorating world. It’s great fabric to use for updating a lot of different things. My favorite has to be when I used it to recover the lamps in my dining room. I just used on spray adhesive, cut my burlap to fit and then before adding it to the shade, I had a monogram stitched on it. Of course, to make it even more cost effective, you could easily trace a monogram and fill it in with paint. Same effect, but even more cost effective.

2. Light fixtures

About half the fixtures in my house have come from scouring the yard sales. Actually, my favorite ones were found this way, including the one above which came from a thrift store for $5. You can find all sorts of vintage and not-so-vintage fixtures out there for next to nothing. I’ve successfully changed out all the ugly builders brass that was in our home for bronze or antique brass, and what a difference that makes.

3. White dishes

Another thing that I look for while at yard sales or thrift stores is white creamware or ironstone. It’s such a great thing to collect. Once you start, you won’t be able to stop yourself and you’ll be looking for it everywhere. It doesn’t take long to get your collection stocked up. My favorites are white platters, bowls, and tureens. White dishes can all be mixed, none of them have to match exactly. Slightly different tones are okay, creams and white shades will always look beautiful together.

4. Candle holders

There are so many great ones out there to choose from: glass, iron, wood, ceramic- you can mix them together and use them all around your home. I love using them on bookshelves, sideboards and in the middle of the dining room table. Having several on hand to choose from is a great way to freshen up your décor and get a pretty new look. These can usually be found for just a few dollars if you keep your eyes peeled!

5. Urns

The shape of an urn is just so appealing to me. I’ve collected many of them over the years- white ones, iron ones, ceramic ones and metal ones. All shapes and sizes. They really come in handy for decorating too. I have an iron one that’s my absolute favorite. I picked it up at a yardsale years ago for $5. It’s been a real workhorse for me. I’ve filled it with pinecones in the winter, and seashells in the summer. It works equally well either way. The white pottery urns are so pretty filled with sticks or natural greenery if you want to add an outdoor element to your shelves.

6. Natural elements

The last couple of years, I have really gotten into collecting things in the woods: pinecones, acorns, moss, sticks, hickory nuts, and sweet gum balls are just a few of the things that I’ve brought home to decorate with. Especially around Christmas time! They’re all free and it just brings such a great element of texture from the outdoors to the inside of your home. Try it, you’ll love the things you can find outside!

7. Seashells

As a lover of the beach, I always have a few seashells around to decorate with. Now, whenever I go to the coast, I make sure I leave some time to beachcomb so I can add some new shells to my collection. It’s been a fun way to decorate because seashells are so pretty and unique. I’ve also found some very unique shells at yard sales.

8. Beadboard Wallpaper

You might not think of this as “decorating on the cheap”, but it really is. If you have a wall or an area in your home that has zero architectural appeal, this great product can do wonders. Especially if you are like me and don’t have any power tools around. I’m the “handy girl” at my house, so when I discovered how easy this stuff was to work with, and how it looks JUST LIKE the real thing when installed, I became a believer. For just $25 per double roll, I had enough to do the ends of my kitchen cabinets, master bath cabinets, and a wall in the guest bath. That’s quite a big bang for the buck!

9. Books

Another great thing to look for at the yardsales, I’ve picked up so many inexpensive books over the years. Some of them I buy to read, and some of them just because I love the covers. They are great for stacking on shelves and using as risers for other accessories in your home. Books are textural and pretty, whether they are old or new.

10. Mirrors

Another thing I’ve collected so many of over the years is mirrors. These can be found very plentifully at yardsales. Adding a mirror to an area can expand it visually and really help to bounce that light around. I’ve never paid much for my mirrors, whether old or new, and I still have quite a few in my collection that I’ve had from my years of collecting. Painting them is a great way to reuse them in another spot.


That completes my personal go-to list of wonderful ways to decorate on the cheap!
I hope you got some ideas that you can try at your house.
Please come and visit me at Southern Hospitality for more budget-busting decorating ideas!


Thank you Rhoda! Kevin and I loved your post, and those were all excellent ideas!

Now if you haven’t visited her yet, I encourage you to stop by Rhoda’s blog, “Southern Hospitality” to see what she’s got cookin’ over there this week…you will be so glad you did!

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