The Charm Of Metal Decor–Add a Sleek, Modern Look

I have a confession to make: I’m a metalhead.

It’s art!

No, actually, metal music is a bit too rough for me, but I do like to decorate with metal. You may have noticed in my previous posts, such as in the kitchen and bathroom, there are various metal pieces here and there. I also have an elaborate metal bed frame, but I’ll be talking about that in a future post. I’ll also, in the future, be showing off my numerous wind chimes, which is more metal. Or mental? When you see the sheer number of wind chimes I have (inside the house no less), you might begin to question my sanity.

But, for today! I have a few larger, more dramatic metal pieces (mostly in my living room) to share with you. They’re actually somewhat classy, which as you’ve surely noticed by now is a rarity for me. This is also one of those posts where the things I’m showing you are a bit more on the expensive side (at least for me). However, in sticking with the theme of this blog–and my life–there are a few cheaper pieces mixed in too.

Metal is sleek and modern. It adds an inorganic touch to an otherwise ‘soft’ and cozy space like my own and can be quite striking. I like the dichotomy. A little bit of hardware mixed in with the software.

Of course, I like my metal colorful to match the rest of my decor. I’m not one for chromes and grays. I don’t want my apartment to look like the inside of a spaceship. Unless, maybe, it’s a really groovy spaceship buzzing through a sparkling galaxy, full of shimmering ribbons of rainbow-hued space clouds. This is all starting to sound a bit Lisa Frank, I know. I’ll stop with my space fantasy.

Here comes the sun.

Another great thing about metal is that it’s easy to clean. A good dusting every now and then, and if need be, a wipe down with a damp cloth. I have a lot of stuff, so trust me, I like to make cleaning as easy as possible! At some point I need to stop decorating before it outstrips my ambition to clean it all. I don’t want my place to end up looking like those elaborately decorated but dusty, cobweb-draped cliche old houses in scary movies.

As I said, some of the pieces I own are more on the pricey side, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s plenty of cheap and beautiful metal decor out there. And, I’m sure mine aren’t even what a ‘real’ decorator would call expensive. But considering how much of my stuff I bought for under five bucks, it is to me!

Metal can be a cheap but classy way to decorate. Pieces can be found at yard and rummage sales, or second hand stores, and metal is long-lasting and durable, so even older stuff will still look nice. If you do find something cheap that needs a little attention, a good wipe down or polishing can bring it right back to life.

In short, metal is shiny, clean, smooth, and doesn’t have to be dull and monochromatic if that’s not your style. It’s a nice touch even if you have a flowing, organic space, as it can provide contrast and divide things up a bit. It can make a space look modern very easily, if that’s what you want. On the other hand, it can also be old-timey and rustic if you go for an aged, faded, or weathered style. I do like the rustic look, though I haven’t attempted it in my home yet. Maybe that’s something for the next time I get the urge to redecorate.

I need to collect some more metal pieces. More metal! More on the cheap! Time to take a trip to the thrift store, methinks.

Items Featured In Pictures

All items are listed, to the best of my memory, where I bought them, and their approximate price at the time of purchase. Relevant links to retailers or specific items are included where possible. Please note: I am not paid by any retailer, organization, or product to promote anything on this blog. This is for informational purposes only.

  • Colorful abstract artwork (next to the lamp) – Gift from a friend who found it and thought I would appreciate it more than him. He wasn’t wrong!
  • Squares – Seventh Avenue ~$40 for the set
  • Geometric artwork with candle holders – Seventh Avenue ~$85
  • Fireplace screen – Yes, that’s what it is! But since I have no fireplace, it fits perfectly into an alcove in my hallway. – Seventh Avenue ~$50
  • Circular sun and flowers wall art – Seventh Avenue ~$60
  • Rainbow spinner – Amazon ~$17


A Lighthouse In the Living Room

Every Friday at Pretty Broke is ‘Unique Piece Friday,’ wherein I talk about a unique piece of decor in my apartment. At least, unique to me. Really, just something I want to show off especially.

Fresh off my sea themed bathroom this week, I’d like to show you another piece of nautically themed decor I own. Unfortunately, it’s too big to fit in the bathroom, but that’s okay. It stands in my living room instead and gets lots of compliments.

It’s a lighthouse shelf! Approximately six feet tall. The top is removable so you can insert a candle, or whatever light source your heart desires.

I got this 5 or 6 years ago from Seventh Avenue and it cost $200, well worth the splurge (and you can see those seahorses on the wall (in the listing) are also in my bathroom). It consists of three pieces, which insert into each other, and the shelves can be folded up, so it’s easy to move. It’s lightweight, as well. It’s one of my favorite things in my apartment!

Yes, those are my cat’s toys on the bottom shelf. She likes to toss her decorating ideas in as well. The items on the other shelves I will cover in future posts.

No matter where I roam, my lighthouse will always guide me home!

An Ocean Themed Bathroom–A Private Space Made Beautiful

Sea horses float too!

Have you ever wanted to pee by the sea? Brush your teeth among the dolphins? Take a shower with the fishes? Have a seahorse stare at you while you’re naked? Well then, you should come visit my bathroom!

The second of two rooms in my apartment that are ‘themed,’ (the other being my butterfly filled kitchen, which you can check out here) the mood for this room is “Toilet Under the Sea.” Or, “Bathing By the Beach?” Whatever the case, I promise there’s no sand even if the floor tiles are evocative of the shoreline. I didn’t put the tiles down however, they were here when I got here. A happy coincidence!

I’ve never planned out a theme ahead of time. They just sort of happen. My sea themed items started gravitating toward the bathroom (or maybe they swam there) and then eventually I had an ocean bathroom. I guess it’s the best place for it.

Aren’t you so happy to see my toilet?

I also have a black and white color scheme running alongside, from my bath rug to shower curtain and bathtub mat. That was the original intention for the bathroom, flat black and white, but I’m a more colorful person than that so it didn’t last long. Soon the ocean came crashing in and I added blues and greens. I included an ocean-blue shower caddy, which you can see peeking around the shower curtain there. I’m not a stickler for keeping every single item in a room to the theme, either. I don’t have time in my life to be that uptight.

My schedule is way too filled with being uptight about other, even more useless things.

Like my kitchen, my bathroom isn’t huge or luxurious, but it’s functional and even kind of cute. Decorating a bathroom is always a challenge, though. One must take into account bathrooms see a lot of moisture and so you have to eliminate items that might get warped or degraded. Also, make sure items can be easily and thoroughly cleaned as the bathroom is a germy place. I always ask myself these important questions: is it non-porous, and can it be wiped down with a Clorox wipe?

My little light is so useful.

Apart from the decor, I have a useful little item on the wall near my sink. It’s a touch light! It cost a few bucks and runs on batteries. It’s useful if you have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. No need to turn on the light and go instantly blind, or spend the entire experience wincing and squinting. It’s also useful during power outages, so you don’t have to pee in the dark, or if you don’t feel that using the bathroom by candlelight is all that romantic.

By the way, the cabinet over the toilet? I put that together myself. And I’ll have you know, it’s never collapsed! I’m very proud of myself. It wobbles a bit but has never outright fallen over, and I consider that a win. I can’t say it was much fun to put together, but hey, I needed a cabinet and it was cheaper to buy it pre-assembled.

It’s always cheaper to buy items you have to put together over fully-built ones. However, your level of ingenuity (and patience) may require you to obtain help. Since this blog is about doing things the cheap way, I’m just offering that bit of advice. You may, of course, find the less-hassle route worth the cost or even necessary due to physical limitations.

I’m really clean!

I must confess, inside this cabinet hides one of my not-so-cheap hobbies. I’m a fiend for cute, homemade, artisan soaps. I love to buy fancy, pretty soaps from small soap makers, many of which I’ve found through Instagram. It doesn’t fit the whole ‘cheap’ theme of this blog. Though, I’m sure, if you don’t buy as MANY as I have, it’s cheaper. I’ve thought about trying my hand at soap making, but…I guess I haven’t gotten the guts to do it yet. Maybe someday!

Here’s a few awesome crafters I buy soaps from:

Sweet Home Soaps

Happy Bath Bar

The Nesting Doll Shop

Nectar Bath Treats

Items Featured In Pictures

All items are listed, to the best of my memory, where I bought them, and their approximate price at the time of purchase. Relevant links to retailers or specific items are included where possible. Please note: I am not paid by any retailer, organization, or product to promote anything on this blog. This is for informational purposes only.

I apologize, as many of the items in my bathroom have been gifted to me and I can’t provide accurate retailers/prices for them!

  • Shower curtain – Target ~$15
  • Bath rug – Dollar General ~$8
  • Bathtub mat – Amazon ~$15
  • Over-toilet cabinet – Amazon ~$50
  • Dolphin and seahorse statuettes (and the little fish) – Gifts
  • Seahorse knob dangler – Dollar General ~$1
  • Vase – I’ve had it for so long I don’t remember where I got it now!
  • Seahorse wall art – Seventh Avenue ~$30 for set
  • Ocean themed wall art – Marc’s ~$8
  • Sun mirror – Gift
  • Seahorse wind chime – Gift
  • Seahorse pitcher (on floor) – Marc’s ~$10
  • Soaps – See above