All posts by Pretty Broke Blogger

Interior design, home decor, and pretty things for your house: I find them cheap. Make it pretty, even if you're broke!

Bed Frame, No Shame

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.

Here’s a funny story about my dramatic, overstated bed frame: I bought it in a used furniture store. The day I found it, I walked in and was just browsing around, not really sure if I was actually there to purchase anything. I saw it sitting against a back wall, near the clerk’s counter. I stopped, and gazed at it in wonder. My mouth dropped open. It was like seeing a unicorn.

The lady behind the counter saw me looking at it and mistook my awe for disbelief. “Yeah, were having a hard time getting rid of that,” she said. “I think it’s meant for a special kind of person.” She meant this in a derogatory way, as she clearly found it hideous.

I looked at her and said, “Today is your lucky day. I am that person.”

I bought it fairly cheap considering it’s a queen-sized bed frame, and it came with a (brand new) mattress and box springs. It was used, unwieldy, and ugly to a lot of people, so I got a discount. I had it delivered that very day.

Funny enough, the headboard graces the window, and later when I visited the store again the lady working there said she drives by my place often and sees it in the window, and thinks it’s actually quite lovely now! I guess she just needed a frame of reference.

I have my own unique style, and when I find things I love, I know they were meant for me! I don’t care what other people think.

Light Up Your Home–The Use of Lights to Brighten Things Up

Solar lights are wonderful too.

If you want to brighten up your home in a cheap, fast, and simple way, but you don’t want to deal with the various dangers of candles, I have two words for you: string lights (or fairy lights, if you prefer).

And, you know, other lights, but I’m a sucker for the ones on strings.

Of course, that’s not to say you can’t mix candles AND lights. Go wild! I treat light in my house the way I treat scent: it has to be just right for me, and if I have multiple lights in a room they must work together and compliment each other. Light creates mood and becomes part of the decor. I’ve always been attentive to lighting and how it makes a room look, not just the decorative sort but lamps and constant light sources as well. Light greatly affects my mood and how I ‘perceive’ a room. I’ve been like this since childhood. It’s one of my weird psychological quirks (and boy do I have a list of those).

The great news is that both decorative and practical lighting can be cheap. String lights are inexpensive and easy to use. Battery operated lights can be just as beautiful as electric ones. There’s lots of lamps out there too, and they don’t have to break the bank. Lighting doesn’t have to be expensive, elaborate, or expertly installed to be enjoyed.

This light takes batteries, a good alternative.

Of course there are electricity costs involved sometimes, but string and rope lights don’t use that much energy. Lamps can be turned off. Lighting can be used only for special occasions, if you prefer. Lower wattage bulbs can be used. Solar lights are a great alternative. The packaging on most lights will let you know their energy consumption. But overall,, even with a house full of lights I don’t have a huge electric bill.

I have all sorts of lights on my balcony, but I’m not going to show them off in this post since I already covered those in my outdoor post. Most of them are battery or solar powered. Outdoor lighting is a great subject in and of itself, but since I don’t have a huge outdoor space I won’t go much into it. You can check out this great blog for outdoor lighting tips and ideas.

My house is never dark, even at night. It saves me having to flip switches if I get up in the middle of the night, or it’s too early in the evening to have all the lights on.

Lighting creates ambiance, which is like finishing a picture by painting a pretty gloss over it. It enhances the beauty that you’ve created in your space and highlights it. And, if you’re decorating cheap, it makes things look a little classier. Don’t tell your secrets. Let the light do the work!

My bedroom is my favorite room.

I will admit I do have some expensive lighting, though that doesn’t vibe with the theme of this blog. I smart homed my apartment, and I use Philips Hue Smart Lights in my living room and bedroom lamps. They’re controlled by Amazon Echo and connect to WiFi. The ones in the living room are multicolored and I can create all sorts of moods and scenes with them, which I really enjoy. These lights are definitely not cheap, but sometimes I like to splurge.

Here’s a cheap tip: if you like string lights, go to the stores right after Christmas when they mark down the leftover decorations, and buy them up on clearance. Stock up, so when a string burns out, you have a backup to replace it.

Make your home shine–it’s easy, it’s inexpensive, and it’s fun!

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.


Decorating With Glass–Easy, Cheap, and Pretty

Glass comes in so many colors.

If you have young children or rambunctious pets, you might want to skip this post. If you don’t, or you’re brave, or you just have really high shelves, then go ahead and stick around. My cat was actually a glass-shattering tornado when she was a kitten, but now in her old age she no longer feels the urge to destroy anything within her leaping range. I guess we all mature as we age, right?

At least glass decor can be really cheap–so if it breaks, that’s okay. Obviously, I’m not talking about Swarovski crystal or Tiffany lamps. But second hand and discount stores are full of beautiful glass, and you can always lie and tell people it’s a really rare, pricey piece. Unless they’re some glass scientist how are they gonna know anyway, huh?

A great thing about glass is there’s so much variation. It’s not just bottles and vases. Glass pieces have many different styles, colors, and uses. From glass tabletops to wall decor, to hanging items and shelf pieces, there’s plenty of variety and versatility.

Though I love the look of glass, I don’t have nearly enough of it. You might have noticed it shows up here and there in some of my previous posts. I’m just in the infancy of my ‘decorate the entire house with glass’ phase, I suppose. Check back in the winter and see if I’ve suitably ramped up my obsession with it. As long as I don’t get distracted by something else shiny, I will probably have grown my collection respectably by then. It’s good to have goals!

The white car in the background is mine. I know, you were expecting it to be pink, weren’t you?

The majority of my glass is on the windowsill in my bedroom. Mostly because the glass pieces I do have work well with the colors in my bedroom. I’m a bit girly, as you can tell. I like pastels, vibrant tones, and definitely pink. Everyone in my life knows if they’re going to buy me a gift, they should try to find it in pink.

The funny part is, way back in the day, I used to very much be into darker colors, and more stoic, plain, neutral looks. A lot of my decor was black, deep reds, and browns. I don’t know at what point it started to shift, but it did. And I don’t even know why! My tastes just changed over time and I wanted to brighten things up and make my life more colorful. I wasn’t always this way. I guess this is part of life, though. What suits us one year may not suit us the next. This is true in everything, not just making your house pretty.

Decorating your space should focus on what brings you joy and what you like to look at. You don’t have to stick with one style your entire life. People change and tastes shift. You aren’t selling out or losing your identity if you change your style. It just means you get to decorate again!

I recommend trying out some glass, if you don’t have any in your space already. Find some at a thrift store or yard sale first, and see how you like it. It’s easy to clean, either with a damp cloth or window cleaner. It catches the light too. I think it goes well with just about any tone or style of decor. Even if your space has a more organic feel, it will fit right in.

Mirrors are great too. They make a space look more wide and open. Even small mirrors can create this sort of illusion.

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.