Category Archives: budget decor

Rainbow Mirror

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.

I stumbled upon this beautiful and fun mirror at Marc’s (a discount store here in Cleveland) and paid a whole whopping ten bucks for it. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it for my living room. It fits right in with my style of decor–whimsical, colorful, and cheerful! It’s actually quite a bit heavier than it looks and hanging it was a task, but I didn’t mind. It graces the spot above my cat’s chair (of course she has her own chair) and I love it.

I also had to take a picture from an angle so I wouldn’t be reflected in the mirror. It was a comical bit of fanageling.

I love those times when I unexpectedly discover an item that’s perfect for my home. The best times are when you’re not specifically shopping for it, and there it is. It’s serendipity!

It begged me to take it home, how could I resist?

A Lantern to Light the Way–Bringing Old World Charm Into Your Home

Some beautiful gifts.

I love the look of lanterns. They’re one of my favorite aesthetics. I don’t own nearly enough of them, and I think we know the solution to that, don’t we? I love it when the Universe gives you a reason to go shopping.

Most of the lanterns I do have are gifts from my son. He’s been gifting me with one every Christmas for a few years. Those are the colorful ones you see in the picture. You can also see I have a few more out on my balcony (one that I ‘weathered’ by simply leaving it outside all the time). There’s an old world, mystical charm to lanterns that I just adore. Sometimes I burn candles in them, but regardless, I just really like their look, lit up or not.

I see lanterns in bargain stores and second hand stores all the time, so they can definitely be a cheap bit of decor. I’ll let you know when I acquire more! My only caution is that, if you get cheap ones, make sure the materials they’re made out of are safe to burn candles inside, if you intend to do so. No one wants a melted lantern.

Lanterns bring a bit of old fashioned charm into your house. There are many different styles, from rustic to Eastern to modern, depending on what sort of look you’re going for. If you like to use candles, they provide another outlet for burning them. Outdoor lanterns are another great way to brighten up your outside space.

Lanterns can be seasonal items too, such as in fall and around Christmastime. Or even on summer nights! They make great cheap decoration that adds to the ambiance of your holiday and seasonal decorating. Again, make sure they’re safe before burning candles inside them.

Now, I’m off to go bargain hunt some lanterns! I’ll be sure to take pictures.

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.

  • White lantern – Dollar General ~$5
  • Tall light blue lantern – Marc’s (Cleveland discount store) ~$6
  • Colorful lanterns – These were all gifts from my son, but I believe he got them on Amazon


The Wind in the Chimes–Wind Chimes Are Not Just for Outside Anymore

Wooden chimes have a different sound.

Wanna hear something funny? I love wind chimes and I have a bunch of them–and not a single one is outside! All my wind chimes hang inside my home. Why? Because I’m a rebel, I guess. The Man isn’t going to tell me where I can hang my wind chimes!

Seriously though, I’ve had many outside before. It just so happens at the moment they’re all inside. I can’t seem to find one that I like enough to put outside right now. There’s a few reasons for this. For one, I have multiple windchimes that are certainly beautiful but are cheap. And unfortunately, most cheap windchimes do not sound nice. They tend to clank and clang because the chimes aren’t tuned and I don’t want to listen to discordant clanging every time the breeze blows. It’s a bit like having a toddler bash your pots and pans together, and I am way past that stage of my son’s life.

I also live in an apartment complex and I try not to be a nuisance to my neighbors. The last thing anyone wants to hear at 2 a.m. is a scrap metal symphony.

The dichotomy, however, is that if I have a really nice, tuned, and more expensive chime, I don’t want to put it outside to get ruined by the elements! I know that’s silly. I have a complex about using nice things as they’re intended so they won’t deteriorate. I’m trying to work on that about myself. Mess it up! Chaos and disorder! I think this is a habit for a lot of people though, when they have pretty things.

A nice wind chime is a musical instrument. The same care and skill goes into creating the chimes and making sure the pitch of each chime works together, as you would get in a well-crafted guitar or violin. This makes nice wind chimes pretty expensive, which doesn’t fit the vibe of this blog. But it might be worth splurging if you want a lovely chime.

I recommend Woodstock Chimes if you’re looking for a well-tuned chime. You can even listen to each chime on their website. There are also some cheaper ones amongst their smaller chimes. I’m not being paid to advertise for them, I’m just a fan.

A birdie in a cage.

I do hang a few of my nicer sounding chimes in windows so the breeze can stir them. At least, during the few minutes out of each year when it’s nice enough to open the windows here. The cheaper ones hang inside as decorations. Wind chimes are lovely decor, inside or out. Go for it, hang them where you like, nothing is stopping you from bucking the system. They can’t arrest you for it!

Glass or crystal (or faux-crystal) chimes are also gorgeous for hanging inside. I don’t own any at the moment but they catch the light and can also be on the less expensive side, depending on where you purchase them.

Wind chimes are also easy to make, if you like crafting. I’m sure you can find lots of tutorials online. I don’t know how much individual chimes cost to put on, but like regular wind chimes I’m sure it depends on the quality of the chime itself and whether or not it’s tuned. Perhaps this is a good hobby for me to look into in the future…

The ancient Romans and Chinese had wind chimes, and they’ve been a much-loved enduring decoration for centuries. Some people believe the sound of wind chimes wards off evil spirits or bad luck.

No matter what you believe, there’s a certain charm in hearing a tinkling bell on a warm, breezy afternoon. They add whimsical ambiance to a garden or a splash of charm to a porch. A little bit of music to a balcony. And yes, even inside, not making a sound, they bring a lot of enjoyment with their beauty.

And, most importantly, it’s another cheap way to decorate. That is, of course, if you shy away from the precisely-tuned, platinum, six foot long ones. But hey, if that’s the one you want, go for it! I think that one won’t annoy the neighbors as much if you put it outside.

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.