Tag Archives: lights

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.


Star Light, Star Bright

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.

This week I present my beautiful light-up star. It’s made of metal so it harkens back to my metal decor post this week. I got it at a local cultural/religious festival here in Cleveland called The Feast of the Assumption, or more commonly just, “The Feast.” The festival takes place on a street lined with shops and restaurants, and I bought my star in a store that sells wine downstairs and home decor upstairs. A dream!

It cost about twenty dollars, if I remember correctly. It’s been about six years since I bought it. I usually feature it in my Christmas decor, as well.

It may not look like much during the day, while it’s turned off…

But check it out at night!

It takes 3 AA batteries and has two settings. In one mode the colors change constantly (shown here) and in the other one it remains a steady color. You can see how it throws patterns on the walls when it’s lit up as well.

I absolutely adore it. Best random find ever!

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