Beautiful on a Budget

Written by Jackie Tinkler

So…a few years back, we were downsized considerably.  The housing and job market tanked, there were job losses and changes that left us picking up the pieces of our upper middle class lifestyle; all just as we were about to become empty nesters and begin the next phase of our lives.   Being forced to let go of everything is not such a bad thing, particularly when you find hidden treasure in the pieces. No longer do I need expensive things to satisfy my desire for beauty.   In fact, I have found it amazingly fun to find beauty in the everyday ordinary places in my home and around me.

Over the years, I have embraced this new place with even more appreciation.   Don’t get me wrong, it was hard, but  I have learned to live more creatively and beautifully than ever before.  God has given me an abundance of inspiration in creating a cohesively attractive, yet simple living space, I can be content in, even on a budget.

Maybe you can relate and are trying to find the beautiful after the struggle, the diagnosis or the change.  Whatever it may be, let me encourage you to create a lovely home from the scattered pieces of your life so it is your haven, a safe place and a refuge from the storm.

Here are my top five ways to live more creative and beautiful on a budget! Remember to keep to what you love and not worry about staying on trend so much if you don’t like the trend.  If you love a more traditional look, go for it.  I like to mix traditional,  cozy romantic and antique country with a few artsy eclectic pieces.


decorating post

There are amazing and beautiful deals in the thrift stores, Facebook Marketplace and consignment shops.  You have to be willing to find them.  First, all items in both pictures were purchased either at consignment, thrift or antique malls.  The two beautiful red chairs in the first picture were bought at a consignment shop for less than $ 100.00 for both.     The dark chocolate brown library chair directly above was purchased for $12.00 at an antique mall,  the lamp sitting on the desk was $10.00 at a thrift store, and the deer holding a cigar was a Target purchase.  The pricier pieces are the antique side table serving as a coffee table and walnut antique cabinet circa 1900.  They were my “splurges” but still a good buy.  Give yourself permission to purchase one or two splurges when you have the $$.



sewing machine

If you find a piece you can’t live without but it doesn’t quite “go with” your look, paint it!  This antique sewing machine was given to us by a friend.  To fit with our current décor style, we painted it this trendy blue and it looks amazing!



You are allowed to mix and match chairs at your dining or breakfast table.  This will save on your budget because it allows you to use chairs from around the house or “onesies” you may find out and about. I pulled in the wicker bench from the porch to add a little something different here.   Think outside the box. For example, all of my chairs don’t need to match and be from the furniture store as long as the colors are cohesive.
furniture placement

Furniture placement is important for a stylish and balanced space.  Think “gathering” place.  You want to pull the furniture away from the walls and place it in a “group” for cozy conversation around the fireplace, TV or focal point in the room. Once the furniture is placed in a grouping, fill in the rest with accessories, pillows, throws, and lamps.

Create a place in either the kitchen or living room for hospitality.  Your family members and guests will LOVE this cozy spot to make a cup of coffee, grab a cup of tea or water and snack on a pastry at any time.  You will love the ease of serving as well!


IMG_3891Jackie Tinkler is the Co-Founder and Ministry Director at Something More and lives in Birmingham, Alabama. She has been ministering to women for 20 years as a Women’s Ministry Director, Counselor and Producer. She is co-writing a Women’s Small Group Study Something Beautiful and when not leading women to freedom can be found worshipping at her home church, Church of the Highlands, home styling for friends, on the hiking trail with her husband, Jim and their chocolate lab, Nelson, talking with their adult daughter Lauren or sitting in the balcony at the Alabama Theatre.



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I am a lover of God, family, friends, old homes, classic movies, vintage clothing, home decorating, antique and coffee shops, cobblestone streets, art, sidewalk cafes, fireside chats, books, cooking, and a fresh cup of coffee in the morning.

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