Photography by Monic Richard | Styling by Nicola Marc
A savvy bargain shopper creates a budget-friendly living room for her family without skimping on style.
As is evident on her website, Lazy Mom's Blog, Montrealer Joanna Grzeszczak has style to spare. "I love bright and eclectic interiors, and I always want a mix of old and new," she says. But as a mom of two young girls with a baby on the way, she doesn't have a limitless budget. Luckily, the homeowner is resourceful and patient—two key attributes when looking for a bargain—so when it came time to decorate her living room, she was well-equipped to create a luxe look on a dime.
If it's a big buy, Joanna likes to court an item before making a commitment. She has subscribed to her favourite brands' email lists, so no sale alert escapes her. She bides her time, comparing prices at multiple stores before purchasing. "It took me three or four months to buy an armchair," she says, boasting that the blue velvet beauty was originally $500, but she got it for $400. Joanna also frequents Kijiji, where she scores unique pieces for a fraction of their cost. But unsurprisingly, her all-time favourite elements are those that cost nothing at all, such as the carved-wood side table she got as a gift. "I don't like handing over money because I know that there's another way," says the frugal homeowner. Looking around the bright, colourful room, we see there sure is.
Here's how Joanna created this budget-friendly space.
1. She made inexpensive shelves look like custom built-ins.
Scored on sale, glass-front shelving units mimic built-ins, turning the inexpensive electric fireplace into a chic and cozy focal point.
2. She searched for cost-effective alternatives to trendy items.
"I saw a table like this at a trendy store for $900," says Joanna Grzeszczak, who took to the web and found these glam look-alikes for only $200 each.
3. She saved time and money by planning the space thoroughly.
This thrifty homeowner does her research. To get a sense of how budget-friendly online purchases like this armchair will look in her home, she creates mood boards or scours Pinterest to see their scale in context.
4. She opted for DIY art.
Just off the living room, this gallery wall is full of saves. Displayed mostly in Ikea frames, the artwork is a collection of the homeowner's own paintings and cutouts from art books she found at garage sales.
5. She chose conservative colours, which she won't tire of, for pricer items.
"Colourful art, chairs, toss cushions—these things give the impression of a colourful home," says Joanna, who picked bold hues for accessories and muted tones for larger, pricier items.