Being a homeowner is not to be taken for granted these days. But owning a home is not the same as creating a home. Regardless of budget, some people have a knack for creating homes that emanate style and personality. And money can’t buy style. As Coco Chanel once famously said, “Fashion changes, style endures.”
When I first got married, we made do with second hand furniture sourced from stores in and around Oamaru (great pickings I have to admit) where I found a beautiful glass topped dining table and chairs for $800 and cane breakfast stools for $35. Over time, we’ve been able to replace larger items but we’re still budget conscious.
The table and chairs have been replaced with six industrial styled chairs sourced online from Cintesi – affordable and durable. We had to wait a bit longer to find a table that matched but eventually found a perfect match on sale at Smiths City.
The blue fabric lounge suite I adored in my late 20s didn’t bode so well with sticky hands so we saved up and invested in a decent leather lounge suite. Easy to wipe and hopefully, will stand the test of time.
We recently sourced a cool child’s all in one bed, desk and drawers from a friend as their eldest prepared to head away to varsity. A coat of paint and a bright duvet cover from Briscoes and his room is sorted for a few years. The eldest has a cheap as chips double bed from John’s Warehouse and we figure he can take that with him when he leaves home. The denim moon chair in his room was a wedding present so will stay.
Our office desk was sourced from the boys’ primary school. I had volunteered to help with an end of year clean up a few years ago where they were throwing out old rimu desks. They were only too happy to let me grab one and we’re still using it. The bookcase, on the other hand, was a more expensive investment crafted by Boyce and Sons in Blenheim. It’s travelled all over the country with me and was worth every cent.
The upstairs lounge has a fold out couch which wasn’t cheap but is flanked either side by two outdoor chairs from Mitre 10 Mega for $35 each. We pop them outside on the adjoining desck in summer but meantime they offer extra seating and don’t look out of place.
When it comes to furnishings, retailers like The Warehouse, KMart and Ezi Buy have the latest nick nacks and colour ranges – geometrics and copper might be the go at the moment but fashions quickly change. Better to invest in furniture that will last then decorate with cheaper items that can be updated. I’ve always loved rose gold but have stopped myself at a desk lamp and pendant light from Citta Design.
We’ve also got a Resource Recovery Centre at Green Island with an op shop called Rummage. From here, we’ve sourced what we need to finish the outdoor shower this summer. Another friend found an old cane chair, painted it bright yellow and placed it on her front porch as a cheerful welcome to visitor. Looks great too.
The most important thing when creating a home is to invest in items you love. Don’t follow a fad for the sake of it. Sometimes it’s worth spending a bit more on things you’ll have for the long haul but to me, a home should reflect the personality of its owners. Pepper the walls with memories, look out for special items on holiday such as the kaleidoscope I bought in Stewart Island years ago. At the time it seemed like a frivolous spend but it makes me smile. Such items are priceless.