Author & Blogger

Christine Brun Portrait

Christine Brun is an expert in lifestyle trends, how to live smaller, and interior design topics.

She shares this broad knowledge with you as well as articles about women's issues in her blogs.

Pink Bedroom with Teddy Bears

Pink Bedroom with Teddy Bears

Pink Bedroom with Teddy Bears

A very wealthy American once said that thrift was essential to well-ordered living and what better time to make sure that your household is well ordered for the New Year. At only two times in our collective American history have we been more challenged to stretch dollars and be inventive with available funds. We won’t see families focused on buying “up” and getting larger homes as much in previous decades. Instead we will surely see trends that revolve around multi-generational living plans, dual use of space that flexes as family needs shift and family and friends cooperating in shared habitats.

Shopping at thrift stores and consignment shops is ‘in’ while conspicuous consumption may have bit the dust for a while. Being conservative with money does not equate to living in an ugly environment. I believe that the creative thinkers just get more inspired when the budget shrinks. For example, over Christmas we enjoyed a visit from our married son, his wife and our new baby grandson. Instead of buying a changing table to make the visit more comfortable for the new parents I kind of rigged one up using items that I had on hand. We have an antique oak side table that is just the size of a basinet sheet. I covered the top of the table with Dacron batting that was shipped along with some tile samples for a client and then covered that material with a plastic bag. Then I cushioned the entire surface with several large bath towels and bound the sandwich together with the fitted sheet. Frankly the sheet wasn’t even the right colors for a little boy baby, but he didn’t know that! It worked wonderfully and cost me absolutely nothing to make except for the $6.00 I spent for the sale-priced sheet! Instead of buying a new house when that first baby or second baby arrives, look for another room that you might convert into a bedroom or nursery.

Look at how you might live in your present house differently. Should you convert the dining room into a bedroom? What would happen if you eliminated your laundry room and instead installed a stacking washer/dryer in your master bathroom? Then you might convert the laundry room into a bedroom much like what you see here. The high storage cabinets would be awesome for a young girl’s out-of-season clothes, school projects, treasures and extra bedding items. A built-in, wall-to-wall single bed might allow two tiny kids to use the bed. Granted you would have to use sheets made for a longer bed, but that is not an impossible thing to accept. Somewhere between the time I grew up in the 1050s and today, people have developed the attitude that things have to be perfect. It simply isn’t true: A make-due philosophy can be extremely useful in terms of reaching an end goal. In this case it simply means that you must tuck about 36” of extra width under the mattress. It is neither ugly nor impractical to do this. No one other than the person making the bed will realize that you have rigged up a solution instead of buying something custom made. An adorable crown of fabric and a fancy chandelier are all that little girls will remember about this precious room.

Adaptability and flexibility are two of my most valued qualities in me and in others. Not only will these see you through challenging financial times, but they will escort you firmly into your own aging experience. So as you struggle to make due, try to accept the problems as puzzles needing a creative resolution. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to adapting the space that you already own to growing or changing needs in your household. Look at pieces of furniture differently. Think outside of the box as to how you might re-assign space in your home to work at providing a solution to a new need.

Photo Credit:  Pergo

Log Cabin Bathroom

Log Cabin Bathroom

Drop Leaf Dining Table

Drop Leaf Dining Table