Dream big, spend little…

Haute House Purple Medallion Chair from Neiman Marcus
Haute House Purple Medallion Chair from Neiman Marcus

The morning after I made the “If I won the lottery…” post, I had a person unsubscribe from my feedburner list. Mostly I don’t pay attention to who subscribes and unsubscribes. Don’t misunderstand me; like any other writer/blogger, I WANT people to read (and hopefully enjoy) my posts. I just don’t spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing about the number of people who read them anymore because I found it sucks a little of the joy out of the whole process for me. Plus, since I’ve been a marketing professional my whole adult life, it’s nice to do something where I’m NOT tracking and analyzing the numbers.

That said, sometimes I wonder why people choose to unsubscribe. And on that particular morning, seeing the unsubscribe notice poked at a little fear I had hounding me as I fell asleep the night before. I was worried, you see, that my lottery post would somehow suggest that I was no longer concerned about creating a beautiful home on a budget.

Just to clarify things… I HAVE not won the lottery! Not by a long shot. Right now, my family of 5 is living on my single income because my husband, like so many others, is struggling to find a new job. I’m still VERY budget conscious from necessity. More importantly, I’ve discovered that I possess a sense of stewardship. Even if I won the lottery, I’d still be trolling craigslist.com for the best deals on whatever I needed. I have a strong belief that I should be mindful of whatever resources I have available and make the best of them. A little money or a lot of money, I’ll always be the one shopping for the best deal.

And no, that doesn’t imply that I’m cheap either. Value isn’t always about spending the least amount on something… it’s about really being thoughtful about how you spend. For instance, this winter, I splurged on a great pair of Tahari oxford shoes:

Tahari Suede and Patent Leather Oxford
Tahari Leather and Patent Oxford

This one from DSW is very similar to mine, except mine has suede rather than flat leather. I bought mine on sale for a little over $50, so they were a deal compared to what they normally retail, but even $50 was pushing it for me. Regardless, I LOVED them on sight and they have been my go-to shoe all winter long. In fact, my happy little feet are wearing them right now and they totally provide the icing for what would be a very simple casual Friday outfit of trouser jeans and black square neck t-shirt.

My point is, I knew the value of the shoes, and even though it was a splurge budget wise, they were worth the splurge. And the reason I knew the value was because just like I spend time virtual window shopping about expensive furniture, I spend time virtual window shopping for clothing. Both habits allow me to understand current trends as well as pinpoint my own “ideal” style. Later, when I’m really shopping, I’m able to use that knowledge in a few ways:

  • Judging the true value of an item. (Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean it’s really valuable to me for my life.)
  • Choosing items that really represent ME. (On sale also doesn’t make it a good deal if I’ll spend most of my time feeling like I settled for something that I don’t REALLY like.)
  • Selecting the right budget friendly items to recreate a look I admire. (By understanding the elements of design that speak to me, I can focus on finding pieces that possess those same elements.)

Dreaming big, in reality, is exactly what allows me to make the most effective use of my time and money in decorating my home. It allows me to lust after this $5700 leather sofa:

Tufted Leather sofa from Neiman Marcus
Tufted Leather sofa from Neiman Marcus

and spot the similarities in this $1200 Rooms To Go Cindy Crawford Home collection piece:

Cindy Crawford Home Chestnut Leather
Cindy Crawford Home Chestnut Leather

and it’s exactly what lets me know that there is true value in this $2000 4 piece set for sale right now on craigslist.com:

Cindy Crawford Home on Craigslist
Cindy Crawford Home on Craigslist

(A 4 piece set, by the way, that’s NEGOTIABLE!!!! Oh craigslist, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways… )

So there… a little peek into my mindset, for those of you who might have thought I was straying from my budget decorating roots…

’til next time,


Oh, I almost forgot! If you want to learn some awesome but simple tricks for creating really pretty home accessories check out these posts on Joy’s Joys of Home blog:

Joy's monogrammed silver platter
Joy's monogrammed silver platter

Joy’s the newest addition to my RSS subscription list and I bet ya’ll will enjoy her blog just as much as I do!


5 thoughts on “Dream big, spend little…

  1. Joy says:

    Oh! I feel so honored!
    Thank you so much for mentioning me and linking to my blog.
    I’m so happy that you enjoy my humble little blog.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Torey says:

    When you mentioned your husband, I saw a glimmer of hope that things are working out for you? I remember all the pain you had a few months back and hope that things are improving. Although not having a job can be pretty stressful on a relationship (speaking from my own personal experience here). Hope all is well with you.

    1. snhamlett says:

      Hi Torey! Good eye for catching that! I’ve been hesitant to mention it for fear of jinxing things but we’ve been working on our marital problems and things have gotten a lot better… we’ve been looking at new wedding bands to symbolize starting over! 🙂 Thanks to you and everyone who has sent good thoughts our way…

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