Friday, December 13, 2013

Decorating The Foyer For The Holidays On A Budget

I love Christmas and the whole holiday season.  But gussying up the house, decking those halls and all that jazz can be hard on the pocketbook.  And as for me and mine, we live on a b-b-b-budget.  Not one of my favorite words, but it's reality. Being a stay-at-home mom, we primarily live on the blessed one income of my husband.

I'm recovering from a back injury so I'm trying to take it easy and keeping it simple. Although I realize 'simple' is a subjective word. To stretch our dollars, I'm always on the lookout for a good bargain, whether thrift stores, yard sales (some of my best deals for the holidays were bought during the summer! Always thinking ahead.), or consignment shops and  I make no apologies for it.  And as anyone who knows me well will tell you, I have no compunction about grabbing items from the curb if they suit my decorating fancy. On more than one occasion,  I've slammed on those car brakes, done sudden U-turns, and nearly caused an accident, much to the embarrassment of my family just to pick up someone's throw away that I could refurbish or re-purpose.  (Just kidding about the accident part). Stay tuned for more posts about the my second-hand escapades.

Yesterday I decorated the foyer.  I didn't want anything too over the top, just a little festive bling, color and sparkle.

In my foyer there is a shelf  that acts as a place for the family shoes.  This shelf is one of my curbside treasures. It was green and hideous but with a fresh coat of black paint, it has been the perfect storage unit for shoes.  The rest of the year, it also brightens our entry way as I use it to display photos of friends and family.  For this project I cleared the top off and gave it good dusting and cleaning. Here's what it looked like before. Sorry for the blurry image.

To get the ball rolling, I picked up a few items from my local Dollar Store. Can I just say I love the Dollar Store!  You would be surprised at the variety of items they carry. Obviously they're not designer or made of high quality materials, but they serve their purpose.

As I shop, I begin forming a mental image of what kind of arrangement I will come up with.  I may or may not know ahead of time. And depending on what I find, I make creative adjustments along the way. Having a mental image is crucial to my budget. It helps guide my purchases and not overdo it by picking up every cute little thing that strikes my fancy.  Even though it's the Dollar Store, trust me, those dollars can add up quickly! (Just in case I always keep the receipt if I need to return something).

In perusing their selection, I found miniature gift boxes in golds, silvers and reds. With great delight, I scooped up six of them. I imagined stacks of three on both ends acting as the anchor of the arrangement.

Then I found these beautiful little red and silver ornaments.  There were five in a package which I thought was great for only $1.  I put two of those in my cart.

Also I found these large gorgeous red ornaments with gold scroll work which I later also used to hang on the tree.  I'm a sucker for scroll work. Because they were so ornamental, I knew I would only use a couple of them.

Also, they had these beautiful stars in gold, silver and red. I used one gold one to top our tree and the other one in the middle of the 'shelfscape.' And of course, no Christmas decor would be complete without little white lights.  Afterwards, I stopped at Walgreens where I bought a string of 100 lights on sale for just $4.49.

While still at Walgreens, I also found a great deal on sprigs, gold and red. They were 2 for $3.  I used the gold ones to peek out on  the ends of the arrangement. I thought they were a nice detail. (The red sprigs I'll probably use later as part of a tablescape).
Opening all the packages, I felt like a kid in a candy store. I love the creative process. It never, ever gets old. It's so thrilling to take disparate elements and see how it will all come together. I must confess, I'm always a little nervous that my bright ideas won't turn out right. Sometimes the end result doesn't live up to what I imagined, but that's all part of the creative journey.

I started by spreading the lights over the top of the surface to serve as the twinkling backdrop to my little shelfscape. Then I proceeded to arrange the boxes and ornaments in a fashion that was pleasing. I'm no design student, but I've learned some basic principles I try to keep in mind balance, scale, form, etc. I heard somewhere to work in threes.

A little arranging here, a little experimenting there and this is how turned out.

I must say, I am pleased with it.   Particularly because I did the whole thing for about $19.  Our foyer now feels bright and festive.

I hope this inspired you.  I would love to hear your holiday decorating ideas for dressing the foyer, particularly budget-friendly ones.


  1. Very nice. Love your creativity!

    1. Thanks so much for your comment and for stopping by. Hope you were inspired.