Making a house, a home. (Home accessories on a shoestring)

It’s not long now until Oli and I tie the knot…159 days to be exact! And we cannot wait. I’ve said it before in multiple posts and I’ll say it again now; I cannot wait to live with Oliver and for us to share a home together.

And as I count down the days until we become man and wife, I’ve developed a new interest in home accessories. It’s no longer about bags, or shoes or new clothes for me but all about things Home.

And there’s some really amazing home-y things out there in the shops at the moment and more recently a lot of festive things too. But to be honest home accessories – however lovely – do not come cheap. Even things like photo frames have a price tag. And when you’re trying hard to save for a wedding and a honeymoon, buying expensive plaques with inspirational quotes on them, to spread around your fiancé’s house, probably isn’t the best idea.

So I’ve been looking to the charity shops, supermarket chains along with shops like IKEA and Wilkinson’s to fulfill my ‘making a house home’ needs only on a shoestring.

I find that framing personal pictures, immediately makes a house feel more like a home. But as I mentioned before, the old framing business is on the more pricey side of life. But charity shops like Cancer Research, Oxfam and Mind to name a few, usually have a box full of reasonable frames for you to rummage through, ranging from as little as 50p to about £4.50 (depending on size and quality).

I bought the gorgeous frame pictured below from a Cancer Research shop for a mere £2 and I used a photo machine in Boots (which are brilliant and so, so quick) to print out a photo from our engagement shoot for about 30p. An absolute bargain!

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Another bargain accessory that I bought are these gorgeously simple initial candles from George ASDA. They cost £1.50 each and will add a personalised touch to any home. They burn for quite a while too and when mine are finished I plan to wash them out and pop tea lights in them keeping them a home staple for a long time to come.

Speaking of home departments in Supermarkets, as well as ASDA, Sainsbury’s is also a great place to get reasonably priced items to deck out your pad. I stumbled across this glass pane in the home section of my local Sainsbury’s and thought it was cute as this is something Oli and I say to each other. It seemed like the perfect thing to pop in my trolley and it only cost £4 so it didn’t affect our wedding savings too much!

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I do love a decorative sign. In fact, I’m a complete sucker for them. So when Sainsbury’s had a little Home sale a while back I made sure I bought this arrow sign below. I love the idea of every day being an adventure and exploring and discovering new things so this was an ideal item to have hanging by the front door, pointing towards the world outside. And even better was the fact that it cost just over £2.

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Wilkinson’s is another of my favourite shops on the highstreet. I’ve been so impressed (and very tempted by) all of their home stuff lately. It’s really gorgeous and so reasonable without product quality being compromised. I found this Key and Letter holder (pictured below) and really loved it. It was £10 but compared to the prices of similar items out there, I thought this was a pretty good price and it adds a lot more character to Oli’s hallway. As well as being aethetically pleasing it’s really practical too.

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I love words, so having them around the house makes me very happy. For my birthday my Mum gave me these pretty floral letters that spell out HOME (pictured below). She told me that they were from a charity shop and so she grabbed them knowing how much I would love them. I was amazed that someone was giving away something this pretty but it’s the perfect addition to my future home. Their loss is very much my gain. They sit perfectly on the windowsill and remind me that one day I will live here full time and it will be fantastic.

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We found these super cute vintage, shabby chic LOVE letters in another Cancer Research shop – a real treasure trove of lovely, little home-making things. They cost a teensy tiny £1.50 for all four and I couldn’t have been more chuffed when I handed over the money.

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The frame featured in the picture above is also another charity shop bargain, costing £1.50. It’s originally from BHS and is solid wood.

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The coasters above are my most recent success. I saw them in the bric a brac section of my local Sense charity shop, an area that is usually full of dusty rubbish that no one really wants to buy; you can totally understand why people want to get rid of this stuff in the first place. But my attention was caught by these wooden beauties. I turned them over to have a closer look and saw that they were made by Sass&Belle, a really cute, little home accessory company. The stack of six rustic, wooden heart-shaped coasters normally retail at £10 yet I only had to part with £1.50 to secure them. They look great in the lounge and having people round for mulled wine after fireworks the other night, was a great way to test drive them.

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I don’t know about you but I love candles. I especially love smelly candles. I’m not talking about smells like Linen or Ocean breeze, I’ll leave those, thanks all the same. No, I enjoy the rich, decadent and almost edible smells that Yankee candle do so well in executing. Anything vanilla bean and I’ve got my matches at the ready. Fireside treats is my complete favourite, it smells like toasting marshmallows; like winter and Christmas personified. I used to love the Yankee Candles but now I’m all about the Yankee Wax Tart life (ooooh errrr!). I never knew how you burnt these wick-less lumps of wax until we got bought this pretty wax burner as an engagement present.

Wax Tarts are cheap, each one retails at under £1.50. Then all you need is a big bag of tea lights. And let me tell you, tea lights are cheap too. IKEA do big bags, so do Poundland and Wilkinson’s too for as little as £2 for one hundred tea lights.

You pop your wax tart on top of the burner and light a tea light in the area underneath and away it burns, melting the wax and releasing your favourite scent into your room. The tarts last for ages too (I feel a bit cheeky saying TART so much!) although the scent does lesson, making them much more cost-effective then the candles.

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Oli used to have a real plant. But he kept forgetting to water it. And the leaves kept falling off. So on our latest trip to the incredible shop that is IKEA, Oli declared that he wanted to buy a fake plant.

Now, initially I wasn’t keen. All the fake plants I know, look precisely that – FAKE. But when we stumbled across the FEJKA (excuse my Swedish!) I ate my words. £6 for a plant that will live forever and look after itself, seemed to like a pretty sweet deal. We also went for the plant pot SOCKER for a small little £1. I will never buy a real plant again, our FEJKA looks so lifelike. I can’t stop recommeding it to people.

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Oliver recently got the chimney swept and now we can have real life log fires. I think just seeing flames in the chimney immediately makes me feel warmer and toasting marshmallows on it is pretty fun too.

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To make the fireplace a bit more of a feature, we got a few things to jazz it up. Like our gorgeous lantern which Oli’s parents bought us when we were in St Andrews in Scotland. Our wooden crate for kindling is great (also from IKEA) and I especially love the jar I’ve filled with tealights ready to light and pop into my Wax Tart burner.

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One final thing I’ve managed to nab for a bargain price in a Charity Shop, are these HOME SWEET HOME canvases pictured above. We’re still yet to hang them on the wall but I know that wherever we put them, they will look great. All cosy and pretty and country-fied. They were originally from Next but in the Mind charity shop they cost me £6. That’s £2 per canvas people! Ideal.

So there you have it. These are all my recent little bargain home purchases in an effort to make the house I will eventually live in (in 159 days), more like our future home. It’s an exciting process and the great news is that it doesn’t have to cost the earth!

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