My mother in law was not short of a bob or two. Coming from a very privileged background, where stiff upper lips and steel spines were much in evidence, but also born in the 1920's, she was a woman of the War Years, when 'being careful' was a way of life for almost every family in the UK. Partly from her own mother, but also from circumstance (and her own independent spirit) she was never above rolling up her sleeves, gettting down on her hands and knees and scrubbing floors, or doing anything else that was required, if necessity demanded it; she was also as canny as they come in matters of thrift. Willing to spend good money on good food, good clothes and good education, she was also a past master at economy and careful spending.
One of her favourite expressions, which resonated loudly with me, was that 'any fool can waste their money' and over the years I have become even more convinced of the veracity of that concept (though I think I might put it a tad more politely!). I am still astonished at how much some people whom I hold in high regard will nevertheless pay way over the odds to have a handbag, a sofa, a piece of jewellery or gadgetry with a 'Name' attached to it. Not something that I ever feel a need to do simply for the 'flash value' of the name - though the name of Quality will always ring my bell.
I've been very fortunate to be complimented by friends when they have visited my house, and yes, we have been very lucky to have inherited a few 'good' pieces of furniture (good in the sense of beautifully made and durable) but honestly - look closer and you will see that this house is mainly filled with items from junk shops, furniture warehouses, charity shops, bargain retail outlets and not a few skips, as well as from ordinary High Street shops. Not only to be thrifty, which I learned from my own upbringing, but also because it is much more fun!
So from today, I'm adding a new 'Thrifty Décor' category to Autumn Cottage Diarist, to share my 'interiors & exteriors' finds and choices. I'm most definitely not setting myself up as a Style Guru but just sharing lucky finds - both new and second-hand - that fit in to the ambience of Autumn Cottage. I hope some of you will enjoy the 'fun of the finding' as well.
Last year I was thrilled to find a beautiful 'Sleeping Fox' cushion in 'Next' (above). Do you remember it? Three of my Internet friends loved it enough to seek one out for themselves - and I suspect they may also fall for this striking purchase made today (seen yesterday - but I try nowadays to wait 24 hours to test out my true 'need' for something) - called 'Hop' it features a running hare, and was found in 'Habitat at Homebase' for £12.00 UK pounds. It's available here online and comes with a polyester cushion pad.
Just a few doors away from Homebase is another favourite store - our local 'Poundstretcher', where I acquired a couple of very pleasing coffee mugs a few months ago - thin bone china (I dislike mugs with a thick rim) which holds the heat beautifully, and pleasing 'Autumn Fruits' patterns which are very much at home here in Autumn Cottage. £1.49 each - or £2.50 for two. Half a dozen more of those came home with me today - to keep as spares when one (inevitably) gets broken, but also to use when my writing & self-development workshops are in progress and a nice cup of tea is just the ticket!
Talking of a nice cup of tea... I'm off to put the kettle on - anyone up for a cuppa?