Episode #10: How to Decorate Affordably (And Not Just From Target!)

Episode 10—double digits! You know, when we started recording a few months back, one of our main (and only) goals was to post an episode once a week without missing any weeks through the new year. We knew that if we continued to plan and plan it could go on forever and that what we needed to do was just jump in and TRY. We still have so much to learn and improve, but in just 10 episodes we’ve already learned a lot. It feels good. So whether this is your first week to jump in or you’ve been one of our loyal cheerleaders since episode one (THANK YOU), we hope you see us doing this scary/potentially awkward thing and it helps you feel the confidence to do that in your life too!

Wow—random! OK, we’ve got a fun episode this week based on a listener question about where to find DEAL$. We’re also doing guilty pleasure treasure and Elsie talks about her new schedule with two kiddos.

You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher.

Show notes:

-We love Target, but since their decor selection has gotten more and more popular it sometimes feels like everyone has the same stuff, which makes sense because there are SO many locations around the U.S. compared to a lot of other home stores. So we loved this reader questions and today’s episode is devoted to ways to find inexpensive home decor BESIDES the aisles of Target. We’re mentioning them here in the order they’re mentioned in the episode:

IKEA (Elsie is still bitter IKEA isn’t coming to Nashville!)

Home Goods + TJ Maxx (Emma’s go-to)

World Market (Elsie’s go-to)

-Flea markets

We love flea markets because they tend to have highly curated booths, and once you get to know a certain flea market or antique mall you can better expect what kinds of things to search for there.

-Elsie’s favorite Nashville, Tennessee spots are Gaslamp Antiques (and Gaslamp too, which is basically just next door!).

-Emma’s favorite Springfield, Missouri spot is Relics Antique Mall (and it is epic!).

-Thrift shops

A complete wild card—you just NEVER know what you will find. Our best tip if you want to find amazing items is to create a routine where you can stop in often.

-Facebook Marketplace (Craigslist, etc.)

-FB Marketplace is amazing in the Nashville area, great for very large furniture since it’s local! I know people who have furnished their whole homes with it. It’s definitely a great resource!

-We wanted to mention Craigslist free because we’ve given SO much stuff away on there. It’s very time-sensitive, but it’s possible to find great vintage furniture totally for free—which is mind-blowing.

Our tips for flea markets, thrifts, FB Marketplace:
-Keep a list on your phone of everything you are searching for.
-You can’t always shop quickly, so choose items you can shop slowly for and give it time.
-Remember that at flea markets and on FB Marketplace (not thrifts) you can offer a lower price—you never know!
-Create a ritual where you can stop into your favorite spots often.


I have bought a lot of vintage on eBay and it continues to be my number one spot for vintage year after year. I’ve bought a lot of vintage decor, records, brass objects, door knockers, rugs, vases, holiday decor and more.

Etsy: Etsy is vintage rug heaven. The prices may be a bit higher than eBay, but the photos also tend to be more accurate.

Online deal spots: Amazon, Wayfair, Anthropologie (look for 40% off sale items), The Home Depot (decor stuff is mainly online—they have a lot of stuff you can’t find in stores).

OK, let’s move on to DIYing! When we first started this blog 12 years ago, we were on tight budgets and living in rented spaces. Through every stage, DIY has been a HUGE part of our home decor and it’s no secret that you can save thousands of dollars by doing it yourself.

These are a few inexpensive DIYs we have made and loved:

-Dining room tables: Here is the dining room table Emma still has in her home. Here is Elsie’s new modern farmhouse table. And here’s Emma’s first table—an industrial honeycomb table.

-Faux weavings (and other beautiful things that you can make): Here’s Emma’s faux weaving. Here is a gorgeous latch hook wall hanging you can DIY. Here’s an easy wall art you can make with yarn. Here’s Elsie’s DIY fiber art.

And if you want to learn to weave for real, here’s your first stop.

-Emma’s frame accent wall.

-Elsie’s recolored appliances.

DIY shiplap 

-Hand painted wall murals. OK … I could go on and on … we’ve done SO many over the years. And compared to the supply cost and install cost of wallpaper, you will almost definitely save thousands by doing this!

DIY stenciled cactus “wallpaper” 

Geometric painted “wallpaper” 

DIY Instax wallpaper (wow—a trip down memory lane!)

My favorite DIY wallpaper of all time. This was so much fun and really made the room!

20+ Easy Accent Wall Ideas 

Floor to ceiling rainbow bookshelves

Guilty pleasure treasures!

Elsie’s: A Bad Moms Christmas 

Emma’s: Baby Yoda memes … if you know then this needs no other explanation, but if you haven’t heard of “Baby Yoda” just go on Instagram and type that in the top tags search. You’re welcome.

(Uhhh, how is that not Baby Yoda? I still don’t understand. -Elsie)

We also mentioned Shailey and Katie’s podcast in this episode. You can listen to it here!

We’d love to hear your 2020 episode and segment requests! Thank you soo much for listening to our podcast!!! Love, Elsie + Emma

  • Longtime reader and recent podcast listener chiming in from Memphis! You should totally make the trip here to check out IKEA…and our awesome local shops! I’ve lived here for almost 3 years and there are some great thrifting gems here (Find Memphis, Flashback Vintage, Summer Antique Mall, many many more). I grew up in Nashville and so love that ABM is partially based there…but Memphis is worth checking out! Y’all would also love the South main area with the mid century modern dream at the Central Station Hotel and bar 8 & Sand. Not to mention Cooper Young… but I won’t go on and on.

    The 180 Mile drive isn’t that bad 🙂

  • Great episode! And great timing too — my husband and I just bought a house so I am currently on the hunt for new furnishings!

    I would LOVE if you guys would do a post about your built-in shelves. My new house has a room that looks very similar to Elsie’s and I have been dreaming about doing a similar built-in for it. Your tips and advice would be much appreciated! Even if I don’t have “some guy named Colin” to build them for me. ????????????

  • Hi
    I discovered your podcast this week and am currently binge listening. I am loving your conversations, advice, photos, sibling relationship, etc. You have given me so many things to think about, research, and try. I am also excited about working through your blog ☺
    I am in the UK and, like so much of the world, trying my best to get through this current corona virus pandemic. So far the episodes of you podcast have made me feel so positive going forward.
    I just wanted you to know that you are doing a fab job with your podcast ????????
    Christina x x x

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