Remember the old philosophy, "Make do or do without"? Why is it when we hear that term, it seems to bring negative feelings, like we are sacrificing what we really want? Is it because we are bombarded with the ideas that we have to have abundance to be happy?
Almost every improvement I have made in my home has been done "on a shoestring." The majority of my furnishings and decorations have come from thrift stores or bought on sale. Do I feel that my home is lacking anything because of that? NO! Not at all! In fact, because I've done everything with a limited amount of money, I've become much more creative. My home reflects our talents and abilities---not just our income. Case in point:
I hated the flooring in my entry. It was tile that one of my neighbors described as a brown honey comb (do you have that picture in your mind?). I looked into painting it and decided that because it is such a high traffic area, the paint would likely wear off and I would still have honey comb tile, just a different color. Then I came up with this inexpensive solution of "making do & doing without". . .
We tore out the hideous tile, replaced the sub-floor, and then I painted, glazed and polyurethaned. We have lived on this solution for three years now, and I enjoy my floor. It's easy to clean and I don't get all upset when my boys do crazy things on it. When people first see it they think that it's stained concrete.
(You can enlarge the picture to show more detail. Sorry, the floor is dark so it doesn't photograph well)
We learned the important lesson that "Make do or do without" can actually be positive AND pretty.