Decorating On a Dime Contest Winner

Men laying new hardwood flooring

Our winner Joy Dennison created a bedroom that reminds her of the exotic beauty of Thailand. And she did it all for less than $1,000.

Ask our Decorating on a Dime winner Joy Dennison what she likes best about her new Thai-inspired bedroom and don??t be surprised when she says it??s how little she paid to design it. In fact, she??s proud of how she decorated her entire house on a budget.

When she and her husband Brent moved from Texas to Atlanta last June, she took on the job of decorating her bedroom. ??My husband lived in Thailand 22 years ago and fell in love with the country,?? she says. ??When we visited there last year, I fell in love with country??s exotic beauty and warm, friendly people, too.?? So, Joy says she wanted to design her bedroom to be a constant reminder of the wonderful experiences they had in Thailand.

The inspiration for the bedroom began with a painting her husband bought in Thailand. ??I chose the colors for the room from the painting,?? she says.?? But I really anted to incorporate everything I loved about Thailand, the opulence of Bangkok??s Grand Palace, the tropical serenity of Jomtien Beach, and the beautiful silks and intricate handcrafts of the province of Chiang Mai.??

“I bought a lot of the accessories…from eBay acutions, and the rest I bought at clearance sales,” Dennison says.

So how??d she do all of that for under $1,000? First, she bought four gallons of paint??each with a rebate of course??and painted the entire room herself. She used the leftover paints to create a bamboo mural on the room??s largest wall to create balance and height. ??I??d never even tried faux painting before, but I figured if it looked bad, I could always paint over it,?? she says.

Next she made her own bedspread from fabric she purchased with a 50 percent off coupon, and created coordinating bolsters, pillows and headboard to match. She also made simple, coordinating silk curtain panels from fabric she purchased on eBay. ??I splurged on most of the silk fabrics, but I used coupons when I could, and bought pieces from the remnant tables to save also.?? She even used a piece of leftover silk and some gold craft paint to create her own decorative wall hanging.

She was also very resourceful in actually furnishing the room with larger pieces. ??I like to call my Kane chest the best bargain find,?? she says. ??It was regularly priced at $500 and I found it on clearance for just $95.?? She also created a simple slipcover (out of discount fabric, of course) for an overstuffed chair that was being stored in the basement.

Framed photos from her trip to Thailand add a personal touch to the space and didn’t cost her a penny.

Finally, a few more Thai-inspired accessories help finish off the look, and of course, they were bargain finds. ??I bought a lot of the accessories, like the Burmese teak wood carving and the mini Asian screen from eBay auctions, and the rest I bought at clearance sales,?? Joy says. She even incorporated photos from her trip to Thailand to give the room a personal touch.

So what tips can our winner give to those eager to Decorate on a Dime? ??First, never underestimate the power of a coupon,?? Joys says. ??I bought my fabrics over time with coupons that are in the Sunday paper.?? And that means, of course, you can??t be in a hurry. Joy says she scoured the stores and bought things as they went on sale. ??I took my time and was usually able to find what I wanted on sale.??

Flea markets, garage sales and even online auctions such as eBay are other great places to find good deals, Joy says. ??I bought a lot of my Thai accessories on eBay,?? she says. But the most important thing Joy says you can do to save a buck is become very crafty. ??If you can use a sewing machine, you can save so much money by purchasing fabrics and making things like pillows and bedspreads yourself,?? she says. ??We are lucky, because if I can??t create it myself, my husband usually can.??

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