My first exposure to frugal decor was in a magazine my mother got, perhaps Ladies Home Journal. My father worked at an ad agency at the time (Kenyon and Eckhart, mentioned on Madmen) and the magazine was a freebie that my mother--not much of a reader--never opened, as far as I can remember. Anyway, I remember a feature on furnishing a room where most of your budget went to a single high-ticket item: one was a piano, one was a rug, and I can't remember the others. Perhaps that article was the origin of my belief that you can always cut your spending to afford what you want. Like my trip to Europe!
I've been trying to improve my home for a while. It is a slow process, exacerbated by my frugal mindset. It would be easy enough to go to any of the elegant shops around town--even my little town--and pull out the credit card.
The internet is a great source of inspiration. It turns out zillions of clever people post their budget ideas and projects on-line.
Have you ever seen Copy Cat Chic?
Or--for the DIYer--a burlap ottoman slipcover. The handy Miss Em swears she can make this.
Any other good resources?