Like so many moms, Alicia Brum is making the most of her rental home in Toronto’s West Queen West area. With fluctuating and sky-high prices in the city, buying a maison in her favourite neighbourhood, with her new babe in tow wasn’t a priority. Knowing she was going to stay put in her 3-bedroom house for at least the next year, she got to work on re-decorating on a budget so she could keep saving for her dream house. Hurdles included having a kitchen sink and cupboard in the bedroom, dated flooring and a lack of storage, however getting over them without breaking the bank was easy for this new mom. “I’ve been a thrifty person since high school; I get off on finding bargains at local vintage shops, wheeling and dealing using APP’s (VarageSale, Letgo & Kijiji) and the occasional stop at Value Village,” she says. “There is so much waste in this world, that I enjoy taking old and making it new.”
A lacklustre storage room with loads of natural light
A nature-inspired escape for baby
The first must-have: new floors. “We found grey, faux-wood peel and stick panels on Amazon.” Also easy to put up was the peel and stick wallpaper from Etsy. “These were our two biggest expenses totalling around $800 and it took only a day to install them”.
Babyletto Modo Crib from WestCoast Kids that she scored at 50 per cent off (sign up to their newsletter to stay in the loop for future sales).
Real greenery is a refreshing addition to the room. Alicia admits her husband has the green thumb and keeps all the foliage and succulents at their best.
Alicia found that her daughter’s monkey toy also doubled as the perfect, curtain tie-back.
This mom eeked out display space in the tiny corner with a DIY shelf using rope and triangle planks of wood painted white.
A thrift-shopping pro, Alicia outfits Aniya’s wardrobe at Value Village. “When I go, I shop with a purpose. I know exactly what I need and I don’t meander through the aisles.” She regularly finds baby clothing still with it’s original tags on for a steal and she donates back to the organization too. Clothing rack, Ikea.
A vintage dresser was repurposed from another part of the house. It’s original ticket price: $100.
“I bought this deer at a vintage store [naturally] because we’ve met so many in her young life, from a massive buck who flew in front of us while we were taking a walk and during another stroll, six of them peered out in the morning while we were visiting my parents in Florida.”
A sink and kitchen cupboards that the previous owner left intact has turned out to be a time saver and convenience. “When I first moved in, I thought it was so weird but now that I have a new baby it makes total sense. Everything is there to store her diapers and accessories, there’s room for a change table and the sink makes it so easy to wash her and pick-up after spills.” She updated the backsplash with a peel and stick tile from the dollar store.
Vintage Brentwood rocker, $20 which she recovered herself for a whopping $6 to cover the expense of fabric. Rug, HomeSense (she can’t remember if she paid $69 or $99 but either way, she got a deal).