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Frugal and fabulous



Pointless. Itís another way to say uninteresting, and thatís the last thing we want when it comes to our dťcor. The creative Frugalitarian knows that in every room itís essential to have a point ó a focal point. No matter what atmosphere youíre trying to create ó a little serenity or a sensation ó the first place you look when you enter a room should be stunning. Here are a few pointers:

Mantels are natural focal points, so use them as the stage for everything from the funky to the fabulous. We suggest decorating a mantel with a collection of mismatched mirrors featuring a large one in the center. The one we chose is old, timeworn and perfectly imperfect. New is no match for this beauty. It adds opulence, interest and a dash of romance ó an ideal centerpiece.

Use stacks of well-read books, soothing candlelight and natural elements, like seashells and flowers, to create a mantel that commands attention and oooh la las. Never underestimate the power of a well-appointed mantel.

And never forget that treasures like these can be found for pennies at places like Goodwill. At Generations Consignment in Cedarburg, items are displayed in a room setting so itís easy to picture how they will look in your home.

Creating a peaceful little retreat just for you starts with a comfy chair. We found our shapely beauty at Legacies in Fox Point for only $45. Position this feminine piece against a masculine architectural backdrop to create rustic elegance and charm. Surround it with smaller, beautiful decorative accents of varying sizes for a little corner of serenity.

Adornments make fabulous displays. We stacked belts on a fancy paper towel holder we found at a rummage sale for just $1. But the real steal? The dresser for only $15 and the lamp base for $10 at Goodwill. We added a funky, modern shade and a basket of bracelets for an eclectic little place where you can prepare to be dazzling.

And at the end of the day, a gorgeous bedroom starts with an exceptional headboard. This upholstered French Provincial piece ó only $100 at Ivanaís Trunk in Thiensville ó takes the bed from dreamy to dazzling. For comfort and a bit more style, add soft cotton pillows in super-simple patterns. The casual look of the pillows emphasizes the elegance of the headboard.

Establishing a focal point is the very first step to creating a room you never want to leave. Think a large painting, a piece of furniture with an unusual shape or a mantel display, and you can create a room thatís uniquely you, acquire it for next to nothing and reduce whatís thrown away. And isnít that the point of being a Frugalitarian?

For more ideas on how to stretch a dollar by stretching your imagination, go to