A Georgia Home Full of $5 Finds

No exaggeration! This Savannah, GA, home — featured in HGTV Magazine — is brimming with money-saving design moves.

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Photo By: Kim Cornelison

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

The House

Some people know just what to do with junk — and Amy Lind is one of them. She makes a habit of bringing home finds from yard sales, flea markets, her local Goodwill, even the trash. But nothing looks like junk after Amy has styled it in the adorable 1930s brick bungalow she shares with her husband, Josh, and their 22-month-old son, Forrest, in Savannah, GA. Three years after moving in, the couple embarked on a reno that expanded the attic to create a bathroom and a studio space for Amy, a painter, bumping up the home’s square footage to 2,213.

When it came time to decorate, Amy didn’t budge from her budget-minded philosophy, scouring town and the internet for deals, and supplementing them with pieces handed down from family and the occasional new purchase. “Amy will come home beaming after a morning of ‘junkin’ ’ and ask me to guess how much she spent on a lamp, a trunk, whatever — and the answer is always $5,” says Josh. “I’m not quick to furnish a room, because I love the hunt,” Amy says. “I don’t mind if it takes months, even years, to find the right thing, especially if I can get the right thing for crazy cheap!”

The Family

Amy and Josh with Forrest, 22 months.

Living Room

Of all the steals homeowner Amy Lind has nabbed, her favorites are three rugs she found (on different outings, no less!) and laid in a row to get the look of one. She scored two for $5 each at yard sales, and the third was free. It had been draped over a railing outside a house nearby, and when Amy asked about it, the owners gave it to her. “My friend tells me the rug gods are with me,” Amy says. She teamed the rugs with newer pieces, like a gray IKEA sofa and a molded plastic rocker by LexMod. The leather Eames reproduction chair was a Craigslist score. 

Kitchen

To brighten the blah kitchen, the Linds put in white subway tile and painted the walls pale green and the cabinets white (Whitened Sage and Ultra Pure White, both by Behr). They made the shelves out of stair treads from The Home Depot, and put two mats from HomeGoods together to make a runner. A friend spotted the pendants at an antiques store an hour away. “She called, and I got in the car,” Amy says. “They weren’t $5 — but cheap enough!” 

Kitchen Storage

Amy purchased this old workbench from a collector moving out of his antiques store. “The top has all these nicks and paint drips, which I love,” she says. “But because of that, I don’t prep food on it.” Instead the Linds store silverware from Josh’s grandmother in the drawers. The phrenology art is actually wrapping paper Amy squirreled away until she found the perfect frame for it — in the trash. “We live in a college town, and all kinds of goodies hit the curb when students move out.”

Guest Bedroom

“This room reminds me of my style before I moved in with Josh,” says Amy. “It’s more feminine than the rest of our house.” She filled the walls with mirrors and empty frames —  instant art! A sheet of wrapping paper with illustrations of mushrooms, a geometric pillow from Target and an orange vinyl desk chair found at a garage sale tie the warm colors together. The tall campaign dresser didn’t look like this when Amy spotted it at Goodwill. She painted it Semi-Gloss White by Rust-Oleum.

Master Bedroom

“I used to live in L.A. and still feel weird hanging art above a bed. What if it falls in an earthquake?” says Amy. But this embroidered tree she found at a yard sale is lightweight, which eased her nerves. When she came across a multicolor kilim rug with similar hues on Craigslist, she bought it on the spot. Bright yellow bedding from Pine Cone Hill adds a pop of sunny color to the room.

Master Bathroom

For the newly built bathroom, Amy chose white hexagonal tiles for the floor and subway tile with dark gray grout for the shower to keep with the style and age of the home. The shelves on the right are made with floorboards from the original attic and all the hardware has Amy’s favorite finish: brass. She bought the pulls from harneyhardware.com and the vanity faucets from faucetdirect.com.

Forrest's Bedroom

“I knew I’d be spending a ton of time in here, and a super-babyish space would drive me crazy,” Amy says. So she steered clear of nursery-decor stores and decorated with stuff she already owned, like vintage globes and a gallery wall of cute art. Amy found the fluffy 8-foot-by-10-foot wool rug on mega sale at rugsusa.com for around $200.

Art Studio

Pre-reno, Amy rented studio space a five-minute bike ride away. She misses the exercise but loves the convenience of her home studio, furnished entirely with collected items. “It’s all secondhand except for my easel,” she says. The red stool is from a yard sale (she paid $18 for it), and she found the mint green dresser on the street. “A leg had broken off, but it was sitting next to it, so I hammered it back in place — good as new.”