Sunday, September 27, 2015

Thrifty Elegance

"Dickens Series" plate in Mrs. White's home

Over the summer, Mister and I came across a beautiful plate.  It was made in England.  At the time, I had been reading through "Dombey and Son" by Charles Dickens, and was drawn to the lovely blue and white artwork depicting an 1800's British scene.  The plate didn't cost very much, at just a few dollars. Mister encouraged me to buy it. I was delighted. It now sits in a decorative holder in our chambers.

Throughout the years, we have been given pretty things to decorate.  Our home has been furnished and designed in an old fashioned way:  Here a little and there a little.  At times I will wait years before I find just the right item which might go on one of the walls, or perhaps we wait to find the right curtain for a single window in one of the little rooms. (As an example - our bedroom curtains cost only $4 each and are unique in a sheer tan color, bordered with lace.) These are fun and exciting ways to create a charming place to live.  It also encourages great patience and gratefulness when we wait to find our treasures.

There is a style, or way of life, called thrifty elegance.  It costs very little, sometimes a few dollars. At other times it costs nothing (in the form of hand-me-downs from relatives and friends).  We accept just what we need so that our home is not overly crowed with "things."  It is a simple, yet pretty way of life to add touches of charm.

This sort of elegance can also come from our manners and our dignity.  When we live on a small, fixed income, we can do it with grace and confidence, knowing we use our hard work and abilities to keep a neat and tidy home.  We can serve our meals in a classy way.  How many of us set a formal dinner table with napkins, real dishes, and serving bowls?  This is part of elegance, even if we serve humble food.  In this modern day, home cooking is so rare that it is a treat!  It is also very frugal.

There is something very beautiful about being a creative homemaker.  It takes much time, thought, and effort.  We create a restful, pleasant place for our family and our guests when we take the time to create a touch of elegance in a charming home.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

To Make it Easy - The Foundation of Cleaning.

To Motivate the Children - War Slogans for a Clean House.

Marriage - When Groceries are the Presents.

 - To find out more about this blog, or Mrs. White, please visit our About page. -

Mrs. White's detailed explanation of keeping a financial journal and budget:


For old time encouragement in living simply on a limited income, order Mrs. White's book:

"An Old Fashioned Budget: Humble Financial Management for the Christian Housewife"

77 pages, paperback.



Mrs. Laura Lane said...

Good morning Mrs. White.
I'm up late tonight worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Precious Holy Spirit as I observe the Blood Moon. I stayed out watching it for a long long time as it eclipsed, turned red, then went into eclipse again. It's nearly back to a bright white moon.
God is so very good, isn't he? I wish I'd been able to photograph it. I'm sure NASA will have love lovely photos.

Anyway, I wanted to thank you for this terrifically encouraging post. There are wonderful things we can do with what we have and the things that we collect at thrift stores, yard sales, and as gifts. I found a single short curtain panel at a thrift store recently. It covers only half my kitchen window above the sink. I had vision to pull it over to the side and tie it back with raffia. Next I will have my daughter, who is more nimble, crawl up there and wrap more raffia around the rod to cover it. Then we are going to hot glue some dollar store fall leaves on the raffia. Since the curtain is in a fall plaid, it will be really festive. I'll have to take a photo when it's done and include it in one of my "Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage" posts.

Well, it's rather late to be so chatty, but I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate you, your writing, and all the mentoring you've done for me and others who were never properly taught to keep house and home.

Blessings to you!
Laura Lane
Carthage, Missouri

Kathy said...

Thank you so much for this. You always point me in the right direction. It is always encouraging to see something from you in my e-box. Presently, my hubby is jobless for the third time in less than 4 years. It's been many long, hard months. I need to be encouraged that I can still do what I can do to make things as welcoming as I can - even on a tight budget. :) Have a blessed day!

becky said...

Thank you for this post. 1 week every June I cook for a girls camp in Warsaw, Mo. It is incredible when these girls go through the line and say how excited they are to get food that is cooked from scratch. They are all pretty much raised on convenience or food in a box and heated. They all look forward to the 3 meals a day.
Looking forward to more posts and hope Mr. White is recovering well.

Sarah said...

What you've written is so true. Often I will see something at my favorite thrift shop that I've been wanting or needing for my home for quite a while and I feel like that's one of the ways we are able to feel God's care of us. With 6 (soon to be 7) children and my husband's self employment income, we can't be replacing furniture and decor in our home. We recently had company and I realized that our guests really do feel at home here even with stained carpets, chipped paint, mismatched and sagging furniture, etc. We can make a comfortable home with little, frugal touches and a bit of cleaning. Our next project is going to be to pull up the carpet in our living room. We're going to paint the subfloor and lay an area rug until we can replace it.

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

I love this post, Mrs. White, and it is a way of life for us, also. Saving up for that special purchase, or waiting for just the right accessory makes everything much more meaningful and appreciated. Your new dish is very lovely and the story behind it is also sweet - reading Dickens and having your beloved encourage you to bring it home. I love your beautiful blog. Thank you for the sweet visit. Wishing you a blessed week. x Karen

Stephanie said...

My dear Mrs. White, how I love visiting your sweet blog - you are such a blessing to my heart and a refreshment to my soul :)

Thank you for sharing this lovely post with Roses of Inspiration - such true words. Hugs!

JES said...

Just lovely!