8/16/2013

Fabulous Fakes: The Beauty of Saving Money

Everyone enjoys money-saving tips, but how many end up being fruitful? Here are some that are not only useful but can save you hundreds of dollars and are just as good as their more popular (and way more expensive) options. Guaranteed to look like and last like the real thing.
Because spending money you don't need to is never a good look!




Plywood Flooring


When I first told a friend that I was planning to install a plywood floor in my house he looked at me like I had lost my mind. Then I showed him images of other people's plywood floors. He was impressed and reformed his opinion.
"Why not? It looks good. And plywood is cheap."
My thoughts exactly! Why not? There are of course all kinds of plywood, and all of them are relatively inexpensive. Depending on the type of plywood and amount it can be as cheap as less than twenty dollars for a 6x8 foot sheet. Unlike with traditional hardwood flooring, you can control the design process with plywood. If you feel like staining it then you can do so (I found that water-diluted acrylic paint also works well for wood you plan to seal. This also offers a broad range of stain colors).
Make sure before you run out and buy the flooring that you will have the tools to install it, and know how you want it to look. Remember that you may want to seal or coat the plywood flooring once it's installed to better preserve it.

This installation process works similarly to a traditional floating hardwood floor.



Wood Pallet Walls


Wood pallets are one of the most diversely used items that upcyclers target. From garden beds and tables, to swings and fencing, wooden pallets are the resource that keeps on giving. The magic of pallets too, is that you can get them for free!
Simply by scanning your neighborhoods and subdivisions you may be able to find stacks of pallets on the side of the road. By asking around I found out that a friend's relative works with pallets everyday and throws them away (so of course I scooped some up for free)!
I love the idea of a wood wall from re purposed pallet wood because it is free (minus any nails or screws and other hardware to install if you don't have it) and it looks unique and expensive.
Because installation is a tedious process, and you do lose an inch or so of space, be careful to consider how to utilize your pallet all. Do you want to do a whole room? Remember that you will need to cut holes to accommodate any light switches and outlets. I think pallet walls are an excellent solution for an accent wall!




Copper Floors


Your eyes are not deceiving you, this floor is made up of pennies. For some it may be a bold and daring look, but you can't argue with the unique deviation from the traditional. Not only is this flooring durable and guaranteed to last, but it is only $1.44 a square foot.
Lay the pennies flat on the floor, adhere them, and cover with a thick, clear epoxy. There's no need to clean them off - the variation in color gives a contrast much like some mosaic ceramic tiles.
Need more upsides?
Your guests will never have seen anything like it.
With a flat epoxy, the floor will have no grout and will be easy to clean.
It won't crack like expensive tile.
It is a versatile look.

If you are considering installing a penny floor in your house, do some research first. There are plenty of people who have done it and been nice enough to post how-tos and videos about it online. Consider various methods, and in what room you'd like it. Remember that the process will take a very long time, so you may not want to do it in a large room. Also consider if the potential room has good lighting. Because pennies are dark in color they are best suited to a well-lit room. A darkly-colored room, or a room with sparse lighting will be made to look smaller, darker, and less inviting when paired with a dark floor.

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