Eileen decorates her house on a tiny budget

By Jimmy Loughran in My Style on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 17:37

Eileen Shields created a lovely look for her home on an unbelievably low budget. How, you may ask? By using free resources online such as Jumbletown, bartering with friends and a bit of imagination.

We think you'll be very impressed when you see the results of Eileen's frugal decorating.

(Photographs: Paul Sherwood)

Living room:

I first started visiting the Jumbletown website when we bought this house in Cavan about three years ago. We weren’t looking for a house, but the location is perfect – all of Tom’s family are from around here. It was in atrocious condition but we knew that we’d be sorry if we didn’t buy it.

I bought a railway sleeper in a local co-op for €15, cut it in half with an electric planer, pared it right back to that lovely rough rustic style and varnished it, and now it’s a lovely mantelpiece!


A friend had a sink that was too big for her bathroom and it was just sitting in here garage. She didn’t want to just dump it and she was looking for a home for it, so I took it off her hands and gave her a bottle of whiskey in return!

The dresser that we have belonged to a man I work with, who wanted to get rid of it, so I took it off his hands.


If you have an idea in your head, just Google the theme to find out more about it. The more you look at magazines, the more ideas you get, so just take these ideas and tweak them. I managed to recreate certain looks without spending too much money.

The main advice that I would give is to do your research, as there can be massive difference between the prices of suppliers.

Our verdict:

Eileen has wowed us with her amazing ability to get things for free. We especially fancy the railway sleeper mantelpiece, which we think is a really original idea.

Do you know any ways of decorating for free by using the internet? Share your knowledge in the comments below.