When my parents visited my sister in Australia, they learnt the phrase ‘pride of ownership’. This pertained to the ownership of one’s abode, because my sister had finally bought her own place and for the first time in her life, cleaned and dusted and tidied like some 1950s housewife. This shocked my parents into action. The minute they landed home, my dad went shopping for new furniture, my mom new curtains and sheets. Here are two retired government servants with their pensions and savings who have always believed in spending prudently (at least my mom does). Suddenly, they were trying ‘flip’ their corner lot in Batu Gajah into some Ikea space.

Americans are, I think, experts of low budget pride of ownership. With the barest of budgets and incomes, they can transform their living spaces into tasteful galleries of other people’s unwanted junk. I’ve visited homes big and small that have spaces so well furnished and beautified that I cower with shame at my own inability to make a home. In my house, junk would just look like junk. Which is why I never call myself a homemaker. I’m just a mother who cleans, occasionally.

The great thing about America – or at least where I live in America – are the options one gets while looking for ideas and the things that turn these ideas into reality. Garage sales, consignment sales, Ikea and sites like Online Discount Mart and Craigslist. These places allow you to decorate without breaking your budget (not unless you mean to). Where else can you buy a hammock and a 60-piece stainless steel flatware set, delivered right to your doorstep?

By the way, what on earth are trivets?

I haven’t really gotten down to decorating our home yet (what’s the point, with two preschool-age children?) but when I do, I think I’m going to enjoy it!

This post is brought to you by: Online Discount Mart