Organice my home on a budget

One year, we had a big renovation in our rental house. Finally we got double (or insulated) windows, central heating, a new ventilation system, new kitchen, bathroom and toilet, and new balconies. Everything was really old and dirty, so we were happy for this big change in our house. Not to mention the mount we would save on our energy bill. We had to move out for several weeks, and when our house was finished we wanted to make a fresh start!

Window during winter before renovation, window winter after revovation
Windows before/after renovation
Old stuff for flea market
Old stuff for flea market
Moodboard of pictures I've made (@ headquarter Humanoid) and pictures we found on blogs.
My mood board

We had the idea to change most of our furniture, but we didn't had much money. So what to do?

A few weeks before our renovation we had to pack all of our stuff in boxes; the house had to be empty for the construction workers. Best moment to make choices: what are we going to keep? And what are we going to throw away?

Or better: what are we going to sell? We wanted to sell all of our old stuff at a flea market, to create money for new furniture! We packed ten moving boxes, got one big clothing rack, and collected so much more.

With a lot of enthusiasm, fun and sunshine, me and my husband had a great day! Sales of this day? 530 EUR (715 US dollars)!!!

So now we had a budget: 530 EUR to buy furniture. We didn't want to buy new stuff, cause we prefer vintage furniture. We love the old look and feel of a used piece. We made a mood board with some pretty things, and then we went searching: flea markets, second-hand stores, internet.

And we found some real good stuff!

Checklist to organice your home on a budget

Old furniture

  • Collect your old stuff in your house. Take your time; do it when the weather is bad, or when you are bored.
  •  Take pictures, and put it on internet (eBay, marketplace, etc) so people can place bids. You can also rent a stall at a flea market in your neighborhood.

New furniture

  • Make your own moodboard. What do you like? Buy magazines, follow vintage blogs, look around, visit second hand stores and make pictures.
  • Make time to search for beautiful vintage furniture on the internet. When you find something you really want mail or call the seller immediately! Place your own bid!
  • When you want to buy something from the internet, don't check everything all the time. Check the new advertisements every day. Look at old advertisements when you have more time.
  • Take your time! You don't have to hurry. Tomorrow is another day to look around. Make your own plan, make it fun. But don't hesitate when you find something you really like: buy it!

Places I visited

I hope you are inspired.. I'm in love with our home on a budget!

Joey 

p.s. Visit my work at Haus of Joey!


Vintage is the original Green Fashion

Really, you can officially call all clothing made before the 80's "vintage", but let's just call all the good, quality and beautiful clothing vintage. Are you with me?  I hope so!

What is vintage

Vintage is really recycling and keeping clothes from going into the landfills, so Vintage is the original Green Fashion!

Vintage is the original Green Fashion - Lonneke Engel

I always feel very happy when I find an item that used to be pricey, is in great shape, and looks beautiful.  And if the price is low now, and it fits me, it's a deal!  Most of the time people compliment me more when I wear something that they don't recognize as something they have seen in recent fashion shows.

Great vintage shops are everywhere!

New York City for instance has many secondhand and vintage stores.  Some focus on the 40's and 50's, others on mainstream brands for extremely cheap. The trick is to really dig in, and really look at each piece of clothing.  Maybe one of them is your gem.

Other places to find vintage

There are many other places to find amazing vintage.  What about your mom's closet?  Maybe your grandmother's closet?  The thing with fashion trends are that they come back every so many years, of course reinvented.  So what is old and ugly right now, you might want to keep in your closet a few years--it might be fashionable again.

Magic closet

Also, I keep a "Magic Closet", where I store all my unwanted clothing.  Coats, dresses, bags, shoes, you name it. I either sell, give clothes away, or donate. I also look into this closet every few months, because you might start liking an item again, maybe because you lost or gained weight and it now fits!  If you do have unwanted clothing, you can do the same. You can donate, sell or swap, or bring it to collection points in your area.  Those clothes will find a good new owner. You can sell it online at many places including RealReal,Letgo, Thredup, Poshmarkand Ebay !

READ MORE: Organize your shoe closet

Swap Party

Organize fun parties with your (girl) friends to swap clothes. Super fun! My friends come whenever they want, and exchange clothes with me.  This way I find something new, and they do as well.  It gives you the same feeling as when you go shopping; but this way it is shopping for free, so it feels even better!

If you are actually looking to expand your wardrobe, ask first if friends have some stuff they want to get rid of.  Most of the time they then suddenly think of that one dress they haven't worn and you might like... Otherwise: go shopping!

Did you know a lot of celebrities get their unique pieces from vintage stores or flea markets?

In the Netherlands my friends of Doortje Vintage (great online vintage webshop) started LENA Library in Amsterdam and they have made it a business for people to borrow vintage (or green fashion) from their fashion library. You become a member and can come get nice pieces all the time! Check them out when you are in Amsterdam.

A few of my favorite vintage stores around NYC

AUH2O

Best prices and cute clothing. I have found many things $3-10 that I wear a lot!

located in the East Village.

www.AUH20.com

Beacon's closet

You can also bring your clothes here to sell! Really nice collection they have of vintage and some more modern day designers.

Great prices.

Multiple locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

www.beaconscloset.com

Stella Dallas

Unfortunately, they just closed my favorite location on Thompson street!

But this is the place to go for 50's & 60's dresses. I found my wedding dress here!

www.stelladallas.com

INA NYC

High-end designer consignment.

www.inanyc.com

What Goes Around Comes Around

More really old pieces, found all over the world, really one of a kind leather belts, antique clothing and more

www.whatgoesaroundnyc.com


5 Reasons to Shop Locally

Shopping is fun for most people. You go shopping and usually you buy what you need or like. It is a fun process for many. Most of the time the criteria to shop are if the items are of good quality, and if they have a price tag you are willing to pay. But there are more criteria for shopping that will be very interesting for you to think about for a moment. For instance, do you know the whole history behind the product or the shop you purchase goods? Do you know where the money you spend goes to? Besides you buying something new and exciting, you spending money at a certain local shop can be life-changing for many people, for many reasons.Let me explain to you.

Some communities make easy guides to their local shops.Some communities have easy guides to their local small businesses and shops 

 

5 reasons to shop locally

1. When you shop at a local shop, you spend your money in a way that helps the shop owner and his or her family directly.

You are not sending your money off to another big corporation. If these small business owners earn money, they can take care of themselves and their family, and keep their business open. Sometimes you even get a better deal than at a big brand store. But most important: you are basically making sure these people, your neighbors, can make a living. Isn't that alone already a really good reason to spend your money in local shops?

Lonneke at AUH20 I love the cute finds and incredible low prices at AUH2O in the East Village! (Still in business!)

2. You get the best service

Small, local business owners care about the goods they sell very much. They have the most know-how of the products they sell, sometimes they make it themselves. In that case you can find out exactly how the products are made, something I always like to know. You just can't get any better advice on these products anywhere else. (Imagine big shops with employees that really don't care about you or the products they sell?) In the case you experience a problem, it is easy to speak directly to the person who owns the shop. These small business-owners exist on giving good service, and will find a product or service that will custom-fit your needs. They also will be helping out when there is a problem. They just want you to be a returning and loyal customer, and will do almost everything to make you, the customer happy with your purchased goods. When shopping locally, you can feel like people really listen to you, and really want to help you.

I did not know what bubble tea I should choose, so the owner of Thirstea NYC made me a custom-made bubble tea.the owner of Thirstea NYC in East Village made me a custom-made bubble tea (unfortunately out of business)

3. You support your local community

When you get out of your house, and see how the streets and shops in your neighborhood look, or how the local children's playground looks, imagine that when you spend your money in a local shop, your money will help care for these important building blocks in a community. Whether through taxes, or through direct payments from local business owners, they all together can make living in your community a pleasure. So putting it simple: when you spend locally, most of your money stays locally, and is spend again locally.

Lonneke Engel at Sustainable NYC

My friend Munemi and I at eco-friendly shop Sustainable NYC in East Village (unfortunately also out of business)

4. Bringing diversity to products offered

If we only buy products from big companies, the diversity in offered products will decrease. That's why it is important to shop with people who offer different products, and maybe even show their true craftsmanship. Also, by giving individuals a chance to make a living, it can pave the way for new ideas to develop into better products than the ones that already offered.

Actress Jennifer Esposito has a gluten free bakery in the East VillageActress Jennifer Esposito opened an 100% gluten-free bakery in East Village NYC: Jennifer's Way. (also out of business)

5. Social contacts

If you shop locally, you get to know who lives in your neighborhood. Your social contacts will become stronger. Remember, a community is build on the people who live in it. The more active the people in a community are working on strengthening their local community, the better and nicer it will be to live in it. And you might even make new friends too!

Vito the Dog, Navy Lamey at Local NYC

Vito the Dog and my nephew Navy Lamey are chilling at Local Cafe NYC in Soho after our trip to the East Village. Local has since become a bar to have drinks at night instead of a café.

What I like the best about shopping locally is the enthusiasm of local business owners. They are passionate about what they sell, they really chose to be in that business. I love all the information I get from them, and I am always excited to return. I hope my 5 reasons to shop locally has inspired you to explore your local community.

Love, Lonneke

First published on July 29th 2015, updated in 2019

p.s. As you can see most businesses I gave as an example have gone out of business. Unfortunately that is what happens if too little people support them so they are financially strong to survive. So if you know of a small business in your hometown, please support them, so they can stay in business and feed their families!

 

 


Vintage, the Original Green

Really, you can officially call all clothing made before the 80’s “vintage”, but let’s just call all the good, quality and beautiful  but used clothing vintage! Are you with me? I hope so!

Vintage is really recycling

It keeps clothes from going into the landfills, so Vintage is the original Green!

I always feel very happy when I find an item that used to be pricey, is in great shape, and looks beautiful. And if the price is low now, and it fits me, it’s a deal! Most of the time people compliment me more when I wear something that they don’t recognize as something they have seen in recent fashion shows.

A great place to shop is I.N.A. NYC, a place with amazing secondhand dresses suits, barely worn shoes, bags, and accessories from all the major designers you can think of, for women and men! It is a fashionistas heaven, and their stores are all over downtown NYC.

Vintage-the-Original-Green-Lonneke-Engel

But that’s not all--they have an online store, so literally anywhere in this world you can look at the clothes and order them. If you live in the area, you can also make an appointment if you have clothes you want to sell. If they take it, they take a percentage from the sold price.

Besides INA, New York City has many other secondhand and vintage stores. Some focus on the 40’s and 50’s, others on mainstream brands for extremely cheap. The trick is to really dig in, and really look at each piece of clothing. Maybe one of them is your gem. Most friends are usually hesitant at first. But for instance, when we found one friend his almost-new cashmere sweater, he became more into the concept. It takes a bit of practice and time, but it is definitely fun!

There are many other places to find amazing vintage. What about your mom’s closet? Maybe your grandmother’s? The thing with fashion trends are that they come back every so many years, of course reinvented. So what is old and ugly right now, you might want to keep in your closet a few years--it might be fashionable again.

Doutzen & LonnekeAlso, I keep a “Magic Closet”, where I store all my unwanted clothing. Coats, dresses, bags, shoes, you name it. My friends come whenever they want, and exchange clothes with me. This way I find something new, and they do as well. It gives you the same feeling as when you go shopping; but this way it is shopping for free, so it feels even better! If you do have unwanted clothing, you can do the same, or you can give it away. You can give it to the Salvation Army, or bring it to collection points in your area. Those clothes will find a good new owner.

If you are actually looking to expand your wardrobe, first ask if friends have some stuff they want to get rid of. Most of the time they then suddenly think of that one dress they haven’t worn and you might like... Otherwise: go shopping!

Did you know a lot of celebrities get their unique pieces from vintage stores or flea markets?

Here are a few of my favorite vintage stores around the World:

  • INA NYC
    High-end designer consignment. I find the best quality designer clothes & shoes here and I absolutely love this store.
  • What Goes Around Comes Around
    More really old pieces, found all over the world, really one of a kind leather belts, antique clothing and more.
  • Stella Dallas. A small vintage store with dresses and accessories mostly from the 50's and the 60's as well as pieces that are from beginning of the 1900's.
  • Doortje Vintage
    A great online vintage store, A place I have scored many great pieces.
  • Beacon's Closet. A great place to also bring your unwanted secondhand items, as you get money for it, that you can use for shopping or get cash right away! They have great prices and really a good selection of useful vintage.

Love, Lonneke


Royal Family Recycles

Check out this cute photo of the Queen being GREEN and recycling her outfits!

I know I am a big advocate of wearing my clothes over and over, as I am not only minimalistic and simple when it comes to clothing, because it is good for the environment :) I do have my moments where I like to shop, but I have to need something or feel inspired to add to my wardrobe.

We don't just have to think about recycling, paper, plastic, etc... but must think about vintage shopping, re-wearing clothes, having a swap party with your friends, donating, re-purposing furniture, etc

Inspiration from the Royals for today: Recycle

love & light

Lisa

http://cocoperez.com/2011-10-25-queen-elizabeth-recycles-royal-wedding-wardrobe-in-australia


INA NYC: A vintage treasure

With the holidays coming up we are all looking for those special outfits for parties, events and all those work related holiday parties!

You could make your way to any designer boutique or store and pick out brand new (& expensive) pieces, but I think buying vintage and beautiful clothing is just as satisfying and at the end of the day way more unique. You can guarantee that no one will be wearing the same thing!

Lonneke introduced me to this store a few months back and I love it!

INA

http://www.inanyc.com/

A little bit of background information:

INA is New York’s most established designer consignment store. Since we opened in 1993, we have been accepting only the finest designer clothing, shoes, accessories, and select vintage, all carefully curated by our trained staff. In addition to choosing merchandise that is only of the highest quality and condition, INA staff are attuned to current fashion trends, as well as being collectors and followers of couture history, examples of which often find their way into our stores. With an extensive network in the fashion business, from designers to business owners, stylists, editors and models, INA often receives current pieces and limited edition items that could be seen in the designer's store on Madison avenue or in SoHo.

If you are in New York on vacation or you live here, it is an incredible store to check out as you truly will unearth a treasure!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to the Holiday Season!