how to furnish your tarot office on the cheap

You’ve got an office for your tarot biz!  Congrats!

It may be a humble corner in your dining room, or a whole gorgeous room in your home. Or maybe you’ve got a location in an office building – or a deluxe apartment in the sky (cue The Jeffersons theme song you lucky dog!).

But now you’ve got to decorate it.  And your cash flow is oh-so-low (deluxe apartments in the sky aren’t cheap).  What’s a good tarot reader to do?

Be a frugal decorating tarot mogul, that’s what!

With a little thrift, a good eye, and a bit of skill, you can have your tarot office furnished without breaking your bank.

First up: create a plan for what you need.  For example, you’ll need a table and at least two chairs (one for you, one for the querent).  If you’re the spartan type or renting a teeny-tiny space, that may be all you need.  But for most of us, we’ll need more than that: bookshelves, a desk, lamps, or a small table for your telephone might be necessary.  Let’s also consider decoration.  Do you want to paintings, pictures of your family, or fancy drapes on the windows?

Look around your office and think about what will make it feel comfortable and attractive – but also, what will reflect your personality.  Do you want your place to feel “lived in”?  Are you a cluttery person who enjoys a lot of baubles and knick knacks (you can be cluttery and clean by the way)?  Do you like fancy-pants stuff like leopard print fainting couches?  Or are you looking for something that feels “corporate”?  Are you a fan of angel statuary or religious art?  Get clear on the vibe you want to convey and that will help you to be intentional with every piece you buy.

For example: I’m a fan of the lived-in look.  I also enjoy vintage furniture and religious art.  My tarot office is brimming with old Saints pictures and statues, a cabinet and telephone table (from the 30’s or 40’s) and big, comfy retro-looking chairs from Pier One.  The most expensive items in the office?  The Saint statues. Everything else was purchased at garage sales, antique stores – or found!

Be sure to keep your budget in mind as well. If you are running lean, you may need to start with only the basics.  A little more cash in hand may allow you to get the furnishings plus a few extras.

Once you’ve decided on how you want it to look, now is the time to get shopping!

Ideas for where to get cool stuff:

Hand me downs: Friends or relatives may have things that they want to get rid of so start there. Your great aunt Sue may have some lovely lime green arm chairs that she is no longer using. SCORE.

Garage sales, estate sales, rummage sales: Summer time around here is all about rummage sales.  You can find some amazing, high quality furnishings for next to nothing.  My husband nabbed this gorgeous Asian inspired cabinet (pictured below) for forty bucks.

asian-cabinet

Flea markets: A flea market is like one big, fat rummage sale with many vendors peddling their wares.  This is a good place for art work and unusual items.

Found items:  On occasion, I’ve found amazing pieces sitting out on someone’s curb!  For example, the piece pictured below was sitting out in the rain on trash day.  I pulled over, made my daughter sit on my son’s lap and loaded it into the hatchback.  This cabinet needed to be stripped of some ugly pale pink paint but it was in perfect condition and  still had the original packing slip from the 30’s!  It now sits at the entrance of my yoga studio.

yoga-cabinet

One tip: If you are grabbing used furniture from the sidewalk, refrain from couches or anything with cloth.  That perfectly fine looking couch may be stained with the sins of many nights of college frat party pukefests, dogs with bladder issues, or worse yet…there may be cockroaches hidden in the cushions.

Antique stores:  I adore antique stores!  If you like a vintage look, you’ll be in heaven picking through the bounty of cool old things.  I found my “famous” Last Supper from my Very Superstitious story at one place for less than forty smackeroos.

last-supper

Sales and floor models:  Keep on the lookout for sales and coupons at furniture stores – as well as discount priced floor models or “dinged” furniture.  You may be able to get a perfectly good piece for dirt cheap. I purchased my office chairs at Pier One when they had a sale going on PLUS I had a $50.00 off coupon, which drastically reduced my savings.  These chairs look and feel expensive but they’re not!  (Shhhh….don’t tell.)

chairs

Discount stores:  Places like Big Lots or TJ Maxx have some slim selections of furniture and artwork.  I have not had much luck with either place but I do know of a local cupcake shop that acquired some elegant chairs at one of these places.

Ikea:  Ikea is a wonderful destination for inexpensive home furnishings.  Don’t live near one? They deliver.

eBay:  There are incredible finds and deals to be had at eBay.  I got my entire Big Eye collection by scouring eBay.

Etsy:  Etsy is one of my favorite places on the web for unusual artwork.  (It’s also highly addictive.)  This is a great place to find unique pieces at reasonable rates.  Plus, supporting a crafter or artist feels good!  (Warning: it’s very easy to get sucked down the eBay or Etsy hole – and be lost there for hours.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

Recycle + Upcycle:  If you’re handy, you can recycle and upcycle old furnishings with a good paint job or upholstery fix.  My mother was an amazing upholsterer and could transform any old chair into something pretty.  I, unfortunately, have none of her skills.  My crafting is about third grade level over here. Thankfully, I have an artist husband – problem solved!  We love to recycle and have been able to successfully transform different pieces into useful and attractive furnishings for various rooms in the house.

If you’ve got mad carpentry skills, you can make your own.  (Um…so not me. See above: if you have a skilled carpenter or upholsterer in your family, count your lucky stars.)

For window coverings: you can find nice blinds or curtains at Target or other stores that sell household goods. Or: get some sheer fabric and drape it strategically over the windows.  Bada-bing!

If you have a green thumb, plants can add some life and beauty to your space.  This can also be a very inexpensive way to spruce up the joint.  (Alas, I have a black thumb and two plant-eating cats so my office is plant-less.)

Need more ideas? These books may get you inspired – to decorate your whole home!

Flea Market Fabulous: Designing Gorgeous Rooms with Vintage Treasures by Lara Spencer

A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home: Painting, Crafting, and Decorating a Cheerful, More Inspiring Space by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman

The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful by Myquillyn Smith

Restore. Recycle. Repurpose.: Create a Beautiful Home (A Country Living Book) by Randy Florae

Remember: you can furnish your tarot office beautifully without going into debt.  Get your budget in order, have a plan, get shopping – and then get creative.  Soon, you’ll have a space that reflects you – and that your clients will be delighted to visit.

Blessings!

Theresa

© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2015

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