I change out my mantle with the seasons, just to keep it interesting around here. I don't think I'd be able to live with just one decor all year 'round! I usually cover that here when the seasons change, but I don't often mention my kitchen window.
I change it with the seasons, too. As any mom/cook/dish washer can tell you, that window gets looked at A. Lot.
Part of keeping things fresh, yet still on budget, often requires some imagination. Look outside - there is all the inspiration you need!
Look at the home decor department in any department store. What do they have? Really cool faux natural elements. Cool plastic pine cones, cool carved branches, lovely silver plated leaves...um, hello??? We can all duplicate this by taking a walk outside!
Why are we spending $10 on Pottery Barn Acorns when we can find them outside for FREE? (just place them in a sealed jar and freeze them to kill the crawlies before using them inside).
I promise you, once you start decorating this way, you will never look back. You will be scanning the side of the road each time you drive to the store. You will make a note to pack your clippers and snip that bittersweet the next time you take a walk. It's affordable and rewarding. You can change it up as often as you like and the hubs will look at your bank balance and kiss you.
Here is my kitchen window, decorated for my Thanksgiving guests:
A simple twine and leaf garland decorates the window. Can you tie a knot? Then, you can make this garland. It lies against the swagged curtain like a necklace. All dressed up for the season.
Just thumbtack it to the top of the cabinets. Easy peasy!
Notice the window decor mimics the naked trees outside my window? I have some cool hinge bottles from IKEA I'm holding onto until my Limoncello is finished soaking up all the lemony goodness for Christmas gifts. Why leave these lovely bottles in the cabinet until I'm ready to use them? Line them up, pull off the side of the road to snap off a branch with golden crab apples still clinging to it. Rummage around in your hydrangea bush to find an old blossom, naturally dried to the stem.
In between seasons with no inspiration? The bottles look lovely lined up empty. Nice clean lines feel like a welcome change after all the excess of Christmas. Keep this in mind for January!