House Tours: Adding Style on a Budget

Buying a fixer-upper doesn't mean you have to break the bank to get the home of your dreams. Be inspired by the simple projects these homeowners did on a tight budget.

A Craftsman Bungalow Restored

Older homes have beautiful character but often need a little TLC. After buying this 1908 Craftsman-style bungalow these homeowners got right down to business, fixing up their first home with easy projects that didn't leave their wallets empty.

Make It a Comfortable Color Scheme

A blue, brown, and cream color scheme give this room a cozy yet sophisticated feel. To add pattern to the room, an area rug was created using FLOR carpet tiles.

Get the Look: Add a dynamic look to a wall by painting a section a darker tone. Simply tape it off and paint. Remove tape carefully once it is dry.

Fireplace Facelift

Dress up the fireplace by continuing the two-tone look. With its niches and groves painted a rich brown, the fireplace became a graphic element in the room. The mantel decor is kept simple to carry on the clean and chic look.

Budget Friendly Art Gallery

To save a few bucks, leftover paint was used to add stripes to plain mats that hang above the fireplace. Since the mats give a unique touch, guests won't notice the cheap black frames used to display the action-packed photography.

How to Make It
-- Tape stripes onto a blue mat.
-- Use excess paint to add stripe.
-- Carefully remove the tape.

Custom Shelves

Instead of splurging on expensive shelves from a catalog, make your own out of medium-density fiberboard. Choose what you want to display and then cut the boards to fit. This project is sure to save you hundreds of dollars.

Elegance on a Budget

To get a classy look without spending big bucks, pick and choose pieces you want to splurge on. These homeowners invested in the high-impact oversize light fixture but saved on the dining room chairs they picked up at a flea market.

Sprucing Up the Walls

After removing layers of wallpaper, the homeowners used paint to continue the chic and budget-friendly makeover. To continue the color scheme into the dining room, a chair rail separates rich chocolate brown and light blue. Silvery rectangles painted on the wall frame the 3-D art.

How to Make the Art: Mount nature shots on fiberboard then attach to wood boxes to give a 3-D effect.

Simple Desk Unit

The galvanized plumbing pipes and prefab shelving in this work station are compact and friendly on your checkbook.

Guest Room Chic

Treat your guests to a simple upholstered headboard created from striped sale fabric. The homeowner used a staple gun to attach batting around a 3/4-inch piece of plywood (it was cut to size at the hardwood store). She completed the look by wrapping the fabric around the headboard and adding buttons to create a customized tufted look.

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