Fall in Love with Your Starter Home
This builder-basic home was adrift in a sea of neutrals until its crafty homeowners took matters into their own hands. See how they turned this once brown-and-beige beginner house into a light, bright haven for their young family to enjoy.
Everything In This Slideshow
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When Ashley and Jamin Mills of the blog The Handmade Home purchased this little builder-grade home, they knew it wasn't their dream home, and they didn't plan to stay for long -- until one day, they decided to turn it into a space they could love.
The makeover began with paint and then grew into DIY artwork, sewing projects, and repurposed vintage finds. Ashley sewed favorite fabrics and a vintage sugar sack into pillows to punch up the neutral living room. A collage of the family's Instagram photos on a hardboard panel, topped with plexiglass and framed with crown molding, became large-scale art.
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The homeowners customized almost every corner of their home, including the nonworking fireplace, with handmade artwork. To make it a fun focal point, they filled the fireplace and mantel with one-of-a-kind artwork.
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Bargain Buys Made Beautiful
Scored for $25 each, reclaimed planks from an old peanut barn became striking shelves in the dining room when placed on metal supports welded by a friend. An overhead projector was used to trace a damask pattern on a long skinny board before painting it and hanging it on the wall between two shelves.
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In the dining room, a wall of shelves combines storage and display. Baskets along the bottom shelf hold china, napkins, and other entertainment supplies.
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Look a Little Closer
What looks like a large mirror is actually a series of small affordable glass tiles affixed to medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and framed. Another large handmade frame fills the wall opposite the windows. Cutouts in a large painted board showcase cork tiles and 8×8-inch photos mounted on MDF blocks for a dimensional display. The couple balances big projects with easy upgrades, such as the simple cloth for the table.
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The homeowners made this wood box and painted it with checks and stripes. When filled with jars of flowers, it's a high-impact centerpiece. It also holds art supplies during crafts sessions.
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Adding Farmhouse Flair
Using "down with the brown" as their motto, the couple turned what was once a dark space into a light, bright kitchen brimming with farmhouse flair. They painted the particleboard cabinets white and removed some of the doors to create display areas and a more open feel. The walls and island were painted light blue.
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The cleanup zone gets a charming pop of color thanks to a DIY curtain and sink skirt. Affordable beaded board serves as the perfect backsplash in this eclectic farmhouse kitchen, and doorless cabinets maintain the room's open, airy vibe.
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The boys share a custom loft bed complete with rope ladder. Monograms identify each brother's side. Stitched curtains suspended from a copper pipe hide the bed's legs and create a fun nook for the boys to play. The couple made the toy box, and Ashley painted the "Mills Bros" sign.
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Vintage-Inspired Girl's Room
A neutral base and soft pastel accents keep this darling bedroom light and airy. Framed vintage paper dolls found on eBay and a DIY embroidery hoop mobile create a whimsical vibe.
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Ashley's childhood dresser, once dark brown, was painted green, then blue, then sanded in places to expose bits of the green paint. A mini dress form found at a flea market becomes a pretty jewelry stand with the addition of paint and a tulle tutu.
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A toy kitchen made from old nightstands and a dresser is the hub of activity in the playroom. A magnetic display area for kids’ artwork was created by sewing together pieces of fabric and adhering them to metal.
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Cool and Calm
Watery blue walls and bedding promote peace and quiet in the master bedroom. Ashley sewed together bright strips of fabric to create a cover for the body pillow. Large mirror tiles treated with acid wash achieve a mercury glass look that bounces light throughout the space.
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Indoor Porch Retreat
The couple hired a contractor to turn an underused back patio into a more useful enclosed space. They painted what was once exterior siding in stripes of white and robin's-egg blue, then cozied up the space with plump pillows, greenery, and family photos.
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A few simple DIY updates personalized this small backyard patio. The couple created a harlequin pattern on the scored concrete patio by painting it in two shades of concrete paint. The table is an old door, topped with glass and attached to a base constructed by Jamin.
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In the backyard, the couple built a playhouse for the kids to enjoy. A large arrow crafted from painted pieces of wood points the way, while pillows and cushions make it a cozy place to hang out. The kids' artwork is framed in plexiglass and hung throughout the space.
Next Slideshow DIY Art for a Lot Less Than You Think
DIY Art for a Lot Less Than You ThinkWho said artwork has to cost an arm and a leg? With some crafting supplies and a little imagination, you can create your own DIY art in no time! Plus, each of these fabulous art ideas is surprisingly low-cost, making decorating your home that much easier.Begin Slideshow »