House Tours: Cozy Cottage, Bold Accents

Boy's bedroom with planets
With a tight budget and a keen eye for reinvention, one woman creates a home that's stylish and comfortable. Get the look in your own home by following these budget-friendly decorating tips.

Cottage Style

This Midwestern cottage features a cedar shake exterior and cozy interior. To personalize this home, the owner revamped her furnishings, gave each room a purpose, and created a look that's both casual and interesting. She followed three simple design rules to create her dream home:

--Ground each room with base pieces that remain the same throughout the year.

--Unite all the spaces with a neutral palette that creates a flow from room to room.

--Enliven each room with bold accents that bring punches of color and personality.

Cozy Living Room

The room intended to be a formal dining room didn't work for this family, so instead the owner transformed the space into a "cozy room." She filled the room with plush seating, bold colors, and lots of storage for her children's books and games. The living room features bright accents, such as bold pillows, colorful wall art, and a modern lampshade. All these accents pop against the neutral background.

Get the Look: For a casual look, arrange artwork in a gallery configuration. Choose pieces in a variety of sizes and connect them with similar frames. Here, black frames with white mats connect varied pieces of artwork.

Old Furniture, New Look

The mix and match of colors, textures, and styles in the living room creates a casual environment that's perfect for family gatherings. The white sofa and armchairs show off bold accent pillows. Durable accents, such as the sisal area rug, wooden coffee table, and wooden chair legs, eliminate worries and add texture to the room. A formal chandelier adds a touch of glamour to the otherwise casual living room.

Get the Look: To stay on budget, the homeowner revamped furniture pieces rather than buying new. She gave new life to the armchairs by reupholstering them in white.

Inviting Dining Room

When the homeowner looked at the rooms of this house, she didn't let their intended purpose determine how her family would live. She transformed the living room into a dining room that accommodates her large dining table and many guests. Around the table, mismatched chairs continue the home's casual atmosphere. A hutch made from recycled barn wood is the focal point of the room and shows off her dishware.

Get the Look: Have fun in a room by adding unexpected accents. Choose pieces that fit the color scheme so they do not become distracting. The capiz-shell chandelier adds modern flair to the dining room, and the white shells blend with the white walls.

Display Space

A hutch made from recycled barn wood is the focal point of the room. The glass-front cabinet shows off the homeowner's collection of serving pieces. Using the top of the hutch as display space is a clever way to draw the eye up and make the dining room appear larger.

Get the Look: Create a cohesive display with mismatched dishware in the same hue.

Bright White Kitchen

When the homeowner moved in, the kitchen had worn cabinets and red walls. To make the space more inviting, she decided to whitewash it. She kept the upper cabinets and replaced the lower cabinets with home center finds and painted all the cabinetry white. New hardware, a gas range, and laminate countertops give the area a fresh look. A vintage sink and a dresser repurposed into a kitchen island complete the look. The entire makeover cost just $2,000.

Get the Look: Create an island from a dresser to add storage to your kitchen. Add a countertop to increase your work space.

Family-Friendly Work Space

Despite its large windows, the office was originally very gloomy with dark floors and trimwork. The homeowner painted the entire space white to brighten it. Family-friendly elements include work space for crafts projects and room for both children's and grown-ups' computers.

Get the Look: Transform a space with paint. It's inexpensive and comes in myriad colors. Paint walls, floors, and furniture for a fresh pop of color.

Hardworking Displays

Storage on display in the home office adds splashes of color and keeps everything within reach. Shelves hold cards, pictures, office supplies, fabrics, and children's artwork.

Get the Look: Let accents become the focal point in a room by placing them on a neutral background. Here, white shelves let the items on display take center stage while the shelves blend with the walls.

Serene Master Bedroom

In the master bedroom, an old four-poster gets a modern update thanks to iron rods, which create a canopy. White drapery panels and bedding provide a neutral background for bold pillows and throws. Plush stools at the foot of the bed add seating and comfort to the room.

Get the Look: Choose colorful accents that can change with the seasons. Changing just the accents gives the room a fresh look and keeps you from spending a lot of money.

Mix-and-Match Vanity

In the master bedroom, a former office desk makes a roomy bedside table. An old wooden chair painted bright orange adds color and modern flair. Other modern elements, such as the white table lamp, mix with the older pieces to create a cozy environment.

Get the Look: Create a faux vanity by pairing a mirror with a counter, desk, or table. Choose a mirror with an interesting frame and hang it or prop it against a wall for a functional accent.

Girl's Room Style

Similar to the master bedroom, the girl's bedroom walls and bedding are a pristine white backdrop for bold accents. The decorative pillows and throws add shots of color.

Get the Look: Use architectural elements to your advantage. In this bedroom, the attic eaves frame the windows and bed, turning this wall into the focal point.

Out-of-Sight Boy's Bedroom

In the boy's bedroom, bold accents mix with basic furniture pieces to create a room that will grow with him. Bright bedding, an orange stool, and colorful planets add playful flair. A black bed frame and oversize armchair ground the space and won't need to be replaced when the room's decor changes.

Get the Look: Add personality to a bedroom with creative window treatments. If the room has a theme, look for curtain rods, drapery panels, or window shades that build on it. Here, a large map, which adds to the room's travel theme, was cut to fit a standard roller shade kit.

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