DIY Home Makeover on a Budget

An open layout and tons of natural light plus basic renovations provided a good base for this '50s-era home, but it still needed some style updates. Luckily, a talented design team saw its true potential and created a clean, green, style machine for under $2,500.

Before: Empty and Awkward

The green wall color and awkward floor lamp looked lonely and a dated ottoman lacked the sculptural element the space needed.

After: Personalized Space

Pillow covers with the same fabric as chair slipcovers in another part of the living room spice up the couch's monotone vibe. Three side tables add the sculptural versatility the previous ottoman lacked. Barnwood scraps from the dining room proved useful in creating interesting artwork on the focal wall. With nails strategically placed on the board, the designers put together a word with varying colors of string. Another slab of wood displays photos with paper clips held up by string and nails.

Before: Dull Sitting Area

Plain white walls contributed little to this section of the living room. A wood side table looked bored next to blue-cushioned chairs and blank walls.

After: Best Seats in the House

With new slipcovers, the chairs feel playful and classic next to the unique side table. The love of patterns continues with a classic gray-and-white stencil on the wall. Floating shelves add simple storage, dimension, and a great opportunity to display your prized possessions. With a full-wall stencil and shelves, no artwork was needed to finish the look.

Living Room Budget Breakdown:

Accent tables: $50

Barn-board yarn art: $9

Fabric and zippers for chairs: $49

Fabric for pillows: $21

Floating shelves: $25

Throw blanket: $20

Wall paint: $42

Wall stencil: $40

TOTAL: $256

Stencil your walls for an easy decorating update. Here's how to stencil and bring pattern to your walls.

How to Stencil

Stenciling is an easy way to jazz up a plain wall.

Before: Blank Canvas

Neutral walls, bare floors, and a lack of a specific style made the dining room feel uninviting. Awkward narrow windows provided a challenge, but the space’s simple roots gave the designers a fresh start.

After: Green with Envy

A swap of a table and chairs for thrift store treasures added a playful personality to the dining room. Green seat cushions feel at home next to the green accent wall. Full-length window panels cover the awkward windows and make the ceilings feel taller. Hanging kids' art was a no-cost way to dress up the walls.

Fixture Fashion

The old light fixture that used to hang in the dining room didn’t look like it belonged there. To make the space sing, a three-pendant fixture with lampshades covered in fabric replaced the dated chandelier and echoes the cheery color palette.  

It's a Wrap

Wrapping patterned paper around simple glass vases created a beautiful centerpiece for not a lot of cash. Plus, it's easy to change the look by just switching out the paper.

Hit the Floor

Kid-friendly rugs can be hard to find. Keeping with the yellow-and-green palette, a large tablecloth was coated with three coats of polyurethane -- welcoming stains and staying both on budget and on trend. TIP: Do your polyurethane spraying outside and let the tablecloth rug dry completely before bringing it indoors.

Into the Woods

Rustic meets retro in this beautiful dining room makeover filled with personality and texture. Floor-to-ceiling salvaged barnwood secured to wall studs anchors 16x20-inch prints of the homeowners and their children. To get similar images printed, visit your local photo store. Spray adhesive on the backs of the prints and press them to cut-to-fit plywood nailed to the wall.

Dining Room Budget Breakdown:

Barn boards: Free

Centerpieces: $50

Curtains and rod: $55

Floor mat: $18

Overhead lighting: $107

Photo wall art: $97

Table and chairs: $150

Table runner: $4

TOTAL: $481

Before: Drab Builder Kitchen

Existing cabinets with that ubiquitous wood finish and black appliances felt out-of-date, but they were still in great condition.

After: Tiled Treasure

A few coats of cabinet-specific, high-gloss enamel paint completely refreshed the kitchen's style. Gray paint above the cabinets kept the brightness at bay and acted as a good border between the white cabinets and white ceiling. Backsplash tile sports all the colors found in the kitchen and stays style-consistent. Plus, it adds personality and is much easier to clean.

Do it yourself! Click these links to learn how to do these kitchen projects.

Concrete Countertops

The new concrete countertops were poured using molds and installed by the homeowner and a friend. The dark color serves as a great counterpoint to the clean white of the cabinets.

Let There be Light

Out came the existing light above the sink and in went a new hanging pendant. A medallion painted the same shade as the walls was added to the base for extra presence.

Kitchen Budget Breakdown:

Backsplash tile: $222

Cabinet paint: $90

Countertop materials: $483

Faucet: $138

Light medallion: $6

Pendant light: $15

Wall paint: $30

TOTAL: $984

Bedroom Makeover

In addition to the living spaces in this home, the master bedroom received a facelift too, for only $350.

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