House Tours: Small Home Style on a DIY Budget

Family room chair
Log homes usually come with a style all their own, but Lynette and Erin Hasselgren decided to take a fresh approach with their 200-year-old Maryland home. With a fresh coat of paint and a few slipcovers, this home is just what their family of five needed.

Log Home Style

When Lynette Hasselgren and her husband, Erin, purchased a 200-year-old log home in Maryland, they were a little nervous. The home's exterior charm, exposed interior beams, and pine floors provided the cozy setting their young family needed. But a 1,687-square-foot log home comes with design challenges. Rather than stick with the traditional country styles typically associated with log homes, they went for a light-and-airy decorating approach that maximized the small space.

Before: Bare Living Room

The Hasselgrens loved the wormy pine floors of the living room, but not the red trim. Because they were working with a small budget, they wanted the biggest impact for their dollar. A fresh coat of paint was right for their budget and the look they wanted. They choose a palette of pale blue, sand, and terra-cotta.

After: Fresh Take

In the living room, the walls are pale blue and the trim is white. The light wall color helps the small room feel more open. Lynette did all the home decorating herself. "It was mostly a lot of painting and sewing," she says. "There was no budget for contractors. It felt like I only needed to embellish the home's natural beauty." She reupholstered the provincial chair near the fireplace and added accent pillows in bold patterns.

Traditional Charm

For a family with three kids under the age of 7, the living room shouldn't be too formal. Slipcovers were the ideal choice for a stylish, yet livable room. For more style on a budget, Lynette distressed a new hutch and hung curtains on small tension rods inside its glass doors. A grandfather clock and vintage coffee table add to the room's traditional charm.

Whitewashed Style

The kitchen received a fresh coat of white paint. The new color makes the kitchen feel more open than the old oak-stained cabinets did. Open shelves above the cooktop and on the end of the peninsula provide storage and display space. Black countertops and a black chandelier ground the white expanse.

Nifty Nook

The kitchen is just big enough for an eat-in dining area. A slipcovered bench under the window adds pattern to the kitchen decor. The bench is a great choice for a small eating area because it allows more people to sit than a traditional table and chairs would. A crisp white Roman shade and white seat cushions add to the casual vibe.

Lovely Landing

Upstairs, the hallway is painted a warm terra-cotta hue. A wooden dresser-turned-sideboard adds storage options in what could have been wasted space at the top of the stairs. A mirror and a pair of lamps dress the space in traditional style.

Before: Plain White Bedroom

Crisp white linens in the old bedroom let the headboard stand out. A small round table acted as a nightstand by holding a lamp, photographs, and seasonal decorations. While the room continued the clean, casual style of the rest of the house, it lacked that wow factor.

After: A Splash of Color

The headboard is embellished with a delicate painted floral pattern. Vivid floral-print bed linens brightens the dark-stained headboard and continues the romantic garden theme. Swapping a small dresser for the side table adds more storage to the small room.

Before: Basic Family Room

Downstairs, the family room is where everyone comes together. A large overstuffed sofa was perfect for Friday family time. A chest-turned-coffee table provides board game storage and adds to the earthy motif. Together these pieces provided a good base but lacked pizzazz.

After: Comfy Family Room

Now the room gives off a warm, comfy vibe perfect for family fun time. The terra-cotta walls, white trim, and dark bainister work together to create a cozy color scheme. Removing the sofa's slipcover and letting the dark, overstuffed sofa shine adds warmth to the room.

Literary Accents

An oval mirror over a demilune table in the family room reflects an exterior wall. A vertical stack of books tucks under the table. The spines add interest and color to the room.

Small Space Style

Friday night is movie night in the Hasselgren house, so they chose artwork that shows their interests. The vintage-look popcorn sign adds to the playful feel of the room. An overstuffed, distressed leather chair is a comfortable spot for movie watching or reading. Because the home's small rooms limit their furniture options, the family added interest with a variety of textures and accessories.

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