Decorating a Small House on a Budget
Small but Mighty
Smart decorating decisions help this small, 700-square-foot bungalow live large on both style and function. From the outside to the inside, the home is filled with personality and energy.
Piece by Piece
Colorful accents breathe life into neutral furnishings in the living room. The vintage Italian coffee table was an inexpensive yard sale find, and the room-size area rug was a free castoff from a friend. By saving money on those pieces, the homeowner was able to splurge on a French cabinet and last-forever, always-in-style side chairs. Mixing scavenged finds with newer, store-bought pieces is what gives the home its relaxed, welcoming character.
Back to Basics
Built-in cabinets in the living room double as both storage and display space. An expansive collection of chapter books finds its home on one bottom shelf, displayed with the pages out to create a unique look. Paintings and photographs taken on vacations add some needed color to the arrangement. A tray placed in the lower corner of one cabinet can function as a bar while entertaining. The glass doors and light wood frames give the bulky built-in a lighter look.
Wallpapered hollow-core doors create a stunning style statement in the dining room. Wall displays created with an odd number of elements are more visually appealing than arrangements made up of an even number. The striking coral color of this wallpaper expertly coordinates with the cool navy blue tones throughout the rest of the dining room and nearby living room.
Blue-and-white striped table runners spruce up the simple white slipcovers on two of the dining chairs. Can’t find a table runner that suits your style? A large beach towel or throw blanket in a fun pattern or color can also do the trick. Simple updates like this can make a small space come alive without a huge investment of cash.
Flirty and Functional
Simple white walls and open upper shelving visually expand the home's tiny kitchen. Ruffled curtains in place of doors on the lower cabinets add texture and a splash of personal style. A geometric-print area rug in shades of pink lends another layer of feminine appeal.
Simple white bedding lends a neutral backdrop for a bold headboard and bedding accessories in the master bedroom. The do-it-yourself headboard was made using a patterned tablecloth, hung from curtain-rod brackets by ties cut from a pillow. The coordinating bolster pillow was made using another matching tablecloth. Next to the bed, a trio of framed photos and postcards hung together creates the look of larger art.
On the front porch, black-and-white striped outdoor fabrics elevate the style of the chairs, including two rattan chairs the homeowner scooped up from the side of the road. Easy, breezy curtains lend shade and privacy. The floor was stenciled to look like expensive Spanish tile.