How-to Update the Look of Your Room While on a Strict Budget

You see all the modern styles in the magazines, and your friends are showing off their new designs. How do you keep up when you are low on funds, but want to transform your space into a fresh, inviting area that will WOW all your guests? The Huffington Post recently interviewed Joanna Gaines, a home designer from the popular show Fixer Upper, to find out what she does to give her designs such a classy look.

Upcycle, Reuse, Recycle

Gaines loves to use anything wooden or metal to create a new piece of furniture or set a focal point that dazzles guests as soon as they enter the room. She challenges viewers to look for old shipping palettes, fence posts, side tables, and other vintage items to repurpose them with a quick cleaning and a new coat of paint. A little paint goes a long way, especially when using a bold color like red. Painting your kitchen island is one tip Joanna gives viewers because it draws the eye to the center of the room and creates a statement as soon as people walk in.

Old side table drawers become a breakfast tray with a little paint or contact paper. Turn file folders into a stackable set of shelving with a few zip ties. Stain wicker baskets to give them a uniform look and place on open shelves to give you plenty of storage space and a fresh area that guests are sure to love. You can use these baskets in the kitchen to hold extra dishes, flatware, and linens, or you can place them in the bathroom for rolled towels and washrags, beauty supplies, and hair accessories.

The Rule of Threes

Many designers tell their staff to set home decor in odd groups. According to Studio 29, the uneven number of items creates intrigue and captures the eye of visitors. Gaines tells viewers that the best way to arrange plants in a home is to use either two or three of them in the same area. More than just a few plants can take over the space. Small groupings make a space more inviting and welcome your guests to come in and have a conversation. Using colors of plants or potters that match your decor is an excellent way to blend the style and keep it going across the entire space.

Laminate saves hundreds of dollars in large kitchens
Laminate counters are not everyone’s favorite material of choice when trying to design a dream kitchen, but it is a cost-effective compromise. Many laminates are created to look like wood, marble, and even granite. The veining and color variations are very close to the real thing, and most people like that laminate is much, much cheaper than a solid slab of stone. Butcher block and concrete are two more options that may fit your budget keeping you on track when redesigning a kitchen or bathroom. Buying in bulk is one way to save money on a particular product, and Gaines says that she repeats patterns in a space to improve the flow of the room. You can always keep the extra material for your next project.

Design from Scratch

Wikipedia says that the HGTV show “Design on a Dime,” showcases homeowners who work with designers to create an updated space that costs less than $2,500 to create. Many of the designers featured on the show make new items by hand to get the total under control from the start. Headboards are built with a one-half or three-quarter inch sheet of MDF or plywood covered in batting and a fabric of your choice. The material is either stapled or glued to the board, and the new bedroom focal piece is ready to put in place with a few long screws secured to a stud. Paint all your old vases the same color to use as accent pieces. Add pillows with bright colors to create a statement.

Redesigning a space does not have to cost an arm and a leg. You can paint, recover, repurpose, and refinish any item you already have to create a new look. You might find yourself planning your next project when you have fun with it.