Ballin' on a Budget

Updated: Nov 5, 2019

It's no surprise that I LOVE interior design. I drool over ideas from HGTV and DIY Network on TV, any home/interior design magazine I can get my hands on, and most of the people I follow on Instagram and Pinterest are involved with the world of interior design in some way, shape, or form.

I dream of the day where there's a money tree growing in my backyard and I can use that money to buy whatever I want to furnish my house. Sadly, that dream at the moment is far from reality. Where I'm still trying to build my business, we are currently a single income family. Because of this, I am limited in what I can buy for our home.

However, I see this limitation as a positive challenge that helps me get my creative juices flowing. I know many of you out there have the same challenge and have champagne design wishes on a beer budget. Here are some tips and tricks I've learned along the way to get you started...

1) Paint is the quickest, most inexpensive way to transform a space. My home is a true testament to this. When we moved into our current home, we were pretty fortunate that the previous owners had (for the most part) good taste in wall paint. However, we were faced with an accent wall in our main living space that was wood planks of knotty pine that were an orange-y tint and coated with a shiny finish. Ew.

This is a photo from our house listing...

It wasn't really our aesthetic, so we decided to paint over the wall. I know there are natural wood enthusiasts out there who scoff at the thought of this, but in all fairness, the wood darkens the space and dates it. Sorry, but it had to be painted!

Cute doggie photobomber added for additional visual interest! ;)

The grey goes so much better with our furniture and decor and actually warms up the space. So, all you need is a can of paint, and maybe a really tall husband with a ladder...

However, you don't need to limit yourself to just the walls. We also painted over our kitchen cabinets.

Photo of our kitchen from our house listing

Again, the cabinets were nice, but didn't really go with our personal aesthetic. So, some white paint on the cabinets and black spray paint on the handles and...voila!

2) Your color printer is your friend!

There are sooooo many free printables out there up for grabs to help you dress up your walls. Why pay full price for artwork? Here are a couple of printables I've used for my walls:

I used these LEGO patent prints in my son's bedroom. I printed them out with my printer, trimmed them, added colored paper behind them, and framed them in 8x10 picture frames I picked up from the Dollar Tree. All for about $5! However, I do love the way the prints are displayed on the website I got the prints from. I'd love to try transferring the prints to a canvas and framing with a rustic wood finish. I smell a DIY challenge in the wings... ;)

3) Look past what an item currently looks like and think about what it could be.

One day, my husband and I were driving through town and saw some free chairs on the side of the road outside of a local used furniture shop. We saw this beauty on its way to becoming firewood:

Yes, the backing of the chair was a little worse for wear and the seat clearly needed some help. But otherwise, this chair was sturdy and had some beautiful lines to it. We saw the hidden potential. My husband got some thin plywood and carved out a new backing.

Look at my hubby's handiwork!

I already knew I wanted the chair to be painted, so matching up the wood wasn't that important. From there, we spray painted the chair grey and reupholstered it in a coordinating fabric. And this was the end result:

Now this beauty proudly serves as my desk chair. And all I paid for was fabric, the plywood for the backing, and some foam/batting for the seat. We already had the grey spray paint. This is a custom look for a fraction of the price you'd pay at a furniture store. I found a similar chair through Ethan Allen for $509.00! I may not be buying anything from Ethan Allen anytime soon, but I did have fun "customizing" this piece online... ;)

Not paying retail price when I can get a similar result for pennies on the dollar!

If you're not lucky enough to have a used furniture store that puts out furniture on the side of the road for free, your local Goodwill will usually have some diamonds in the rough. Or, when warmer weather is here, you can score some great pieces at low prices at yard sales and flea markets. I'm personally chomping at the bit to complete some projects in the works (including 4 more dining chairs and a rocking chair - all scored for FREE) and I'll be sharing my finds in future posts!

Happy Designing!

- Angela :)

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