Before & After: A $3,200 Bungalow Makeover

Country Living

This is one of those stories we really love – a testament to the idea that our homes have a profound impact on the course of our lives. James and Jo Ford bought their first home together in Russellville, Arkansas in 1958 for $6,500. Little did they know that 51 years later, they'd be buying that house back for the much lower sum of...

...$1! When the Fords discovered that their first family home was slated for demolition, they couldn't let it be torn down. They purchased the ramshackle cottage and moved it to the backyard of their six-acre Arkansas farm.

The Fords renovated the little house as well as they could, but were burned out once the time came to decorate. Luckily, their son Brad, an interior designer, was willing to makeover the cottage on a $3,200 budget. The catch? Country Living would document the story, which meant Brad had just one week to decorate the whole house.

The first photo above shows the house "before," with all subsequent photos revealing the "after."

The 2-bedroom cottage is full of inspiration for a small space. Read the full story and see the slideshow (complete with budget decorating tips) right here, or pick up the September "makeover issue" with lots more budget before & afters. As an added bonus, you can read Brad's account of his labor of love at his blog.

Photos: Lucas Allen / Country Living