(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )
Paul Byron Downs shares his lifestyle ideas and inspirations at The Basics, cataloging his "essentials for daily living" from cooking to home design. When we asked him to share a before and after project with us, he came through with this quick (4 day) and affordable (under $300) makeover…
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

Paul gave us the detailed scoop on all the components of the redesign:

With four days and $300 dollars, I transformed a dated room into a rustic and masculine retreat. Luckily the homeowner had several fantastic items already in the existing space, which I was able to incorporate; a hand carved desk, leather wing-back chair, old Persian rugs and two side tables. Here is a breakdown of the expenses and what was done. Several of these projects you might be able to use in your next renovation.

1. Paint – Primer, black flat (Onyx Black), gray (Silver Screen), and a quart of white semi-gloss all purchased at Lowe’s. First, I cleaned and wiped down all the walls and then let dry before painting. COST – @$100 including painting supplies.
• First, all the walls and lower molding were primed.
• The wall with the bed frame was painted Onyx Black.
• Remaining walls were painted Silver Screen.
• All the window frames were already stained.
• Base molding and doors were painted white semi-gloss.

2. Flooring – 30-year-old carpet was removed to expose wooden floors that were cleaned and polished. Several cowhide pelts were found in the attic and layered under several Persian rugs. COST – FREE.

3. Headboard – was constructed from old barn wood used from an actual barn. Look for a “Barn Wood Headboard” article to see how it was done. COST – FREE!! (cost of screws for headboard was minimal).

4. Bedding (full size mattress) and pillows (four) – duvet cover and two pillow sets from IKEA. COST – $39.99 Then the sheet set, 400 count!!, and two down pillows from Walmart. COST - $75.

5. Two side tables – had flower motifs, so sanded and spray painted each with black lacquer paint. One used by the bed and the other in the seating area. COST – $8.

6. Desk, bookshelf, and chair – already in the space, so cleaned each with Murphy’s Oil. The bookshelf uncluttered and rearranged and also placed some photos and heirlooms. COST -$15 for the oil along with other cleaning materials used throughout the whole project.

7. Seating area – created a seating area in a corner of the room using a leather wing-back chair and one of the side tables. Moss was put on the table in a container (see how to do under, “Potted Moss as Decorative Item”) and art books placed on the table. I also hung the homeowner’s law degrees and other heirloom items.

8. Side table by the bed – used existing lamps on both tables and then purchased two artist stones as bookends from Blick Art Supplies. COST $12 and a flower vase from Walmart, COST – $10.

Check out the rest of the photos and more info: The Basics

Thanks, Paul!

Images: Paul Byron Downs/The Basics