The 8 Best Under-$1,000 One-Room Makeovers We’ve Ever Seen

published Jun 22, 2022
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Before photo with wooden walls
Credit: Alexis Moore

It’s easy to get lost in the big picture of a home renovation. As you daydream about the changes you can make to a kitchen, it’s only natural to move on to the upgrades you’d make to a powder room, and then the adjustments you’d employ in a living space. When that happens, though, excitement can quickly turn into apprehension: Doing everything at once requires a lot of moving parts, and that sure can be expensive. 

Instead, take a deep breath and relish the chance to spend time transforming one room on a budget. By zeroing in on the small list of changes a room in your home may need — like a fresh paint job in a bedroom, better organization in a laundry room, or more storage in a bathroom — it’s more likely that you can bring your brainstorms into reality. Need inspo? These eight transformations rank among the very best under $1,000 one-room makeovers we’ve ever seen. Read on to get some good ideas for your own budget-minded projects.

An All-White Kids’ Bathroom Gets an Imaginative Refresh

DIYer Tracy Bennett (@4009decorates) had the type of all-white bathroom many homes come with. While the low-slung vanity worked well for her kids, the too-tall towel bar was a pain point. The bathroom also came with cork floors Tracy didn’t particularly like. After living with this space for a while, she decided it was time to invest $900 and make a change. Tracy covered the cork floors with a peel-and-stick tile resembling marble, and painted the vanity a bright green. She also painted the countertops — an exercise in patience — and added a new mirror, hardware, and towel holder. The result is a fun, colorful bathroom that’s perfect for kids. 

A Bare White Wall of This Dining Room Was Given a Cozy Feature

Liz’s (@capitolcasual) dining room could be described as one word: fine. When she and her husband moved into this D.C. address, the dining room had plain white walls that matched their farmhouse table perfectly well — it’s just that the design lacked any dimension. To make up for it, Liz decided to spend $250 and a few hours adding picture molding, which created a built-in feature behind their dining set and bar cart. It took a weekend and careful planning, but now the room feels as warm and inviting as they intended. 

A Tired Living Room Gets a Focal Point That Aids in Togetherness

DIYer Sahana Begum (@styledbysahana) came to the rescue of her sister, who had a living room that no one in her family wanted to spend time in. The room was a sparse time capsule of the 1980s, complete with a tile front on the fireplace and a shallow mantel. Sahana spent three weeks and about $800 turning this sorry sight into a showstopper, complete with IKEA bookcase built-ins for storage, shiplap boards to cover the tile, and a wood mantle below a mounted TV. The final space easily beckons the family to gather together. 

A Very, Very Blue Bedroom Was Given a More Neutral Makeover

Jessica Youngquist (@jyoung211) lives in a farmhouse that her grandparents built nearly a century ago, which included a very blue bedroom in need of a refresh. It also had worn oak floors and a chalkboard wall, and that was the complete opposite of the bright and airy aesthetic Jessica was after. So, with help from her boyfriend, a sander, and seven gallons of paint, she updated the room into a minimalist haven. The white walls and wood flooring — which they repainted and re-stained with a lot of elbow grease — are now the backdrop for a timeless design. 

A Dining Space Gets Seating and Storage Thanks to a Smart IKEA Hack

DIYer Alexis Nicole (@alexisnicolemakes) had a trifecta of issues in her dining area: It had stained carpeting, popcorn ceilings, and wood paneling. She wanted a place she could comfortably eat, of course, but also somewhere to host family and friends. So she bought two IKEA KALLAX units and created an L-shaped banquette in the corner of the room, in between her kitchen and living space. Once she removed the aforementioned dated details and installed the units, she brought in a dining table and chairs to make it all look cozy. Considering that this project cost $350 and makes room for seats and storage, this idea was definitely a win. 

A Bare-Bones Laundry Room Is Overhauled for Style and Function

Lisa Chun’s (@ourhome.becoming) laundry room was as bare bones as they come: There was only the washer, dryer, and utility sink to speak of, which meant that the family had no storage or square inches to fold and hang clothes. Four years ago, when they moved in, Lisa built a waterfall countertop to increase the room’s functionality, but it still needed more help. So, she installed cabinets overhead topped with crown molding, put in a subway-tile backsplash, and built a blue surround for the utility sink. Lisa mostly did the work herself, with help from her husband, and the entire job cost $600.

Credit: Emily Parlove
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A Dull, Yellow Bathroom Wall Gets Primed for a Colorful Mural 

Emily Parlove’s only bathroom on her main floor was run down and plain — which was not exactly the first impression she and her husband wanted to make when guests came over. The walls had yellowed and the vanity’s hardware was old, making for a fun idea: They’d paint the walls white, and then add a diamond-shaped mural to offset gold hardware. With the added effects of a matching mirror and a hanging plant, the bathroom now looks and feels totally fresh for just $350.