9 Brilliant Under-$100 DIYs From Readers We Can’t Wait to Try This Year

published Jan 22, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Before: pink-beige stone fireplace with a black stone hearth

It’s always a thrill to see how a space can be transformed with a little imagination. Maybe a one-time living area would actually be more efficient if it morphed into a dining room, just as a dark bedroom could become more inviting with a brighter shade of paint. There are so many different ways to rethink a design, and thankfully, some of those ideas don’t have to be big investments — it’s possible to overhaul a kitchen, office space, bathroom, and bedroom for less than $100 each, creating looks you’ve long admired or solutions you’ve long put off. Take a cue from these nine makeovers, all of which were all completed for under $100 and cover nearly every room in the house. If you’re looking to start 2021 off on a new foot — and who isn’t? — let these projects be your guide.

1 / 2

Paint an old desk in a fresh new shade.

When the pandemic first began, schooling and working from home needed quick solutions—which turned more permanent as time went on. If you’re still getting by with an old desk that’s seen better days, brighten it up with a coat of chalk paint like Kera Jeffers (@hautehouselove) did for her son. Her choice to spruce up a thrift-store find with an emerald coat is universally flattering, but an even bolder one could work if you need an afternoon pick-me-up.

1 / 2

Create a graphic accent wall.

While paint is often thought of as a budget-friendly fix for a bedroom, it’s easy to forget that you don’t always have to coat the walls completely. In the case of Kate Dreyer’s home, her daughter was looking to cover the apple green color behind her bed with the same spotted wallpaper in her mom’s room. But that was a pricey option. So, Kate picked up a Royal Design Studio stencil and painted the spots on herself. Now the room looks perfect for a young girl who was ready for a change. 

1 / 2

Upgrade a closet into a reading nook.

Like everyone, you’ve probably spent a considerable amount of time in front of a screen lately. It might be because there isn’t a dedicated space in your home to curl up with a good book — or maybe a few magazines. Take a cue from this project from Lindsay Cisewski of Style and Dwell, and transform an awkward closet into a comfortable reading nook for a change of entertainment. This space was located in a neglected area of their basement, and the best part was that because the surface area is so small, Lindsay was able to make use of leftover paint, lumber, and a mattress for an inexpensive redo.

1 / 2

Turn a blah fireplace into a conversation starter.

There’s something about brown and bulky fireplaces in old homes: they’re everywhere they never had to be. Megann Gresham (@gresham_houze) had to contend with one in her living area, but she didn’t have the budget to demolish it completely. So, she did the next best thing and painted it an inviting shade of green. The color makes her wood mantel pop, and complements the other components of the room’s palette. Her one note of advice? Buy the spray can version of your shade unless you want to arduously paint each stone by hand. 

1 / 2

Enliven a blank room with board and batten.

Builder-grade bathrooms should be thought of as a blank canvas for creativity, and if you need some inspiration as to what to do with yours, look to Chelsea Scott. Her bathroom had all the trappings of builder-grade design—beige walls, plain sink, a simple mirror—and she wanted to make it more lively. She painted the vanity a bold green and installed board-and-batten on the back wall. And after painting it a bright white color, she added a personalized sunrise stencil above it. The results make for a room that’s full of personality, even in a small space. 

@cassmakeshome

My DIY Frame TV for under $20 (check my insta for the full tutorial) ##diyer ##budgethacks ##budgethome ##homedecorhacks ##summervibes

♬ Vibin – Kesh Kesh

Make your TV look like art.

If ever there were an Instagram-ready television, Samsung’s “The Frame” would be it. Since these sleek tech TVs can resemble artwork when not in use, they’re coveted pieces that come with a steep price tag. In order to give her regular ol’ flat-screen TV a similar high-end look, Cass Smith of Cass Makes Home used hardwood moulding and black paint to box hers into a vintage-ready frame. She applied “antique gold” paint to its center rim, and downloaded an app on her television that would project a rolling tapestry of art. How’s that for a photo finish?

1 / 2

Add color to your kitchen.

White kitchens may never go out of style, but that doesn’t mean that they sometimes feel a little safe. For those willing to take a risk, look no further than the kitchen transformation from Ashley Wilson, of At Home with Ashley. To go with the turquoise range and fridge she purchased before the renovation, Ashley painted the cabinetry a bright pink and covered the countertops in a vinyl film resembling marble. She then tied everything together with a peel-and-stick backsplash that incorporates every color within a fish-scale pattern. It’s fun and carefree, proving that stylish kitchens can have plenty of hues. 

1 / 2

Swap cabinetry out for all-over open shelving.

Open shelving allows for flexibility in ways traditional cabinetry cannot. For instance, you can use shelves to hang artwork, make your cooking essentials easy to reach, or put beloved ceramics on display. KC Cibran (@thecasaverde) sought to give her rental kitchen that sense of effortless style, so she removed the worn cabinets from their hinges and mixed in woven baskets and shelf risers to personalize and maximize every inch. The hardest part was probably installing a faux backsplash, but that isn’t necessary if you’re just fine with yours. 

1 / 2

Calm the clutter in your entryway.

As practical and inviting as entryways could be, the truth is that they’re usually far from either. Bills are often stacked on an already cluttered surface, and the small walkway is usually a hopscotch filled with shoes. This was the case for Nida Mirza (Nimistyle), who was looking to hide everything in a stylish and functional setting. She created a storage unit resembling a wine rack for everyday pairs, and then side cubbies for bigger items like umbrellas and bags. It streamlines the whole area, making for an entryway that’s actually welcoming.