The second bedroom of our house is only 8 feet wide and 13 feet long. In spite of its size, we still needed it to function as an office/craft room and a guest room that would sleep 2 people. The major projects here were pulling up the carpet and painting the walls light gray and the ceiling blue. Then we found the perfect sofa bed for small spaces and built a wall shelf behind it since there wasn’t room for end tables. The whole transformation cost about $800.
Inspired by the striped light fixtures at Schoolhouse Electric, I wondered if there was a way to dress up my basic sconce with a few fun stripes. I wanted the process to be inexpensive and easy, and I wanted it to create razor sharp paint lines. After a bit of experimentation, I think I got it.I painted 2 coats of green acrylic paint onto a strip of electrical tape and then stretched it around the fixture. For the black stripes, I cut thinner pieces down the length of the tape.
The ubiquitous IKEA LACK coffee table has a lot going for it. It’s just the right size for a small apartment, it has nice, modern lines, and at $19.99 the price is pretty much unbeatable. The only problem is that it can look a bit blah. But Catherine McNelly of domesticitie. figured out how to banish the genericness of the original with the help of a staple gun and some unconventional upholstery fabric.
I found this little piece at the Salvation Army for $7.50. I was looking for a nightstand and knew this would be perfect. The top had water stains where cups and glasses were placed, but other than that it was in good shape. Because I feel that I am drowning in brown furniture sometimes, I decided to paint the drawer fronts white. After sanding and patching the holes from the hardware, I used a high gloss lacquer spray paint on the drawers and stained the rest of the piece.
Tricia from Simplicity in the South loved the vintage industrial look of Restoration Hardware’s steel cabinets, though their prices were not in the budget. She had an idea that with a little paint and some upholstery tacks, she could transform an old IKEA PS cabinet into something a little less schoolyard and a little more industrial chic.
Julie was lucky enough to find this matching pair of settees for her sun room on sale for a mere $10! Though she didn’t love the dark wood and dated fabric, she did love the lines and function of these pieces, which she knew could be updated to work in her room.A couple of coats of white paint later, and the bases are lighter and brighter. Julie selected a new floral fabric and redid the upholstery to give these settees a new lease on life.
Carrie obviously has better yard sale luck than most of us, as she was able to pick up this darling vintage typewriter table at a local sale for only $4 — an astonishing deal by any standard. When she bought it, Carrie already knew this table was getting a cartographic makeover.Carrie’s first step was priming the table, before covering it with white spray paint. After selecting three different maps, she modge-podged them to the three sections of the table top.
I love the blank slate presented by Ikea’s Lack table — one simple design, endless possibilities. And I particularly love this creative hack from blogger Naomi Stein of Design Manifest, which reminded me of my childhood love for origami.That’s right — origami. Naomi took paper — specifically, some grasscloth wallpaper left over from another project — and used it to cover her Lack table and completely change its look.
It is clear from the photo above that Lesli has the kind of yard sale luck that most of us can only dream about, even on our best day. When she arrived at a local yard sale, she immediately saw the perfect bed for her daughter, a bed that had somehow been overlooked by antique hunters earlier in the day. When she saw the price tag, a whopping $25, she paid immediately and accepted the help of the seller to load up her car.
When Mel first saw this pair of bamboo shelving units in her Habitat for Humanity store, she passed them by without purchasing. She then spent the rest of the night worrying that someone else would have snapped them up; thankfully they were still at the store when she returned the following day. With their glass shelves and ornate lines, Mel just knew these pieces were perfect for a makeover.
Meagan, of the blog Craft Habit, recently acquired a pair of hand-me-down Ikea nightstands, but really had her heart set on the GiGi nightstand from Urban Outfitters that, at $150 a piece, was out of her price range. So, set on having more minty fresh goods in her house, she transformed the IKEA pieces into such a good match, we’d be hard-pressed to decide which version we like better.
Most bathrooms are small, wet places, so choosing appropriate furniture is often a challenge. Learn from Jenny, who took a flea market lucite stool and fixed it up to work in her bathroom.Jenny from Little Green Notebook spotted this scratched up stool at a flea market and decided to use it as a seat for when she’s bathing her kids.For wet or messy locales, laminated fabric is a great alternative.
Vintage card catalogs can be found for a pretty penny, but Kristen from The Painted Hive devised an amazing, inexpensive DIY using — you guessed it — an IKEA product.Kristine wanted an old card catalog, but didn’t want to fork over the large amount of cash that they often sell for. So she got creative, and used IKEA’s MOPPE mini chest of drawers (which replaced the ‘FIRA‘ and for some reason can only currently be found at the UK site).
For this DIY, Isabelle LaRue of Engineer Your Space explains how to make a custom shade to spiff up a less-than-exciting ceiling fixture. Renting doesn’t mean you have to live with boring ceiling light fixtures. Instead, you can camouflage them with a DIY drum shade! Find more of Isabelle’s DIYs for renters at her website, Engineer Your Space.
When I saw the photo of this ottoman, I had to look twice because it’s just like one I picked up at the local thrift store several months ago! Just like the one above, mine isn’t in terrible shape, but the upholstery is certainly outdated and could do with a bit of sprucing up.Jill Browning is certainly more proactive than I am and she did just that, gave her ottoman a fabulous makeover. And where, pray tell, do you think she got that lovely fabric from?
The stairs in Andrea and Cliff’s house were looking a bit dated. Wrapped in berber carpet, they looked more like a giant cat scratcher than the beautiful floating stairs the couple hand in mind. With some hard work and a lot of sanding, the crafty couple updated the stairs while also creating a more open, airy feel to the space.Andrea and Cliff emailed in to share their stair makeover and the minute we saw what an undertaking it was (and what a difference they made!), we had to share it.
Remember when every home we saw on HGTV was being renovated with a breakfast bar? They have their place for sure, but they don’t really lend much in the way of design as far as storage or even looks go. Many homes, rentals, and apartments have them, but did you know that overhang of countertop can be doing more for you? Want to see what this space looks like now? Should I keep asking silly questions?
I recently bought a set of five cheap lamps from a big box store. The price was right, but I wasn’t loving the tapered shades. Purchase five new drum shades? Not on my budget. Then it hit me. A tapered shade is pretty much half a drum shade, isn’t it? Chop off the top ring, extend the spokes, flip it upside down, and for 3 bucks plus the cost of fabric, you have a drum shade!
Jarrett and Catherine of Bungalow Bungahigh have tackled DIY projects that make mere mortals shy away, like rehabbing an outdated basement bathroom on a super tight budget. They got creative with their choice of materials and were able to get a whole new look for under $200 – $158 to be exact……and the After!Here is what Jarrett and Catherine tell us about the project: We recently rehabbed our tired basement bathroom.
Whit and Rachael Gardner of Our Mid Century are savvy stylists, whether we are about talking vintage or contemporary furnishings— the post that they shared with us for Home Project month proves it. When the search for an affordable mid century sofa kept coming up dry, they did a complete makeover of an affordable IKEA basic to help it fit in smoothly with their vintage style home. The “after” looks like a totally different sofa!…and the After!
Late last year, Edgaroso shared his “Brave Bathroom Renovation” with Apartment Therapy. Well, he’s back with another room makeover in the small home he inherited from his grandmother — this time he tackled the sweetly retro kitchen on a truly miniscule budget.
If you don’t subscribe to the “every little bit counts” idea for saving money and living green, we suggest you turn away now. This tip is going to have such a small dent in your monthly hot water bills that it almost won’t seem worth it. In fact, we wouldn’t even suggest it to you—but it is so. incredibly. easy. to do.