A Texas Home Has a High-End Look on a Budget With DIYs, Hand-Painted Murals, and Other Smart Hacks

published May 6, 2022

A Texas Home Has a High-End Look on a Budget With DIYs, Hand-Painted Murals, and Other Smart Hacks

published May 6, 2022
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Names: April, husband Joe, and corgi, Bowie 
Location: Arlington, Texas
Size: 1,892 square feet  
Type of Home: Ranch-style house 
Years Lived In: 4 years, owned

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April’s current home in Texas formerly belonged to her grandparents! “Growing up I spent Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, and so many other holidays in this house,” she shares. “We were so lucky to be able to purchase it, with it being such a diamond in the (very) rough.” While April has altered the home to fit her own style, she does enjoy the occasional throwback moment. “I love comparing photos from decades ago to now,” she says. “I have a photo of me in a swing in the tree in the backyard where we have a swing now — and the tree is much bigger!” 

April has long been interested in interior design, but moving into this space made her even more passionate about all things decorating. “I really became fascinated after purchasing our home,” the content creator behind @aprilshaus states. Having formerly lived in Europe, April is particularly inspired by French interiors at the moment. “I love the kind of opulence of the trimwork, lush fabrics balanced with a bit of surprise or fun,” she comments. “I see it as doing what you can to preserve the originality of a space itself while still expressing your own style.” 

Keep reading to peek inside April’s sunny DIY-filled space. 

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I would say “modern traditional” because it covers so much. I love​​ transitional, grandmillenial, mid-century modern, cottagecore, European farmhouse… I could go on. I like that modern traditional is kind of an umbrella that covers all of that. 

Favorite Element: This question is really challenging. I think my favorite element would have to be the flow/layout. There are so many individual elements that I love, but that is what makes them all work so well. We made a few modifications but didn’t dramatically change the footprint of our house. I originally wanted to take down the wall between the kitchen and living room, but I am so glad we kept it.

Biggest Challenge: Our budget has been limited throughout our entire remodel. Because of this, we’ve done very nearly all of the work ourselves. I have also spent a lot of time researching every material we used making sure I was getting the best deal and making our money go the farthest. Sometimes that means choosing something I’m okay with for now, instead of my dream hardware, light fixture, etc. But, I always say home takes time, and it does! I also try to make an impact in budget-friendly ways — I’ve got tons of shopping, thrifting, and decor hacks to get high-end looks on a budget.

Proudest DIY: I would have to say the hand-painted mural in the entryway. It is for sure the boldest thing I’ve ever done in our home. I had to really trust my gut for it and I am so glad I did. I was originally going to wallpaper the space, but even for my eight by eight entryway that was going to run hundreds of dollars. I decided I wanted to hand paint a pattern instead. I couldn’t love how it turned out more. And even better, it only cost me a gallon of paint! But, honestly, little DIYs are my passion. I’m always applying Rub ‘n Buff to something! Recently, I’ve made a $15 marble tile dog bowl stand, my own texture art, a $3 sun-catcher and so much more.

Biggest Indulgence: When we had to replace the nearly 30-year-old HVAC system, we had the new one put up into our attic. It was an extra expense, but it allowed us to expand our laundry room significantly. Before, the closet for the HVAC was in the laundry room directly behind the coat closet for the entryway. When we moved it into the attic, we were able to take those closets out and expand and square off the space and create a wall of built-ins for storage.

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Think vertically! A blanket ladder instead of a basket, a wall-hanging plate rack for cutting boards and platters (DIYing one of these soon!), a kitchen rail (you can attach it to the underside of your cabinets or use Gorilla Glue tape to attach to tile). I use mine for oven mitts and measuring cups. Also, shaker pegs with a ledge on top like in my laundry room provides extra storage for my broom and cleaning sprays without taking up any floor space.

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Remember that home takes time and don’t try and fight with what you have. Maybe you can’t afford to demo your bathroom but you have butter yellow tile that you don’t want. Instead of painting the bathroom the latest trendy shade, choose a color that works with the yellow for now. It’s a challenge to design and decorate around elements you don’t love, but if you can’t change it, working with it helps it to stick out less. If you’re having trouble working that out, creating a mood board can be very helpful to see spaces as a whole.



  • Entryway — Behr “Teton Blue” & Behr “untinted”
  • Laundry Room — Beadboard & Builtins, Benjamin Moore “Blacktop”, Magnolia “Soft Linen”
  • Kitchen — Builtins – Behr “Russian Olive”, Paneling – Behr “Natural Silver Wool” & Behr “untinted”, Walls – Behr “untinted”
  • Dining Room — Walls – Behr untinted, Sideboard- Behr “Cavern Moss”, Arch- Magnolia “Soft Linen”
  • Living — Paneling – Behr “Natural Silver Wool” & Behr “untinted”, Walls – Behr “untinted”
  • Hallway — Beadboard – Behr “Pasha Brown” Walls- Behr untinted
  • Bedroom — Behr “Cavern Moss”


  • Brass Accordian Hook Rack — Target
  • Rug — Five Below
  • All else is handmade or second hand!


  • Aquarius II Light Gray Sectional — Living Spaces
  • Strandmon Wingback Chair — IKEA
  • 9×12 Rug Loloi II Layla Olive/Charcoal — Amazon  
  • Coffee Table Vittsjo Nesting Tables — IKEA
  • Walker Edison Mid Century Modern TV Stand — Amazon



Thanks April!

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.