Home Makeover on a Dime

Refreshing your home doesn’t have to mean big bucks and complicated renovation projects. Here are several excellent resources to get your DIY home makeover started.

When it comes to giving your home a makeover on a tight budget, the best place to start is online. Here’s a guide to the best makeover blogs where you can find plenty of ideas to give your home a facelift for pennies.

The Nesting Place

Myquillyn Smith, the woman behind the popular decorating blog and book titled The Nesting Place, knows a thing or two about decorating on a shoestring budget. After a series of job changes for her husband, Smith’s family went through four moves in four years, three of them rentals. Her desire to create a home no matter where they lived led to her blog and to her many inspiring ideas. Her motto is, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful” and her home makeovers are both inexpensive and drool-worthy. Her bedroom makeover alone is like a master class in budget decorating; she uses sheets for curtains, duct tape on the walls to make a white diamond pattern, and has a cowhide rug she got for $65 because it was missing a shoulder. If her blog and book aren’t enough for you, she offers The Cozy Minimalist Course on her website. Here are a few of her design ideas:

Start by quieting a room. Take everything out of a room except for furniture and big art. Then sit in the room, noticing areas that feel cold or too quiet. Fill those in with items that mean something to you, either from the accessories you removed or from other parts of your house.

Paint can change anything. In addition to painting flea market and garage sale finds, she shares her favorite renters trick: repaint doors and window frames and hang them on the wall to give a pop of color and architectural interest that can come down easily.

Learn to sew. Pillows, curtains, etc. can all be made out of fabric you find for very little.

Jones Design Company

Emily Lex shares her massive creativity on her design blog filled with decorating and crafting ideas. The heart and soul of her blog is her own home makeover, which has been featured in Better Homes + Gardens (twice). Her ability to mix accessories to create a feeling for a room in any season is very inspiring, and she uses discount items along with easy DIYs and her own artwork (which she offers in free printables). She inspires through stenciling her office to look like wallpaper and painted her wooden piano white. Her blog is loaded with tutorials for more ideas. A few favorites include:

• How to make store-bought flowers look pretty in a room

• How to make a pom-pom wreath (an idea that has been recreated by many other bloggers)

• How to stencil a wall to look like wallpaper

• How to make pillows out of sequins, sweaters, table runners, and rugs (all adorable)

Emily A. Clark 

Emily’s design ideas are down-to-earth and unintimidating; she doesn’t sew much or use power tools, opting instead for a hot glue gun and spray paint. She addresses some of the psychology of decorating, such as owning your style and decorating for yourself, not others. Some of her posts include:

• Ways to warm up white paint

• Buy art for scale and not for subject matter. (She spray paints right over her cheap finds.)

• Styling entry ways and table tops with affordable objects

• How to add extra shelving on a budget and update a room with no cost

• How to paint brick (big transformation with a tiny price tag)

• Top 10 basics to buy at Ikea

Thrifty Décor Chick

Sarah’s blog has so many ideas, you may need to clear your calendar before you check it out. Her photos of her home make it hard to believe they were done on a budget, but her posts reveal how she did it. Her tips include how to make your home more architecturally interesting, like adding inexpensive molding and trim, and how to renovate your kitchen on a budget by painting your kitchen cabinets and lots of DIY ideas for lighting and shelving. Some of her best posts include:

• How to decorate using houseplants

• The thrill of the thrifty hunt

• DIYs such as a tufted headboard, building a window seat, and tiling around a fireplace

• How to knock off wall designs and art found in catalogs

• How to turn a closet into a book nook

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