DIY Wallpaper Instead of dropping a ton of cash on an expensive print, craft your own with paint and a pretty stencil. The homeowner of this Mississippi farmhouse created her own stencil to make this custom pattern. Showcase Collectibles It only takes a few special antiques to start a collection. Take a cue from the owner of this cozy Texas bungalow and grow your group with a handful of extraordinary originals and less expensive replicas, then display your prized items in a group on shelves. New Paint A fresh coat of white paint brightened up this living room.
The homeowner used a mortar wash treatment, known as a “German smear” to ensure the fireplace looked authentically aged look. Drop Cloths This home’s 12-foot ceilings called for an abundance of drapery fabric, so the owner opted for budget-friendly painters’ drop cloths. Go to an Estate Sale Set against the beautifully distressed plaster walls, the camelback sofa pictured here came from a winning $20 bid at a local estate sale. Transformed Closet Turn a closet into a simple craft “room” by covering the doors with pegboard. Vintage Bookcase These bookcases were made out of old peach crates borrowed from a friend’s farm. Decorate with Glassware A mix of old and new glassware sit on these white shelves, including green handblown wineglasses that add a pop of color to the open shelving. Make a Tray Repurpose mirrors as trays by applying felt backing to their undersides.
Label Canisters Put an end to kitchen-counter confusion: Use chalkboard paint or decals to create labels on glass canisters. You’ll always know whether you’re scooping salt or sugar, and you can erase and change the wording whenever you like. Make It Roll Casters are the ultimate quick-change agents. These babies impart height and mobility to almost anything. Attach ’em to a farm table and voilà: It becomes an extra-large kitchen islandwith serious moves. Pop some wheels on a crate and you’ve got storage that rolls easily underneath a counter. The possibilities are truly endless.
Make a Chair Rail Amp up the architectural drama! Installing a chair rail can be a cinch — especially with stick-on molding. Paint the areas above and below it with two different shades of the same color for even more va-va-voom. Light Up a Jug From empty jars to illuminating conversation pieces: Fill a glass jug with Christmas lights to fashion a tricked-out table lamp. Install a New Faucet Replace your bathroom sink’s faucet with a larger, kitchen-size version to give the fixture a unique, bespoke feel. Bottle Display Snag a stained glass effect in seconds. Just display colored-glass jars, glasses, and vases on windowsills or bookshelves.
Paint Your Door For an affordable exterior upgrade, paint your front door an unexpected shade, like buttercup-yellow or chartreuse-green. The result: a happy punctuation point that modernizes an old house yet doesn’t compromise its historic character. Switch Out a Lamp Shade A lift for tired lamps: Enliven a blah base with a sprightly shade. Bonus: a garden theme is guaranteed to keep winter blues at bay! Change Your Numbers Power in numbers: Fanciful house numbers instantly increase curb appeal. Install a Mirror A single well-placed mirror has the power to make a small room seem larger. For a custom look on the cheap, have mirrored glass cut to fit a beautiful vintage frame.
Paint the Ceiling Don’t ignore the ceiling! Though most people default to white paint overhead, color gives you something interesting to look at. Gray-blues, lavenders, and buttery yellows draw the eye up without being too brash. Make a Runner A bunch of humble rag rugs add up to one stunning runner. Don’t sew? Ask your local dry cleaner or upholsterer to stitch the mats together. Update Your Mat Try this snazzy solution for ho-hum sisal:Stencils offer a foolproof way to bring pattern to a plain rug.
Be sure to work with an oil-based paint, then protect it with a clear sealant. Or if you prefer a distressed finish, skip the sealant and lightly sand the painted surface. New Shower Curtain The easiest bathroom redo ever? A new shower curtain! I love the selection at Urban Outfitters. DIY Artwork Frame the prettiest pages of last year’s calendar and hang them up in second-hand frames in a grid formation. Freshen Up Cabinets If you already like the arrangement and style of your kitchen cabinets, opt for the simplest of all budget updates: a fresh coat of paint.
Embellished Lampshade Brighten up an end table with an updated lampshade. Ready-made appliqués can be found in the scrapbooking section of craft stores. Here, they are hot-glued onto the shade in a whimsical pattern; some appliqués feature peel-away adhesive backing, which requires just peeling and sticking onto the shade. Distinctive Pillows Vintage tea towels and napkins with tears or stains can be recycled into distinctive accent pillows for a window seat. Bar Cabinet Makeover An abandoned bar cabinet gets a stylish makeover with decorative paint. Monogrammed Lamp Actual monogramming can cost a lot — but the look doesn’t have to. On silk chandelier shades from Target, a rich-looking result was achieved by using white iron-on embroidered letters.
The result: a deluxe, personal touch. Bathroom Display Shelf Add shelving to your powder room to hold pretty toiletries. Remove the back of an old wine crate or wooden box. Make shelves to fit inside the box, then add a bit of glamour by fastening a gilded frame onto the front of the unit. For an antique finish, spray-paint with Krylon Crystal Color. Cabinet Hardware New cabinet hardware can give your kitchen an instant makeover. There’s an almost unlimited number of options available.
Just measure your existing hardware to ensure that replacements will fit in the same space. Chair Bench Three flea market chairs were given new life as a charming bench. DIY Candlestick Tray Glue an assortment of thrift-store candlesticks to a vintage tray using a thin layer of Devcon Flow-Mix Five-Minute Epoxy ($3, idealtruevalue.com)wiping off any excess with a damp cloth. To set, hold in place for five minutes. Wash by hand as needed. The total cost is $55: nine $5 candlesticks, a $7 tray, and a $3 tube of glue. Dining Room Cabinets An unfinished-wood corner cabinet saves money when a few deft decorating tricks are applied.
Painted the same color as the dining room’s walls, it gives the impression that it was built in and original to the house. Luxe for Less This vanity was made with $200 worth of supplies (concrete mix, lumber, and steel piping). An antique mirror, old first aid box, and bamboo purse handles- turned-towel rings are one-of-a-kind fixtures that give the space a collected feel. Photo-Filled Table A bare tabletop is nothing but a display opportunity waiting to happen. Have a piece of glass or Plexi cut to fit the tabletop’s dimensions, then tuck snapshots, postcards, or printed fabric underneath. Bright Idea Natural light can make a compact space seem expansive. Keep window treatments as simple as possible.
Choose interior shutters — an easy-to-install, inexpensive style crafted from never-needs-painting composite found at the Home Depot — for a clean, tailored look. Dentil molding along the ceiling plays nicely off the shutters. Repurpose a Ladder This rough-hewn ladder was once used in an apple orchard but now offers a quaint spot to store extra blankets. Inexpensive paint-by-number art offers instant wall interest.