Quick ways to remake a room with new paint, materials, and affordable finds
How do you lighten up your dining room without making a lot of costly changes? Interior designer Jeffrey Marks provides some useful lessons at his own beach house, where a low ceiling, knotty pine wainscoting, and old-fashioned shutters made the room feel cramped and tired.
A new palette of materials creates a glow that blurs the room’s boundaries. High-gloss white marine paint covers the wainscoting,
ceiling, and chairs. Walls are white plaster, and the shutters have been replaced with elegant Roman shades. An ebony stain
on the oak floor and tabletop makes the sunny colors pop.
A cozy lounge reminiscent of a martini bar was Pasadena homeowner Carolyn Powers's wish. The reality was a charmless room with a dated fireplace.
To achieve her dream of a glamorous hideaway, Powers extended the fireplace 6 feet along the wall and added a mantel and storage
cubby. A sheer curtain tucks into the wall when not in use. The fireplace now works as the unifying factor for the multifunctional
Limited light and gray walls conjured the feeling of a submarine more than a sailboat in this benighted beach house.
From dark and dismal to bright and breezy, this living room seems twice as large with the addition of new doors; wider openings
to neighboring rooms; and a crisp, unifying coat of white paint.
Decorating an apartment that reflects a polished, professional lifestyle can be a challenge, but one New Yorker does it just
right (and on a dime).
The homeowner scoured vintage stores and Web sites in search of bargain pieces that reflected her mid-century design aesthetic.
With a few new large pieces of furniture, she created a cohesive and comfortable look suitable to her young professional lifestyle.
This little desk needed just a little paint touch-up and a mirror to become glamour girl worthy.
A light coat of white paint and a few accessories later, it’s a retro-chic bedroom vanity.
This wing chair is covered in dated fabric but has a uniquely striking shape.
This chair goes from floral to sophisticated with a smart upholstery update. Exposing the wooden legs and adding a nail-head
trim make this chair conservative yet hip -- the perfect combo for a new couple's first home.
Wing Chair Fabric: Ottoman Leaf in Chocolate by Robert Allen; 1-800-333-3777
This room was sparsely furnished with hand-me-down furniture, and it suffered from a spotty red paint job.
Balancing worthwhile splurges and budget-friendly extras, we transformed the space with bold Asian flair and green accents
for less than $2,000.
Turn a bleak extra bedroom into a chic guest room with our creative shopping tips and stylish projects you can do yourself.
The young couple repositioned the bed against the larger wall to visually increase the room size and evenly redistribute the
floor space. A little smart shopping and practical do-it-yourself ideas transformed the junk room into a guest suite that
looks like a million bucks for much less.
When Susan Churcher moved into her 1950s home, she faced a decorating dilemma in the kitchen. It was a dreary space with dated cabinets and dark brown appliances. Long-term plans called for a complete remodel, but what could she do in the interim?
Color was this kitchen's quick fix. $30 worth of paint even spruced up the old appliances, achieving an entirely new look.
See more of this budget kitchen makeover
This front yard was almost barren, and there was a dangerous drop-off between the front walk and a deeply recessed driveway.
A fence encloses the yard and runs along the sidewalk and the driveway. Inside, an inviting path of flagstones threads through
a cottage garden to the front door.
Our decorating expert, Turner Carroll, shares her tips for picking the right shade for any room of your home. Plus, painting
tips and tricks that make doing the job yourself a snap.
Caroline made careful choices about when to save and when to splurge. In the living room, she slipcovered a beat-up leather
armchair with inexpensive white canvas, and then paired it with a more expensive silk throw pillow. She also took extra time
to paint the insides of her bookshelves darker than the walls to provide a contrasting backdrop for her creamware collection.
"Our house was built in the 1920s, so it's filled with character," homeowner Caroline Willis says. She added a fresh coat
of paint in soft, neutral tones and other inexpensive details to update the cottage while staying within budget.
"I had a West Elm moment," Jill says of the oh-so-cool crepe myrtle coffee table in her living room. Found curbside, Jill took the knotty tree
home to begin its transformation. Branches, cut evenly, support a glass top. For stability, screws in a 20-by-20-inch steel
plate custom ordered from the local hardware store anchor the stump. Total cost: $35.
Instances like these abound throughout Jill’s home as testament to her frugal savviness. Be sure to get them all to inspire your own home.
When Jill Gardner’s 1940s Greek Revival home was way past needing an update, she pulled out her piggy bank and pushed up her
sleeves. With a lot of creativity, character-building manual labor, and frugal sensibilities, Jill created a bright, lively
home that suits her family of five. Take a look at her budget-friendly decorating ideas, and be inspired.
You don't have to complete a decorating overhaul to give your home a fresh, updated look. For a new look today, try one of
our low-cost tips (some are free).
Give a random collection of art pieces museum-worthy treatment. A hodgepodge of materials and colors makes it look inventive
and authentic, as if you had collected each piece over time. We’ll show you how to make your collection look this great in
just three easy steps.
Look around the house for things that share a common element. Maybe you have a plethora of white pitchers or silver picture
frames. Group them together on a tabletop for an instant collection. Remember that odd numbers of items often look better