We challenged to makeover a room in their homes for less than $1,000, and we were amazed by the results! Look below and check out the projects we selected—we think you’ll be impressed too.
The makeover of overlooked the one-room every one
Since moving into their Cumming home four years ago, Tara and James Francis have been hard at fixing their living room, kitchen, laundry room, and bedroom. Then, at their Halloween party last October, they realized that they had overlooked the one-room every one of their guests saw—the downstairs powder room.
“The room was really plain,” James says. Tara agrees. “It was the most boring room in the house, and it’s the one that everybody sees,” she says. They started the room in January and worked on it bit by bit for several months. “Knowing that we wanted to enter the contest helped keep us moving,” Tara says.
To save money, they did all the work themselves, just as they have with the other rooms in their home. “We wouldn’t be able to redo every room if we didn’t do the work ourselves,” Tara says.
New or updated room
The couple didn’t have a budget in mind when they started the project. However, it wanted to keep it as inexpensive as possible while still making maximum- impact changes. “Tara’s specialty is finding bargains,” Jim says. They looked for items on sale at Lowe’s, and Tara found the faucet, towel bars, and paper holder brand new on eBay for only $138.
“Everything in the room is new or updated except for the countertop,” says James. He did all the woodwork, while Tara was in charge of the Venetian plaster on the walls, the curtains, and the decorating.
Amazing Woodwork Done
In addition to saving money, both Tara and James get much enjoyment from doing the work themselves. “Tara’s always had a mind for design, and we’re finally getting to put that to use,” James says. It’s also fun showing off their work to friends and family.
“People are always amazed when they see the woodwork that James does,” says Tara. “He almost gets a little insulted how surprised they are that he’s good at it!”
Lumber and molding (Lowe’s) $260
Mirror (Lowe’s) $50
Light fixture (Lowe’s) $80
Light and outlet plates (Lowe’s) $10
Paint and Venetian plaster (Lowe’s) $50
Four cabinet pulls at $4 each (Target) $16
Faucet, towel bars, paper holder
Fabric (Lewis and Sheron) $20
The next project is a nursery
The couple’s next project is a nursery—they are expecting their first child, a girl, in October. After that, they’ll start in on the basement, and once that’s done, who knows? “We won’t have any rooms left,” Tara says. “We may have to move to a new house and start over!”
Create a comfy, cozy living room
When teacher Trina Hicks first moved into her College Park house in 2003, she dreams of the large, open home. She spent the next two years, saving up the money she would need to create a comfy, cozy living room to complete it. The walls were stark white, and her brown sofa, matching chair, and leather recliner were “swallowed up” by the ample space. Trina loves warm, relaxing earth tones, so she decided first to paint the room.
Next, she bought more furniture—a coffee table set with matching end tables and two bear lamps, along with a cow-print rug and a large round mirror. It used a faux-finishing technique on the bar area walls and a corner of the living room. To finish off her hip, ethnic retreat, she added some African art.
Ralph Lauren paint (The Home Depot) $50
Rug (Cowboyindian.com) $385
Coffee table set (Ashley Furniture) $125
Bear lamps (Ashley Furniture) $50
Barstool (Target) $80
Larger round mirror
(Eclectic Furniture) $250
African masks (Marshall’s) $20
Round rattan ottoman
(Cost Plus World Market) $35
Redecoration of the kitchen
Desired Kitchens & Baths by Remodelers was the first project Maria Tonelli and her husband, Nick Reynolds, tackled, after moving into their Kennesaw home. When they moved in, it had blue flooring and direct wood cabinets. They decorated the backsplash with sandstone tile and scattered Mexican and seashell tiles.
They painted the floor and countertop to mimic a rustic concrete look and replaced the dishwasher. They also added three glass doors and painted the cabinets a buttery-linen color. After installing lights under the cabinet, they stepped back and saw that they finally had the kitchen they had envisioned.
Kenmore stainless/black dishwasher
(Sears Outlet Center) $350
Stainless stove hood (Sears) $80
Stainless microwave (Amazon.com) $70
Eight under-counter lights
(The Home Depot) $20
Two boxes of tiles at 39¢ each, along with tile adhesive, grout, and grout sealer
(Floor & Decor) $100
Porch and patio paint, Kilz, wood, glass
for the cabinet doors, other supplies
(The Home Depot) $100
Irresistible Interiors of dining room
Debbie Trammell Huckeba of Irresistible Interiors and her husband, Reid, bought their 17-year-old house in Marietta last year shortly after their May wedding. The house had everything the couple wanted, and they could see beyond the existing old wallpaper and window treatments. Over the past year, they have taken the house room by room, doing most of their work.
Bold accessories added
They stripped the dated floral wallpaper in the dining room and painted the walls a warm pumpkin color. They already had the furniture, and to make the windows more appealing, they installed matchstick blinds. They bought new draperies and, for the finishing touch, added bold accessories. They moved into the house in September and had it finished in time to invite family for Thanksgiving.
Draperies (JCPenney) $240
Blinds (Lowe’s) $80
Paint (Sherwin Williams) $30
Two wall sculptures at $100 each
(Home Goods) $200
Two palm plants at $13 each
(The Home Depot) $26
Pottery (Home Goods and
Old Time Pottery) $40
Pillowcase for bench
(Linens ’N Things) $40
Blue and white pottery
(Garden Ridge) $60
Chandelier (Bombay Company) $100
Harmony Interiors, office/library
Kristi Choate of Harmony Interiors in Kennesaw decided to tackle the living and dining area in the front of her home because it’s the first area guests see when they arrive. She wanted to create a warm, comfortable, lived-in look for space—a look that set visitors at ease. She also decided to change the function of the space itself.
“I think homes should reflect how people live, and to have a formal living and dining room would not serve my family and me well.” So she converted the space into an office and library. Now it’s not only functional but is a beautiful entry into the rest of the house.
Chocolate faux suede slipcover, throw pillows, and frames on the wall.
Two gallons of wall paint, Hasbrouck brown (Benjamin Moore Paints,
East Cobb Paint & Supply) $70
Four window treatment panels – seconds from hotel drapery projects (Red Hen Fabrics/Marietta Drapery Co.) $75
Window treatment hardware
12 yards of decorative tassel trim (Decorating Mart) $170
Rooster fabric (Kravet Fabrics) $120
Decorative accessories – candlesticks, leather trunk, clock, planters
(Southern Antique Gallery) $110
Satchel and twig cones
(Flea Emporium) $45
Rooster platter and green leaf platter, fruit prints (Queen of Heart Antiques) $60