How to Score Deals and Decorate on a Budget – One Room Challenge Week 2

Is it really time for the week 2 update on our One Room Challenge makeover? I feel like I blinked and a week flew by!

If you are just tuning in, last week I shared that we are making over our teeny, tiny back entrance. Feel free to use the word “foyer” if you are feeling especially fancy today.

Here is the design board I shared last week, revealing some of my ideas and plans for the space.

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I wish I could show you some progress shots, but the space looks exactly the same as it did last week. Just to remind you, here it is in all it’s forest green, nasty carpet, floral wallpaper, bare lightbulb and cracked drywall glory.

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We really have our work cut out for us in the next few weeks if we are going to finish this space in time for the November 10th reveal!

The good news is that even though I don’t have any actual progress pictures to share, I did make some progress in nailing down some design details.

The first piece of news is that we have a light fixture! Shortly after I posted our plans last week, a very sweet friend texted me that she had read my post and had a light fixture very similar to the one in my design board. She said that it didn’t fit her space and she wasn’t planning on using it. I tried to offer her something for it, but she made some excuse about not being able to return it anyhow and insisted that if I loved it, I should have it. What a complete sweetheart, right? The world definitely needs more people like her! I graciously said thank you and told her we would have her and her sweet hubby over for a meal soon. (I’m not sure why I thought that would be a proper way to say thank you, considering that cooking is not exactly where my talents lie. Let’s just say, you won’t be seeing any recipe posts on this blog. Unless it’s of the “how-to-throw-together-a-meal-in-ten-minutes-or-less-so-that-you-have-more-time-for-decorating” variety. Hey, one can’t be good at everything. It’s not like I’ve ever given anyone food poisoning or anything. Oh wait… there was that one time. Does it count if it was your husband though? I poisoned myself in the process as well. Nobody died, no harm done. Just a good memory to laugh about now. It’s been a good 11 years or so since I poisoned anyone. So that’s progress, right? I don’t let it stop me from entertaining. Although anyone who reads this may be a little hesitant to come over for dinner. Please come! I promise not to kill you with my cooking!) The main point is this – we have beautiful, kind-hearted friends and we have a light fixture! The one in the design board above is from Lowe’s. My original plan was to try to DIY something similar. This is the one that my friend is giving me.

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Canadian Tire

Gorgeous, right? Elegant, yet casual. Farmhouse, yet chic. I think it’ll be a showstopper!

Next up, the search for a French door. What I learned in my online shopping this week is that French doors are pricey. As in, I would far rather save that money for a plane ticket to France than dish out $420 for a fiberglass door with plastic grills set inside the glass. Considering my budget for this project started as zero dollars (more on that later), I needed to find a fantastic deal. I scoured our local used sites, but came up with nothing. Earlier in the week I checked our local Habitat for Humanity Restore and they did have an exterior door in the right size with a solid glass insert. The problem was it was still priced at $150 and I would have had to DIY some sort of moulding to make it look like a French door. It wasn’t the major score I was hoping for. I didn’t want to spend a small fortune, but I really was hoping for a French door. I know that it will be a huge game changer in this small, dark space. Then today my husband stopped by the Restore and texted me this photo.

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It was the right size, the handle is on the correct side and I don’t know if you can see that tiny price tag, but it says $15. Fifteen. Dollars. Yes. Ding, ding, ding! We found our fantastic deal! We still need to find the glass insert, but I’ve got a couple of leads so I’ll keep you posted.

Last week I talked about how I wanted some sort of “wood” paneling in the space. “Wood” in quotations because, well, tight budget. So it will probably be MDF or low grade plywood ripped into 6 inch planks. I’m not completely ruling out the super trendy shiplap, but I’m just afraid that I’m going to tire of it quickly. I’m leaning towards vertical paneling, I think it’s a more classic cottage look.

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via zillow

I love this inspiration image. The planked ceiling is perfectly imperfect. It looks like it’s been there for several decades, when really, this could have been done recently. It might be a little funny that I enjoy renovating our home with the goal to make it look beat up and old. I’m sure I confuse my husband to no end, but he’s used to it by now.

The only problem is that while our entrance is a very tiny space, the wall space in the stairwell is really tall. Which means that we have to rig up some sort of scaffolding. That part I’m not looking forward to. Stay tuned!

So I keep talking about doing this project on a tight budget, with the goal being zero dollars. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I’m either completely delusional or extremely bad at math or possibly both. Let me explain how I budget for renovation projects. My goal is always to not spend any money from our regular income. We need that money to pay for pesky things like our mortgage, utilities, food, gas… you get the picture. Necessary items, for which I’m very grateful we are in a position to pay for. Are they as much fun as buying used French doors and paint and plywood that we can rip into pieces and nail to our walls? No. No, they are not.  My philosophy is that if you are starting with at least something in the space you want to renovate, after deciding what you can keep in the space, sell anything else in the space that will help you finance the renovation. What is trash to you is someone else’s treasure. When I get tired of my decor, if I can’t change what I already own with paint (oh, the power of paint!!!) then I sell it. Sell your junk, so you can buy some new junk. Or buy some “new-to-you” junk. It works! In our case, this entrance is pretty bare, but I’m sure we can get some cash for both the door and the storm door that are in there right now. Since we are buying a used French door, bam, that part of the reno will be covered. Don’t ever think no one else will want your old stuff. Sell anything you have around the house that you’re not using anymore. Just today I sold an old purse for $5. It was almost ten years old and I hadn’t used it in at least a year. It was time to let it go to someone else. It took me all of three minutes to post it on a local used app and some lovely lady came right to my front door, took the purse off my hands and handed me five bucks. Win/win.

Obviously this method won’t always work when you have major renovations to do that will end up costing thousands. Still, there are lots of other ways to save money on a renovation, but I’ll leave you with just the one tip for today. Sell your old junk to help pay for new junk!

Oh and I already put that $5 towards this makeover. Check out this cute little bag I found at Homesense.

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This is in our front entrance. I have this thing for black and white. And wallpaper. And florals. And gold. And anything cottage/farmhouse/vintage. Okay, so this bag. Five dollars, adorable cotton, cute print, black and white – I couldn’t resist. It will look super cute styled in our finished space. Imagine it hanging on a hook, maybe beside a plaid flannel scarf and jean jacket. It will look like I just got home from a lovely stroll to the local farmer’s market on a gorgeous fall day, where I picked up a few veggies, some handmade organic soap, a fresh baguette and a few fresh sprigs of greenery. The reality will be that I’m makeup-less, in yoga pants, we don’t actually own any organic soap, our veggies are mostly from the grocery store, I never buy baguette’s because I’m gluten-free and this is fake dollar store greenery that I’ve had for ages. But you get the idea. Decorating tells a story, even if that story is sometimes imaginary. As long as it brings a smile to your face, that’s all that counts.

I do have some plans for some extremely practical additions to the space as well! Stay tuned for those.

Here is our To-Do List:

  1. Plank walls and ceiling (after we have figured out the scary scaffolding situation)
  2. Replace trim
  3. Prime and paint walls, ceiling, trim
  4. Prep stairs for paint (rip out old vinyl “runner”, fill major holes, sand)
  5. Prime and paint stairs
  6. Rip out old carpet, install new subfloor on the entrance landing
  7. Install new vinyl floor (we have zero skills here, but fortunately I have the world’s-sweetest-brother who does)
  8. Replace old door with “new” French door
  9. Paint door
  10. Install new light fixture
  11. Install new hand rail (DIY industrial pipe rail)
  12. Add finishing details (hooks, art, baskets or bins, small shelf?, rug?)

Not too bad, right? In the meantime, follow along with my makeover on Instagram and hop over to Pinterest to see more of my plans and ideas for this space!

Be sure to head over to Calling It Home to see all of the other fabulous room makeovers happening in blogland right now! There are also twenty featured designers that post their room makeovers every Wednesday, so be sure to check them out as well. There is so much inspiration and so many room reveals to look forward to in a few weeks time!

Thanks for stopping by!

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14 thoughts on “How to Score Deals and Decorate on a Budget – One Room Challenge Week 2

  1. I completely agree about selling stuff to finance new stuff…love that!!!! Can’t wait to see flooring and stairs. You are a decorating inspiration to me. It will look amazing I am sure😄

    1. Thanks so much Lesley for cheering me on. Yes, selling old crap so you can buy new crap is totally the way to go! Minimalists everywhere are cringing, lol.

  2. I love what you are planning to do. It is going to look great! That door was such a score. The budget for my room is also close to zero. Thrifters unite!

  3. 1. I think I love you. The poisoning your husband story. Too good.
    2. Beadboard panels can look nice if you finish them nicely and paint them. They cost about $20 a panel. There is alsobeadboard wallpaper. Be choosy about which one you buy if that’s the route you go. One is realistic looking, one is kind of bad. Or underlayment is about $13 a sheet here. It can be cut into narrow strips.
    3. Have you ever tried the shurline painting pads? They make some that you attach to an extendable painting rod and they work on edges. They even make corner ones. Just be careful not to overload it. Much cheaper and less scary than scaffolding or a crazy ladder situation.
    4. Can’t wait to see how your foy-yay turns out. Definitely feeling fancy!

    1. Lol, thanks Emy, glad you got a kick out of it;) All good points – yes, I had considered beadboard paneling. I know there would be a fair amount of caulking to get it to look decent in between the board gaps and honestly, I’m just too lazy for that this go around. Plus, it’s a bit too pricey for this budget, lol! I do like the Martha beadboard wallpaper from HomeDepot, I’ve used that one before. Again, just don’t want to apply wallpaper on a scaffold. I’m thinking the underlayment in the route we will be taking. In CAN$ I think it’s $17. Hoping my husband is brave enough to handle the climbing. I told him we can just start with the easy walls, the ones that don’t involve scaffolding and go from there. Good advice on the shurline edgers. Thanks, I have seen them but never given them a try!

    1. Let’s hope we can pull it off in time! Hubby says he will plan one day next week for shiplap install. Or at least starting shiplap install, so that’s progress! I’m hoping to get going on painting the stairs as soon as I can stop hacking, lol! Thanks for the encouragement Jessica!!!

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