You don’t have to spend a fortune to create a beautiful home.  Here are seven of my favorite home decor hacks to help you decorate your home on a budget.

simple and inexpensive home decor hacks with hydrangeas and decorating

I always thought you were brilliant.

Truly.

I mean, we talk almost every day and drink coffee together and talk about words and Venn diagrams and blinking and missing french fries and why I’m never going to be like Emily Gilmore.

But this week?

You cemented your brilliance in my mind.  You made me so happy to be your friend.  You helped me to understand the amazing that is you.

All because I shared about sheets and the windows that love them.  I shared one of my favorite home decor hacks that involved $6.77 twin sheets and how to line a curtain in the easiest and simplest and most inexpensive way.

And guess what?

You and your brilliant selves all agreed with me.

It turns out that you use sheets to line your curtains and back your quilts and make pillows and create dozens of simple, inexpensive home decor projects.

So today?  I want to share more of my favorite home decor hacks.

Here are 11 simple, easy, inexpensive ideas to help your home live large.

(total aside:  I could have easily listed 25, but I wasn’t sure we had enough coffee.)

add molding over your windows with this simple home decor hack

Add molding over the windows

This is still one of my favorite home decor hacks ever.

It’s as simple as plywood and crown molding.

I think there is a myth about old farmhouses that were built in 1918.  I think it was started in 1922 by a farmer who really wanted to sell his farmhouse.  Somehow the rumor got started that old farmhouses are full of moldings and decorative details and beautiful old trim.

Umm.  Negative.

Now maybe there is a farmhouse built somewhere in a land far far away by an overly exuberant farmer with a fine decorative eye who was light years ahead of his other farmer friends.  But he sure didn’t live here.  I think our farmer was too busy, well….farming.  You know.  He was milking the cows, feeding the horses, cutting the hay, checking on the crops and all that.

He was much too busy for window molding.

So when we moved into the farmhouse, there were all these windows without molding on top of them.  Plain ordinary windows without much drama or character.

Here’s a simple step-by-step on how we made them into show stoppers.

home decor hacks in the kitchen

Make transoms out of windows

Remember this space?

It was our kitchen at the farmhouse.

*sigh*

Hello friend.

When we remodeled this room, we opened up the walls and created an opening between the two rooms.  I was trying to figure out what to do up there.  I tried adding corbels and more molding and leaving it blank—but it needed more.

I had a broken over-sized window in the trash that I found in the trash.  A broken over-sized window that was sitting there calling my name.  I drove it through town in the back of a truck with the entire county talking.  First, we used the window to make a monthly chalkboard calendar for the family room wall.

And with all those the extra panes I found the solution to my problem for pennies with this simple home decor hack.

A transom.

Here’s a step-by-step on how we created this transom out of old windows.

home decor hacks with this painted ply wood subfloor

Painted plywood subfloor

See that floor with its giant checkerboard pattern that looks like it just rolled in from the country?

It’s just the plywood subfloor that we painted.

I know, right?

I can hear you asking yourself—can you even do that?  Can you actually paint the plywood floor?  Yes.  Yes, Virginia, you can.  It was one of the best flooring decisions we ever made.

This is our bedroom at the farmhouse.  On top of this floor we had vintage (and I use the term very loosely) Berber carpet and I wanted wood. Expensive, wonderful, hand-scraped wood that looked like it had made the journey with the pilgrims over on the Mayflower.

But here’s a little floor math:

New hardwoods = $3500

Painted plywood sub-floor = $120.00.

With math like that and four children to eventually put through college the pilgrims were going to have to wait.

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial and one of my favorite decor hacks ever.

How to paint a plywood subfloor.

Using drop cloths for curtains

Yes.

Yesssssssss.

Drop cloths aren’t just for painting anymore.

They are one of the simplest (and cheapest) ways to have floor to ceiling curtain panels in your home.

I’ve painted them and stenciled them and washed them and thought about bleaching them and hung them on short rods and hung them on long rods and sewed them and no-sewed them and decorated my house with them for over a decade.

Here are all the questions and the details and how I make my drop cloth curtains.

Herringbone Paint Stick Table

Turning paint sticks into a table top

This table top was pitiful.

It was covered with splattered paint and rings of where the spray paint can used to be and scratches and big chips in the veneer.  Wobbly and woebegone and just waiting for a make-over.

Before and after furniture makeovers are one of my favorite decor hacks.  They’re kind of like watching a really good makeover movie.  Like the one about the girl who no one ever noticed because she always wore glasses and frumpy clothes with not cute hair and she was super shy.  And she didn’t really have any friends.  But you knew that she could be so cute if she just cut her hair and put on make-up and remake the prom dress that her dad gave her.

Truly.

And then one day she bumped into the most popular guy in school who knocked her books over.   And then he helped her up with her books and for a moment he gazed into her eyes….well actually he really gazed into her glasses, but it didn’t matter because he saw beyond those glasses and truly saw her for the first time.  He saw her for the true beauty that she was and he asked her to homecoming and she turned from a shy, awkward ugly duckling into the belle of the ball in her beautiful remade prom dress.

See what I mean?

Nothing is better than a before and after.

Or one of my favorite home decor hacks.

Like this one.

Here’s how I used paint sticks to completely transform this table top.

Creating a faux wood table top

I had this plain white table and wanted something a little different.  Something unique.  Something that inspired me to write this blog when I sat down at that chair.

So I used painter’s tape and a wood graining tool to create another of my favorite home decor hacks.

Here’s the finished table set up in my office posing as a desk.

See how the top looks like wood?

Here’s the step by step on how I transformed this table top to look like this.

Transform a builders grade door with paint

How do you transform a hollow core builder-grade door when you’re budget has already been spent on the ceiling and the floors and the walls and cute nail polish?

The answer?

Meet a door’s best friend—paint.

Paint can help us pop out those panels and give the door visual interest and make it shine and look high-end and make the neighbors to sit up and take notice and say, “That is some door.”

Here’s how we transformed this door from ordinary to amazing with paint.

Even if you never make a single one of these projects, I want you to leave today with this.

Decorating doesn’t have to be fancy.

Decorating doesn’t have to be expensive.

Decorating isn’t all about spending a fortune.

A beautiful home can be yours with a few home decor hacks, a little imagination, some old windows, some paint sticks, a few drop cloths and a little paint. 🙂

The DIY Style Finder Link

Comments

  1. Image for Lynn W Lynn W

    Happy First Day of Spring 🌷 Love all of those ideas....wish I had a great spot for a transom window. One of my favorite styles!

  2. Image for Robin Ekblad Robin Ekblad

    I love all these ideas—-practical AND beautiful! And besides that, affordable. I live in California in a typical stucco two story home. I am forever looking for ideas to transform our home to a farmhouse style. Most of the blogs are for beautiful old farmhouses back east, which I love. It’s a little challenging to find ideas that can be applied to our builder grade cookie cutter home. I SO appreciate the items that you shared ! Hopefully I can incorporate them into our little home — thank you !

  3. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Those dropcloths~ and the extra molding above the windows??? And, in extra news~ I remembered that sweet story of the oversized window by the side of the road calling your name! Loving that I am remembering favorite stories!!! So grateful for you, your ideas and your stories!

  4. Image for Yvette Yvette

    Happy Spring! 🌸🌼🌺 Love all these ideas!! And I love that decorating your home and making it beautiful doesn’t have to be expensive. ♥️

  5. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    Sigh . . . I love that you live in your "growing up" house, and that you're close to family and all that - but I miss knowing you're just a county away! You are an inspiration!!!

  6. Image for Tara @ Stilettos and Shiplap Tara @ Stilettos and Shiplap

    Once again, you nailed it! I am all about lovely decor and beautiful homes that don't break the bank. I have totally done quite a few of the hacks you mentioned but you did bring several new ones to my attention and now I won't be able to rest until I've done them too! lol

  7. Image for TERESA GONZALES TERESA GONZALES

    Love all of your ideas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Which should I try first??????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Image for Jenn Jenn

    Yes to all of these ideas!!! I have followed along with you for a long time, just recently savy enough to comment consistently...ha! I remember many of these projects and have enjoyed following along with your story! Blessings to you!

  9. Image for Sonya Sonya

    I love these hacks KariAnne. I have been considering painting my laminate wood floors, just have to talk the hubby into it. Happy Spring!!!

  10. Image for Linda Miller Linda Miller

    Happy First Day of Spring! (And it's my birthday! A BIG one)...but I digress...it's SPRING! Love all of your ideas!

  11. Image for Mary Ellen Peregolise Mary Ellen Peregolise

    I noticed your parquet wood floor in one of the pictures. We have that in our open living room, dining area & hallway leading to our bedrooms of our condo. They are in excellent condition & we don’t want to spend the money or go through the mess of getting new hardwood floors. Ours are that orange color stain. Did you refinish yours? The color looks so nice & neutral. How?

  12. Image for Fuchsia_21 Fuchsia_21

    Oh my gosh!! Thank you so much for all the hacking tips today!! You are such an inspiration! I am saving all the ones I liked so that when we give our old home a little facelift, it will look and feel so magical but still in its old roots!! Happy Spring!!!

  13. Image for Sharon Sharon

    Whether you want to hear it or not, I must tell you about my mama. She was a tiny, feisty redhead; and she could do the most amazing things with nothing. I remember two rooms in the front of our house. This was in the fifties. She had my Dad tear out the wall so our living room was 15 x 30. Way ahead of her time!. She wallpapered that room, managed to get enough money out of my Dad to purchase a circular sofa and it was light green! She sewed all the curtains. The room could have been in House Beautiful!. She was tired of the bathroom floor so she painted it and sponged a design on it. When I see all the wonderful things you have mentioned, I think of her because she was truly remarkable. P.S. She loved red lipstick!! That's all...I love your blog!!

  14. Image for Claudia A Claudia A

    Ugh! I can’t find the other post where you did your wall. I finally found the response picture video to send. You should take a look. https://www.facebook.com/opartofficial/videos/345898689331296?sfns=mo

  15. Image for Linda Chauvin Linda Chauvin

    Listen my children and you shall hear...... this old woman lined curtains with sheets in 1976.... for my daughter’s bedroom. However, when we sold the house 10 years later, they still had the straight pins holding the hem in place. My daughter still brings it up from time to time and rolls her eyes 🙄🤪🙄🤪

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