You know what goes amazing with a Monday?
A decorating shortcut.
I’m sharing 14 days are full of tips to make your decorating life a little easier.
We’ve discussed the one thing every lamp needs and how to transform a builder-grade door for under $10 and an easy way to makeover furniture and a unique hardware DIY. and budget centerpiece ideas and how to pick paint colors that make your room smile.
We are taking kitchens and budgets and ways to save money on a renovation.
Here’s an encyclopedia (remember those) of all things budget kitchen remodeling.
Almost eight years ago my kitchen was nothing but a pipe in the middle of the room and hundreds and hundreds of nails sticking up where we had pulled up layer after layer on the original floor. We were remodeling the house and running out of money. We started with an original budget and my husband had a detailed spreadsheet, but somewhere along the way, we got derailed.
The train had left the station.
Things that were supposed to cost $2.00, ended up costing $2.50 and all those .50 added up and our budget was limping along and asking for a place where it could lay down and rest. My kitchen budget got cut in half. Gone were the marble counter tops. Gone was the built-in kitchen island. Gone were the custom cabinets.
It was just me and a stack of laminate counter top samples.
And now? Years later, looking at my kitchen as I type this post?
I’m so happy.
Because when you remodel a kitchen and the funds are low and you are wondering if your five-gallon bucket can double as a sink, you only really need one thing….
….a little imagination.
1. Counter tops
If you can’t afford natural stone, embrace the laminate.
These laminate counter tops are almost eight years old and I still love them. I tried to get a close-up to show you that they mimic real stone. They aren’t smooth like older laminate options, instead, they came with a rougher surface with little dents and dings along the lines of the faux stone.
Now there are so many great options for laminate counter tops than when I chose these, including different finishes and counter top edges. I tried to stay away from a bull nose edging because to me it screamed, I’M LAMINATE.
Some of the best options mimic granite or natural stone or (my favorite) marble.
This is one of my favorites that I pinned years ago from my friend Layla.
2. Free standing island
I wanted that custom built-in island like I wanted to be Miss America when I was younger.
Neither one worked out.
But what we ended up with is so much better. Our kitchen island was only $399 from IKEA.
It’s eight years old and still looks like new. The shelves are covered with a stainless steel liner and the island has a butcher block counter top and a place for stools on the other side.
I also found this great option, too. It’s a little more stainless and contemporary, but so pretty.
3. Add your own glass doors
Here’s a picture from my real life house tour that shows off the top row of cabinets with glass doors.
Cabinets with glass doors like this were super expensive. So instead? I simply ordered the shell of the cabinets to match the other cabinets we were installing and then ordered the glass door fronts from a local cabinet maker.
It was literally almost half the cost.
And that little row of glass-paned cabinets makes my inexpensive cabinets look extra custom.
4. Add in your own architecture
This kitchen has transoms made from old windows.
And painted brick and a recipe wall with a plate rack that we built on a blank wall.
And new decorative door molding.
And faux transom windows in the space.
All you need is paint, caulk, simple molding pieces and a little direction.
You can click on any of the links for the projects.
5. Free standing furniture
We wanted to put cabinets on this wall, but it was so expensive.
Like out of our budget kind of expensive.
This kitchen hutch that I found at a yard sale for under $100 accomplished the same purpose for 1/16 of the price.
And I think it looks better and a little more farmhouse. You can create the same look with bookshelves or hutches or pie safes or even a vintage desk.
All these years later, I’m so happy that we almost ran out of money. I know that sounds random and Hallmark and rose-colored glasses, but it is so true. It was a challenge to decorate on a budget, but in the end, our kitchen is unique and wonderful and farmhouse and just like us.
Never underestimate the beauty of a little imperfection. 🙂
PS And now a word from our 14-day shortcut sponsor.
You can read the reviews of my first book, So Close To Amazing, here.