Monday, January 17, 2011

How To Re-do A Room and Make Money (Instead of Spending It)

Last year we survived on my husbands income of only $27,000 for the entire year. It is not an easy task for someone who loves to decorate and re-decorate. If you want the easy way this "how to" is not for you. But it is the way to get the look you want if you want something lovely but you're like me and you don't have any money at all or just don't relish the idea of spending high dollars for fabulous. In fact you don't really have to spend anything (not a single dime, I promise) to get fabulous.

You have probably already seen my "new" bedroom and "old" bedroom. I started doing the math and over some length of time I had spent $147 total on new things for the room to get the final look. I was disapointed to realize I had spent that much. To some of you $147 may feel like a really low amount, to me I might as well have said I spent thousands. It occurred to me though that I had actually MADE MONEY, not spent it. I sold the old canopy bed that was too large for $150 and the vanity that came with my dresser for $50. I didn't make a lot of money, but I didn't really spend what I thought I had either.

When looking at a room to re-do without having money to spend on it the first thing to consider is "what pieces in here can I live without?" What does not make the room special? If you just kind of like it but don't really love it, get rid of it. List it up on Craigslist, Ebay or Etsy and make some money! Then there will be a little jingle in your pocket to get the things you really do love.

Now here is where the work part comes in and patience too. Make a list of what you want for your room. Search other areas of your house and see if there is anything from another room that may not be perfect for that room but would suit your re-do nicely. Re-think and re-purpose. And here is where Ebay, Craigslist and Etsy come in for the other items you need. Don't be afraid to think FREE either. Freecycle and the Craigslist free section are handy tools. I've found some of my favorite things in the trash. I usually use the money I make for paint and/or new hardware. If you have a Goodwill Outlet near you .69 cents a pound is pretty much the best thing ever! With a little (or a lot) of elbow grease and creative thinking/shopping you CAN get the look you want while spending very little or nothing at all.

Every time I see someone say they decorated a room on a budget and how everyone can do it just like them for only $800 (really anything over $100 seems to me that it was not such a deal and does not feel like a budget make over) I feel slightly let down. Clearly I am not that "everyone" who can afford to spend $800 and to me it does not feel like a good budget make over. And I am sure there are others out there like me who get excited upon first hearing about a "budget make over" thinking there will be great ideas until we see their total and gasp. Not saying it is a bad thing. Plenty of people can afford that and do find $800 to be a great deal. But I feel like there should be a little more out there for those of us who don't have any extra room in the budget department. I hope this helps someone out there!


  1. Hi Nicki, firstly I want to say what a great job you did with your bedroom makeover. It looks beautiful! I love the different mirrors you used and the overall feel. I can't believe it only cost you $147! I don't feel you need to spend big bucks to change a room. I kick myself now for the money I used to spend on brand new furniture before I discovered the look of shabby chic. Now I take so much joy of buying something extremely cheap from a garage sale etc and picking up a bargain! Whether you spend $100 or $800 I believe the secret is to make the most of what we have at the time and be happy with that. Like that we will always be happy! take care, Maryann

  2. Nicki, I think your makeover is fab! I'm in the same boat I can't afford fancy things but I find ways to decorate within a budget or for free!I loove craigslist and goodwill great resources for us budget conscience gals.The table I got for Christmas was a major splurge from my hubby I was further informed I don"t get anything for Valentines, Birthday, or any other holiday this year! Which I'm fine with! Hugs,Traci

  3. well I certainly like your attitude---I have been very poor and also not poor several times in my life-=-but in either case I have always thought it much more fun to reclaim-or whatever to decorate. Anyone can spend a lot of money on things--that is not rewarding to me--it is much better to search and find and be inventive.I also try to have the best trash pile for fee pick-up ever (sometimes I try to set things out in a decorative manner) then things really fly off the road--Keep it up Sherron

  4. I started going to garage sales years ago and when people ask me "where did you get that?" most of the time I answer, garage sale. I agree with you, room makeovers shouldn't cost a bunch of money. When I re-do a room, a friend of mine comes over and we start going through the basement and other rooms for things I've bought that I can re-use in a different area. I love it.



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