Monday, January 25, 2016

My Super Frugal Home Makeover- The End Result

For the longest time, I wasn't house proud. My house was functional, and depending on the state of clutter, it was often less than fully functional. The furnishings and decorations were nearly all just based on what we got cheap. To say that it was to my taste would have been as far from the truth as possible. I, not only, wasn't house proud, I was embarrassed of my house, and because even when it was "fully clean" it still looked bad, I wasn't really motivated to clean it or keep it clean.

For a while, I had decided that there was no way for my house to actually look nice- I mean, after all, we're a family of 6 people, and all our belongings, crammed into 484 square feet, with no closet space, and even though we have decluttered so much, we just have a lot of "stuff" and that takes up room, so of course our house will look bad, and only one day, when we have our new home with built in storage space, and twice as much living space, we'll be able to have a normal looking home.

And on top of that, I didn't even know what I wanted my home to look like- I just knew what I didn't want it to look like- how it was.
Through various discussions and personal reflection and pinterest searching, I was able to pinpoint what my taste was, and some friends decided to advise me how to best reach that. Clinch was- I couldn't paint the walls a color I liked, nor did we have the money to buy new furniture. The home makeover would have to be on a super tight budget using the furniture we already had.

I had a mission, and I was set to do it!

Here's the end results.

Well, not fully the end. I still plan on repainting the drawers in the corner where I keep my laptop, and we desperately either need new chairs or need slipcovers, and I need curtains for the kitchen windows. And, despite my decluttering, there still isn't enough storage space, so there is more clutter than I'd like ideally, like above the fridge and the cabinets, etc... But, hey, we're a work in progress here.

Unfortunately, the two biggest eyesores, the floor and the light fixtures, can't be replaced, so... This is what it is.

Total cost of the home makeover thus far: $104. Some might say that isn't "super frugal", but for the change that took place, I think it was very well worth it, since right now, for the first time ever, I am proud to call this place my home.

Most of what I spent on was fabric-fabric is expensive where I live. I first tried second hand stores but didn't find anything I could use there. The one long piece of grey fabric that I used to cover both couches and add touches to the curtain cost me $34. The grey for the tablecloth cost $14.50. The fabric for both pillows my son made cost me $8.50. I splurged and bought the orange vase for $12.75 because I loved it so much and thought it would be perfect for my home, and the orange flowers in it were another $2.85. And then there was the white paint that my husband bought to fix up the gross walls that end up happening when you live with kids in the house. That cost $27 but was only partially used up, so it can be used in the future as well.

So, first let me start by showing you my new favorite part of the house- the cozy and fun couch corner. I sewed the slipcover for this Ikea solsta myself (figured it out all on my own!), Lee helped me sew the pillows, I sewed the curtains, and the throw was given to me as a hand me down from a friend who knew I was using orange to redecorate. I took down the artwork that I didn't like that was there and instead hung up artwork that made me feel good. This corner of the room just makes me happy, the colors, the vibe. It's just perfect and its the part that makes me proudest.

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And now a frontal view:

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Ok, and now for the rest of the room. Here's a long shot of the side of the room containing this sofa:

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And another angle of the same side of the room, where I work on my computer.

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Here's the other end of the same room (you'll notice that the table is in both):

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And the same side of the room, from a different angle.

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Now that you see what the whole room looks like, let me get to specifics:

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This cabinet was probably the thing I spent the most time on. It was a cluttered mess and constantly was looking horrible, no matter how many times I organized it; it had a shelf going across the top from there to the kitchen cabinets, also piled with stuff. And there were a million things hanging from it and surrounding it. It was a clutter nightmare.
I realized that I like sleek and neat, and this was the biggest change that needed to be made. A friend suggested that I put everything on the shelf in containers, when possible, to give eyes a place to relax, instead of constant clutter, and I tried that and it has made a world of a difference- 10 days after doing this and my shelves are still as neat, because everything has a place to go! I also reorganized my cabinets to find room to put the extra stuff that were hanging off and around here so that we could get rid of the shelf across the top.

I may end up painting this, or decorating either the shelves or the containers, but for now, its a vast improvement over how it was beforehand.

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The kitchen counters- again, previously a major clutterfest with so many things living on the counter, so many pots hanging down from the top, a hanging dishrack. It looked horrible. I found a new home for everything that had been on the counter other than coffee/tea stuff, soaps, and a dishrack, and moved almost all the pots and pans to over the stove- at least its recessed there, and all in one place, so it looks less bad.

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Oops, didn't mean for that garbage can to be in the picture.
Meant to move it out of the way...

This homemade shoe box/couch was covered in a pastel pink which I hated; I just covered it with some grey fabric, and then sewed these fun and easy pillows from a sheet a friend gave me (same one who gave me the throw). It was so easy, but such a change! It's easy to find affordable bedding sets, so dressing up the bedrooms shouldn't be much work either.

And in the bathroom, whose door is to the left, I made matching curtains to those pillows, to hide the clutter on the bathroom shelves.

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Organizing these bookshelves made such a huge difference- there was so much junk sitting on it, so many books where they shouldn't be- now that it's organized, it just looks so much better. And the new tablecloth and flower vases make it even more perfect.

And... that's it for the pics!

But... to get the full effect, I'm gonna have to embarrass myself and post before pictures (taken this past July- wasn't easy to find pics honestly, since I tried not to photograph the place, I hated how it looked so much).

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Eek! I told you it was bad! But at least it's so much better now, and you can see what a huge change I made... Such a different feel to the room, and for so little money too!

Coming up I have posts on:
How I made my couch slipcover for my Ikea Solsta.
How I made my own tablecloth and why

But wow, I think that's it for now!

If you like this, you'll like my other home makeover posts as well:

Did you ever decide that you needed a home makeover, and pronto? How long from when you decided to do that till it was done? For me, it wasn't even a thought in my mind January 1st, and look where we are now.
How much did your home makeover cost you?
Are you proud of your house? How would you describe your decorating style?


  1. I like it! There are parts of my house that I love, and then parts that are functional only...

    1. My kitchen is designed by me and it is lovely... The living room is a pile of things we had for cheap or free that I don't really love, and our bedroom is somewhere in between... The paint and some of the furniture is just how I like it but the slapped together computer desk and the mattress on box springs on the floor I find less appealing :-)

    2. And since I am totally the world's nosiest person I am trying to zoom in on your bookshelves and see what titles you have :-)

  2. You did a great job on those tab top curtains. I have been sewing for a long time and I think they are kinda tricky.

    1. Thank you! What do you think is the trickiest part of top tab curtains?

  3. looks awesome, i love how you transformed it!

  4. I know this should be so easy, but how did you declutter? My apt. looks like your before pictures. How do I get it to look like the afters?

    1. Essentially, its by deciding that I'll be happier without something than with it. I went through all my stuff and asked myself "Did I use this at all in the last year?" If no, unless I had a specific reason why I didn't use it, that will go away soon, I gave it away, because the likelihood of using something that i haven't touched in a year wasn't high. I especially got rid of things that I can't see myself having a specific need for at a specific time. The one thing that made it easier was that i didnt just dump things in the trash- i posted most of them for giveaway on a local group so i didnt feel it was going to waste, but rather, someone who would appreciate it more than i did is now using it, and that made it easier to part with.

  5. I think you've made an incredible use of the space! Love how neatly organized it all is ��.

    1. Thank you! Now I just need to fix the bedrooms... Because they're still a nightmare, even if they're better than before.

    2. Ah well, one room at a time right? :)

  6. This is amazing. What a difference! And inspiring...I love the paintings over the shoebox couch.

    The closest we've ever gotten to remodeling the inside of our house (as opposed to structural work, which had to be done) is moving the furniture around once a year. We're lucky though, more room to move furniture around.

    Really incredible job, and I'm going to stare at the craft stuff bookcase and do the same thing to it that you did...containers!

  7. It looks like you mostly decluttered (and did a fantastic job!). The couch covers, new tablecloth and curtains are nice, but the decluttering made the biggest difference. You probably couldn't do a massive makeover since you're still renting.

  8. I think tidying up made all the difference! We're trying to do the same here. You may have addressed this before, but where do the kids play when they're inside? Mostly at the table or on the floor?

  9. Great job! Doesn't getting rid of stuff and organizing feel great? It makes my head feel organized and my whole mood better. We recently moved which was a great opportunity to get into all the drawers and closets and only take along what we needed. I made 12 large trips to Goodwill to donate the excess junk!

  10. Great job. I'm inspired. I would recommend using a sheet to hang in front of your pantry. It would give a nice pop of color without breaking the bank. If your like me, you want your pantry to be organized perfectly, with all matching pretty containers which cost too much. So a sheet would be a cheap alternative. Perhaps even a sari from ebay.

  11. I've got family coming which is all I need to get off my tushie and finish my projects and spring cleaning. Wish me luck. I hope to achieve what you just did.

  12. Well done! Looks cosy :)

  13. Hi Penny! Love how you were able to maximize the space and make the areas functional. The painting added a lot of personality too :)


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