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Design Makeover On A Dime
By: Suzanne Olden

Living well on a budget. Don’t we all want to? I recently embarked on a home improvement project that spruced up an empty room for about $150. Here’s the lowdown: My daughter decided that she wanted to use her bedroom for all her different artistic endeavors: ballet, drawing and music. The problem? We, like everyone else, are on a tight budget. So how do I keep my daughter happy while being able to give her what she wants? Happily, I managed both.

First chose a paint color that your child likes. My daughter picked out three colors, pink, purple and blue, and then talked me into painting stripes. I taped, and painted and re-taped and painted. My biggest splurge was using Sherwin Williams paint. In my opinion (and the opinion of a contractor friend) they have the best and most durable paint on the market.
2 gallons and 1 quart later, that cost me around $60.

Off to Home Depot I went to get supplies and ceiling paint. That ran about another $40. For ceiling paint I got the Glidden paint that goes on pink and turns white when it dries. Note: Walmart and Target also have lower cost paint departments where you can stock up on the basic paint supplies like trays, tape and brushes.

Still with me? We also had to put up a dance barre (ok, so her Dad will do that one). The mirrors will be next and voile, a fine arts room. Another great idea for a shoestring budget is wall decal art that can be found at a store like Target for around $12. Or look for a cool new comforter bedding set from Ross or TJ Maxx for about $40 to $50 depending on the size of the bed. Add some cute throw pillows for another $20. A small table lamp runs about $12. at Walmart. Even better- hunt for vintage treasures in antique and resale shops! You save money while helping the earth!

My last trip entailed buying 8’10” of railing (for the dance barre) and 4 mounting brackets. $50. We are having a glass and mirror company come in and put up mirrors. As soon as they are up, we’re good to go! Are we finished yet? Almost- the finishing touch is a drafting table that I got from Michaels for half price! I didn’t include that in the budget above because it was an “extra”. Fine arts indeed! My daughter loves her new room and we didn’t go broke doing it for her.

With a little cash and some elbow grease you can have a “new” room in a snap. If you aren’t the crafty type, most home improvement stores have free classes on how to do things. Go on, try it and see!

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