Archive | Reader challenge RSS feed for this section


2 Sep


I am finally finished with my “$200 or less makeover challenge”, Yippee!!! It took a lot longer than I thought, but I am pleased with the results. You’ll be happy to know that the $200 I gave myself to spend was quite more than enough. See below for my breakdown of cost, but for now check out my “before and afters”.

The first thing I wanted to do was make a plan for the wall decor. I took a mirror I have had since college (it was gold with crackle paint) and painted it white. Then I took sandpaper and lightly distressed it. I did the same with some Ikea candle sconces I had lying around.


Then I just had to try out this new “studio style” trend. This means to hang your art at different levels (kind of a collage of art that has grown as you hang your masterpieces, as you would do in an art studio). I took wallpaper samples I had from discontinued wallpaper books and framed them with frames I already had. I especially love the fruit topiary wallpaper. It looks so french! I cut out a metallic damask pattern and pasted it to the corners of the small square frame and placed stripes of fabric inside. The mirrors I found at a yard sale for $1.00 for all three. I drew a sketch of the hanging plan before I went hammering holes in the wall. However, this was still the easiest hanging job I have ever done, because nothing had to be level. I love “studio style”. I posted previously about my lovely “french chicken wire lampshade”. I bought it at work for $29.00.


Then came the all important window treatments. As you can see above, the old silk panels were fading and to dark. This room has a full sliding glass door, so the window treatments needed to be light and blend. Changing the window treatments from a dark, bold color, to a soft, subtle linen made all the difference!!


This orange wall was the bane of my existence! I hated it sooo much. I matched the soft linen color of the other wall and just painted the one wall. I spent $24.00 on paint and supplies.  The walls being all one color and light made the room feel twice as big.


Then it was on to the clean up of this mess I called a desk. How I was ever inspired, I will never know. First I dealt with the UGLY table. I bought 4 legs at Ikea at $10.00 each. Then I wallpapered the top with a lovely “tone on tone” art nouveau pattern wallpaper I had leftover from a display at work. I made a skirt (to cover the unsightly cords) with a luxurious silk. I pleated it with a staple gun underneath the table and then attached a pretty blue polka-dot ribbon in each pleat with Velcro for contrast. Now I actually like sitting at my desk!


As you see, I covered the entire door with white grommet panels I had previously. I moved the rod as close as I could to the ceiling to add height to the room. I love the window treatments, and they are all from Ikea!! The white lets so much light in the room. It no longer feels like a cave.


I bought the rod at “Ross dress for less”. Yup, and for only $15.oo!


Here is a better picture of the desk skirt.


I picked up a couple of urns for $10.00 each.


See the cute blue polka-dot ribbon, isn’t it cute. I love the wallpaper on the desk top. It blends to nicely.


I know the carpet is an issue. I am working on it though. I have one philosophy I have learned to follow. Never buy just because it is a deal, only buy if you love it. I haven’t found a rug I love yet, so I haven’t bought one.


So here is the cost breakdown.

Paint and supplies $24.00

Table legs $40.00

Curtain rod $15.00

Lampshade $29.00

Mirrors $1.00

Desk accessories $20.00

Total- $129.00

Wow, I have money leftover!! I think I will spend the remainder on some perfectly soft robin’s egg blue candles for my sconces (I don’t have any because I am being picky about the color), and some lovely flowers for my desk. Oh, and some Starbucks to give me energy after this project. So I hope this inspires you to do a little brainstorming to figure out how you can transform a room by moving things around in your home and finding great deals that really are out there. It does take time, but it is so worth it.


An amazing makeover!!

25 Aug



A few weeks ago I challenged myself to makeover a room in my home for $200 or less. I could pull anything from my home I already owned (as long as I am not making the room I pulled from ugly!!) and spend a total of $200 or less for the entire room. I decided to challenge my readers to do the same. I called it the “$200 or less room makeover challenge”. I got a couple responses from my readers saying they would accept my challenge. Yesterday, I received my first “before and after’s” of an amazing makeover from Britt over at A Penny Saved, and I was truly blown away. She spent almost half the allotted amount and the transformation is truly fabulous. Above is the before of Britt’s dining room. Not to bad huh? Simple, yet lacking a little interest. Well, obviously Britt was thinking on the same wavelength because look at the after.





recovered-chair-with-pleateWow, wow, um wow! Are you saying this with me? You may be wandering how she could afford a beautiful damask wallpaper on such a little budget. Well, that ain’t wallpaper my friend. She hand sketched and painted the entire room following an extremely expensive damask wallpaper she fell in love with from Farrow and Ball. I love it. I think she is so brave to attempt it, because I would be terrified I would get it crooked! She made the curtains herself, lining them with queen sheets, added a lamp on the buffet and a few ceramic apples (so well placed). She used a buffet, rug, table and chairs, and mirror she already had, but did you notice the chair makeover. A pleated skirt was added to the seats using a staple gun, not a sewing machine (click here to see how she did it). That’s right a staple gun!!  So her grand total…$109.00. Well done Britt, you are so creative and inspiring!! Go check out her blog! It is full of creative ideas such as these! I am so glad I did this makeover challenge so I could have the privilege to share with you Britt’s creative ideas and fabulous blog.

If anyone else is working on their makeover room and wants to send me the pics send them to

Can’t wait to show you my makeover next!

Items bought before moving:

Items bought/made for this room:
Drapes and hardware – $30 for the homemade drapes and $15 for the hardware
Lamp – $20 from craigslist
Chair makeover – $8
Ceramic apples – $6
Mural – $30
Total = $109

Today’s the Day!

24 Aug




















image via Swish and Swanky

Todays the day!! Get your pictures in for the $200 or less room makeover challenge”. Hope you guys were good and got your projects finished! Can’t wait to see them and start the “Makeover face-off”.

send pics to

Which Wallpaper?

22 Aug



Ok, I am down to the last project in my “$200 or less room makeover challenge”. I am making-over my desk table. The table is a ridiculously old/ugly table I bought at Goodwill in college. I have painted it, and painted again, and again. Now I have another great plan to make this table beautiful again.  I am going to wallpaper the wooden table top with one of these two leftover wallpaper scraps I have. I am then going to give it new table legs from Ikea. You can see a picture of the legs below (I am hoping they still have these at my local Ikea, because they have been recently discontinued but I really love them). So here is where you come in. I want to let my readers pick the wallpaper for the table top. Not that I can’t pick the one I like more. I am always very decisive, but I think it would be fun to see what you guys think (since I kinda really do like both of them). So which wallpaper should I choose? The first one is a lovely Art Nouveau pattern with yummy creams and silvers. It would be great in any room. The second one is a cute mod flower pattern with pink and cream flowers in a tone on tone polka dot print. It would be so fun and cute.  So, will you help me pick?


 pic via Ikea Hacker

Don’t forget to get your pictures of your “$200 or less makeover challenge” room in. Click here for info on this fun challenge. Can’t wait to see what you guys have come up with.

“$200 or Less Room Makeover” Reminder

18 Aug




Just a reminder, once again, that the deadline for the “$200 or less room makeover” is coming up Aug. 24th. Have your pictures sent in and explain your makeover process with your total expenditure calculated by Aug. 24th, then we will cast a vote to see who wins the “$200 or less room makeover challenge”. It can be any room, even a bathroom or closet. We need creative, economic ideas for every space in our house, these days. Click here for the full explanation of rules and details. 

image via Anne Coyle

I heart chicken wire, when used as decor and not chicken coops of course!

12 Aug


I just bought the greatest shade I think I have ever seen. I got it at a great deal, because it is going in my “$200 or less makeover room” (that’s right this is a sneak peek)! I love the chicken wire front and the hictoric shield shape. Note my lovely etsy pillow (for sale at my etsy shop Design Fabulous), sitting in my favorite armchair I purchased at the thrift store.


Another sneak peek!


I simply love chicken wire in decor. There are all kinds of great uses for it. Don’t you just love all these great chicken wire pieces?





chicken wire and fabric country living_thumb[1]



So unique, this cuff is so adorable. Kinda goth/french country?!? Never knew there was such a thing.







Just as way of reminder, the $200 or less room makeover challenge is underway. Click here for details

pics via 1:Me 2: Me 3: Rocky Bella 4: Design Mom 5: The Faded Cottage 6: Censational Girl 7: Craft Side 8: Modern Home Design 9: Velvet and Linen 10: Ullabenulla

“$200 Makeover Your Room Challenge” Reminder

7 Aug


Just a reminder about the $200 Makeover your room challenge. Hope a lot of you participate and make it such a fun and creative experience. For more rules and information click here “Makeover Challenge”. Have a great weekend!

image via Anne Coyle

Great Idea from My Reader

3 Aug


pic via Mikelle Auman-Williams

I was given a great idea from one of my readers, Mikelle at, to challenge my readers to the same challenge I have made for myself. Remake a room in your home for $200.00 or less. Are you up for the challenge?!? So here are the rules I gave myself. Remake one room in your home. You may purchase anything for the room, not to exceed $200.00 total. You may use anything you already own in your home (as long as you aren’t making the room you take it from ugly, because that would defeat the point – DON’T CHEAT, HONOR CODE). So those are your rules too. Send me your pics and explain your process, by August 24th. I will choose my pics for top three “before and afters”. Then we will put it to a vote. Who will be the winner? It is anyone’s game. Good luck, and let the creativity begin!