Budget Friendly Home Design: Work with What You Have

Today we are talking about working with what you have! We had completely different content planned this week, but as Lucy (our team videographer) was working on her space we started having conversations that we thought were more important to share, especially with the new year upon us. As we’re cleaning out all the clutter and getting organized for 2018 this is the perfect time to rework things. Magazines and Instagram tell you that you must take down walls and put in new floors for a true transformation. Although I love a good demo day before and after, I’m ready to bust that myth and inspire you to start where you are.

Here are our three tips to starting where you are:


This is not a new concept, but it’s something that slips your mind as your scrolling through Pinterest attempting to decorate your home. Lucy was in a slump for a while about her space. As her friend I regularly received phone calls sharing how ‘uninspired’ she was with her space. All of the hook ups for the TV were on the back wall, which is the first thing you see when you enter the room. When you place the TV there, naturally your couch (she has a large sectional) goes right in front of it. This made it to where you walked into the back of the couch when you walked in. There was enough space for it and it wasn’t horrible looking, but it made a large open living room look crammed and a little awkward. There had to be another way!

Moving the couch to the other wall, placing the TV on the opposite side and pulling out a few old picture frames and filling them with photos on a simple DIY shelf that covered the old TV box totally transformed the space. Like HGTV before and after transformed. It just took a little playing and reworking to make it happen. It’s crazy that something as simple as a cable box hook up can throw us in a box as far as design goes. This leads us to the next rule…


Lucy’s design choices also reminded me of another great rule that I love in all areas of life: break the rules. Her living room opens up into a formal dining room. There is an awesome light fixture and a big, beautiful window there, but it didn’t make sense for their family to have a formal dining. They have a big table in their breakfast nook off the kitchen that works perfect for every day dinners and gathering with friends. Rather than forcing something that their family didn’t need in that season, Lucy found a free piano, an awesome Craigslist find, that she chalk painted white and put it in the space. Not only does her sweet Presley love to play the piano, but the space now looks intentional and not like a random, empty dining room. Breaking the rules on the dining room and where the TV was intended to go in Lucy’s home was a true game changer.


My last bit of advice is sometimes hard to swallow, especially when you’re taking a budget friendly approach. If something isn’t working, it’s just not working whether you made then investment or not. I’ve shared Lucy’s breakfast nook many times on Instagram and I always get questions on it. Although we LOVE shiplap and all it can do for a space, it wasn’t working for Lucy here. It cost time and many, but it came down this weekend and it was such a relief for her. Whether you paid to mount the TV on the wall to hide the cords or you failed at shiplap, if it’s not working you have permission to move it and make it work for YOUR FAMILY.

Your home is where you come to rest. It’s where you make memories and spend so much of your time. Make it a space that’s special to your family. This often takes a little creativity, but it’s worth working and reworking to create something unique for you. Whether you’re in your first apartment or you’ve lived in many homes, I believe you can make your house a home with an budget! It’s all about being intentional.

Do you have any tips on working with what you have? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

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