How to Transform a Space on a Tiny Budget

How to Transform a Space on a Tiny Budget

How to Transform a Space on a Tiny Budget

Our budget was small. Tiny. Like, I have a garden gnome in the backyard, and our budget could have been the gnome’s overcoat it was so small.


So, if you are moving into a complete disaster or you already live in a complete disaster, how can you make it 100% better without spending much money at all?


Paint, my friends, can do wonders. It can make a room look warm and inviting, or cool and relaxing; it can alert you that your hostess just got back from the Caribbean and was inspired (that was me three years ago; our first kitchen was painted bright coral, which I still love and slightly miss), or that your hostess has decided she’d like to try out life as a normal person and takes Joanna Gaines’ advice (me now; I guess we’ll see if I’ll get bored with my super vanilla walls).


Paint Everything—walls, trim, baseboards, ceiling

Painting walls, baseboards, trim, and ceilings can make a room that you once thought needed bulldozing look like it’s already been bulldozed and redone.


Remove blinds

Removing blinds and replacing them with beautiful, flowing curtains can add sophistication to the room.


Buy new light covers & fixtures

Lastly, replacing light covers or fixtures with brand new covers and fixtures can make your room look totally different, too.


And, just to be clear, here are some things I think should never be done in a home:


Brigit’s House Decorating Sins


  1. Carpet: Carpet is too difficult to clean and replace, in my opinion. It’s expensive, too. I’d rather just buy large area rugs and replace those when they’re gross beyond repair or I get tired of the design.
  2. Blinds: There are some beautiful blinds out there, but generally, they’re hard to clean and don’t give off that sophisticated, grand vibe that curtains do.
  3. Wallpaper: Just no.
  4. Painted wood: I don’t like painting wood, but I will if the original wood was either already painted or is so far gone it doesn’t look pretty anymore. Our trim and baseboards were already painted white, so we had to repaint them. Other wood trim and baseboards were in terrible shape, so we chose to paint them. Otherwise, I’d prefer to leave wood trim and baseboards their original woody color, whatever that may be (and you can always re-stain wood).
  5. No Central Air or Heat: Ugh, nothing uglier than a hawking air conditioning unit in the front window, in my book. If you can, get central air and heat. I know it’s not economical, but then just turn it on at night while you’re sleeping or something. Close the vents. Just say no to AC units.



Living & Dining Room Before:



Living & Dining Room After Painting Everything:

IMG_4032 (1) IMG_4023 (1)

P.S. What is up with that wall? Someone just cut out a chunk of it and decided everyone thereafter would have appropriate buffets and china cabinets that would fit? I’m still not sure what to do about this….

IMG_4030 IMG_4033



The floors were in good condition in the living and dining room, so we didn’t sand them. We did, however, wash them about ten times with rags and Murphy’s Oil. A mop doesn’t cut it—you have to get on your hands and knees and scrub your little heart out to really get the crud off.


We also took down the awning over the front windows. When my dad first saw the house he said, “There’s no light! This place is so dark!” and while he’s usually right about everything construction/home related, he was wrong about the light. After we took down the awning and blinds, the house is luminous. It’s almost too bright at times.


So, don’t despair. If you walk into a home, apartment, or even look around your own place and think it should just be torn down, rethink it. Put on your paint suit, grab your old rags, and get to work. Because it can be beautiful again.


And I promise, that smell will go away.



Next post: painting the front door, wrought-iron railings, and pulling up carpeting


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My goal is to help you become more organized so that you can spend your time in meaningful ways.
The Container Store
The Container Store