How to rejuvenate your home on a budget – part 1

Dear Diary

I have seen this so many times in my career in interior design.  People falling out of love with their homes and even resorting to phrases like ” I hate my house”.  This, is such a project.  Today I share inexpensive ideas on how to rejuvenate your home on a budget and to go from “I hate my house; to I love my house again!”  We sometimes get so busy living life and its day-to-day challenges raising kids, work and doing the necessary life things, that keeping a home pretty falls a bit down the list of important things to do….  This home did not get the attention due to this very fact and over the years became dated and my client thought it was a total lost cause.  She thought she would have to start over, spending a fortune to have a pretty space again, and therefore never really did anything because of budget….. that was until she met me πŸ˜‰

The Foyer makeover

My first impression: Great space, beautiful crown mouldings, good wall colour, stunning tiles and high ceilings.  She already had the console table and  I asked her to bring me everything she had in storage. I also raided the house and cupboards to find treasures, she did not even thought could be used. But first:- A little de-cluttering! It is a great starting point always as it gives you a blank canvas. 


Rejuvenate your home


Wow, what an entry to this home! Let see how I got here…

The mirror and lamps and flowers was found on a sale.  The artwork was her grannie’s so it got a special place in the little wall niche and gave a stunning pop of colour that I repeated in the flowers. She feels so happy seeing this artwork everyday, as it reminds her of her grandma, she just never knew what to do with it.   The insides of the lampshades are gold, creating this wonderful warm, welcoming glow.  


The lamps caused me some headaches with the cables and timer to be seen from the door, so I borrowed a piano chair to hide that horrible mess.  (I have found a gorgeous little ottoman on Gumtree (Craig’s list) in the meantime that will be re-upholstered in a striking colour to replace the little piano stool.)

The trick here was to add a little glamour and a high-end feeling.  How?  by using glass and “sparkly” items.  Note the mirror is a very inexpensive type.  No frame, just a bevelled edge.  Very inexpensive lamps with a glass and chrome base that accentuated the crystal vase she had.   (It was a 21st birthday gift!) Paired with the flowers in doesn’t look inexpensive does it?  πŸ™‚ Mirrors are such versatile pieces to decorate with.  In this space, it reflects the study it faces, but also reflects light back into the dark part of the foyer.  It is a great place to quickly check your lipstick before you leave the house, but mostly, It ALWAYS looks classy!

Next on the rejuvenate list: A confused space…

Her builder told her this will be her atrium…..Ahem….Atrium??? What?

Definition of an atrium:- a sky-lit central court in a contemporary building or house. Main or central room of an ancient Roman house, open to the sky at the center and usually having pool for the collection of rain water……..Ok? so this is NO ATRIUM people.

There was glass sliding doors to separate the “atrium” from the rest of the house…..this is located  front of the house, to the right of the foyer.  As you can see… open roof, or skylight nor is it central or have a courtyard feel.  It is just a small room with glass doors. πŸ˜‰ Right.  Doors HAD to go!! (she had no funds to remove the door frame, but with my plan your eyes would not even notice it once the bottom part of the frame is hidden)

Atrium-turned-feminine study nook

Well that’s much better, don’t you agree? I decided to turn this little space into a feminine study for her, as her husband works from home and has a big office, but she doesn’t really have a space of her own.  A small space like this is perfect for a study nook. (its only 7.5 sqft!) So let me explain my thinking process to get this look.

To keep with the sparkly, glossy, black-styled foyer feel, I repeated the design feel in simple steps. 

  • Striking geometric rug draws the eye away from the door frame. (a rubber underlay evens out the height difference)
  • Using a slimline console as a desk so the space does not feel cramped, and really only needed for her laptop, phone and modem.
  • Repeating the sparkly feel on the wall with the wall art and again using another crystal vase I found in a cupboard.
  • Re-using storage ottomans found elsewhere in the home for extra seating and storage off-course!
  • Using a sleek, slim and striking chair as the office chair gave this space a high-end feel.
  • A floor lamp found in another room creates soft light and much-needed ambience in this space.
  • Softening the space with flowers, photo frames and an accent pillow 

The wall art is actually 3 pieces found on Gumtree. (If you really want to decorate on a tiny budget, don’t forget to check second-hand online sites.  You will be amazed at what you can get.  Sometimes the sellers are redecorating, or moving or downsizing and great and sometimes rare items can be found at dirt cheap prices.) The table and chairs are again sale items!

The $10 mirrored picture frames looks much more expensive if placed in the right spot and filled with your beautiful memories! The high gloss reflective surface of the console-desk reflects light and adds to the sparkly high-end feel. The striking black colour scheme pop’s against the light walls and floors and is always very elegant and timeless. This is how you rejuvenate your home on a budget!

This space feels sophisticated, classy and fit for a busy mom.  Here she can escape to do emails, Skype a friend and run a busy home. Looking back towards to front door, this space now is much more cohesive in design and balanced overall feel.  Its elegant and timeless and the best of all, it only cost a tiny amount of money and a little effort finding the sales and treasures.

 This space was my client’s biggest hate, and the reason she wanted to sell her home.  Now, she can’t wait to get home from a day out, and feel like the queen of her castle.  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!  That is such a great feeling.

 As you have seen from the title, this is part one.  I will share more of the house and the simple inexpensive updates in following posts. Till next time, with the next reveal!



Article by Teresa

Australian Interior Designer / Decorator & Photographer. I share my style, my creativity and love for all things decor.

This Article Has 2 Comments
  1. Sue says:

    Love that tiny study. What a step up in class and functional use of space.

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