Hey all! I haven’t seen you in a while! It has been a whirlwind over here but things are settling down and I am paving a way to help teach you how to live abundantly with out spending abundantly!
We have been so fixated on the future that we forget to enjoy the now. So, rather than living in a limbo land, we decided to create our own slice of heaven until we have the ability to buy a hefty slice of land!
I didn’t necessarily want to spend a lot of money on a renovation since we are selling the house eventually, so I thought it would be fun to make a challenge for myself to see if we could come out under budget.
I set Aside $6000 and this was what I had to work with to renovate the dining room, kitchen, family room, hallways, and our upstairs bedroom. If you have shopped for furniture you know that a mattress and a couch alone would blow us right past $6000. This was not going to be easy!
Mattress: We decided to go with an affordable memory foam from purple. I have not been waking up a complete cripple so I think so far so good!
Furniture: We hardly spend any time in our bedroom. We are just there to sleep so I did not see any point in spending a ton of money on a fancy bedroom set. I found a metal bed frame for $140, got some cheap night stands and lamps, found a giant amazing photo to hang and called it a day. I didnt find any comforters I liked so I got a cover for our existing heavy wolf blanket that my husband purchased in Kwait while he was in the military. It doesn’t stay put so we have to pin it inside, but thats not that big of a deal. For 34 bucks, i’ll deal with it.
Budget: $1500 (Including mattress)
It is nothing fancy but it suits us just fine!
FLOORING & BASEBOARD
Since installing the flooring would add value to the house, we wanted to go an official route here with a lifetime warranty. We went to a Bargain Outlet and found Vinyl Planks in exactly what we wanted at $2.29/sq.ft. We weren’t going to need subfloor, so that was our cost. Plus 10% off (Thank you for your service Josh!!)
For baseboard molding, I wanted SIMPLE and easy to clean. Those complicated looking ones have too many spaces for dust to hide and I ain’t got time for that. Again, bargain outlet delivered on already primed baseboards, SOLD.
The only cost of labor was time (hence being so behind on everything, but SO worth it!) as we did everything ourselves. We borrowed a saw from my uncle and a couple small things but no major purchases needed there!
This left us $3000 for everything else…
LIVING ROOM/DINING ROOM
We planned on all new furniture minus a couple things here and there. We were able to repurpose our old pieces into other things. For example, I wanted a shelf to serve as our pantry, so we took the bookcase into the basement, and BAM, new pantry. I was also looking to build something to set in front of my bike in the basement so I could rest my water and watch my iPad while I ride. Our old coffee server from the dining room was the perfect height. Again, done!
The old couch was beyond repair and unfortunately taken to the dump. My eco-friendly heart sunk when Josh told me they took it. I was hoping there was a way recycle or repurpose it. So much for being friendly to the environment! Maybe someone will see it somewhere and pick it up, I hope!
The new stuff:
Now, where to get brand new furniture on the cheap. Have you discovered discount retail warehouses? I am sure they are all over the US. We have at least 3 or 4 near us. They are giant warehouses that get truck loads of overstock items, or if someone cancels an order while the item is in transit, rather than send it back to the company, they ship them off to these warehouses to sell. Once in a while its an item returned due to some type of flaw, but those are usually easy to fix. The warehouses then sell the items for pennies on the dollar. It is absolutely marvelous. The only con is that you have to be patient and keep going back until you find something you like. Luckily we found our couch and dining room table by the second trip!
The second I saw the couch I knew it was mine. It was in the last room all the way in the back. It would have been easy to miss if I didn’t walk all the way in. Josh just happened to be standing in the back waiting to talk to someone. Thinking we were going home empty handed, I walked over to him to say, “eh, lets just go, we can come back next week” when I looked down and yelped “OMG, thats our couch!” I was prepared to dump $1200 on a couch knowing that even a sectional on a massive discount would still cost around that at the warehouse. BUT, when I asked the price of this one they said $650!!! UHHHH YEAH, SOLD! I feel like the universe really wanted me to have this couch.
We also saw a dining room table set with six chairs that we both immediately gushed over. It was a $1400 dollar dining set. I really only wanted to spend a couple hundred on a dining room table. If we couldn’t find one for that cheap then we would live with the old one. This one was fancy from Ashley’s Signature collection so I was prepared to walk away when Josh asked them how much. We saw the same one in another warehouse and they were asking $650 so we figured we were just asking for the heck of it. When the guy said $300 if you are buying the couch with my jaw dropped to the floor and knew we couldn't pass this up. We just got Over $3000 worth of furniture for $950 flat. Tax was included! Right there alone gave us WAY more room to work with when it came to the budget!
We wanted to go neutral for two reasons. One: indoor photos turn out way better with neutral walls, and Two, we need to sell the house at some point and we would have to repaint at that point so might as well do it now. I searched all the local hardware stores and found a great deal at a smaller chain called Valu. They had Pratt and Lambert on sale and the company was offering a rebate, so we got it for half off! When it comes to paint, unless you go oopsie, you can’t do much better than that. They were able to color the paint to match the Sherwin Williams colors we picked out! COOL!
We are in no way finished with decorating the house but keep following along on Instagram to check in with the cool finds I stumble upon.
REPURPOSE THE TV STAND TO A SOFA TABLE
I didnt want to get rid of the TV stand so Raven suggested getting new legs for it and turning it into a sofa table. GENIUS! It worked amazing!
DINING ROOM DECOR
I always knew I wanted help with decorating my house since I have a hard time making decisions. My husbands best friend’s wife just started her interior design business which led to plans for a visit! (Hence the insane pace at which we had to work and get the major stuff done) She has been helping me with EVERYTHING. She showed me so many neat tricks to repurpose things, do things on the cheap etc. I thought I was good at saving money but this gal takes the cake! You need to follow her on IG @ravenburgosdesign
I was going to go with all shades of blue for the entire downstairs, but there were some things from the old family room that I just couldn’t get rid of. We thought they would fit in the dining room so we let those pieces dictate our color scheme. Moving art work or decor to another room around different furniture with different colored walls makes them practically brand new!
I dont have any actual before photos of the dining room since that decision came about after we started tearing everything up. The only thing I have in the dining room is with Mr. Finnick when he was about 8 months old!
We were not about to gut the kitchen. I liked the white cupboards and our appliances are only four years old I didn’t see a reason to do anything major in there other than paint and add backsplash. I priced the tiles out and budgeted about $200 bucks for the kitchen. All the tiles I found were either too busy, or were individual tiles that I just did not feel like dealing with. I wanted something simple and light. I sent some ideas to Raven and she came back with a link to Wallpops and turned me on to this Vinyl wall paper. It was perfect and super inexpensive. We were able to do a backsplash for 40 bucks!!! LOVE IT! I didn’t have to instal it because Raven did it while I was at work. Did I mention she is AMAZING!?
I forgot to take before pictures of the kitchen so you'll just have to use your imagination as to what it looked like before!
That’s it for the kitchen until I can get in there and do some massive organizing!
SO, thats it for now! Keep checking back on instagram to follow the progress! I am just pretty pumped about how its turning out so far!
HERE IS A SUMMARY LIST OF ALL THE WAYS WE SAVED MONEY:
-Shop at discount retailer warehouses
-Move decor to another room to make it feel “new” again
-Repurpose furniture for other uses, or turn it into something else
-Purchase based on need: if you dont spend a lot of time in particular room, theres no sense on getting the best of the best
-Make something that doesn’t work at the moment work for you
-LESS IS MORE! You don't need a ton of randomness to fill space. Keep things with meaning, donate the rest!
See y'all again soon!
Have a happy and prosperous day!