before and after · diy · home · home decor · Uncategorized

Broke Gal Chronicles: Budget Home Make-Overs & Before & Afters

If there is one thing I absolutely love more than coffee and my pug, it’s home improvements on a budget. Whether it’s re-upholstering barstools off Craigslist, refinishing a table found on the side of the road or something as simple as buying new blinds and curtains on the cheap. I am obsessed with home projects and décor and all things thrift store related. I have mentioned some previous projects in my homeownership post, but I figured I would share some more fun projects that I have completed with the help of my awesome family and friends.

I want to preface all of this by saying that I have a very eclectic style and a smaller size home. I would describe my style as Boho-vintage-cottage with a touch of whimsy. I love color, knick knacks and anything that is vintage, antique or just has a story in general. Listen, I love Joanna Gaines and the “shabby chic” farmhouse style that she has completely mastered. The minimalistic, all-white and gold accent trend that all the YouTubers seem to adore these days? I feel that too. I really do have a true appreciation for many different kinds of home décor and style.


Because of this, my home does not really have a “theme”. However, each room does nicely flow into the next and really reflects my personal style. My house was built in 1940 and is 650 square feet. So I needed it to be functional while not compromising my style. To me, I made my space practical while still making room for the home décor and furnishings I loved. My friends and family walk into my house and say, “Yep, this is you.” In my opinion, that is what home-decorating is all about. It should be a solid reflection of your tastes while maintaining a functional living space that comes together well.

Ya’ll have already seen the process of redoing my screened-in porch, painting an accent wall in my living room and adding a breakfast bar nook in the kitchen. These next few projects were slightly less involved but still made a huge difference in my living space.

When it comes to revamping tables of any kind, I always turn to my mom. Not only is she the Chalk Paint Queen, but she knows exactly what cleaners, oils, stains, paints, etc. are needed for really any type of furniture. She has helped me immensely with all of these. Shout out to Tammy!


We found this vintage cabinet in a thrift store called Secondhand Sandy’s. It was covered in cob webs and dirt and one of the glass panes was broken. But it was $20 so we didn’t care. I decided that this would be perfect to put under my TV to hold all my cable and WiFi stuff.

Right around this time, Hurricane Hermine came through Florida and we lost power for days. With nothing else to do, we decided to tackle this thing.

After much scrubbing with hot water, we got it as clean as we could and sanded it down.


I decided to use lavender chalk paint. I thought the color paired well with the melon color accent wall and other orangey pink motifs in the living room. My mom first introduced me to chalk paint and it truly is the best. It applies so smoothly and opaque and just looks lovely when it’s dry. We painted just the outside and the doors leaving the inside of the cabinet as is. 2 coats later…


Last, we buffed some transparent wood wax onto the cabinet. This added a protective layer to the wood and also really drew out the lavender color. I bought a pack of cheap knobs off Amazon for around $6 and…tada! It literally fit perfectly and turned out even better than expected.


As for the side table, I actually found it on the side of the road. #FortheFree! I previously painted it blue and yellow but it was in dire need of an upgrade. I used the same technique and chalk paint as before.

I bought some different knobs from TJ Maxx for $5 to use for this though. I just liked the milk glass look of them.


One of my favorite pieces in my home is my Granny’s curio cabinet. I always loved it and she no longer wanted it so I happily inherited. It was in pretty good condition overall but the glass siding and shelves did need a good Windex shower.

For this, I decided to just use some paint that I already had. I had some white interior paint and the leftover melon color from the living room. Since I had way more of the white, we painted the inside and outside of the curio with that and painted only the doors with the melon shade.


I used a razor blade to scrape off any excess paint that accidentally got onto the glass and chose to use the same milk glass knobs as the side table. I put it in my second bedroom a.k.a. my girly “beauty” room. Since I live alone and not with the boyfriend just yet, I wanted to relish in a whole room dedicated to just girly AF shit.


Another table I got from my granny was a 1920s typewriter table. The top is wood with an adjustable tier top and the base is cast iron with wheels. It was so freakin’ neat but in such bad shape. I get my love for antiques from my dad. So he naturally loved this table too, and decided to tackle cleaning it. When he returned it to me, it looked a million times better than before. The table definitely still looked used but isn’t that the beauty of antiques?

I sanded it down and applied a few coats of a dark wood stain. Then I painted a coat of clear gloss over it and let it dry completely. I thought it looked perfect next to this armchair to create a cute little reading corner.


Two of my favorite pieces that got an extreme makeover were my barstools for the breakfast area. My kitchen has black iron detailing throughout so I wanted to go along with that idea for the stools. I also needed them to be tall because my bar top was pretty high. I found a solid pair on Craigslist for $30. The only downside were the cushions. They were cheetah mixed with palm trees and were just plain hideous. So I decided I wanted them reupholstered and went on a fabric hunt.


This was somewhat fun and somewhat daunting. My kitchen has blush pink floor tiles and dark green counter tops. Not sure who originally came up with that color combo, but I needed a pattern that was going to tie everything together. I finally found the right fabric at Hobby Lobby for only $7.


This is where I recruited my mom’s bestie and home connoisseur, Curtis. He can seriously craft any craft and conquer any project. I first touched up the stools with some matte black spray paint and then Curt proceeded to work his magic. He replaced the ugly tropic jungle fabric with my new pretty floral one. He also added some padding to the stools so that they sat higher up.


They were the best finishing touch to the kitchen. I adore them so much.


Lastly, I absolutely had to do something about my bedroom. The blinds that came with the house were old and dingy. They did block out a lot of light which was nice in the early mornings, but…Number 1. They were red. Number 2. They made my room look too dark at all times. I wanted my room to be bright, inviting and overall relaxing.


What is more light and bright than white? See what I did there? Teehee. Anyway, I already had white bedding and wanted to keep it. White is just crisp, clean and will never go out of style. Of course, now I have little black puggie hairs all over my duvet but I can completely overlook that because he owns my heart.

Like I said before, I really love metal accents and have them scattered throughout my entire home. So, with all that in mind, I decided I wanted white wooden blinds with sheer white flowy curtains and gold curtain rods. I found a pair of curtains off Amazon for $7 and I bought the curtain rods at Target for around $10 each. Then I had to trek on to Lowe’s. I loathe Lowe’s or really any hardware store. I always have and there really is no good reason for it. So I sucked it up and picked out my blinds for around $20 each.


I took out the dusty old blinds and my dad installed the new ones for me. Once the new rods and curtains were up, I fell in love with my room all over again.


More natural light could shine through now which really opened up the space. It was so much more dreamier and cozier. I added a few more gold touches and just like that it felt complete.


I have really learned to embrace the little quirks throughout my home. Even with the pink and green color combos, teeny closets and a stove that’s half the normal size. I love that it holds such a long history and tells a story. It can be fun and challenging to work with a small unique space. But I have learned to work with what you’ve got and love what you have. So next time you are in need of a new piece of furniture or want to update something you already own, leave the put-it-together-yourself shit for the birds. Visit a local secondhand store, save a buck or two and let your creativity flow!


4 thoughts on “Broke Gal Chronicles: Budget Home Make-Overs & Before & Afters

  1. A lovely environment for you and Po. I particularly like how you’ve painted the one wall in a pinkish shade and the mirror accents. Isn’t it nice to come home to a beautifully decorated home – and a pug? Always makes me happy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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