Personal Finance

How to redo a room without remorse

I should really stop watching HGTV. Every time I do, I want to remodel or redecorate a room in my house. And each time I’m reminded how hard it can be to find new furniture and decorations at affordable prices.

This week I want to share a few DIY tricks and inexpensive ways to revamp your home. Sometimes all it takes for a refreshing new look is a few dollars and your good ideas (or someone else’s). Pinterest, anyone?

The DIY ideas are limitless on Pinterest,

. Everything from homemade throw pillows that give a couch some fresh "pop," to simple table runners that spice up your dining room, to DIY headboards that can transform a bedroom.

Here’s one of my simple favorites: picture frames. I stock up anytime I see them for a good price, because you can use them for so many things — not just pictures — in every room in the house. I have a big frame in my kitchen, with nothing inside but a colorful piece of card stock. I use colored dry-erase markers on the glass for grocery lists, reminders, etc., and it adds a great look while keeping my life on track.

You can often find other kinds of frame for next to nothing. (I’m talking discarded windows, ideally the grid style.) I’ve seen these recycled into beautiful decorations adorned with family photos or memorabilia. If you’re lucky, you’ll find one at the curbside on heavy trash days, already with the perfect “shabby chic” look.

Indeed, one person’s trash can be another’s treasure. Garage sales and thrift shops can serve up old side tables, shelves or dressers that, with a quick sanding job and fresh coat of paint, can become the perfect piece you’re looking for.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: head down to the West Bottoms

on the first weekend of each month for the ultimate urban shopping experience. With an open mind and some imagination, you can find repurposed furniture and antique treasures that can breathe new life into your space.

Now let’s face it; every woman wants a new kitchen. If you’re still cooking in the ’90s or before, it doesn’t take five figures to get an updated look. Did you know you can paint some countertops, fixtures and appliances to look like stainless steel?

. It’s amazing. And if you have oak cabinets, you can easily update those with nothing more than $100 in off-white paint and new knobs and pulls

. Of course, that doesn’t take into account your own labor, but a little sweat equity can go a long way in making your kitchen a place you’ll


to hang out in.

If you’re like me, the ideas come fast and furious when that station is on. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible for most of us to do the dream makeover. But that doesn’t mean we can’t dream a little and do more, all within our budgets, right? Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little one, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click