Budget-Friendly Blogger Style

HGTV Magazine asked some smart-spending bloggers to each decorate a space using more creativity than cash. The payoff: tons of easy dollar-stretching tricks that are right on the money.
By: Kathleen Renda and Nissa Botthoff
Purple and Green Dining Room

Purple and Green Dining Room

Photo by: Trevor Dixon

Trevor Dixon

Blogger Serena Appiah

Blogger Serena Appiah

Photo by: Courtesy of Serena Appiah

Courtesy of Serena Appiah

The blogger: Serena Appiah, thriftdiving.com
This DIY-savvy mom has been chronicling the redo of her ’70s split-level house in Silver Spring, MD, since 2012. A power-tool pro—she can rock everything from a paint sprayer to a miter saw—Serena has blogged about turning a wire basket into a pendant light and a bookend into a toothbrush holder.

The challenge: style around a dining room buffet
To elevate the look of the walnut sideboard, Serena created a symmetrical arrangement with pairs of white chairs, geometric-pattern pillow covers, and stacked-ball acrylic lamps. A palette of lavender, clover, and green apple brings out the buffet’s rich wood grain. The wallet-friendly wall display above: a mismatched collection of flea market plates—just $20 total!—that she color-blocked with spray paint and hung as a cool collection.
TOTAL: $745

DIY Idea: For the step-by-step instructions to make Serena’s color-blocked plates, visit hgtvmag.com/blogger-diy.

Colorful Home Office

Colorful Home Office

Photo by: Trevor Dixon

Trevor Dixon

Blogger Camila Pavone

Blogger Camila Pavone

Photo by: Courtesy of Camila Pavone

Courtesy of Camila Pavone

The blogger: Camila Pavone, blog.effortless-style.com
Camila debuted her design blog—which reveals all the behind-the-scenes action of revamping her ’30s Cape Cod on Long Island, NY—in 2008. The DIY whiz’s list of trash-to-treasure projects includes making an upholstered headboard from a baby-crib railing and a coffee table from discarded wood pallets.

The challenge: style around a home office desk
Camila played up the sophisticated side of a Parsons desk by teaming it with a warm-hued bentwood chair and soft gray walls. Cork and a $16 vintage frame painted firecracker red make for a one-of-a-kind bulletin board that’s anything but office-y. The yellow tape dispenser and stapler are chic enough to stay on display, and they repeat the color of the gourd lamp. The cotton rug’s gemstone print adds a pop of pattern.
TOTAL: $307

DIY Idea: For the step-by-step instructions to make Camila’s framed corkboard, visit hgtvmag.com/blogger-diy.

Blogger Style in Living Room

Blogger Style in Living Room

Photo by: Trevor Dixon

Trevor Dixon

Kristin Cadwallader

Kristin Cadwallader

Photo by: Courtesy of Kristin Cadwallader

Courtesy of Kristin Cadwallader

The blogger: Kristin Cadwallader, bliss-athome.com
For the past three years, Kristin’s been creating high-end looks for less in her 1950s Rock Island, IL, ranch house—and sharing her tricks with readers. Her favorite fake-outs: embellishing sconces with 88-cent napkin rings and adding gold leaf to agate slices to make blingy coasters.

The challenge: style around a living room sofa
Kristin gave a tailored sofa some glam by painting the walls deep sapphire blue and hanging a pair of gleaming brushed-gold sconces. Since couch-spanning artwork can be a budget buster, she stenciled an arabesque design in hot pink and white onto the wall, then “framed” it with $12 worth of MDF molding spray-painted gold. A sunburst mirror and a variety of lush pillows pull it all together.
TOTAL: $725

DIY Idea: For the step-by-step instructions to make Kristin’s stenciled wall, visit hgtvmag.com/blogger-diy.

A Bright Entryway

A Bright Entryway

Photo by: Trevor Dixon

Trevor Dixon

Blogger Diane Henkler

Blogger Diane Henkler

Photo by: Courtesy of Diane Henkler

Courtesy of Diane Henkler

The blogger: Diane Henkler, inmyownstyle.com
Diane is an avid recycler and repurposer, so it’s no surprise that her six-year-old blog—and her 1994 Colonial in Lansdale, PA—is full of crafty penny-pinching design ideas. Her most popular post: a tutorial for transforming an empty tuna fish can into an outdoor lantern.

The challenge: style around an entryway bench
Whipped up from vibrant orange-and-white fabric, a $22 no-sew cushion slipcover kick-started Diane’s storage-loaded entry. An indoor-outdoor chevron rug and a triangle-print pillow continue the pattern-palooza, and a giant clock brings the fun. Diane accessorized with a flower bucket spray-painted blue to hold umbrellas, a rainbow coatrack, and orange canvas bins that fit perfectly in the bench’s cubbies.
TOTAL: $325

DIY Idea: For the step-by-step instructions to make Diane’s slipcovered cushion, visit hgtvmag.com/blogger-diy.

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