Go bold with color. Designer Steve McKenzie placed a circular mirror with a bright turquoise frame over an existing mirror in this bathroom as part of a Dwell with Dignity home update for families dealing with homelessness and poverty. This is a great way to draw the colors of a master bedroom into the bathroom, and can easily be installed in a rental.
Give kids rooms they can grow with. Egypt Sherrod worked with AmericasMart to makeover the children’s rooms in this Dwell with Dignity project. She says her main goal was to create a comfortable space for the kids that reflected their personalities that they wouldn’t outgrow too quickly.
An upholstered headboard adds plush comfort, and bright throw pillows tie yellow and red into the bedding in this Dwell with Dignity install. Designers Lisa Turner and Wallace Bryan of Trinity Mercantile and Design Company recommend picking pieces of furniture that go together but don’t match perfectly to get a designer look for any budget.
A new rug took up $110 of the $500 budget. Designer Heather Hogan Roberts found this fleece rug with a geometric pattern on sale and saved more with a 10 percent off coupon. She bought two ikat window panels and got one for 40 percent off. Those savings allowed her to buy discounted fabric for custom pillows and the elephant end table, which cost $40 at a thrift shop. The fiddle-leaf fig adds natural beauty to a corner with no need for wall art.
Become your own artist. The elephant artwork to the left of the bed was actually a DIY project that a coworker of Atlanta designer Steve McKenzie, owner of Steve McKenzie’s, painted. The brightly upholstered wingback chairs were McKenzie’s jumping off point for the room’s colors in this Dwell with Dignity install.
Being thrifty also can help you find fixtures with a history. DIY blogger Dena Stormer snapped up this ceramic light fixture, from a Luby’s cafeteria, for just $40 at a flea market in Texas. All it needed was a gloss white paint to freshen it up. She made the calendar/diner sign and crafted curtains using vintage chintz fabric.
After a makeover by Terracotta Design Build, the “room with a bed in it” is transformed into a neutral retreat that’s far from boring. “If your bedroom looks like a dorm room, the first thing you have to do is add a headboard, and it will be immediately grown up,” says Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson, architect and designer with Terracotta Design Build in Atlanta. Keeping the walls and furniture neutral allows you to infuse color with pillows and lamps, which can be changed out more affordably.
Use mirrors strategically to make a small space look bigger and to amplify decor you love. Got a new shower curtain that is completely your style? Mirrors nearby can help spread the pattern throughout your small bathroom, so you get more visual impact with your decor. This bathroom was done as part of a Dwell with Dignity install to help families who are struggling with homelessness and poverty.
Work with what you’ve got. The beds in both kids’ rooms received an update by DIY blogger Dena Stormer, giving the room a jolt of playful color and pizzaz. The boy who lives here loves fishing and space, so designer Egypt Sherrod, who pitched in with AmericasMart to redo the children’s rooms in this Dwell with Dignity install, gave the room a blue and green color palette and hung fish artwork over the beds.
Kelly and Phabian have already made 8 offers in their search for a place for their family in Livermore, CA, but are still waiting for a ''yes.'' Just when they think their luck is changing, they get bad news about their dream house. The couple must face big decisions if they are to achieve their goal of home ownership.
Kim and Terence are getting married in 60 days and want to find their first home before the wedding. Will this double deadline force a compromise onwhat they want in their first place?
Paul is a single dad who wants to buy a cool first place in Austin so that he can give his teenage son a permanent home. But will his variable incomelimit their search to the cheap properties? Or can they find the perfect place and still come in under-budget?
Young Baltimore attorneys Gabby and Zak have great earning potential in the future, but they don't have a lot of cash on hand as they buy their first place. This becomes a huge challenge when they ask the sellers for $30,000 in closing costs. When the sellers refuse, the couple must get extremely creative or lucky to save the deal.
After Audra and Brian adopted 4 siblings, their 1,000-square-foot rental very quickly became cramped. An exhausting and indecisive home search finally unearthed a hidden gem. Unfortunately no one can come to terms with closing costs. The realtors make one last ditch effort to close the deal, but will it be too little too late?
Velvet is looking for her first place in Austin. After she rejects one home for foundation issues, will the next home's need for another major repair could keep her from closing?
Fresh out of the Air Force, Chris and Melissa are looking for a house where they can expand their family in Plano, Texas. His determination to get a good deal conflicts with her tendency to fall for every good-looking house they see. After battling each other for negotiation supremacy, bad luck befalls the couple not once, but twice, as deal breakers rear their ugly heads. Will the third time be the charm, or will their dream of homeownership get tabled?
Andrea and Mike's lease is up in 8 weeks but they haven't even started their home search! The couple is determined to buy so they put an offer on the second home they see but continue to look in the Dallas area. The third house they see is truly their style with all their must-haves so they put another offer in on this house. While their first offer doesn't work out their second offer looks hopeful until they realize the seller isn't really willing to negotiate. Will they be able to reach common ground before they're kicked to the curb?
Faced with only a few months before their wedding, LaKeasha and Jared race to find their first place in Baltimore. Already paying $1600 in rent to go month-to-month, they are eager to get out of their small apartment and settle in before the nuptials. When they find what they think is the perfect place, they overlook a potential deal breaker. Could their dream of homeownership get derailed before they even leave the station?
Courtney and her French husband, Benoit, are on deadline to buy their first place before their first baby arrives. After looking at several Pittsburgh homes and disagreeing completely on their style, the couple has some compromising to do. But will this expectant couple agree on a home before their bundle of joy arrives?
With their conflicting taste, it's hard to imagine Audra and Justin ever agreeing on a house. But when they finally find a home that meets all their must-haves, they impulsively leap before looking. Can they get out of this contract? And will they ever find a place they both love?
Aaron and his girlfriend, Ashley, will only buy a home in one specific neighborhood in Dallas called Lake Ridge Estates. The problem affordable homes in the area rarely come on the market and when they do are snatched up quickly. When they finally find a home in the neighborhood, someone puts an offer in before them and they lose the house. Their realtor takes them to another home in area and they immediately decide to put in an offer. Unfortunately at the same exact moment a competing offer comes in so the are now in a bidding war. Will they finally win this fight or will their search never end?
A couple living in downtown Baltimore, Maryland is tired of noise and no parking. With a baby on the way and their apartment lease nearly up, they're under pressure to find their first place quickly. But Dan would love to live way out in the country, while Griffin wants the convenience of suburbia. Complicating matters, their first place can't be too far of a commute for Dan who works in downtown Baltimore. Finally they agree on a suburban home that's been newly renovated, but there are three other buyers interested as well. Dan and Griffin have to figure out a negotiating strategy that will ensure they get the only home they can both agree on.
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