Low-Cost Design Ideas For Any Home

You don’t need to spend much money to create a great design. These cash-conscious design ideas are straight from the homes of designers.

Are your living rooms dull? Are your concrete patios an eyesore? You’re not alone if you think your concrete patio is an eyesore. Even interior designers face such style challenges and budgets that aren’t endless.

We asked some of our favorite pros how they overcame their problems without spending a fortune. These projects are not only beautiful but they can also be done by the average DIYer.

Max Humphrey, a designer who gave an otherwise bland ranch interior his distinctive cabin-chic style, says, “I’m not handy, so I had to start over figuring out materials and watching YouTube.

Read on for more details and creative ways that four other style experts turned ordinary home features into show-stoppers.

“Tile” is a concrete patio slab painted with paint.

Using a Moroccan-tile-inspired stencil pattern (right), Dabito gave the concrete slab a bold makeover. The new patio enclosure, which is 11 feet tall, provides relief from the New Orleans summer heat. While the slanted roof prevents rainwater pooling, it also keeps rainwater out of the patio. He says that flat-black staining gives the structure a modern, dramatic look. It makes leafy green plants and the colorful “tiled floor” pop.

The challenge: Dabito had just returned from Marrakech and wanted to make his 1950s ranch’s backyard feel more Moroccan. He received quotes for cement tiles but settled on a cheaper alternative. He made the stencil patterns, which he painted in just two days.

How-to: He painted the slab with white porch paint and then added two shades from Sherwin Williams ( Adriatic Sea & In The Navy). He used stencils that he found online ( Inverted Tile Allover Stencil at $39; Cutting Edge Tools) and a 4-inch rolling pin. He then coated the slab in an evident matte paver sealing agent. He says that although it shows wear, the pattern is still beautiful and forgiving.

Left: A coatrack Humphrey made from leftover ceiling material, and brass hooks are found at the entrance. He made the mirrors out of vintage frames. Benjamin Moore’s Chartreuse is Benjamin Moore’s welcoming door color.

Right: Humphrey built the banquette for the dining room out of finish plywood and then covered it with custom cushions made from Pendleton fabric by Sunbrella. The 1930s cowboy painting was found on Etsy. My toddler believes it’s me. I don’t correct him.

The challenge: Sean Lewis was initially skeptical about the peachy-pink tile in one of the 1920s rowhouses. He says, “Over time, though, it became our love.” They had to renovate due to faulty plumbing. However, they kept the tub and added a sink with storage and a wood-look floor tile. Lewis used a modern floral wallpaper by Rifle Paper Co. to make the Art Deco tile appear more intentional. It echoes the colors on the upper walls.

How-to: Lewis hung the wallpaper with his mom, then painted the ceiling with Benjamin Moore’s Peaches’ n Cream. This is how Mix Design Collective’s Catherine Williamson felt about renovating their Victorian-era home. Catherine claims that the character of the living room is gone. It had no crown, and its walls were plain.