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Completing a room remodel without breaking the bank

We have a huge house that we bought in 2012. It’s almost 3,000 square feet of space with rooms varying in size from the massive, like our master bedroom which takes up about a third of our upstairs, to the minute, such as our three-quarter bath downstairs near our family room.

One of the toughest things for me with so much space was finding a way to decorate it all the way I wanted it without breaking the bank. It’s still a work in progress.

After the children moved out earlier this year, I decided to get to work on one of the upstairs bedrooms I had been avoiding. It’s one of the smaller rooms in the house at just 12 feet by 12 feet, but I knew I wanted to put a relaxing beach theme in that room, which our numerous guests could enjoy when they come to stay in “Hotel de Harris.”

Not knowing what the financial impacts would be, I set myself a budget of $500 and got to work.

First up on my plate was getting rid of the carpet that was original to my home, built in 2002. While I was afraid of what I would find underneath, I went to town on that carpet and the 2-inch floorboards, tearing it all out and putting it where it belonged, right in the trash can.

I knew the next place to start was with some paint, so I picked out a rich gray color to give the room a relaxing and quiet feel. I choose the Valspar Signature paint in Iron Frost – on sale at Lowes, of course – and for $22 and a little bit of elbow grease, I now had the beginnings of my beachy guestroom well under way.

I didn’t give much thought to what I would replace the carpet with; other than I wanted a floor that looked good and would be easy to care for.

At Lumber Liquidators in Murrieta, we found a 3-millimeter interlocking vinyl flooring by Tranquility with an Auburn Teak finish that was not only easy for us to install, but affordable as well. The flooring, which was more than half of our cost, came in at 79 cents per square foot. We installed it in about a day, thanks to the help of our niece and her fiancé. By the time we bought the underlayment and some six-inch baseboards, which we painted white, we spent just under $234.

Once the room was painted and the floor and baseboards were placed, the fun really began as I started thinking about what kind of furniture and decor I needed for the room. I attempted to use the 60/30/10 rule for the design, which the Lowes website,, tells me means 60 percent of the room should be the dominant color, 30 percent being the secondary color and 10 percent being used for decor and accents.

I scoured the “For Sale” boards on social media and a host of other places, looking for just the right items to complete my beachy bedroom.

First up was bedding since we had already bought a bed for that room. I wanted a quilt set for the room and eventually decided on a white dust ruffle, gray bedsheets and a gray, white and turquoise patterned quilt and shams. I kept it affordable while keeping it comfortable for my future guests, spending $59 at Ross for everything.

After I chose the bedding, it was a matter of finding what I wanted for the accent pieces. During a 50 percent off wood items sale at Hobby Lobby, I picked up a very cool wooden whale for only $17. I also found three round mirrors and two canvas paintings at Burlington Coat Factory; total cost for the items was $41. I found a great bottle at the dollar store that I filled with sand right off the beach and some small shells that I had lying around in a basket, and I picked up a large turquoise and gold bowl at Ross on clearance for $4.99.

On the Temecula Exchange online, I found a great cupboard for $10 that I sanded and repainted white using leftover paint from my trim project. I finished the cupboard with some shabby chic handles that I picked up at Hobby Lobby for $2 each, bringing the total for that project to just $18.

The nightstands were another project I really enjoyed. I bought four crates at Joanne Fabrics for 50 percent off, $7.50 each, and screwed them together to make the nightstands. Then I found the baskets that I placed inside at Ross. The small ones were $3.99 and the large ones were $4.99. I glued some shells and sand dollars from my shell collection to the front to give them an interesting look and the total cost for each nightstand was $23.

The seahorse was bought at Hobby Lobby on clearance for $12 and one of my favorite projects is a jar I had lying around that I filled with sand and some sea glass that I found while in Salem, Massachusetts, visiting my sister-in-law.

The chairs and table, I repurposed from my front porch since we had bought some new ones and put the wicker ones in the garage where they were just gathering dust. I just washed them and bought some new pillows at Marshalls on clearance to refresh the look. Total cost was only $13.99

With a lot of elbow grease, hard work, trial and error and about two months’ worth of searching for just the right items at the right price, I got the exact look that I was hoping for in my beachy guest room and managed to stay under my budget at just over $465.


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