Tag Archives: cheap

It’s New to Me


I was early for an appointment last week so I decided to stop in and check out the consignment store, It’s New To Me at 7719 Burnet Road, Austin, Texas 78757. I found some goodies!

Brass cocktail table under $100

Salmon-colored marble cocktail table $110

I can see this in a little girl's room! $85

This hall tree has tons of character $245

I considered not sharing this next one because I love it so much and either want it for myself (and I totally can’t use it) or want to use it for a client. But here ya go…

King size headboard. I can see this painted a funky color or used as-is with ivory bedding. $95

This is another one I considered not sharing because I’m on the look out for the perfect dresser to convert into a bathroom vanity. I might still go pick this one up for myself.

I was so excited about this piece I didn't even look at the price but I'm certain it's under $300!

These midcentury night stands would be cool if they were painted a fun color!

If you decide to go and pick any of these items up, please let me know what you end up doing with them!


How we refinished our stairs, DIY style


I am so excited about this blog. Well not really excited about the blog as much as I’m excited to have this project behind us. When we moved into our “new to us” home, we gutted a good part of it to make it ours. We still have a ton of projects to tackle, bathrooms are next, but I can now check one of these projects off of our list!

Carpeted stairs are great if you like your carpet. We didn’t. Since our children are still young we have chosen to keep the existing carpet upstairs until they’re a little older but the sight of the dirty stairs and builder-grade carpet were just getting too much for me to bear. I’ve had several quotes to put wood on our stairs and I just couldn’t swallow the price tag that came with it, so we decided to tackle this project ourselves.

Here is the journey of our stair make-over!

Safety first. When doing any kind of work you should wear safety goggles and gloves!

Stairs before

Let’s take a peek and see what’s under that nasty stuff:

After removing carpet and tacking.

To our delight the stairs were in pretty good shape with the exception of the winding stairs which are constructed of two pieces of particle board/plywood. The other stairs were all nice 2X12s. These winding stairs were definitely an issue since the tops and ends were not smooth. Even with a lot of sanding, you can never get particle board smooth and ready for paint. We needed a wood filler that was easy to spread and covered a lot of area, so we used Durham’s Wood Putty. This is a powder you mix with water and then pour directly onto the wood. You then use a spatula to smooth and level.

Wood putty purchased from Lowe's

Wood putty as it is drying.

After the wood putty is completely dry (recommended 24 hours), you can sand it lightly to help give it a smoother finish.

Next, we needed to address the nose of the winding stairs. This was much easier. We used “iron-on” wood veneer for the winding stairs to conceal the particle board.

Nose of winding stairs before veneer edging.

Veneer edging purchased from Lowes.

Next all of the stairs got a good sanding and wipe down.

Since the risers had visible staples and holes we chose to cut pressed board and nail to the faces of each riser.

Pressed board cut to size for each of the risers.

Pressed board nailed to each riser to conceal blemishes.

Our last step was installing quarter-round along the risers and treads to hide any gaps that were left. Now we’re ready for primer!!!

Cutest little helper in the world!

So after priming and painting, with an oil-based paint, we were almost there. Almost.

As I mentioned, we have small children and I was really worried about them taking a tumble, down the slippery stairs, so we knew we were going to install stair carpet. I know, I know. You’re thinking, “why did you go to all of that trouble if you were just going to put carpet back on the stairs?” Well there is a method to my madness. If my stairs were straight the rug option would have been so much easier and far more creative, but we had to use stair runner carpet that could be cut for each stair, to accommodate the angles of the winding stairs. This means the carpet had to be thin enough to cut and made so that it wouldn’t ravel. This pretty much leaves you with stair runner carpet, and there aren’t just a ton of options, if you’re trying to do this on the cheap.

But I’m certainly pleased with the outcome. Wait for it…
Wait for it…


So to recap:



Supplies purchased:
-2 cans of wood putty $20
-Quarter round $10
-Pressed board $10
-Iron-on veneer $15
-1 can of oil based paint $25
-Sand paper $5
-Carpet runner $75
Total $160

Items/tools we already had:
-Muscle **hee hee
-Crow bar (to remove tack strips)
-Circular saw (to cut quarter round)
-Skil saw (to cut pressed board for risers)
-Air compressor/nail gun
-Paint rollers
-Spatula to spread wood filler
-Electric sander (makes the job so much faster)

Done and done.



Well, it appears that a lot of people are getting their bathrooms remodeled this spring (lucky dogs). Adentro Designs recently finished a bathroom remodel and is gearing up for two more! As I research all of the luxury to be had it makes me drool a little and I am definitely pea green with jealousy.

Here are some fantastic bathrooms I found online at Decor Pad:

Romantic Bathroom

Love the muted colors.

Contemporary glass tile shower surround.

Love the vanities. With a little patience and a steady hand you too can achieve this look!

Here are some tips to makeover your bathroom without breaking the bank:

1. Remove the standard builder-grade mirror and replace with a decorative mirror. Or you can always have the existing mirror framed with a Mirror Mate frame (for more information and to take advantage of my wholesale pricing on these frames, call me 512-689-8302)

After framing with a Mirror Mate frame.

2. Can’t afford new cabinets? Why not paint your existing cabinets with a fun design, like above, or try something a little simpler like this:

You can do this yourself!

3. For the love of all that is holy, please change out those brass, Hollywood-esque light fixtures and remove anything brass, STAT!!! There are a ton of affordable options for light fixtures at your local hardware stores or my fav site Lighting New York .

4. Cabinet hardware, cabinet hardware, cabinet hardware. This is a detail that is often overlooked. I recommend hardware to almost all of my clients! Think about mixing and matching your hardware. You could use knobs on lower cabinets while using a pull on the drawers.

5. Why not consider using a non-bathmat in your bathroom? I love to use area rugs in bathrooms. Anyone can buy a fuzzy toilet seat cover and matching toilet rug but why in the world would you? Spice it up!

6. Opt for towel hooks in lieu of towel bars.

7. Buy a new faucet. You can get a nice faucet from Lowe’s for like $35. Do it!

8. Have an ugly counter top? This one is hard. You could spend money to have it refinished by a company like ReBath, but it might be a wise investment to have a new top installed (granite, cultured marble, solid surface, etc.)

9. Accessorize minimally. You can find jars and fill them with soap, cotton balls, q-tips, etc.

Nothing ground-breaking here, but for someone out there this just might be the motivation needed to take their bathroom from drab to fab!