farmhouse on a budget

8.12.2009

after visiting huntsville last week i headed up to tennessee for the weekend. i was working on a client's home in woodbury. mary beth and jeffery baker bought their home a little over a year ago. they decided to move about 30 minutes outside of murfreesboro and live on a small farm.
the interior of the farmhouse needed a lot of help. nothing matched from the light fixtures to the tile to the paint. it was a hodgepodge in bad need of an interior designer. fortunately mary beth knew me and knew that i would be able to help her out. she contacted me as soon as they moved in. because mary beth and jeffery are both teachers, she explained that she was on a very limited budget. i told her that even though they were on a limited budget i could put together a design plan for her and as she saved up money i could come in and complete her home one room at a time. when i visited last year we selected a fabrics, paint colors and light fixtures. the main goal for my visit this weekend was to complete the dining room as well as buy a few of the main furniture pieces for the living room. i told mary beth to focus on these areas first since these are the main areas people will see when they come into the home.

we started with an inspiration fabric and some inspiration photos from house beautiful magazine...

from the inspiration fabrics and photos, i started pulling mary beth's design together. i selected a floral fabric for her shades in the dining room. i planned to find off-the-shelf silk panels and lucked up to find the perfect color in the clearance rack at a brentwood interiors, a designer fabric store.

fabric for shades

silk panels

mary beth had 2 chairs and an ottoman that she had purchased off craigslist. luckily the chairs did not have to be recovered since they were neutral. the ottoman was in need of new fabric though and this cane fabric worked beautifully.
mary beth didn't know how to sew but fortunately her mother-in-law emily did. i told emily my vision for a floor-length burlap table cloth for the 55" dining room table that we found at a yardsale. she jumped on her sewing maching and whipped up this amazing table cloth for mary beth and jeffery.

i did most of the shopping for accessories and artwork at designer discount stores like homegoods and tj maxx. sometimes you can really luck up at those stores. they are great for small budgets too.

here is what the dining room looked like before the redesign. here is what the completed dining room looks like. because we were trying to get the most out of mary beth's budget i decided to recover her existing antique dining room chairs. i also opted to make fabric shades out of her existing mini-blinds. here's the link to the directions on the little green notebook blog.


in the kitchen i decided to go with fabric shades as well for the two small windows over the sink. to save money i had Jeffery and mary beth paint their existing kitchen cabinets and add new hardware. i chose 2 different paint colors for the cabinets to give the kitchen more character. they will be trimming the top of the cabinets with crown moulding a little later down the road.


fabric for shades

here is the kitchen before.

here is the kitchen after.

another before shot.

another after shot.
mary beth had previously owned a slip covered sofa and wanted something with a little less maintenance. for the family room i selected a broyhill sofa with a dark, neutral fabric on it.

one of our best buys while we were out shopping was a rustic bench from hobby lobby. it was originally $159 and because one of the edges was chipped we were able to get them to mark it down to $52. don't ever hesitate to ask for a discount if something is slightly damaged. most chips can be fixed with a marker or a little bit of paint. the bench worked perfectly in the entry area. another great find was a club chair that i found on clearance at homegoods. it was upholstered in a beautiful plaid fabric. the best part was that it was marked down to $350 from $600.00. what a steal!
if you are shopping on a budget another good place to look is at antique stores. sometimes shoping at antique stores requires a little extra effort to dig through the junk but when you luck out it's worth it. it was definitely worth it to find this beautiful antique coffee table. it was originally $140 and because this particular antique store offered a cash discount we were able to get the table for $80. the top was originally the same woodtone as the legs but it was a little scuffed up. instead of touching it up I antiqued only the tabletop. the paint and glaze for the antiquing was only about $12.



here is a before photo of the family room.

here are some photos of the semi-complete family room. i'll be posting homework for mary beth soon so that she can complete the rest of the room on her own.

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