Redecorating on a Budget, $100 to $1,000

A few weeks ago I shared some of my favorite tricks to help redecorate your home when the desire you have to redecorate is larger than your budget!   To read about these super-budget-friendly tricks of the trade, just click this link:  Redecorating on a Budget, from $0 to $100.

However, if you happen to have a little more wiggle room in your budget, say over $100, but still don’t have enough money for a complete re-do, you can consider the following upgrades which are still affordable and make a HUGE change for the amount of money spent!  Read on for Part 2 of Redecorating on a Budget ….


Light fixtures can make a huge impact, and are a quick and relatively inexpensive way to add some pizazz to your home.  Many of you know that I am on a quest to banish the boob light, as many of my fellow decorator friends are as well (read Kristie Barnett The Decorologist’s fabulous post here), but if you don’t have the funds to change out ALL your light fixtures in your entire home, start with the main entrance and the rooms where most friends and family gather, such as the foyer, kitchen, and living room.  For example, to create a bright, on-trend, welcoming foyer, trade out your foyer light for an oversized lantern or an orb style light fixture.  This is often an upgrade I recommend when staging a house to sell, as it gives the feel of a well-maintained, current home for just a couple hundred bucks.   A few  Hattan’s Helpful Hints to keep in mind when changing out your ceiling light fixtures:

  • choose large light fixtures, even oversized fixtures look much better than too small;
  • most rooms do not have enough lighting, go for more lighting sources than you think you need, more lighting is definitely better than not enough;
  • choose light bulbs that give out soft white light rather than yellow or blue – this makes a HUGE difference in how your room both looks and feels;
  • measure the space for your light fixture about a zillion times to make sure the fixture won’t hang down too low or too high;
  • read all the specs to make sure you are getting what you think you are;
  • if you don’t know what you need, email me, I am here to help!

This image has 3 good examples of updated light fixtures, which I specified for a home staging last year. There is an oversized, open lantern; a simple barrel-shaped drum light which is not small; and a classy yet simple chandelier — sans tiny little shades over each bulb.


Orb light replaced the boring ceiling light in this master bath, staged to sell by me, Home by Hattan. 🙂



Emotionally ready for new furniture, but not ready financially?  If you can’t afford all new furniture, try a cute, fun accent chair to balance out your sectional, or add a pair of matching chairs across from your current sofa.  There are so many choices of prints, colors, arm shapes, and sizes — have fun with it!  Some smaller accent chairs can be found for less than $150 a chair!

(Don’t forget to add coordinating pillows to your sofa or sectional, to tie in your new chairs and colors!)

Cute armless accent chair (actually a pair of them) creates balance and fun in this staged home. Staged by Home by Hattan.



I found this lovely Sam Moore chair  below at BF Myers for a client, to be placed opposite a gray sectional with navy and turquoise accents … LOVE IT, but alas, it was almost $1,000 and that was beyond my client’s budget! (still dreamy though!!!)


This chair could have worked as well, and was awfully cute, also at BF Myers:


But when we found this one at TJ Maxx for $230, we grabbed it!


Here it is placed in the room (still a work in progress, but notice the navy in the artwork and pillows to relate everything to the navy in the chair):


Here is a bright red accent chair we found on Wayfair for just a couple hundred bucks, to add fun and color to a Bohemian style living room being put together:

…. the chair and rug have since been moved over so that the legs are ON the rug … the wall behind it has been filled with artwork and a TV, etc. … but it’s a good example of a fun accent chair we found for around $200!


Target, Wayfair, Pier 1, World Market, TJMaxx Home Goods … all great places to find affordable accent chairs!  I picked up this green one for myself, on a whim, from World Market on sale for about $100:



OK, so pillows could have easily been included in the first post, in the $0 to $100 range of updates!!  But if you are a pillow-holic like me (read Pillow-holics Anonymous blog post here), then you end up buying 4 or 5 at a time, which puts you over $100!

But, what easier, better way to update your colors or patterns without making a huge monetary commitment?!  Some new throw pillows and a yummy new blanket, and you can fall back in love with your spot on the couch, or your master bedroom suddenly looks more master-ful!


Faux fur pillows and throw blanket add warmth and coziness to this corner of my client’s enclosed sunroom during the winter months.


Pillows can add that pop of color you might be needing, to add some new life into the space.  Also, pillows can create a sense of balance and cohesiveness between your new accent chair and your sofa, or your new rug and your furnishings — repeat your new colors from your new purchases in your pillows, and it unifies the space.

This client fell in love with the turquoise ottoman, so we repeated that color in the pillows, throw blanket, artwork, and accessories. Check out the new fabric on the accent chairs! *LOVE*


The throw pillows in this space not only breathe new life into these dark heavy furniture pieces, but they also repeat the same colors found in the kitchen’s Talavera tile and ceramic pieces and its island color, thus unifying the open floor plan. Colors and updating by Home by Hattan.


Throw pillows and curtains are being added to update this brown-olive sofa.




Most rugs have a time stamp on them, which means I can often tell the age of a rug by its style and/or color, or by how worn it is.  Buying a new rug can be simply transformational, but it can also be a daunting and tricky task. It might have the perfect colors, but it’s too busy.  Or it looks great, but you worry it will show dirt.  Sometimes it just takes a while to shop around, and I can certainly guide you in the process.  Whether you hire me or not, here are some Hattan’s Helpful Hints in rug shopping:

  • always buy a large enough rug so that at least the front legs of ALL your furniture pieces sit on the rug, otherwise your furniture pieces will look like they are floating by themselves (measure first, buy second)
  • keep in mind the colors and patterns already in place in the room where the rug will be; patterns on top of patterns can be tough to pull off – not impossible – but you may need a decorator’s help to make it work (ex:  a floral chair on a floral rug may be a bit too busy!)
  • outdoor rugs provide the most bang for the buck and are a great option for folks on a tight budget; you can find some large 8×10 outdoor rugs for around $200

Here’s a peek at one of my most difficult rug selection jobs.  This is the before shot — it is a very large area, and the homeowner had already bought the fabulous floral accent chair and copper garden stool (seen in the front left of photo) that was being used as a side table.  You can see the floral chair has shades of orange, pink, and green, and those are the homeowner’s favorite colors, plus the color purple.

My job was to find a rug that was:   a) large enough,  b) soft,  c) would complement and not compete with furniture already in place, and  d) stay in budget.

Needless to say, it took us some time, but we found a rug the homeowner loves!  See the after photo below:

AFTER — sorry for the cell phone shot — professional pics coming soon

The rug is soft to the touch, and has a medallion pattern in terracotta orange and cream, is 10 x 13 in size, and was less than $1,000.  Since this photo, we have made and installed  — wait for it — custom pink and terracotta linen drapes!!  I can’t wait for you to see the finished product, but here is our inspiration pic, laying on the new rug next to the floral ottoman, so you can see how it all ties together!

Pink and orange, pattern on pattern,, living together in harmony … who would’ve thunk it!? 😉


  • ART

Artwork can also be found at good prices and can really help you love your space again!  Home Goods/TJ Maxx  seems to always have just what I need, whether staging or decorating, for a great price.  For bargain prices at any store, look for canvas wrapped pieces rather than heavy framed pieces. is another great source to peruse, and then order the art that speaks to you.   A new, large piece of art over your sofa can truly refresh and change the flow of a room!  Again, buy large, not small, or buy several similar pieces and hang them close together to create one large art grouping.

My most important Hattan Helpful Hint when buying artwork is this:  buy art only  it if it makes you happy — don’t worry if it doesn’t “match” your sofa — only make sure it speaks to you in some way and it contributes to the feel of the space that you are trying to create.

If you can’t find something you love, I have several artist friends who would love to create something specific for you.

I can also help you use what you already have and create a gallery wall for you.  Here are a couple of gallery walls I have created for clients, using mostly (if not all) pieces of art they already had, sometimes just enhancing with a few extra pieces:



Vintage Window Gallery Wall

This one is in my own home — using what I already owned and enhancing it with a couple of Target bought mirrors over my piano.



Without changing a single other thing, by simply updating your dining room chairs you can really change the look of your dining room.

For years I’ve wanted to update my dining room furniture, but just couldn’t bring myself to paint it.  I just so loved my dining room furniture when I bought it all those many years ago, and now …. well the pieces are just too dark and too ornate for my taste these days.  However, I didn’t have the time to paint and I didn’t have the budget to spend several thousand dollars just because I was tired of what I had (sound familiar?).  So my solution — I replaced the wooden dining room chairs with 6 fully upholstered chairs.  I sold the old wooden chairs on a Buy, Sell, Trade site on Facebook, which helped to counter the cost just a bit.

BEFORE — lots of dark wood (pic taken at Christmastime, can you tell?)

AFTER — new Sunbrella fabric covered chairs, softer and lighter

My new chairs are covered with Sunbrella fabric, have nailheads which I love, and are the perfect light gray pewter color for my neutral dining room — so at $129 a piece, I feel like I have a brand new dining room set!  Yay!

  • Another good option is to simply buy a pair of really large, really cool host chairs to place at either end of your table, perhaps some wing chairs or other upholstered arm chair.  Then keep your remaining chairs along the sides of your table.  Very elegant, inviting, and on-trend.

Larger, more special armchairs used as host and hostess chairs in a home I helped to stage last year.

  • The cheapest solution to updating your chairs is to simply recover the seats of your dining room chairs and/or paint the frames.
    • Side note:  I was planning to do this, but realized that what I really wanted to be different was the tops of my dining chairs — simply painting or recovering the seat would not change the shape of my chair.  So that is why I chose to replace the chairs altogether, I wanted the tops/backs of my chairs to be different.  You may not need to replace your chairs as I did, you may need to simply recover the seats and/or paint, as in the photo below:

Image from Pinterest



Another trick to updating your dining room is the refresh your china cabinet. Here are three options for you:

  • Remove the hutch piece of your china cabinet altogether.  Then refinish the top to match, or paint the whole thing — you can get creative with this.  The finished product could be similar to this:

    Louiviere Sideboard from


  • Sell your china cabinet, and buy a fun new console.  There are some beautiful ones out there, from rustic to brightly colored, solid and more cabinet-like to light and leggy (this chinoiserie style is trending now), and even mirrored or glass … click on the links to see examples of each one!  This style below is by one of the companies I now carry, Alder & Tweed:

    Alder & Tweed Winchester Sideboard



    Adainville Accent Cabinet from


  • And, of course, you can just remove doors or repaint or refinish what you already own.  Here are two examples from my client’s homes:

So cute! Fun new colors on this client’s cabinet and lamp!! ( …and walls and china hutch, not shown in photo …) Inspiration taken from her colorful Fiesta Ware dishes!


I advised this client to remove her glass doors from her china cabinet, and paint most of her cabinet black, but refinish the back of the hutch in a deep wood stain.  Now her display of white dishware really pops! Her table and chairs were refinished in a similar way, with black legs and wood top on her table, and the chairs were painted black.



Here I go spouting off about paint again!  But it really does the trick!  Painting your kitchen cabinets or bathroom cabinets incurs a bit more expense than painting your living room wall or a small cabinet, but WOW does it make a huge difference in the look and feel of your room.  And, although this can be more than $1,000 depending on how many cabinets you have, it is still much cheaper than buying new cabinets or vanities.

Image from


Navy and white kitchens, and “tuxedo” kitchens are trending now (tuxedo kitchens are a dark color on bottom cabinets with white on the tops).  Another, less committal option, is to paint only your kitchen island!

Navy and white, island painted contrasting color. Image by



Many times one new item purchased or one new update results in needing to do “more.”  For instance, if you buy a new ottoman in a fun print or color, you may find you also need to refresh your pillows and drapes to bring it all together.   In fact, for the best results, I would advise combining several options from these last 2 “Redecorating on a Budget” blog posts.  You can combine a few of these steps, and still stay under your budget — especially if you take the time to look for a deal or DIY.


I surely hope you find these Hattan’s Helpful Hints, tricks, and bargains to be useful and inspiring and educational!  If you know you are ready to tackle one or two of the items from these lists, give me a call or shoot me an email ( and I will be glad to help you choose just the right actions to take or items to buy, to refresh and restyle your home while staying in your budget!




*Many photos in this post were taken with a simple camera phone, for illustration purposes only.  All other photos were purchased from the photographer or the sources are cited.