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Charlotte Smith, the Connecticut-based DIY blogger behind At Charlotte's House is a mom of five and winner of Rachael’s first-ever "Viewer Tip-Off" (The ideas that won her this title? These cheap + easy DIY projects that actually look like a million bucks).
“My design style is fun frugal repurposed eclectic….I'm fixing up our 100 year old house and artfully hoarding armchairs in the garage. I love color. I love flea markets. I love a little mess. My days are spent writing, painting, sanding, laughing and negotiating with our 5 kids,” she says.
When we saw the latest bathroom makeover she did in her home and found out she did it all for only $60 (!!), we asked her to come back and share her budget-stretching tips!
While Charlotte focused on her daughter’s all-white bathroom, these design-savvy tips would work for any room that needs a fresh look. Here’s how she pulled off this chic and modern update.
Step 1: Utilize leftover paint from other projects to add a pop of color to a room
Charlotte repainted the bathroom vanity a light green, setting the tone for the new look of the room. And because a bathroom is typically a smaller room, she had enough leftover paint from another project to give a fresh coat to the walls, too.
Step 2: Buy a large mirror and DIY the frame with this FREE material
Charlotte purchased a $10 mirror with a very basic frame and then transformed it with this genius DIY project using wooden paint stirs, which are — that’s right — free! “You just have to give them a big smile and they’ll give you a handful!” Charlotte says.
She cut them into pieces of the same size, staining half pale white and leaving the others au natural. Together, the contrasting pieces create a Chevron pattern when they’re glued onto the frame — which is just SO chic! (Charlotte’s tip: For a smaller mirror, a glue gun works just fine. For a larger mirror, you might want to use a stronger adhesive, like liquid nails.)
Watch her demonstrate in the video below!
Step 3: Give a room some texture with this DIY upholstery project — using an old sweater
“I like to bring in texture wherever I can into a design — so a little fur, or a little fluff,” Charlotte says. And what’s fluffier than a cozy sweater?
Charlotte’s ace tip: By carefully cutting out the seams of an old sweater, you’re left with a soft and pliant material that’s perfect for reupholstering a stool or chair, in your bathroom or whatever room you’re working on in the house!
“The trick is you want to pull it pretty tight — you don’t want bunches and wrinkles,” Charlotte says. Also, don’t be stingy with the upholstery staples. “Because I’m working with a sweater, I’m going to use more staples than I normally would,” Charlotte says. She recommends stapling all around the edges and in the middle where the extra fabric is gathered as well.
Watch her pull it off in the video below!
Step 4: Update any hardware in the room with this clever DIY paint project
Whether in the bathroom, elsewhere in the house, even on a piece of furniture, knobs can look grubby and dated. Replacing them can also be expensive! But Charlotte has an easy DIY project that gives a graphic makeover to the most basic wooden knobs (she picked hers up for $1 each at the hardware store).
All you need is blue painter’s tape, a small paint brush and a few different colors of paint that pick up on the color palate of the room. With Charlotte by her side, Rach even gives it a shot, and loved the effect!
“I’m so DIY challenged, but Charlotte makes me feel like there’s hope for people like me!” she says. Watch the video above to see how these cool, graphic knobs are made.
Watch Rach give it a go in the video below!