This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

How To Make Room For Redecorating In Your Budget





After living in apartments with white walls for most of my adult life, I was excited to become a homeowner when my husband and I got married. Paint options! Landscaping! Curtains! My house was a blank canvas, just waiting for me to decorate it. Well, the decorating buzz wore off quickly after I found out how expensive everything was. I thought, naively, that asking my mother-in-law to sew some curtains for me would be a cheap alternative…until I priced the fabric.

And that trend continued. Landscaping plants? Yee-ow! New flooring? My wallet felt pinched again. Despite the sticker shock, we have accomplished a lot in the six years since we've moved to our current home.

The first check I always need is a reality check

I love reading DIY blogs and magazines, though their ideas of inexpensive kitchen remodels are usually different than mine. But I have to be careful: When I flood my brain with picture after picture of fantastic home makeovers, my house with lots of character seems in need of a major face lift.

For instance, when we moved in six years ago, the kitchen was my least favorite room in the house. Dark, peeling cabinets, atrocious drawer pulls that caught every bit of flour that drifted off the counter, chartreuse counter tops, lots of very shallow drawers, and more unpleasantness welcomed me every morning. Such a room practically begged for some TLC, and I had ideas of how everything, even the layout of the appliances, could be improved. But I didn't want to do anything at all, until we had saved enough money to do things exactly the way I wanted to do them.

We planned to do most of the work ourselves which would have saved a bundle. But with the average kitchen remodels nearing $20,000 (and I think that's kind of conservative), it would have been expensive.

Anyway, somewhere between adopting our children and quitting my full-time job, we decided that a full kitchen remodel was not a responsible use of our money. Instead, I allowed my husband to do what he had wanted to all along: paint the cabinets and walls and replace the drawer pulls and handles.

For less than $400, we went from dark to for-$400-this-is-a-major-improvement. It's not really impressive, but we saved a lot of money. Even though we still deal with shallow drawers and no range hood, I don't even think of making other improvements. I am also happy we don't have tens of thousands of dollars wrapped up in a kitchen. I think I will cook here happily for another decade or two, beating eggs on my formica chartreuse counter top. (If you spent money on a kitchen remodel, don't read this as a condemnation. We just did what was best for us.)

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,778.15 +421.28 2.43%
S&P 500 2,061.23 +48.34 2.40%
NASDAQ 4,748.3960 +104.0840 2.24%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs