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Home Renovation and Decorating on a Budget

Kathy Beltran is the fabulous face behind @lovefabdecor on Instagram. Living Spaces recently teamed up with Kathy to help furnish the new home of her son and daughter-in-law, which went through an impressive renovation prior to moving in. Read about the renovation process and check out the incredible before and after photos here.
A year ago my son and daughter-in-law had their dream wedding, and just a few months after, they found out they were expecting their first child. My first grandbaby! To say we are excited is an understatement! Excited about the baby, but realizing they may be growing out of their current home (just under 1,000 square feet) with the new little addition coming. So they decided to look for a new home that would be more suitable for their family of 3 and two dogs. A home that is in a nice neighborhood and within a reasonable budget.

Unfortunately, finding the perfect home was more difficult than they imagined. They ran into all the obstacles that most home buyers on a budget run into – not the right neighborhood, not enough square footage, no yard, a total fixer upper.

After a couple of months searching, we heard a home was soon going to be put on the market in my neighborhood that was within their budget and the square footage they were looking for. Now what I failed to mention is the house is 10 houses away from my home! So as you can imagine, my heart was set on them getting that house! My mama bear dreams were coming true!! Even though we still hadn't seen the interior, the exterior and curb appeal was very nice and I just knew it would work out perfect for them (I felt it in my heart)! My current home was a fixer upper and hadn't been updated since it was built in 1986. My husband and I (with a lot of tlc) turned it into our dream home. I knew we could help my son and daughter-in-law do the same with this seeming diamond in the rough. After having my son's real estate agent bug the current owner for a preview showing of the home before it was officially listed, and asking the neighbors of the current homeowners to call them and put in a good word for my son and daughter-in-law – and let's not forget my son putting together a strong offer – THEY GOT THE HOUSE!

As we suspected, the house did need some updates. Although it had a fresh coat of paint and some minor cosmetic updates, it really hadn't been renovated since it was built in 1986.
Since they stayed under their home buying budget, they had an additional $30k to set aside for renovations and furniture. Once they opened their 30-day escrow my son started to get all his contractors ready to go while my daughter-in-law and I gathered all our renovation and design inspiration. The day after they received their keys, they jumped right in and the renovation journey began! They wanted to do as much of the remodel as possible before they physically moved in.

The kitchen was first on the agenda and took about 1/3 of the renovation budget. Although it looked pretty decent at first glance, the cabinets were over 30 years old, they were made of particleboard, and they were falling apart.
home renovation countertops
The countertops and backsplash were poorly installed and very dated as well. Needless to say, a full kitchen renovation was a must.
home renovation counter stools
In order to save money, my son and daughter-in-law decided to keep the original layout of the kitchen and didn't incur the expense of moving gas, electrical, or water lines. They also opted to use standard cabinets vs custom to save even more money. But with any renovation, you need to have a few little splurges as long as it's within the budget. They chose carefully and decided to incorporate quartz countertops and custom pull out drawers within the cabinets.
They wanted a timeless white kitchen that was functional, simple, and had a classic design with minimal decor. Incorporating the Zia pendant light fixture was a perfect way to add a little something special to the space to help keep that classic, clean feel.
home renovation pendant light
home renovation small room
The small room right off the kitchen is actually supposed to be a sitting room but they chose to use it as a dining room for entertaining and having an open space for game night, formal dining or just hanging out.
Only a very small portion of the budget was used here because there wasn't anything major needed in this room, but they did replace all the flooring here and throughout the entire home, along with upgraded led recessed lights, which took about $8k of the budget.
Incorporating beautiful and functional furniture and decor pieces from Living Spaces was the only thing needed to transform the room. The Logan dining table and bench really warmed up the space, and the Dom side chairs add that sleek, modern touch the room needed.
The staircase was one of the projects that was high on the priority list. Originally it had no handrails at the bottom which was not very safe, and the top railing was very unstable and not their style. So that needed to be addressed asap!
Choosing a simple, black iron railing transformed the space into a more modern look. Keeping the design simple, the cost was about $3,500.
Although there were several small projects all going on while the major renovations were happening, like the master bathroom (which took about $5k of the budget), the living room was last on the agenda.
renovation sofas before
In keeping with the classic and minimal design of the rest of the home, they decided to give the fireplace a facelift. With the renovation budget running out, my husband did this project along with his friend to save my son some money. All he needed to do was spend a little under $200 for materials for the entire project.
Once the fireplace was completed and the built-in shelf in the corner was removed, the space felt more open and bright.
renovation sofas after
home renovation coffee table
The layout of the living room is a little awkward. With the TV facing the front door/entryway, this made the furniture placement challenging. We took our time browsing the big selection of quality furniture from Living Spaces and found the perfect furniture pieces well within their budget. The sleek design of the Dexter sofas allow comfort and provide ample seating without overcrowding the room. Adding the Logan coffee and end table warmed up the space with the beautiful wood tone that complements the new flooring they had installed.
Doing your research and getting multiple estimates from reliable referrals through experienced friends and family is a great way to begin planning, and it will help reduce the majority of the stress you will come across. You'll also have peace of mind knowing that the work will be done correctly and within your budget. Remember to be patient during the renovation process. Stick to your budget, and know that sometimes you can't do it all at once. Also, don't make quick decisions "just to get it done," because in the long run, you will regret it and end up redoing it again!

Follow Kathy on Instagram at @lovefabdecor

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