I recently completed a refresh of the guest room in my parents' home that also needed to hold a small home office space. This project was very low budget, and we also had to contend with old uneven walls that were previously wallpapered many times over. Other than that, it was a blank slate. We wanted to complete this project not only without spending much but also sustainably by reusing as many materials as possible and by bringing nature inside.
Mom had some nice furniture stored away in the garage that we were able to pull out and use, and I had a few pieces of my own picked up from thrift stores and vintage shops over the years. The result was a sustainably designed room that's pretty, feminine, rustic and modern all at the same time, for a total cost of $156.
We started by choosing a textured wallpaper from Home Depot which masked the uneven walls perfectly. Then I sanded down old barn boards and installed them vertically on the feature wall behind the bed. These boards came from my grandparents' old farmhouse that was originally built in the late 1800's not far from my Mom and Dad's home. It was so meaningful to be able to repurpose these beautiful boards in their home.
The old iron bed is a beauty that goes way back in the family. I avoided the cost of an expensive lamp by hanging a bare bulb in a vintage-look cage by a simple DIY wood bracket beside the bed. The side table was a second-hand find that I had painted and wallpapered in for a previous project and didn't need any longer (see the night stand DIY here).
A slim IKEA console desk provides enough space for a laptop and letter writing. A DIY barn board shelf above the desk offers book storage and mimics the barn board wall opposite it.
I pulled out an old dresser that's been in the garage for years and sanded down the old paint that was already chipping off of it (it used to be mine when I was a kid!). On top of it sits an old mirror with the frame painted white, and antique saucers from my Mom's cabinets that now provide pretty storage for jewelry.
The decoration was dirt cheap: an old frame pulled out of storage and hung empty on the wall; 3 woven round place mats hung as art, repurposed curtains hung on the window and a matching one to cover the closet that doesn't have a door; pinecones collected in a vintage jar; and a thrift store lamp recovered and painted (DIY here).
The only cost sunk into this was the new wallpaper, which took 6 rolls for a total of $156. The rest was all repurposed and DIY'd using natural and reclaimed material. I hope this inspires you to think about doing your next refresh sustainably - for both the planet and your wallet.