When Decor Budgets Are Tight, Try These Options For An Upgrade

Teresa hired an interior design to transform her dad's double-wide. He had some requirements: don't spend a lot and use as much recycled stuff as possible. We show you the big reveal!
Posted at 2:50 PM, May 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-19 17:50:29-04

If you've been looking around at your home lately and feeling like it could use some sprucing up... we have a story that might give you some inspiration. Our Teresa Strasser noticed that her dad's mobile home was in desperate need of a makeover, so she called interior designer Kalen Mehlman. Kalen usually spruces up multi-million dollar mansions, but she agreed to take on this project which is small, in size and budget — $1,500. See how she gave the project a lot of panache, without a lot of cash!

Ok, Kalen got the makeover started with…. fresh paint!

As Kalen says, “paint is one of the biggest impactful elements you can bring into design.

It changes everything.” One goal was to make the space inside Nelson’s home feel bigger, so they painted it white. Outside, they used a beautiful shade of blue.

Next... she added some vintage finds.

She wanted to bring in some pieces that could be multi-purposed, so she used the rolling bar cart to double as a kitchen island. Then she found some baskets and hooks at a vintage store, and used them to organize things higher up — it looked cute, and created a sense of more living space.

Next — real and faux greenery.

In Kalen’s words — three plants will change a whole space, whether they’re real or fake. They bring in an organic feeling, they’re calming, and they add a nice texture.

Next - a gallery wall.

This is a great way to showcase your memories. Kalen found frames for 50% at Michael’s, and it only cost a couple bucks to make the prints. She says no matter what size a home is, the way to make it feel personal is with memorabilia and memories that really speak to the homeowner.

Finally... some ambience... with string lights and lamps.

Kalen is a big fan of floor lamps or table lamps to bring in the cozy feeling of home. She elevated the lighting inside... and outside too. She decided to repurpose the outdoor space as additional living space because the indoors is small — and it doubled the amount of space where Teresa’s Dad can entertain his buddies. So she added ambient lighting and string lights to liven things up and make it twinkly and welcoming. In Teresa’s words: “My dad has the best patio in the whole trailer park now!” She says he never used to be out here before, but now he loves to sit out there and play Scrabble with friends.

Check out the video for Teresa’s Dad’s adorable reaction when they do the big reveal!

adapted for web by Dave Hanson