Our new dining room was not only created on a budget… it was completed in record time thanks to a few major deadlines that are right on the horizon (I am busting at the seams to share these with you guys!) We strive to create everything we do to the best of our ability while still being as cost effective as possible.  My secret weapon…. Hunting your space of course.
I will admit, we saved the most money ($1000 +) by building our built ins by ourselves.  These also made the biggest impact in the space.  While not a beginner’s project, this project was not nearly as difficult as we had initially thought.  Our built in’s came in at less than $500 (including a few new tools).  To save even more money we painted the back of the shelves using a leftover can of paint from our chevron curtains.  To fill the shelves we pulled all the books & accessories from the house & added a few Reader’s Digest that were picked up at the Goodwill.  
Thanks to an unexpected accident, we updated our chairs by simply replacing the solid upholstery with a pattern just on the inside back.  This is a simple upholstery project (great for a beginner!) Plus, a minimal amount of fabric is needed.  We spent $35 on a yard of fabric to complete four of the chairs.
By searching consignment & antique shops I was able to find a great deal in this fireplace surround.  But the biggest savings in this project was utilizing all of the fallen branches from our yard (plus, we now have less of a mess!) This project has been one of our favorites & at a total cost of $125 it wasn’t too bad on the wallet either.
Transforming our louvered doors into classic paneled doors was a one day project that made quite the difference in the room.  Not only did it dress the doors up, it also made them heavier.  A welcome improvement from our flimsy, builder special doors. This project was completed for less than $100.
For less than $1000 we have completely transformed our dining room into something completely custom.  We love it so much, that nearly every meal is had in this room (rather than the only on holidays system we have used for 6 years.)
For more rooms on a budget, please check out our Bedroom on a Budget post as well.
xo- K