Atlanta Decorating Magazine Contest: 2015 “Decorating On A Dime” Winners

Engel & Vokers

Atlanta! You knocked it out of the park…

In honor of National Decorating Month we issued you a challenge and you really rose to the occasion.
For our  2015 “Decorating on a Dime” Contest we asked if you could transform a room for under $1,000. With some creativity, a few repurposed items and a whole lot of vision, our winners made the “old” look beautifully new again. In the next few pages, you’ll meet our winners and learn their stories and see exactly how they afforded it all. We hope their nifty finds and ingenuity will help you with your next project.
(Tip: Make sure to take photos and document your progress because you might be next year’s winner!)

WINNER- Alisha Nesbitt – transformed her son’s nursery into this girly, gorgeous nursery for her new daughter Rian for $899.54

Decorating for a princess! That was the vision I had in mind before I started and nothing less than perfect would do for our Rian.

I transformed my son’s old nursery into a nursery for my daughter who was born on December 29th.Though the transformation looks dramatic, I actually kept it pretty simple. I only had to wallpaper just one wall plus I changed the paint color and refurbished and upholstered the crib.

I ordered the wallpaper from Graham and Brown online and Neal Schwartz is the independent contractor who painted the room and hung the wallpaper!

I also repurposed furniture from other parts of the house to cut costs. The mirrored vanity has been sitting in my closet unused for six years. I decided to pull it out of the closet and pass it on to my daughter. The vanity gives the room the perfect touch for a “Princess” themed nursery. So does the  pink glitter crown that we recycled from her baby shower!

Crib $199.54
New rug $175.00
Wallpaper $150.00
Paint and wallpaper labor $375.00

2nd Place – Jae Vinson, Blogger at Design O.C.D. transformed her guest room for $260
Inspiration can come from anywhere! Mine came from that pair of fuchsia curtains.  The newly painted white wall enabled me to bring in color and interest with new fabric and paint (the existing pieces were refreshed) and a few new accessories were added. I used my original paintings on the wall along with some plates from Target and Crate & Barrel I already owned. Then I purchased a new sunburst mirror. I did not replace the sheets or duvet cover but purchased a new bed skirt. No new furniture was purchased for this makeover. I actually made the burlap headboard with a nailhead trim and painted the dresser. On this miniscule budget, I still ended up with a room that suits my taste. It now feels more modern and even more welcoming.

Homemade burlap headboard $80
Fuchsia curtains ( $60
White bed skirt with navy blue stripes $30
Paint $47
Fabric $3
Sunburst mirror (HomeGoods) $40

3rd Place – Nancy Minnich redecorated her daughter’s bedroom for $457
Inspired by Lilly Pulitzer! It was time to update the purple, yellow, & orange walled bedroom belonging to our daughter. Her inspiration was a pink floral Lilly Pulitzer duvet cover.  My husband and I primed and painted the walls and ceiling. We removed the shag carpet and uncovered hardwood floors.  We sanded and sealed the floors and installed quarter round molding.  The bi-fold closet doors were replaced with louvered doors and we replaced the dated ceiling fan and light with a chandelier. We re-purposed the curtain rods, bedding and rugs. While still girlie, the room is now bright & inviting.

Floor sealer (Hardwood Floors Unlimited) $50
Quarter round  (Hardwood Floors Unlimited) $15
Rug (IKEA) $60
Paint (Lowes) $63
Primer (Lowes) $20
Closet light (Lowes) $24
Door hinges and hardware (Lowes) $24
Curtains (Marshalls) $40
Chandelier (My Favorite Place) $40
Rent a sander (Sunbelt Rental) $121


Professional Winner
We couldn’t resist this pretty lobby makeover. After all, aren’t our workplaces often “home away from home”?

Laura Anzures, Daniel’s Floors transformed this lobby for $748.72
The lobby had an old, black futon, chairs, a plastic tree and horrible carpeting.  The walls were yellow and orange. I had to find seating that was as durable, comfortable and stylish.  I had to find something that would accommodate people of all body types. I searched Craigslist for office furniture and lobby furniture. I initially found what I thought was a great set of chairs online. But when I went to purchase the chairs, they really weren’t as cool as they looked in the photo. I spied the chairs that I ended up buying, hidden behind a bunch of medical beds. I got a great deal because there were only 5 chairs, not a set of 6. The chairs will hold weight up to nearly 300 lbs.  The chairs I was going to purchase were $275 for the set. The ones I got were better…and less expensive!

Chairs (Medical Supply House) $159.00
Rug (Target) $49.99
Paint $100.64
Curtains & Rods (Target) $ 53.48
Tables (Craigslist Seller) $75.00
Flooring $260.65
Lamps & Shades (Target) $49.96


Professional – Honorable Mention
While this makeover cost a bit more than our limit, we simply had to include the submission from Sunshine On A Ranney Day, which is a wonderful nonprofit organization. They create dream room makeovers for children with long-term illnesses or disabilities. We are proud to help spread the word about this fantastic, inspiring group!
The beginning of the story is tragic. At 4 years old, Brianna Hudson was riding in her family’s car when it was hit head-on by a Corvette driven by a teenager. The driver and passenger in the Corvette were killed and Briana was left with serious injuries to her brain and spinal cord. Through her family’s faith in God and extensive therapy, Briana can now get around using a wheel chair. Since Briana needed to be on the main floor, she was sharing her parent’s bedroom. That’s when Sunshine on a Ranney Day, a non-profit organization whose motto is, “We don’t just make rooms, we make room for hope!”, stepped in. Their charity uses professionals to help kids with long-term illnesses. They renovated the garage and transformed it into Briana’s dream bedroom with a wheelchair ramp and handicap accessible bathroom. For more information about this incredible makeover (and organization!) visit

L to R: Denise Hudson, Holly Ranney,
Briana Hudson, Peter Ranney, Brian Robins, Sgt. Buddy Mays, Danny Hudson


IKEA - Sponsor of Atlanta Home Improvement magazine 2015 Decorating on a Dime Contest
$500 Gift Card


Fabric & Fringe, Sponsor of Atlanta Home Improvement magazine 2015 Decorating on a Dime Contest Sponsor
$250 Gift Certificate


Masterpiece Lighting, Sponsor of Atlanta Home Improvement magazine 2015 Decorating on a Dime Contest Sponsor
$250 Gift Certificate






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