We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

photography by  NATASHA HABERMANN 
written by ALYSSA CLOUGH

DINING SET – clients – Spray painted white ($10 DIY) ROUND CUSHIONS – Home Depot OUTDOOR CLOCK – Infinity InstrumentsTOTAL: 96.74

We can sense a good small space makeover from miles away. Okay that’s not true but they’re some of our favorite projects to share with you, and this one came together on an impressive budget! The home, a 400 square foot haven located in the Hamptons, was little more than a storage area when Natasha Habermann got her hands on it. The owner is Natasha’s own mother-in-law, who enthusiastically let her get to work revamping the space and giving it stylish purpose. The whole project came in at around $2,000, which is nothing short of jaw-dropping when you see these photos. Read on to find out how this master of small space design made 400 square feet feel (and look) like a palace.


TURKISH TOWEL – Serena & Lilly – this is the smaller version – purchased in store LARGE BLUE & WHITE CHEVRON BACK PILLOWS – Pier 1 PINK, BLUE & WHITE FAN PILLOWS – Anthropologie – (purchased for 15% off) – $98.60 PINK & WHITE PILLOWS – TJmaxx – $16.99 pom poms added via DIY READING LIGHT –Target – RUG – two rugs pushed together from TJmaxx – $16.99 each BAMBOO TABLE – thrift store – $15 BLUE AND WHITE PILLOW ON WICKER CHAIR – IKEA -ART – on loan – by Grace B. Keogh LARGE NAVY PILLOWS – client’s own WOOD HEAD SCULPTURE – client’s own BOOKS – client’s own – WICKER CHAIR – client’s own TOTAL: $321.51

TELL US A BIT ABOUT THIS PROJECT, HOW DID IT COME ABOUT? This project is at my mother in law’s house in the Hamptons. This beautiful bungalow was totally neglected and pretty much used as a storage area. The space has such amazing bones, high ceilings, and tons of windows so I knew we could make it something special. I asked her if I could update it and she happily agreed. So, we decided to give it a budget friendly makeover that would highlight the space.

WHAT DID YOU FORESEE AS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE GOING INTO THIS? The biggest challenge I saw was the couch. It’s a brown

pull out couch

from the 80s. Replacing it wasn’t a priority nor was it in the budget. The solution? I gave the couch a mini makeover by covering it with a turkish towel, and replacing the back cushions with updated throw pillows. Instead of spending $2000 on a new couch (the whole budget) we spent $225.


HEADBOARD FABRIC, purchase from eBay – Euro Shams – Anthropologie(purchased for 15% off) – $98.60 PINK & WHITE PILLOWS – TJmaxx -$16.99 pom poms added via DIY CHEVRON DUVET & PILLOW CASESIKEA, not available online – $9.99 in store SCONCE Crate & Barrel “Jax Wall sconce”- discontinued – they were $99 each CLOCK Infinity InstrumentsWHITE QUILT – client’s own BLUE SHEETS – client’s own LUGGAGE RACK – client’s own BAMBOO TRAY – client’s own  TOTAL: $527.12

WHAT WERE THE OVERALL GOALS FOR THIS SPACE? The goal was to make it a comfortable and stylish oasis for the owner and guests.

WHERE DID YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FOR THE DESIGN? The Hamptons/beach location was definitely the inspiration. From the start, I knew blue and white would be the key colors but I definitely did not want to go down the traditional nautical route; I wanted the space to feel more tropical and playful. I had been eyeing the Designers Guild headboard fabric for a long time and I knew it would work perfectly here. Everything else evolved around the headboard. FYI there is a fuse box on the bed wall, so that is why I decided to use a fabric headboard instead of a traditional headboard.

WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL FAVORITE DESIGN ELEMENT IN THIS SPACE? That’s a tough one. I’m mad about the headboard, but I’m crazy for the bathroom wallpaper. Before, the bathroom was lifeless. The addition of the wallpaper completely transformed the space. It’s like you’re walking straight into the sea.


WHICH DESIGN ELEMENT HERE WOULD BE BEST FOR OUR READERS TO RE-CREATE IN THEIR OWN HOMES? I think the idea of a fabric headboard is an easily adaptable idea. I feel strongly that every bed needs a headboard. That being said, it doesn’t have to be a traditional headboard. It could be fabric, a rug, a macrame wall hanging, etc. anything that will act as a focal point. You can use upholstery tacks, a curtain rod or a wooden dowel, like I used here, to hang your headboard.

CHAIRS – All Modern PENDANT LIGHT – IKEA RUG – Burlington GREEN BOWL – client’s own  DINING TABLE – client’s own, originally purchased from OKL BLACK ROUND PLATTER – IKEA -client’s own YELLOW VASE – Heath Ceramics – client’s own TOTAL: $667.94

WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF SMALL SPACE DESIGN ADVICE YOU FIND YOURSELF GIVING OVER AND OVER AGAIN? Everything comes down to scale. You need to make sure to use the correct size furniture and not over clutter a small space. I like to make sure there are areas of “breathing room” when decorating a small space. It’s okay to leave some areas empty!




 – IKEA BLUE & WHITE CHEVRON PILLOW – Pier 1 TURKISH TOWEL –Serena & Lilly – Purchase on sale COAT RACK – client’s own DRIFTWOOD – client’s own ART WORK – client’s own PINK PILLOWS – client’s own WHITE TABLE – client’s own TOTAL: $151.94

WALLPAPER – Etsy (I used 2 packs) MIRROR – CB2 WATERING CAN – IKEA NAVY RIBBON TRIM – $20 for 20 yards (local craft store) BLACK UPHOLSTERY – 4.99 SAIL BOAT ART – client’s own WICKER BASKET – client’s own TOTAL: $244.90

WHAT BUDGET FIND ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF HERE? Definitely the wallpaper. It was only $80! The entire bathroom portion of this project came for under $250.

ANY ADVICE ON HOW TO BRING DESIGN PROJECTS IN UNDER (ANY) BUDGET? First and foremost, determine what your budget is! So many people skip this step and that is where they get into trouble. I find it’s helpful to list out everything you need and then give yourself a price range for each object i.e lighting ($100 -$500). Once you’ve listed everything out, add up the low range and the high range. From there you can determine where you want to splurge and where you want to save. I’ve found this is a great way to keep the budget on target!


MIRROR – IKEA PLANT – IKEA PLANT BASKET – home goods – $9.99 BUOYS – client’s own TOTAL: 57.97

GRAND TOTAL: $2,068.12