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Friday, April 3rd, 2009

5 Recession Friendly DIY Design Ideas with Nina from The Cultivated Home


Posted by Ali | View all posts by Ali
8 Comments » | Published in DIY, Decorating Modern, Interior Designers, modern inspiration  |  8 Comments

Nina - The Cultivated HomeNina V. Freudenberger is the founder and principal of Haus Interior LLC, and After attending Rhode Island School of Design and graduating with her Bachelors of Architecture, she worked as senior designer at Kondylis Design for four years. With a prestigious client list of over 25 projects, Nina opened her own firm to continue the vision of elegant and sophisticated design while retaining the experimental energy of the contemporary world.

1. Make your own wall art. We bought pre-cut cubes of wood from Home Depot  (about $1 each) and painted them 5 different shades of green of Benjamin Moore paint to create our installation piece. And no need to be obsessive over the painting!  The key is in the hanging which just takes an hour at home and a ruler. Go for bright colors such as corals and yellows.

DIY art idea

2. Instead of the expense of wallpapering an entire room, why not cut down the cost and keep it focused? Buy fewer rolls and just paper a focal wall, behind your bead, your ceiling, as a faux headboard or even just in the back of your bookshelves. You will get your daily “glimpse” which will make you feel stylish and chic without paying thousands.

wallpaper your closet

3. Paint your walls with horizontal or vertical stripes! Depending on the space and your patience, this is a simple way to make your space look larger or your ceiling height taller. This is a simple afternoon activity which I have done myself, and all you need is the paint color of your choice, some blue painting tape, a ruler and a level.  Tape out the increments of your desired stripe, and smooth it to the wall by applying pressure so that paint cannot seep underneath. And the rest is just layering on that paint! Get creative with your paint color choices, I love bold colors, so try green or a deep purple.

Paint your walls with stripes

4. Extra space? Why not add a splash of color with buying books by the yard from your local bookstore or thrift shop (books which are either used or not in demand) and cover them with wrapping paper of your choice or with colored construction paper. Just another way to get the look of high design in your space without spending too much money.

covered books

5. Make opening every door a surprise; a separate jewel box in itself. Paint the inside of your closet a bright color to showcase every inch of your home. Tie in the accent color of the rest of your home or use your most favorite outrageous color – there are no regrets with this small project. Just close the door, and it’s out of sight.
Thanks, Nina! To view more of her work check out Haus Interior LLC and

Paint the inside of a closet

About Ali

I enjoy wood paneled station wagons, German food and senior citizens (I am 80 years old at heart). Nearly every weekend I am taking photos at other people's weddings and I have a blog of my own (but I don't update it often enough). I love to paint, sew and knit. Check out my DP Staff profile on Hatch.



  1. Ivory Pearl Interiors says:

    April 5th, 2009 at 7:28 am (#)

    Thanks god somebody has remembered there is a recession out there, and that people do not gave a lot of money to splash in interior design! I loved the “Make your own wall art” idea. I’ll give it a go.

  2. Sophia Cicilioni says:

    April 5th, 2009 at 12:59 pm (#)

    Having seen (and have impacted mightily) some of these homes depicted here – I applaud you, Nina.
    You are so creative, and current – and absolutely sensitive to the times. BRAVO!

  3. Sophia Cicilioni says:

    April 5th, 2009 at 1:01 pm (#)

    ….sorry…. what i meant was (and have BEEN impacted mightily by!)

  4. minxlj says:

    April 6th, 2009 at 12:48 am (#)

    I love it! You have given me a few cool ideas for my living room – I’m also interested in conserving and recycling materials, so it’s good to be thrifty! :)

  5. patty says:

    April 7th, 2009 at 7:40 am (#)

    thanks, nina – these are great ideas that anyone could interpret to match their own style. more like this!!

  6. Kathy Kuo says:

    April 7th, 2009 at 12:33 pm (#)

    These ideas are so fresh and so on trend with our economic times! Thanks for the hip tips- they look great! I loved the little square blocks idea!

  7. Cerentha says:

    April 8th, 2009 at 8:59 pm (#)

    I love the wallpaper in the closet…gorgeous.

  8. Weekly Intel: News You May Have Missed « HomeIntel says:

    April 10th, 2009 at 4:45 am (#)

    [...] 5 Recession Friendly Ideas [...]

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