A pair of designers in Oslo looked high and low for cost-effective materials to remake their cramped late-19th-century apartment into a modern family home. The couple built their 12-foot-long Norwegian spruce bench from wood milled on their family farm outside the city.
For the kitchen, the couple imported plywood from Poland, where it is cheaper, and installed affordable Ikea cabinets.
Dawn Casale and Dave Crofton's Brooklyn brownstone bears a budget-conscious patina of surplus and salvaged materials. Their kitchen island and counters were fashioned from remilled Douglas fir beams. The drawers are from Ikea.
A fresh coat of Benjamin Moore Paper White paint helped Casale and Crofton modernize and brighten the interior, without demolishing the brownstone's exposed brick walls.
Architect J.C. Schmeil added over 1,000-square-feet to a tiny 1935 Austin bungalow on a tight budget by utilizing plenty of salvaged materials, such as reclaimed travertine pavers for the patio.
Schmeil also installed energy-efficient Andersen 100 Series composite low-E windows to reduce his clients' long-range expenses.
Indie film director Jon Watts controlled cost while renovating his tiny Los Angeles apartment by installing a stained knotty-pine ceiling—“a very cost-effective solution,” he says.
Watts turned to online auctions to enliven his space without breaking the bank. Above his custom bed hangs a vintage Evelyn Ackerman textile found on eBay.
Budget renovations often require residents to pick their battles. Cecilia Tham and Yoel Karaso preserved original features of their 19th-century Barcelona apartment, such as the mosaic tile floor, in order to incorporate more modern elements. The result is a stunning patchwork of old and new.
Tham and Karaso's bathroom is defined by the apartment's grandest update: an angular freestanding tub composed of plywood.