By Vanessa Brunner | Houzz

Smart and inexpensive DIY fixes can be found in every nook and cranny of this home in San Diego. Blogger Kristin Salazar lives here with her husband, 2 dogs, and 3 young sons. In a household as busy as this one, organization and staying on budget are key. Salazar and her husband redid a lot of this home themselves, and found all of the products at bargain prices. It’s been a labor of love.

Salazar has chronicled her clever fixes on My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia. See how, with thought and care, she and her husband transformed this 3,000 square foot house into a cozy home with French cottage style.

Salazar designed a combination mudroom/craft room where she sews and works on her projects. They gave an IKEA bookshelf a built-in look by adding trim, wainscotting, and other details. A chandelier inherited from Salazar’s grandmother gives the room a soft light.

A little craft corner houses Salazar’s sewing supplies and an antique sewing machine she also received from her grandmother. A frame with two wires and mini-clothes pins serves as her inspiration board.

On the opposite end of the room, Salazar and her husband added cupboards to store their children’s toys, coats, and random knickknacks. Salazar made the ruffled curtain to give the cupboards a more seamless look.

The house has a very open floor plan, which is one of Salazar’s favorite things about her home. The great room combines the dining and living areas; a staircase leads to upstairs bedrooms. By orienting the dining table perpendicular to the coffee table in the living room, Salazar defined the two different spaces without a physical divider.

The little arched doorway with an iron gate leads into a small closet used to store wine — a perfect addition to any household that loves to entertain. Salazar turned the stairwell it into a gallery wall, unifying the collection by painting the frames black and white.

For the front wall near the wine closet, Salazar added a subtle accent with a stencil she purchased online. Using a lighter shade of beige (mixed with a pearlescent color to give it a slight shimmer), she used a foam roller to paint the design over this entire wall. DIY Detail: Wall Stencils.

Salazar and her husband updated their kitchen island by adding new legs to the end and putting trim, wainscotting, and other details on the sides. After painting it a satin black, the island had an entirely new and custom look.

Like the island, the cabinetry in the kitchen just didn’t suit the Salazar’s style. Instead of spending the money on new cabinets, they did a creative renovation of their own.

By adding trim around each door and glass in others, and painting the entire thing a soft white, they got the same effect as purchasing a new set of cabinets. From the Pros: How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets.

The master bedroom was designed as a soothing escape from the chaos that comes with having three young boys.

Salazar gave the walls a very light, lavender-toned gray and chose a combination of all-white bedding for their four-poster bed.

Salazar purchased her armoire and nightstands from a secondhand store. Always on the hunt for a good deal, she usually tries to find things online first, since it can be hard to find the time to go shopping.

“If I don’t have any luck online, I browse thrift stores, garage sales, and places like Marshalls and Ross,” she says. “I never pay full price.” Save Money by Refinishing, Rather Than Replacing Furniture.

Gauzy sheer curtains from IKEA line the walls and the corners of the bed. The bench at the foot was found for a steal at Costco, but Salazar painted it white and had it recovered to blend with her home’s palette. “Each room is very well planned out,” she says. “By the time we get around to making a room over, we have hundreds of pictures torn out from magazines, files on our computer, paint chips attached to walls, and visions from our travels.”

This bathroom is used by all three of Salazar’s sons. A soft light blue keeps the room in the same color tones as the rest of the house, and its simple and understated beach theme will be suitable for the boys for many years.

To give the bathroom a fresh and clean look, she repainted the cabinetry in the same light blue added new sea-glass green drawer pulls from Anthropologie.

The guest bedroom has the same French feel as the master bedroom. An dark ornate mirror echoes the lines in the bed frame, and Salazar topped the bed with a white duvet and linen pillows she made. The tea set is a beautiful family hand-me-down given to her parents at their wedding.