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In an ideal world, we would all move into our respective apartments and houses, hire a few contractors, buy some furniture, and pump out our brand-new dream home in a couple of days. This, however, is largely out of the question for most of us—budget, not to mention time and other commitments, often gets in the way. This is why home renovation projects, no matter how completed they are in one’s mind, can often span across several years. No matter how begrudgingly we accept this reality, a beautiful home, one that you can truly call your own, is definitely worth the wait (and saved pennies). Just ask Adri and Jeremy Lentine, the adorable couple behind Dream Book Design. They moved into their Phoenix, Arizona home earlier this year and have been tackling the renovating slowly but surely ever since. Two self-proclaimed “budgeteers,” the couple seldom buys anything new, opting instead for vintage finds, affordable DIYs, and discount steals. With this penny-pinching credo in mind, the Lentines set to work on renovating their dining room. The previous iteration was a cramped, clashing, and dismally-lit space, filled with inappropriate floor tiles and out-of-place light fixtures. The end result, a combination of budget eBay finds, beautiful added moldings, and opened up space, is stunning. And accomplished for a little over $4,000, it proves that style, thrift, and time can be a winning combination for a beautiful space. Check out more photos, plus the complete object/budget breakdown after the jump!

The lesson I’ve learned from this Before & After is that if formal dining isn’t your thing, you can turn your dining room into an awesome home library — that’s a valuable lesson in my book. Jennifer enlisted the help of her friend, interior designer Autumn Clemons, to revamp this beige box and turn it into a dark, dramatic and ultra-modern space. Splurging on key pieces like the curtains and the sculptural light fixture was a wise decision; they really stand out and pull the entire look together. I’m sure this room will see far more use than it did prior to the redesign. Great job, Jennifer and Autumn!


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