We chatted with Erin Marshall of Live Pretty on a Penny about how she creates a warm, inviting and stylish home without breaking the bank. From functional design to painting furniture, Erin shares tips for how every budget can Make it Home. Read the interview below and check out Instagram  and Facebook  for additional Make it Home content from Erin.

When designing a room, where do you start?

I typically like to think about what purpose this room will solve in the overall vision of the home. So, when thinking about any type of space that you’re going to begin decorating, it’s best to figure out what exactly you need this room to do. How will it function? And then you make a list of all the things that you need to bring into this space in order for it to function the way you need it to. For example, does it need additional seating? Will it need additional storage?

How often do you redecorate a space?

Well I’m sure if you asked the people that live with me they would say, “way too often.” But I typically like to tweak spaces based on the mood that I’m going for at that time. Because my style is constantly evolving, therefore my space is constantly evolved. So, I never consider a room "done" because I know that at any point I can go back and tweak something because of something I’ve done in another space and I want it all to flow. So, I would say that I redecorate often enough to keep my spaces interesting and to keep them from feeling boring to me.

If someone could do just one thing to a room to instantly change that room, what should it be?

Paint. You can paint anything. You can paint a wall, you can paint a piece of furniture and it will instantly transform the space. And the good thing about paint is that it doesn’t cost a lot to purchase it. And also, if you don’t like the color that you paint something, you can just repaint it. You can layer on, and layer on, and layer on until you get the color that you want. You can mix paint colors to get the color that you want. You can do whatever you want—the possibilities are endless with paint. That’s why I love it.

What has been your biggest design mistake?

If I had to pick one, even though I’ve made several design mistakes throughout this process, I would say that it was my initial fear of using pattern throughout a house. And that was simply because I didn’t know how to. So, I stuck with more solids and it led to a very flat space. Once I researched and figured out how to use pattern throughout my home, the space began to look more lively, and more awake. Patterns add visual interest to a room.

What makes a house a home?

The most important piece of any space is who you share it with. The second most important piece is how it makes you feel when you walk in. Does it make you happy? Does it make you feel safe? And does it make you feel comfort?

Learn more about the Make it Home Show House and follow along with our designers here .

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