See this kitchen go from bland to bold after a makeover — for just $250!

Have you ever considered painting a space in your home bright, almost electric, blue? If your answer is no, this kitchen makeover may make you reconsider.

Erica Prince, an artist based in Brooklyn, New York, is best known for her versatile ceramics, so it's no surprise that her home reflects her unique outlook on the world. After a long winter in 2017, the 33-year-old decided that her kitchen needed a bold transformation — and boy did she deliver!

Electric blue kitchen before after

"Sometime around March when I thought the cold would never end, I looked around and realized that the white walls that once felt fresh suddenly felt sterile," Prince told TODAY Home. "I knew I wanted a bold color that would feel transformative — something that would add a touch of drama and romance."

Not only did the blue paint make the space more dramatic, it also perfectly enhanced Prince's ceramics, which were on display throughout the space. They're inspired by Dutch tulip vases and Utopian architecture, according to the artist.

Electric Blue Kitchen before and after

"I make ceramics and I love to look at them against the blue, like the one pictured with the gladiolas and the one with limes and roses," said Prince. "The blue drastically changes its mood throughout the day, depending on the light."

In addition to the paint color, Prince purchased new chairs — all of which came to a total of $250. The majority of the other pieces were either vintage finds or hand-crafted by Prince's husband, Shane Jezowski, who's a sculptor. And while she loves the blue paint, her favorite aspect of the space is actually the butcher block.

Electric Blue Kitchen before and after

"I love the big butcher block and how much space it provides," said Prince. "It feels like I'm on a cooking show because I have the space to lay out all of my ingredients in neat piles."

Prince also has a message for those tinkering with the idea of updating the paint colors in their own homes.

Electric Blue Kitchen before and after

"Go bold and don't second guess yourself," said Prince. "It seems like all-white interiors were having a moment for a while there and I do appreciate the versatility of a totally neutral space, but color will give you energy."

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Affordable renovations that can skyrocket your home's value
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Affordable renovations that can skyrocket your home's value

Do the Right Work Yourself

Home improvement labor isn't cheap, so you can save a bundle doing some of the work yourself — tackling a two-hour painting job, for example, can save you a couple hundred dollars. But stick with jobs you won't botch. "Homeowners can save money by doing the demo themselves and leaving the large projects to the contractors," said Mary Riebert, a realtor based in Snow Hill, Md.

For those wishing to give DIY a try, find out which renovations you can tackle to increase your home's value

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Buy Salvage Materials

Habitat for Humanity provides safe and affordable housing through a network of volunteers and with full participation from the homeowner. The organization sells leftover and donated supplies and materials at its ReStore salvage stores, where you can get below-retail pricing on appliances, building materials and used furnishings. Auctions are another source of good resale materials.

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Choose a Steel Entry Door Over a Wood One

Replacing your old front entry door with a new steel door costs much less than replacing it with wood, and it returns 91.3 percent of your investment, according to Remodeling's 2018 Cost vs. Value report. A high-end steel door with sidelights can cost between $1,000 and $3,000, but a high-end wood version can cost over $4,000.

Get Started Now: 10 Home Renovations to Make Before You Retire 

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Opt for Vinyl Windows Over Wood

Unless you're going for historical accuracy in an older home, consider vinyl windows over wood to save money and maintenance, and earn an almost 5 percent larger return on your investment. On average, vinyl windows cost $130 to $500 each, compared to $150 to $800 each for wood, according to Fixr. Insulated vinyl frames might be more expensive than non-insulated ones, but they'll make your vinyl windows at least as energy efficient as wood to help you save on heating and cooling costs

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Use Bamboo Flooring Instead of Hardwood

There's no substitute for a wood floor, but prices for the various options vary quite a bit. At $2 to $4 per square foot, material costs for bamboo can save you up to $4 per square foot compared to the cost of maple or red oak, and up to $7 per square foot over the cost of Brazilian walnut, according to HomeAdvisor. You can also save on labor costs because, unlike hardwood flooring, bamboo typically comes prefinished.

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Choose Ceramic Tile Over Stone

Unlike artificial wood flooring, which lacks the warmth and texture of the real thing, ceramic tile can be a dead ringer for stone tile, but at a fraction of the cost. High-quality ceramic can cost up to $5.50 per square foot, but can be as low as less than $1 per square foot compared to natural stone flooring costing up to $10 per square foot, according to Home Flooring Pros. Ceramic is often less expensive to install, too.

Worth Doing: Home Renovations That Will Pay You Back 

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Use Stock or Semi-Custom Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets are one of the most expensive parts of a kitchen remodeling project, so you'll want to consider saving on this upgrade by choosing good-quality stock or semi-custom cabinets over fully customized or refinished cabinetry. Stock cabinetry costs $80 to $400 each compared to $150 to $1000 for semi-custom, $500 to $1500 for custom and $1,400 and up for refinished, according to HomeAdvisor.

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Purchase Cabinets Directly From the Manufacturer

Homeowners who are able to install their own cabinets can save big by bypassing retail stores. "I save one-third on kitchen cabinets by purchasing them directly from the manufacturer," Riebert said.

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Pick Solid Surface Counters Over Granite or Marble

A midrange major kitchen renovation earns you a slightly better return on your investment than an upscale one does, at about half the cost, according to Remodeling's 2018 Cost vs. Value report. A midrange overhaul includes laminate countertops, which cost an average of $52.50 per linear foot compared to $148 per linear foot for granite and $154 for marble, according to HomeAdvisor. 

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Retain Bathroom Plumbing Configurations

Replace fixtures, cabinetry and flooring when you redo your bathroom, but avoid changing the room's layout. At an average hourly rate of $45 to $150, requiring your plumber to tear up flooring to reroute pipes can triple your plumbing costs, reports HomeAdvisor.

Beware: Sneaky Expenses of Renovating Your Home 

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Use Shower Curtains Instead of Shower Doors

Shower curtains come in a nearly endless choice of styles, patterns and colors, and when paired with a liner, are a cinch to maintain. You can get a high-quality designer one from a pricey department store for under $150, whereas midrange frameless tub shower doors easily cost over $600. 

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Buy Landscaping Materials in Bulk

Even if you're breaking your landscaping projects up into stages, thinking and shopping ahead can save you money because you can buy your materials in bulk. Buying mulch in bulk is far less expensive than buying it by the bag, and the quality is often better. "One yard of bagged mulch is about $54. A yard of good-quality bulk mulch [purchased] from its source is $23," said Jen Uhlig, owner of Sharpest Tool Landscaping in Berlin, Md. And considering regular landscaping costs add on to the maintenance of your house, you'll be happy to save where you can. 

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Use Your Renovation to Get a Cheaper Mortgage Loan

Homeowners paying mortgage insurance because of low equity can boost the value of their home remodeling projects by taking out a rehab loan and then using that money to pay their mortgage insurance. "Once the updates are complete, you will have more equity and can refinance with no mortgage insurance," said Riebert.

Remodeling 101: From HELOC to a Happy Home 

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Consider All the Ways to Save

Reducing renovation costs isn't the only way to save money on your projects. Projects that increase your home's value also increase your equity and can return more than you spend on them in some cases, so don't be opposed to all renovations even if they cost a little more. It might just be worth it.

Up Next: 20 Home Renovations That Will Hurt Your Home's Value 

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