Family’s home in Stone Mountain filled with DIY projects

In decorating her first home, Brandi Abdul-Malik has learned about patience. Instead of rushing out to buy furniture and accessories, she’s taken her time to develop — and blog about — her own style on a budget.

“I try to decorate at my own pace,” she said.

Sometimes that means spotting used furniture with the scale and style that she likes, and being willing to sand, paint, stain, reupholster and sew.

“If I love it, I’m going to make it work,” she said. “I love going to thrift stores and finding things that I can transform.”


Residents: Talib, Brandi, Jade and Caleb Abdul-Malik and their dogs, Princess, Bella and Sasha. Brandi blogs at

Location: Stone Mountain

Size: 1,580 square feet, three bedrooms, two baths

Year built: 1972

Year bought: 2008

Architecture style: Traditional

Favorite architectural elements: The home's split-level floor plan

Contractor: Ernest Hicks

Renovations: Replaced the kitchen floors after a dishwasher leak and added molding in most rooms on the walls and in some unique ways. For example, the kitchen cabinets were revamped by adding molding and beadboard-look inspired by the details on barn doors. They also have repainted the home, using colors such as Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter. "Our house was built in the '70s, so a lot of things were outdated, but paint made a huge difference," she said.

Interior design style: Traditional

Favorite interior design elements: Furniture and accessories they have found at thrift stores and revamped, often using paint and fabric. "I love to shop at thrift stores and look for inexpensive items to update," she said.

Favorite piece of furniture: The living room sofa, which was purchased by Brandi Abdul-Malik's mom. "When my mom passed away, I received many of her personal items, including her sofa. I was moving out of the state with very little furniture of my own, so my dad gifted it to me because he knew how much my mom would have wanted me to have it," she said. "I was 16 when she purchased the sofa. I can still remember the day she had it delivered. If you knew my mom, you knew how much she loved her sofa. My siblings and I rarely sat on it. It was more of a show piece and my dad jokingly referred to it as the 'Cadillac.'"

Decor tip: If your style is traditional, adding crown molding to cabinets and walls can make a big difference in the way a home feels and looks.

Resources: Furniture and accessories from Wal-Mart,, HomeGoods, Home Decorators, World Market, Ross, Target, American Signature, West Elm, IKEA; art from,