Make over your house without going broke

Kitchen too small? Depressed by your rooms? No matter what your budget, there's a way to solve the problem.

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Three smart splurges
Three smart splurges
Home renovation inevitably means mess and disruption. But a single piece of extraordinary furniture can transform a room almost as much. Handcrafted pieces might cost more than their big-box-store counterparts but will retain their value far better over time.

1. A sofa
Buying a one-of-a-kind piece like this $1,975 sofa means you can often select the upholstery, finish, and some detailing as well.

2. A table
Avoid veneers, which can bubble and crack. This $4,800 solid-wood table should hold up well even in high humidity.

3. A bed
Curved shapes and decorative carving drive up the cost of custom furniture. Pieces with straight lines, like this $2,195 bed, are a relative bargain.

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Last updated March 20 2009: 9:25 AM ET
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