For about two years during the last decade I was somewhat obsessed with a show on The Learning Channel called "Trading Spaces." Two sets of neighbors, with the help of a professional interior designer, would redecorate rooms in each other's homes. They'd get two days and $1,000 to do it. The results were wildly mixed, as were the reactions of the folks seeing their rooms for the first time on-camera during the so-called "reveals." At some point, the budgets got bigger and the teams got three days instead of two for the projects.
My husband was always scornful of the "creative" approaches employed by some designers to get expensive looks without spending much money. I was more enthusiastic, cheering one designer for fashioning an end table out of a garbage can. (Though even I shuddered when a designer glued moss on a bedroom wall.)
I thought the show was a great illustration of how tight budget restraints can lead to some pretty innovative ideas.