A Painted House

Archive for the ‘Small Stuff Makeovers’ Category

How to drive yourself crazy with a project that was supposed to be fairly simple, if a bit time consuming:

1.  Decide you want a ginormous gallery wall of family pictures.

2.  Stalk your local Goodwill  on 50% off days, raid your Mom’s basement, and eventually collect 58 frames.

3.  Disassemble 58 frames for painting.

4.  Have a stroke of genious and number each frame and its corresponding glass/innards for easy reassembly later.

5.  Lay out all 58 frames on the garage floor.

6.  Spray paint 50 frames and then run out of paint.

7.  Make a special trip to the hardware store.  Buy an extra can just in case.

8.  Paint a second coat to cover all those places missed the first time around.  Watch in irritation as the paint on 55 out of 58 frames bubbles up in one place or another.

9.  Don’t panic.  Let them dry overnight and hope it will be better in the morning.

10.  Hand-sand 55 frames with steel wool to remove cracked paint.

11.  Attempt to touch up the sanded spots on a half dozen frames with your final can of paint.

12.  Feel like screaming when the paint not only bubbles up again, this time it’s worse.  Wonder if perhaps you’ve managed to accumulate 58 frames with some form of Frame Cancer.  Or Paint Repellant Syndrome.

 

 

13.  Give up.  Chuck the entire pile in the garage and call it a night.

Moral of the story:  Always, always, always prime before you paint.  Just, ACK.

 

 

 

 

James’ room was the first room to get a makeover after our move (see: Room Reveal: James’ Room) and is one of my favorites in our house.   Not too long ago our little boy transitioned from a toddler bed to a big boy bed and so his room underwent its second revision in eighteen months.

Oh, how I loved James’ airplane themed bedding.  One of the biggest arguements I hear against buying baby bedding sets is that they’re so expensive and you don’t use them for very long.  And it’s true, they are crazy expensive.  As in, some people pay more for them than they do in deductible to actually give birth to the baby.  So when we were picking out a set for our firstborn’s nursery I deliberately chose one which was more Little Boy and less Baby.  I was determined even then that with a $180 pricetag, I’d use that sucker for more than the first year of my kid’s life.

Here are some snapshots of James’ teeny tiny nursery in our first home.  Sigh, sniff, nostalgia.

 

 

Gosh, I loved that little room even if it had no storage and barely any floor space.  When we moved in to our current house we kept the same motif, subtracted the crib and changing table, and added a cutey little toddler bed.  Again with the sighing and sniffing.

As the crib bedding still fit his toddler bed, nothing really changed except adding the moulding treatment on the feature wall.  (Which had nothing to do with his age and everything to do with my love for moulding treatments.)

 

So several months ago my big kid outgrew his toddler bed and it was time to change things up again.  The first step was to prepare his new Big Kid Bed.  We’d had this fantastically orange wood headboard in storage for years:

It was Travis’ when he was a boy and came with the entire set of bedrom furniture we’ve been refinishing one piece at a time over the years. (The dresser shown above was part of that set too, refinished to a dark cherry color.)  Rather than strip/sand/stain/seal this particular piece I decided to paint it white.  A little room rearranging placed it up against the feature wall and I love, LOVE how the white pops off of the color.

 

 

The bedding was not a cheap find…..but when you pre-determined your colors with an extremely labor-intensive feature wall and your theme from a pre-purchased bedding set, you have limited options.  So when you find a set that a) matches your existing color scheme and b) fits the airplane theme but ratchets the age level up a notch, you just buy it.  It was still less than half of the cost of the nursery bedding. I really love the vintage airplanes because they will carry the theme all the way through elementary age.  Plus oh.my.word. the comforter and sham are the softest, squishiest, comfiest fabric ever.

 

So back to that nursery bedding set.  It came with sheets, comforter, bumper, crib skirt, and window valance.  I was determined to use as much of it as I could and part of that was repurposing the crib sheets into pillow cases.  We had two sheets that matched the set so I cut off the elastic edging, sewed them into pillow cases, and now James has two that coordinate with his new bedding and are super soft from years of washing.

 

The crib bedskirt was repurposed into the new bed’s bedskirt.  Because crib skirts are four-sided and a twin bed only has three sides showing, I was able to cut the skirt apart and piece each of the four sides together into one long strip.  I then tucked it under the box spring and it just barely made it all the way around his new bed.

Next up, every big kid room needs a night stand.  This beauty just happened to be free on the side of the road:

I know, I can’t imagine why, right?  It was a garage sale leftover and it seems no one wanted it despite it’s insultingly low price of $3.00.  I’m never too proud to stop and pick up something free if it has potential, a trait which annoys the junk out of intrigues my husband .   I thought those little cubbies underneath were darling!

The table had a big hole in the top where I’m guessing a lamp pole used to be, but that was pretty easily fixed by plugging the hole, spackling over it, and sanding it down.  Once the whole thing was spray painted a semi-gloss white you can’t even see where it used to be!

 

And there you have the main players in your big kid room: new bedding, big bed, and night table:

The dresser and rocker stayed, though we removed the footstool.  The curtains remain from the original bedding set, along with the blackout panels I made years ago when James started waking with the sun.  Not cool, kid.

The quilt from his nursery bedding stayed as a wall hanging, as again, it’s more boyish than babyish.

The frames are new and started out looking like this:

They were $1.00 each at a garage sale.  I discarded the old artwork and painted the frames a white semi-gloss.  For the artwork I cut squares of fabric and several of the appliques from the crib bumper and framed them.

The rest of the crib bumper was cut up and sewn into pillows.  I just whacked them off at the right length, stuffed a little more padding down inside, and sewed the ends closed.  I stitched leftover cording from the bumper into the ends of my new pillows so they look finished.  I made two, one that sits on his rocker and the other tucked into the back of his nightstand.

The little end table next to the rocker is a square chest and was a garage sale find years ago.  I originally had plans to paint it and cover the rattan panels with fabric but for now it does just fine.  James loves that he has a treasure chest in his room!

The bookshelf display got a little makeover as well, adding a mirror salvaged from my Mom’s house, a framed drawing of James sketched by my Dad, and two wooden puzzles made and given to him by my grandfather.

The final change to James’ room is the one he found far and away, most exciting.  Anyone who knows my boy knows he has an obsession with ceiling fans.  And “obsession” is probably stating it far too lightly.   So much so that he has a “favorite fan”……which just happens to be the fan hung in the master bedroom at our old house, and under which my boy spent hours napping and playing in his first two years of life.  That same fan was on display at Menards for years and every time we went there James would ask to go visit his “favorite fan”.  So when Menards discontinued it and took it off display last year we had one crestfallen little boy.  Enter Daddy to the rescue….Travis ordered this ugly favorite silver ceiling fan online and then earned Daddy of the Year award by installing it in James’ bedroom.   Oh my, if you could have seen the elation on that boy’s face.   Daddy is his hero.

MY favorite part of James’ updated room is the saying above his door.  It was gifted to him by my Mom and truer words have never been spoken.

 

There you have it…..from nursery to big kid room.  May we not redo this room again until he’s old enough to pick out something hideous more mature for himself!

I’ve finished another room!  It happens to be the smallest room in the house, but a room nonetheless.  The main level half bath is just off the foyer, so it’s one of the first spaces you see when you enter our house.   (Welcome to our home!  Aaaaand here’s our bathroom.)  So I wanted it to be decorated as much as any other room.  Here is where we started:

Builder’s grade oversized mirror, yellowy beige walls, no accessories of any kind.  Then when shopping at TJ Maxx with a Christmas gift card, I happened upon this bathroom rug.  My color scheme was born!

I also bought this matching hand towel….how cute are those little embroidered butterflies?

Here come the Befores and Afters!

I wanted the paint color to be dramatic, since it’s a small space.  So I matched the darkest gray in the rug to a Pittsburgh Paints color called Gibraltar Gray.

The builder’s grade mirror had to go.  After some searching I found this lovely brassy mirror on 66% off clearance at Hobby Lobby. It was originally $89.99 and I paid $29.99.  I gave it a coat of Adhesion Primer and then several coats of white and an accent color from Dutch Boy called College Park Green (though it’s actually an aqua, not green at all).

Before and After:

Remember this?  I told you it was destined for a makeover but I bet you never guessed it was meant for a bathroom!

Here it is now, repurposed as a magazine rack.

This bathroom is tiny and I was having trouble finding a solution for the magazines my husband piles in there that didn’t take up most of the floor space.  (Confession: I totally switched out most of his magazines for mine for these photos because, well, his are ugly.)  So I came up with the idea of a hanging magazine rack and put it on Travis’ To Do list.  Then I spotted whatever this thing is (Any guesses what it’s original use was?  I can’t come up with any) for $3.00 at Goodwill and I knew I could make it work.  Without having to wait six months for Travis to have time to make me one.  Patient I am not.  The best part is how little space it takes up in the room – look at that low profile!

For accessories I mostly “shopped the house”.   The vase on the vanity came with some flowers my sister sent me on my first Mother’s Day.  I kept it because I loved the color…and lo and behold it’s a perfect match.  The faux hydrangeas came from Hobby Lobby.

The little shelf used to be in our guest bath at the Whitehall house.  Now it displays tea cups from a set I pilfered from my friend Emily’s garage sale pile.  The color is perfect and you can’t beat the price!

It also holds an aqua glass pitcher that was a gift from one Shelly Alley several years ago and a little creamer I found at Goodwill.

So should you come visit me you might find 75% of my house somewhere on the spectrum of Unfinished, but my potty will be pretty!  The end.

Last week a friend and I bundled up our four boys and did something stupid took them all on a thrift store shopping tour.  I was looking for two specific things (a desk chair and framed mirror), neither of which I found, but I did find a few other treasures.  Wanna see?

These Land’s End boots retail for $50.  FIF-TY DOLL-ARS.  Are you kidding me?  Who pays $50 for a pair of kids boots, which they will grow out of in one season?  Seriously.  I don’t even own an item of clothing that cost that much.  I paid $2.00 at St. Vincent’s, gave them a good washing, and tucked them away for next winter.

Ok, I’m really, really, really done buying Christmas items now.  Really.  But this wreath was too pretty to pass up.   It still has the Hobby Lobby tag on it for $39.99 and I paid $10 at the Salvation Army.  It looks kinda irridescent and gaudy in the photo, but in person it’s just beautiful and shimmery.

This one I won’t tell you about just yet, other than to say it was $3.00, because it’s part of another project.  Any guesses what it will be?

This wine rack was $2.00 at Goodwill and now holds towels in my bathroom.

See?

The following glassware came from St. Vincent’s and the Salvation Arm.  The apple and short canister are in my kitchen, the pagoda-looking one is on display on a shelf I will tell you about soon, and the vial is headed for my bathroom shelves.  I paid around $8.00 for all four.

And since I’m covering thrift store purchases for the month, here are a couple of items I bought on a quick trip to Goodwill earlier this month, looking for that elusive bathroom mirror.  Isn’t this little biscuit tin cute?  I don’t know if it’s meant to hold the Tea or Dog variety, but I loved the gigantic cork topper.

Did you know that you can spray paint yellow trays with roosters on them and then put them in your living room?  You can.  And the world thanks you for it.

This little milk glass bottle was $1.00

And finally, I have a thing for little pedestals.  For example this one that I bought at Goodwill several years ago and painted, pictured in our old kitchen:

Display Disposables

This pedestal bowl is wooden and I spray painted it white  (shocking!).  It sits in my living room next to pictures of an adorable baby.  I imagine it will look beautiful full of ornaments at Christmastime.

But technically it’s not a Christmas decoration.  Because I’m done with that.  Really.

So we find ourselves in that awkard period between the holidays and Spring when the Christmas decor is down and put away but it’s way too early (and optimistic) to be bringing out warm-weather decor.  (Insert longing sigh when I moved my Spring wreath to the side to put away the Christmas boxes).

So in an effort to pretty up my newly-nekkid kitchen hutch, I continued my quest to Embrace the Blue.  (No idea what I’m talking about?  See this post .)  Thankfully I have some wintery snowflake decor to use that isn’t also Christmasy.  Check it out (you can click on the pictures for a better look):

I had two blue, white and silver placemats (gifts from my mother-in-law on our first married Christmas) which fit perfectly under my favorite white serving bowls.  (Note to self: find something to put in the white bowls).  The matching cloth napkins were crumpled up and stuffed into the domed glass containers on the shelves.  The small glass jars were filled with white and silver tea lights and the big cookie jar contains pine cones.  The pine cones I’ve had for years, gathered up from the forest floor at a Wisconsin resort.

The display cabinet holds a few blue snowman dessert plates and mugs, gifted to me  by my Mom several Christmases ago.

This little display sits on my island:

An Evergreen scented candle and two sets of snowmen and snowflake napkin holders, arranged on a wooden pedestal I bought at Goodwill last summer and spray painted white.  That little pedestal was such a great find at just $1.00 since it was missing the glass dome.

Grand total for this kitchen decor makeover?  $0!  Gotta love that.

Note:  This is a repost from my former blog, for the sake of archiving all home-related projects.  Original publish date:  August 3, 2010.

This little beauty was only $1.70 at Goodwill.  Imagine!

DSC_0048

Two coats of spray paint and it’s now hanging out on my kitchen table:

DSC_0063

As a side note, I’ve decided to stop fighting the blue in my kitchen.  Would I have chosen blue countertops?  Never in a million years.  Will we keep them forever?  Definitely not.  Are periwinkle blue counters what we have for the forseeable future?  Yep.  So rather than trying everything I can to detract from them, make excuses for them when people come over, and pretend they don’t exist….I’m just going to go with it.  Enter the blue tablecloth and center stage for a tea pot that has a sentimental place in my heart.  Consider this my experiment in living with a french country kitchen.


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