Friday, February 19, 2010

A Room Makeover - Step-by-Step!

I love a good room makeover so had to share this step by step transformation from Better Homes & Gardens.

Here's the BEFORE, not awful, but pretty dull and boring (hate the wall color):

And here is the AFTER!   Funny, my brick orange dining room was unique for years and now 
that I've changed it I'm seeing that color pop up all over.  It is a beautiful warm color though...

Here's the step by step process used to transform this room from blah to beautiful:

After clearing all the furniture from the room (just like a redesign :)), they applied a modern damask patterned paper to one wall and painted the others the warm terra-cotta shown in the after photo.

Love the coral patterned fabric they put on the taupe patterned chairs.  Not sure if that's a DIY job I would attempt, but if you're so inclined there are a lot of bloggers out there with tutorials.

A nice big zebra print rug delivers some drama...

Strict contemporary isn't really my thing...I don't care at all for the artwork, but I do like the other pieces they chose for the room.

For example, I like this round table - on casters no less!  Tons of storage and ideal for a family or singles/couple.  

This console was placed under the window and offers plenty more storage to tuck toys away when guests visit.  I have those baskets in several rooms in my house - love them. 

The equally boring and uninspiring dining room got a makeover too.  The homeowners wanted to start entertaining and this space clearly isn't up to the job.

Here's the BEFORE:

And the AFTER:

The existing table and chairs (70s style garage sale finds) were sanded and given a fresh coat of white paint.  Paint is a beautiful thing isn't it?  If you hate it - paint it before you decide to throw it out and buy new.  You may fall in love with that ugly table, chair, console once it's been given a fresh new color.

The seat cushions were recovered with new fabric that ties in the terra-cotta used in the living room.  Recovering seat cushions is a super easy DIY job that the most inexperienced of us can handle.


Wallpaper is applied only to the bottom of the wall.  As you may know by now, I'm not a fan of wallpaper but the pattern here is fairly simple and with just the bottom half of the wall covered, it's not too crazy making.

A chair rail is installed.  This is also a fairly simple DIY project if you have a miter box, hand saw and staple gun (or adhesives).   

Texture is added with woven roman shades.  I would love to find something like this to put under the new silk drapes in my dining room.  I like the idea of layering the way I have in some of the other rooms in my house.

This is a pretty modern piece and not really my tasted, but provides great storage and, as with the seat cushions, the orange ties it in with the living room.

I'm a sucker for open shelving.  Love the idea of putting your useful pretties on display where you can enjoy them daily. 

As you ease into your weekend, think about what you can makeover.  It doesn't have to be this major to make a big difference.  Pretty much anything can be painted and there's probably something in your house you would love a lot more in a different color.

I have to caulk the bathtub (yuk doesn't adequately express my feelings about this project, but cussing isn't an option).  I also plan to paint the tiny landing off the garage and maybe (if I'm feeling particularly ambitious, the front door really needs a fresh coat of paint).

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cottage Style Revisited

I used to subscribe to a design mag called Cottage Living until, like so many others, it went belly up (I think it was at the end of 2008). 

The magazine brought a fresh perspective to what you think of as cottage decor.  It isn't strictly a shabby chic look, but can be very fresh, modern or traditional.  I really enjoyed seeing how each homeowner chose to define what cottage meant to them. 

One thing that seemed consistent for the two years I subscribed though is that the magazine  profiled houses that truly fit the cottage architectural style.  I don't remember any colonials or ranch, etc. that were decorated in a cottage style.  That was probably part of the appeal to me since most cottage style homes are small like mine.

Pouring over the rooms each month awakened a real appreciation in me for this very easy to live with style.  It's perfect for all types of living situations from singles to families and can easily be adapted to most lifestyles.  I guess it could be formal, but it was usually casual and curl up and read a book comfy.

The variety of styles that make up cottage style decor...

Cottage nearly always has some white slipcovered pieces.

Love this porch, probably because it looks warm and lovely on this little cottage porch and it's freezing in Cleveland and I'm watching the snow pile up again :(


 Stay warm wherever you are.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Dining Room Makeover Revealed

I am finally able to reveal my dining room makeover!!

Before I show you my pictures, I know that I should have taken the time to set the table, light candles, buy flowers and put them in a lovely vase and all that good stuff.  But, the guys from Arslanian Brothers just left after picking up the old rug to be cleaned and helping me lay out the new seagrass rug and I was just so excited to show you (all 6 of you...hi mom) my new dining room that I couldn't wait.

First, take a moment to review the BEFORE in this post for a proper perspective and then check out my fresh off the memory card reveal below...


This is the view from the living room.  I would have liked to get new shades for the chandelier (these are a pale gold silk), but it seemed an unnecessary expense given these ones from Ballard Designs are only about a year old and aren't really way out of place.  If I find 5 matching shades at a great price in one of my bargain hunts, I may pick them up, but these are fine for now.

I do love my fresh new Ballard Designs slipcovers with initial though.  They were a great buy on sale and I love anything washable. I don't want people stressing about spills when they eat.

I decided to rework the shelves in the built in by removing all but a few books and placing some cream colored pieces from my existing stash on display.

Did you happen to notice that I've entered the 21st century by having a programmable thermostat installed to replace the big ole honkin thing left over from 1940?  I'm so excited I can hardly stand it :).


I'm just thrilled with my new room and the toned down pallet is so soothing - exactly what I need right now.  It's hard to gain perspective from pictures, but the room looks sooo much bigger now too.  

Thanks so much for checking out my makeover.