We’ve been in our home for almost 16 months now, and while there’s a lot we can’t change due to time and budget constraints, I thought I would share a few things we did change. I am titling this series “Modest Makeovers” because really, there’s so much more we could do, but what we have done is enough for now. There are no major remodels, and most likely, you won’t find yourself gasping in amazement at the before and after pics. But I wanted to share what I’ve done anyway because I think that it’s something akin to sharing what people really look like instead of airbrushed models all the time.
So let’s start with a few befores, shall we?
This is a picture of our living room as we found it when we moved in. What would you change first if this were your room? Well, nine times out of ten, people (including myself) noticed the wood trim first. White trim has been in style for awhile now, and although the wallpaper and carpet here leave much to be desired as well, I really wanted to paint it. But we don’t own the house, and the owners felt like it was one of those things that once it was painted over, it couldn’t be changed.
So I had to work with it, and you know what? I actually kind of like it now.
I think the biggest change that helped with the trim was choosing a good color of paint (Whetstone Gray by Martha Stewart). I started a board on my Pinterest account called “Paint Colors That Go Well with Wood Trim” and I continue to be surprised by how people are following it – in fact, I have more followers there than I do on my blog!
Beyond paint, lamps and curtains (which were the biggest splurges of this room) I collected inexpensive frames from the Goodwill store and finally put up prints I had sitting down in the basement. I also got a new slipcover (using credit card points) for the sofa that the previous owners had left behind.
The coffee table was a Craigslist find for $25 that we repainted with a $3 pot or two of a Martha Stewart color from Home Depot. You can see in the picture above what it looked like before, as well a what the curtain rod looked like before we spray-painted it oil-rubbed bronze.
I made new pillow covers with a vintage doily my great-grandmother had crocheted (backed with navy fabric from an old pillowcase) and some plaid fabric left over from a Christmas stocking project. I added a squirrel applique made from an old pair of corduroy pants my husband discarded.
The other thing you’ll probably notice is that there aren’t too many knick-knacks around, mainly because of my three boys. This tea set is pretty sturdy – it belonged to my husband’s grandmother. I don’t mind if the boys pull it down, especially the littlest one!
So those are the changes we’ve made so far. It will be fun to add a little more sparkle in the days to come when we set up our tree and decorations. We are also getting new carpet (the owners are replacing it) because the previous owners smoked and no amount of cleaning seems to keep the smell at bay.
Next week I will post our bathroom!
* UPDATE: Ahhh . . . decorating with boys. If you’d like to find out what happened to the cute squirrel pillow I made, click here.