3 Simple Budget Paint Projects That Help Boost A Home’s Character

I must begin this post by apologizing for not sharing anything on my blog for a very long time. There was was so much that I wanted to share but no time to actually sit down and write about it.

One of the things keeping us busy has been a small 1920s cottage that we manage.

It had been continuously occupied for many years, but this summer it became vacant. And that was our chance to finally get in there to do a little maintenance and make some upgrades.

So today I’m sharing three very simple budget paint projects that helped boost the charm and character of this adorable little cottage.

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1.  Bi-Color Exterior Window Trim

One of the not-so-cute things about this little cottage is that it has vinyl siding that cannot be painted. I would call the color of the siding “faded tan” for lack of a better description.  The original siding is still underneath so, yes, we’ve considered removing the vinyl siding to see what kind of condition it is in.  But a project like that is real roll of the dice, so we’ll save that for another time.

The vinyl siding needs almost no maintenance, but the wooden window trim was in need of a repaint.  Chris sanded and prepped all of the windows for paint.

The house has its cute, original mullioned windows. So, to highlight them, we decided to go with a bi-color paint scheme when repainting the trim.

This is such a simple way of adding charm to a home’s exterior.

The colors we used were Behr Palais White (GR-W15) and PPG Pine Garland (1126-6). These colors soften the utilitarian look of the vinyl siding – and they make the mullioned windows pop.

The front door received the same treatment.

Not every window lends itself to this bi-color trim paint treatment, but luckily these did.

 

2. Painting The Interior Of Built-Ins A Contrasting Color

The kitchen has a cute built-in hutch.

The hutch interior was a bit worn and needed a paint touch-up.  But we didn’t have any of the white paint left. What I did have was plenty of PPG Periwinkle Blue (30BB 33/235) left over from my living room refresh.  So, rather than trying to match the existing white, I used that color on the cabinet interior to create some contrast.

The periwinkle blue works with both the wall color and the white of the hutch’s exterior frame.

It’s just enough of a contrast to set off that fun vintage frame.

I used a small paint brush for the corners and crevices. To get a smoother surface than a paint brush or roller could give me, I used this little paint tool to cover the flat surfaces.

This project added a touch of charm to the kitchen and, since I used paint we already had on hand, it cost us nothing.

 

3. New House Numbers

It was finally time to do something about these bland little house numbers that hung next to the front door.

Besides being unattractive, they were too small to easily see from the street.

So I got an inexpensive wooden plaque from a local craft store. Because of the space between the front door and the window, the plaque couldn’t be wider than about 9 inches.

I wanted art deco house numbers to honor the era of the house, but many of the art deco stencils I found were stylized to the point of being a bit difficult to read.  I finally found this stencil, which walked the fine line between style and practicality.

I painted the plaque with the Palais White trim paint and then experimented on the back of the plaque with several application methods for the numbers.  I ended up spray painting them with a gloss black spray paint that we had on hand.

I didn’t enjoy this project as much as I thought I would.  The stencil, while probably great for other types of crafts, didn’t work super well for my spray paint application. Even though I carefully masked everything within an inch of its life, I still got a bit of overspray that needed to be touched up with the white paint.

But someone with more advanced stenciling skills would probably breeze through a project like this – which is why I included it in this list of simple paint projects.

Anyway, this project worked out reasonably well in the end, and it definitely lends more charm to the front entrance than those dingy aluminum-framed numbers.

This project had me obsessing over house numbers and the impact they make on the overall look of an older home.  So I created this companion post, which features some of the beautiful and period-appropriate house number plaques I found for older homes.  If you’re looking for house-number inspiration, check it out.

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Three Ways To Add Value To Your Home

The following is a contributed post. For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

Whether you are looking at renovating your home or selling it, it is always a good idea to think about how you can add the most value to your property. This will ensure you are getting as much as you can out of your investment. 

Adding value to your property can benefit you, your family, and your bank account. For example, if you are choosing to sell your home, adding value by undertaking a well-planned renovation project will make your home more attractive to buyers and maximize its potential to sell at a higher price. 

You can also benefit from adding value to your property if you are not selling it and plan to live in it for the foreseeable future. Adding value can ensure you have a safe and sturdy place to live, protect the structural integrity of your home, and help you avoid potential issues or surprise home-related expenses in the future. You can customize your home to your tastes and make it the sanctuary you have always dreamed of. 

Adding value comes with many benefits, regardless of your end goal. Here are some of the top ways you can add value to your property. 

1.  Deal With Any Major Issues 

Many homes have issues that are hard to see. You have to go beyond the aesthetics and investigate the structural integrity of your home. You should take time to inspect (or have a professional inspect) your entire property, from basement (or crawl space) to attic, to see if any issues need resolving, or if there are any potential issues that you might be able to prevent from happening.

For example, there might be an obvious issue in your basement that requires restoration water damage services from a professional. Alternatively, you might find a few cracks in the wall, peeling paint, squeaky floors, and warped walls that indicate a future structural issue. It is important to identify the big and the small issues so you can include them in your renovation project. 

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is to only think about the aesthetics when it comes to a renovation.  They may choose to simply cover up defects such as water damage. But failing to correct structural issues as part of the restoration can bring trouble later – which might even include having to reverse the hard work you did in your renovation project. 

2. Redecorate 

If you have not updated your home decor in a while, your renovation project is the perfect opportunity to do this. Paint and decor tend to look worn and dated with time. This can change the entire atmosphere of your home. Redecorating your home is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways you can upgrade your home and make a big impact.

 

Whether you decide to refresh the colors and decor you already have, or choose to go in a different direction and make a statement, you will notice a huge difference in how your home looks and how it makes you feel. When planning your renovation, make sure to budget in time and money for redecorating. 

3. Make Your Home Sustainable 

There is no better time than now to invest in making your home more eco-friendly. There is global concern over the environment, which has resulted in governments all over the world introducing new targets and ways for homes and businesses to be more sustainable.

Not only does this mean you can play a positive role in helping the environment, but it can also make your home run more efficiently and save you money. There are many different ways you can be more sustainable in your home. For example, you can install smart technology that will keep you up to date with your energy usage. Installing additional insulation to ensure your energy is not leaking through cracks is another way to save. You can also install renewable sources of energy, such as solar panels, in your home as part of your renovation project. Making your home more sustainable is a great way to increase its value. 

Whether you are selling your home or making it more comfortable for you and your family, it is always a good idea to consider increasing its value when you plan your next renovation project.

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Tips For Salvaging A Bad DIY Project

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

We’ve all been there; you’d been making some good progress on a DIY project, and then you picked up a hammer and nails and somehow ruined it all. It happens! When you’re trying to refine your DIY skills and make something unique and totally your own, it’s easy to be disheartened by setbacks. But salvaging a bad DIY project isn’t impossible and, with a bit of repair knowledge and the drive to pick up where you went wrong, you could get your project back on track in no time at all. 

Here are a few things to consider trying:

Come Back Later

The first thing to do in this situation is take a deep breath and walk away. You’re not going to be able to find a fix when you’re frustrated. Give it at least a couple hours, have a snack and a drink, and then come back with a refreshed pair of eyes. You might be able to spot a few new things you can do or, at the very least, be able to work out where you went wrong. 

Update Your Tool Kit

Working with defective or inefficient tools is a sure way to add time and frustration to a project.  So if you’ve been trying your hand at a new project and nothing seems to be going right, check the state of your tool kit. Is something missing? Are you using a faulty tool that might even be dangerous? You may want to find a nearby Ace Hardware Store and get some new and better tools.  It’s never a bad idea to upgrade to more hardy and efficient tools that’ll get your job done quicker. 

Strip, Sand, And Seal

For projects that deal with wood (and no internal heating, wiring, or plumbing systems), the fix could actually be quite easy. If you’ve applied a paint or finish that isn’t looking good, try stripping it off again, sanding things down for a smooth and safe surface, and then applying a wood seal to protect the material you’re working with. Once you’ve got this much done, you can plan the next step for your wood project. Just make sure that the seal you apply is compatible with the paint or finish that you plan to use over it.

Whether you’re working on your front door, your window frames, your kitchen cabinets, or any other wood surface, preparing it properly first always brings better results. 

Call A Professional

Of course, there’s no harm in just calling in a professional. You don’t want to potentially make a structural problem any worse, especially if you’re working with difficult and/or dangerous systems like plumbing or wiring. Clear the area, call a professional, and then try your hand at a smaller DIY project to build your skills for the future. 

A bad DIY project is only a few steps away from being a good one! Take a step back, make sure you’ve got the right tools, and then try again.

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Home Renovation In 7 Easy Steps

The following is a contributed post. For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

Home renovations can be overwhelming – unless, of course, you break it down step by step. These seven easy steps should help in ensuring that your home renovation goes smoothly.

1. Define Your Goals

Before you even start planning your home renovation, you need to define what your goals are. What do you hope to achieve with the renovation? Are you looking to increase the value of your home, make it more energy-efficient, or perhaps update its appearance? Once you know what your goals are, you can begin planning accordingly.

2. Set a Budget

 

The next step is to set a budget for your home renovation. How much can you afford to spend? It’s important to be realistic here, as you don’t want to end up going over budget and ending up in debt. Once you have a budget in mind, you can start planning which aspects of your home renovation you’ll be able to tackle.

3. Choose Your Contractor Carefully

One of the most important aspects of a successful home renovation is choosing the right contractor. Do your research and get quotes from several different contractors before making your final decision. Be sure to ask for references and check them out carefully. The last thing you want is to end up with a substandard renovation that costs you more than it should have.

4. Get the Right Permits

Before beginning any work on your home renovation, be sure to check with your local building department to see what permits are required. Getting the proper permits ahead of time will save you a lot of headaches down the road.  This might be something that your contractor can help you with.

5. Make a Detailed Plan

 

Once you have your goals, budget, and contractor, it’s time to sit down with your contractor and start making a detailed plan. What rooms will you be renovating? What type of work needs to be done? Be sure to factor in every aspect. For example, will you be looking at things like window replacement or maybe updating your plumbing? How much can you realistically accomplish within your budget? Having a detailed plan before you start will help ensure that your home renovation goes smoothly.

6. Stay on Schedule

One of the biggest challenges of any home renovation is staying on schedule. There are always unforeseen delays and complications that can arise, but do your best to stay on track. The sooner you can finish your renovation, the sooner you can start enjoying your newly updated home.

7. Consider Hiring a Home Renovation Specialist

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of planning and executing a home renovation, consider hiring a specialist. A good home renovation specialist can help you define your goals, set a budget, choose a contractor, and make a plan. They can also help you stay on schedule and avoid common pitfalls. In the end, hiring a specialist may cost you a bit more, but it could save you time, money, and headaches.

The Bottom Line

The best remodels are usually the ones that start with a clear vision and a lot of planning. Defining your goals, setting a budget, choosing the right contractor, and making a detailed plan are all important keys to success.

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Three Tips For A Successful Home Remodel

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

Are you planning to remodel your home? Taking on a renovation project to get your home looking exactly as you would like is exciting and allows you to put your personal stamp on the property.  But, in most home remodel projects, there is some stress involved in achieving that dream property. To ensure your remodel is a success, it is essential to put some preparations in place before any work begins. The more planning you can do in advance, the more likely the project will turn out exactly as you had hoped. 

Here are three tips for helping keep the stress to a minimum during your remodel:

1.  Have A Clear Picture Of What You Want To Achieve

Without a firm idea of how the project will look once completed, you may waste money and be left with a remodel that does not provide all the benefits you were hoping for. Taking time to think about the remodel and decide precisely what you want from it will help to ensure its success. 

2.  Create A Realistic Timeframe

One common problem that occurs during remodel projects is failing to meet the original timeframe. Some projects can drag on for months or even years beyond the original timeframe – leaving homes unfinished and stuck with escalating costs. You need to avoid this situation, as it is bad for your finances and your health to endure the prolonged disruption and stress of a home renovation project that shows no signs of completion.

To keep your project on track, it is helpful to discuss your timeframe with the contractors before work begins. Ensuring everyone is comfortable with the timeframe and that it is realistic will help you keep driving the project forward toward that date.

A lack of available materials and supplies can sometimes be to blame for building delays. So, ensuring that all materials from metal deck to window frames are ordered in plenty of time is essential to keeping the project on track.

3.  Set A Realistic Budget And Prepare For Contingencies

Setting a realistic budget for the remodel is a must to ensure that your costs do not spiral out of control. However, even with careful planning, the price of a home renovation can escalate. To ensure that you are not left trying to raise funds to complete your project, it is helpful to put a contingency fund in place. Having a contingency fund provides the peace of mind that you have money ready and waiting if needed to cover any unexpected costs that arise during the remodeling.

These three tips should help you to enjoy a home remodel that runs smoothly and leaves you with your dream home at the end of the project.

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7 Simple Steps To Giving Your House A Makeover

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

So you’ve decided it’s time for a change – your house is starting to look a bit tired, and you want to give it a makeover. But where do you start? 

Here are 7 simple steps to help get you on your way:

1. Assess what needs to be done

The first step is to take a good look at your home and assess what needs to be done.  Are the walls in need of a fresh coat of paint? Can I paint my metal roof? Is the furniture looking a bit dated? Do I need new curtains or carpets?

Taking stock of what needs to be done is the first step in planning your renovation project.

2. Set a budget

One of the most important things to do is set a budget. Unless you’re a millionaire, chances are you don’t have an unlimited amount of money to spend on your home makeover.  So it pays to figure out how much you can afford and then stick to that.

3. Plan your renovations

Once you know what needs fixing and how much money you can spend, the next step is to work out when and where these repairs will take place.  This is the time to do all the research you can about the projects you are planning.  Take a realistic, methodical approach.  Talk to the experts and learn if your plans are feasible – and the best approach to take.

Timing is also a consideration. For example, if the roof needs replacing but you’re planning some major landscaping as well, you may want to do those two projects at separate times so as not to disrupt the flow of construction.

4. Find the right tradespeople

Once you’ve worked out what needs to be done, it’s time to find good quality tradespeople who will do the work properly.  Whether you need a roofing company, landscapers, or painters and decorators, make sure that these are reputable companies with happy customers.

5. Pull together tools and supplies

Now that you know what needs doing and where your renovation budget lies, it’s time to start gathering tools and supplies. If you’re doing some of the work yourself, make sure you have all the necessary equipment to complete the job.  Some materials might need to be special ordered or they might be backordered at the hardware store, so it’s best to make sure that you have everything you need before you begin.

This is also the time to pull together any tools, supplies, or materials that your tradespeople might have asked you to have ready for them. 

6. Start renovations

Now it’s time for the fun part – actually digging into those renovations! Whether you’re tackling a small paint job or knocking down walls and building an extension, enjoy every minute of your house makeover. Take plenty of pictures as you go so that you can remember how it used to look.

7. Complete renovations

After a lot of hard work, your renovations should be complete, and you can enjoy a fresh new look in your home.  Sit back, relax and bask in the glory of a job well done. Take pictures of your renovated project so that you can remember this time for years to come.

What’s next?

One renovation project often leads to another. Once you get used to the new changes, it’s time to start thinking about what you might want to do next. Maybe it’s time to redecorate the bedroom or add an extension? Whatever renovation ideas you have in mind, follow these 7 simple steps and get started today!

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Have The Home Of Your Dreams With These Simple Renovations

My recent living room makeover wasn’t a huge remodel.  It wasn’t even particularly imaginative. The biggest change was a new coat of paint. Yet it made a huge improvement to my home and the way I feel about it.  Now I want to keep going and repaint every room on the main floor!

So this contributed post, about simple changes that make a big impact, really spoke to me.

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

Have The Home Of Your Dreams With These Simple Renovations

Do you want to improve your home but don’t know where to start? Consider starting small.  Sometimes small changes are all you need to breathe fresh life into your home.  So, if you want to fall in love with your home again without spending a fortune, this post is for you! It will go over some simple renovations that will have your house feeling new in no time.

Apply A Fresh Coat Of Paint

Applying a new coat of paint is a cheap, simple way to update any room.  You can also peel off wallpaper before repainting your walls. 

The best time to paint is when the weather outside is warm and dry so that your fresh paint will not peel or crack—plan for at least a week of drying time before moving furniture back in. Laying plastic on floors and using a drop cloth to protect the floor will help contain any mess. Once it’s dry, you’ll be pleased with the beautiful transformation that a fresh coat of paint can bring.

Install New Lighting

An easy way to make a space feel new is with some simple light fixtures. Swapping out a fixture can change the mood of your home in seconds. Make sure the fixture is large enough to cover most or all of the space without being too overwhelming or detracting from other elements in the room, such as a fireplace.

It would help to balance lighting between ambient, task, and accent lights, so make sure you keep that in mind when selecting fixtures for different parts of the room. Select fixtures that complement your décor, but don’t feel limited to them. Be sure to hire a professional to install your new light fixtures if you are not experienced at doing this task yourself.

Replace An Old Roof

Some of the most important tasks to take on when having an old house renovated are those that will make your property more energy-efficient. Of course, the priority is usually a new roof as it can save you heating and cooling costs. 

There are many different types of roofing materials available, but asphalt shingles are often a good option because they last longer and are less expensive than some other materials. And sources like Affordable Home Services can make roof replacements cost effective.

Add A Mudroom

There are so many benefits to having a mudroom.  But even if there is no room in your existing floor plan to add one, try designating some wall space near your front or back door as a space for an organized “drop zone” for keys, sunglasses, gloves and jackets. Most importantly, provide a place for wet or dirty footwear. This can reduce the amount of dirt, mud, and other debris tracked into your house, so you won’t have to clean house as often.  

Invest In Your Entrance

The entrance is the first impression that guests have of your home.  If possible, make sure that your entryway has a welcoming feel. A great way to do this is by investing in a new front door or repainting your existing one and adding upgraded door hardware.  Try adding decent-sized plant containers on either side of the front door or an attractive outdoor chair or bench near the entrance.

Conclusion

The home of your dreams might be closer than you think. With just a few simple renovations, you can make any space feel like the place where you belong and want to spend time with family and friends every day. 

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4 Great Ideas For Improving Your Home’s Exterior

Today’s contributed post is on one of my favorite topics: Curb appeal.  At my house, there is always room for improvement in this area, and tip number 2 reminded me that I really need to step up my game when it comes to exterior lighting.

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

4 Great Ideas For Improving Your Home’s Exterior

We often hear real estate professionals talk about the importance of street appeal in buying and selling properties.  That’s because street appeal is your home’s public image.  It’s the story that it tells about itself and its occupants.  And that means something whether or not you’re selling your home. 

As per the U.S Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey, homeowners spent $522 billion on home improvement projects from 2017 to 2019.  And, while much of this money and effort was spent on interior improvements to homes, improving your outdoor space is equally essential.

But improving your home’s exterior doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult.  Here are a few simple tips.

1.  Upgrade Your Front Door

First impressions typically begin at your front entryway, so having a dazzling front door is a guaranteed way to boost your home’s curb appeal. Thankfully, you can explore numerous ideas to make your front door attractive. For instance, giving your front door a new coat of paint can refresh your home completely. Alternatively, you can replace an old and unappealing door with a more eye-catching option. However, unless you plant to repaint your exterior, always choose a new front door based on your existing outdoor color scheme.

You can also upgrade your front door hardware to enhance its look. And if you are considering redesigning your entryway or front door, it is always best to add a personalized touch that reflects your style. As such, you can hop over to this page to consult with experts for durable, customized doors to improve your curb appeal.

2.  Invest In Exterior Lighting

Proper outside lighting is a must-have to boost your home’s exterior. For starters, exterior lights increase curb appeal and can even help you get more cash for your house when you decide to sell in the future. Indeed, the National Association of Home Builders reports that excellent exterior lighting can increase your home’s value by up to 20%. 

Outdoor lights also highlight exciting landscape or architectural features at night, so they are worth the investment. In addition, these lights increase safety after dark since well-lit exterior spaces deter criminals. You can select strong lighting sources if you want a highly illuminated space or opt for solar lights and small lanterns for a soothing and relaxed atmosphere.

3.  Revive Your Roof

Your roof is an essential aspect of your home’s insulation and weatherproofing system. But your roof also significantly contributes to your home’s exterior appeal. Therefore, a roof revival might be necessary to transform drab roofing into an aesthetically pleasing asset. Generally, your roof’s condition and age will determine whether replacement is needed. As such, take a critical look at your roof and consider repairing or replacing it to improve your home’s exterior.

4.  Install Window Boxes

 

Window boxes are undeservingly overlooked when homeowners consider ideas for sprucing up their home’s exterior. However, the classic window box remains an excellent exterior design feature that can add a distinct touch to your house and make it genuinely stand out. You can select a window box made of metal, wood, vinyl, or fiberglass, depending on your preferences. Then, hire a professional to anchor these boxes properly, reducing their chances of failing in the future. You can also consider planting some colorful mix and match flowers to make your exterior brim with life.

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ORC Week 8: A Pet-Friendly Living Room Makeover – Final Reveal

Finally we’re at Week 8 of the One Room Challenge.  If you’ve been following my living room transformation since Week 1, thank you so much for coming along on my little journey.  In this post, you’ll finally see if I accomplished my goal of creating an elegant, airy, and inviting living room that looks right for our circa 1920s house.  And, because we always seem to end up with at least one resident cat, it must also be able to withstand pet hair and pet stains.

Basically, my project consisted painting stuff, buying stuff, and moving stuff around.  To see some really impressive projects, check out what the other Challenge participants have done.  You can find their projects here.

Big thanks to media sponsor Better Homes & Gardens and ORC creator Linda at Calling It Home.  The ORC gave me the motivation I needed to actually do something about this room – and keep to a schedule.

The Room’s Challenges

In my Week 1 post, I went into detail on the challenges we were facing with the living room.  But, in a nutshell, this is just a very tricky room to furnish.  Because it has two huge windows, two doorways, and one large archway, there is very little actual wall space.  Since there is no entry hall, traffic flow from the front door to any other place in the house radiates from the living room.  So traffic flow also had to be taken into consideration when placing furniture.

As a result, most of the furniture was pushed against the walls.  This made the living room feel more like a glorified hallway.  And somehow it looked cluttered and empty at the same time.

Living room before

The sofa blocked access to the garden view from one of the large windows. Anyone sitting on the sofa would be facing away from the view. Since I’m the type of person who loves to look out windows, this has always bugged me.

Living room before

But turning the sofa at an angle from the window wouldn’t have worked either because that huge sofa would have impeded traffic flow to the dining room.

Living room and dining room before

Also, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, the room was a bit bland.  The blandness actually did have a calming effect – which is why we kept it that way for so long.  But this was not a room where we enjoyed spending a lot of time.

Although antiques are not trendy right now, we love ours.  But they felt stagnant in the room.  I needed to find locations that worked better for them.

So, here is what we did.  And as I explain the project, I’ll also mention a couple of things that make the room pet-friendly.

The Transformation!

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We mostly use this room for gatherings or for listening to music.

So, for a cozier gathering area, we replaced the sofa with a loveseat.  That enabled us to create a U-shaped seating configuration that centered around the large window instead of blocking it.

The new loveseat is from World Market.  I know from experience that it can comfortably seat two adults and one small child.

 

It was very affordable, and I am in love with its fun and classic design.  The green upholstered chair is also new from World Market.  They are both very soft and velvety.

Pet-Friendliness:  Although I can’t speak for all cats, none of our cats have ever been compelled to use furniture covered in microsuede as a scratching post.  It’s also easy to spot-clean and vacuum. So I made sure that my new furniture pieces (the loveseat and upholstered chair) were covered in microsuede fabrics.  

The new furniture configuration called for a square area rug.  The new area rug I found carries a bit of an arts and crafts theme that I think goes well with our 1920s house.  The only thing I’m not crazy about is the fringe.

Pet-Friendliness:  Maybe it’s just the particular vacuum that I have, but I find it impossible to vacuum cat hair from low-pile rugs.  So, when shopping for a new rug, I didn’t consider rugs with a pile height shorter than a half inch.   

I gave the tray of our old coffee table/ottoman an update (detailed in my Week 6 post).  It not only looks better, it’s also easier to clean up spills since now it has a plexiglass cover.

Beyond it, under the window, is the little vintage bench that used to be in our bedroom.  It works well here as extra seating yet it doesn’t block the window view.

This Hepplewhite-style chair was one of the first antiques I purchased (at a swap meet) as a young adult.  I love it just as much now as when I first saw it.

In the corner behind it, a vintage lamp adds evening lighting.  A majesty palm and a “string of bananas” succulent help to blur the line between indoors and outdoors.

 

A piece of abstract art done by my preschooler niece, and an oil painting of our cat, Eddie, painted by a friend, hang on the wall.  (Now Eddie can give us his judgy look even when he’s not in the room.)

 

To the left of the palm is the dresser I revamped with chalk paint a few years ago.

 

As a side table between the two chairs, we are using a small vintage table that we inherited from my mother-in-law.

And next to the loveseat is the industrial glam campaign table that used to belong to my Mom.  She graciously agreed to trade another table with me so I could have this one.  So I guess I didn’t just shop my own house for this room, I also shopped Mom’s.

From the front door, traffic flow still works.  But the living room no longer looks like a hallway – with furniture pushed against the walls.  It’s cozier and more intimate.

The north wall is the longest stretch of uninterrupted wall space, but the front door also swings in here.  Furniture placed on this wall needs to be fairly shallow for the sake of traffic flow.

Here we placed our wardrobe-turned-stereo-cabinet and an antique console.

This wall gets indirect light from two large windows, so plants here always seem to do well.

We don’t use the front door much ourselves, but guests and packages come in this way.  So, other than the plants, I didn’t go overboard on styling the console as it will no doubt serve as a drop zone.

 

But of course I had to tweak something after this post was published.  I remembered a friend’s advice to make the living room reflect our personalities – which I think I did for the most part.  But the console felt impersonal.  So I changed a few of things and added a couple of art pieces done by family members of all ages.  There’s still space to use the console as a drop zone, but now it’s just more “us.”

Moving on to the west wall, we have our liquor cabinet.  The large mirror was hanging in this location before.  It’s the only piece in the room that went back to the same location.

We got the wood carving from a local artist in Kona, Hawaii, while vacationing on The Big Island.

From the dining room, there is ample space to enter the living room despite the placement of the loveseat.

As a transition between the living room and dining room, we hung a large print that we got at an arts and crafts fair in Newport, Oregon.

The photo was taken under the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport.

I really love how the photograph looks with our new wall color, and I’d like to talk a moment about the new color.  It’s a PPG color called Iced Periwinkle.  This color changes noticeably in any changing light.

For example, this color is in both our living room and our dining room.  But, when the dining room light is on, it looks like a completely different color.  So far I’m liking any color it decides to be.

Deep, moody colors and wall treatments like box moldings are trending now, and they look fantastic. But it’s not what I wanted for this room.  So, once again, I’m flying my freak flag and going against trend.

Speaking of which, this is also a good time to mention the window coverings – or lack thereof:

If the windows were mullioned, I would have already replaced the dated mini blinds.  But I have yet to find an alternative type of blind or shade that is as versatile or as suited for the expanse of these large picture windows.  So, until I do, they have to stay.

Also, you might be wondering where the curtains are.  The curtains that were in the room before actually look better with the new wall color but, for the time being, we are enjoying the windows without them.

But let’s get back to the single most important issue:  Our resident cat Eddie.  Before the room transformation, he loved sleeping on the large sofa against the window.  So I was hoping he could find happiness in this room even after the transformation.

Well, the jury has come back.

And I think he’ll be okay.

So I can finally say that, as far as I’m concerned, the transformation was a success.

I will leave you with one last before . . .

Southeast wall before

and after.

Southeast wall after

Sources

The Camel Leanna tufted loveseat is from World Market.

The green upholstered chair is also from World Market, though I’m not seeing it on their website at the moment.

All throw pillows are from World Market.

I got the square area rug from another source, but it’s available on Amazon (and on sale as of this writing).

The felt rug pad under the rug is from RugPadUSA on Amazon.

The woven seagrass plant basket that the majesty palm is in is from Artera Home Store and available on Amazon.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
Entertaining
My Dressing Room Remodel
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel

 

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ORC Week 7: A Pet-Friendly Living Room Makeover

With one week to go before the final reveal, Week 7 of the One Room Challenge had me obsessing over accessories and art.  And I have to say it’s been the most fun I’ve had so far with my living room transformation.

My final goal is an elegant, airy, and inviting living room that can also withstand pet hair and pet stains. If you’d like to see before photos and read about the issues that I’ve been addressing during this Challenge, check out my post from Week 1.

My room transformation has been very simple compared to some of the amazing projects that other Challenge participants are taking on.  You can find their projects here.

Accessories

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I’ll be shopping my house for most of the accessories I need, but I did bring home a few new throw pillows to test in the room.  For our new loveseat, I decided on these two from World Market.

I’m finding that corals and oranges work surprisingly well with our Iced Periwinkle wall color.

The room is screaming for more plants and natural textures, so I got a decent-sized majesty palm.  It is in a corner of the room that gets lots of natural light.

And I ordered this adorable belly basket to put it in.  I can’t wait to see it in real life.

I love that it is made of sustainably grown seagrass and woven by Vietnamese artisans.  It comes with a plastic liner, but I don’t trust that to make it waterproof.  I’m going to place a saucer inside the basket before setting in the plant pot.

But no doubt the most important accessory is the new plus-sized scratching post I got (happily, marked down on clearance) for our plus-sized cat.

Eddie in action

Good kitty, he already likes it.  Now hopefully he’ll leave everything else in the room alone.  His scratching post will be stashed away whenever we have company, so you won’t be seeing this accessory in the final reveal.

Art

We relocated some of the pieces that were in the room before.

The antique mirror is now in our tiny dining room.  Our dining room also got a mini-makeover with the same wall paint as the living room.

But we needed a new piece of art for the living room’s north wall.  I obsessed for hours this week over what we should get.  I love vintage botanical prints and found that the Biodiversity Heritage Library has an extensive assortment of beautiful flora and fauna images available for free download.  So I was down that rabbit hole for quite some time.

Eventually I realized that I was getting very confused and rushing the process just for the sake of completing the Challenge.  It would be more fun if Chris and I could find something for the wall that we both love – and see it in person before deciding.

So in the meantime we’re using an inexpensive canvas print that I found this week at TJ Maxx.  It is nothing special, but it does work well here.

This print is only a placeholder until we find the right piece for this space.  But at least now there’s no hurry.

A Rug Pad

My new rug pad from RugpadUSA arrived.  I like that these rug pads are affordable and 100% felt.  They don’t come with the overwhelming chemical smell that other rug pad products might have.

I ordered it in the 1/4″ thickness and hoped it would be thick enough.  And it is.

But it was just a little too large for our new area rug, so I had to trim it.

Some of the reviews I read mentioned that folks were having difficulty trimming their rug pads with scissors.  But I used sewing scissors and didn’t have any trouble – at least not with this 1/4″ thickness pad.

So, that’s the progress this week.  Tune in next week for the final reveal!

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

SIMPLE SPRING  HOME REFRESH IDEAS

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
Entertaining
My Dressing Room Remodel
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel

 

Exploring