Friday, April 3, 2009

A Long Time Coming

By the time Friday rolls around, I always need a little R&R. And as many of you already know about me, I often turn to home design for a fix (I'm like a junkie...). It makes sense, then, that I would be posting today about my most recent room makeover.

A Long Time Coming

This makeover has been a long time coming, but oddly it kind of snuck up on me. It started about a month ago--during the height of my spring cleaning--when my husband mentioned ever so casually that our dining room was a total disaster and that he hated everything about it. Now, these types of comments are unusual for him because a) he rarely has strong opinions about the house, and b) he knows better than to stoke the embers of my design addiction. But sitting there with him at the top of the stairs peering down, I knew he was right. The dining room was by far the most neglected space in the house. Just peek at my before picture and you'll see the problems:

1. the less-than-stylish commercial light fixture that generically hangs in every home in our subdivision
2. the long bench at the table (an Ethan Allen find I snatched at a thrift store for $5.00) was practical but didn't fit the style we were going for (this bench is destined for a great future, though, so don't be surprised if it pops up again as something else entirely....)
3. the hand-me-down mirror centered on the wall which I slapped up there several years ago because I didn't have anything else to hang
4. the two iron sconces flanking said mirror, which look a bit too...well...Mideval/country for my midcentury modern ambitions
5. and finally the jute rug under the table which admittedly I thought looked okay but Craig hated with a passion

All in all, it was a sad tale of a room gone awry
--a neglected space where all the miscellaneous discards had migrated to rest in a confused jumble of mismatched design.

It Started with a Catalog...

The solution? Well, it started with the delivery of my long-awaited Room and Board catalog. Thumbing through page after page of midcentury design, I caught the bug to hit the local thrift store to see if I'd get lucky. Needless to say, I did. About five minutes before I arrived the staff rolled a beautiful armoire onto the floor. I was instantly smitten. Two minutes later they were loading it into the back of my car. And like all my room makeovers, the domino effect had begun:
1. I positioned the furniture in the corner,
and noticed that it immediately made the dining chairs more appealing

2. I liked the contrast of the wood with the deep blue wall,
but had a problem: I needed to patch some holes and didn't have any more paint. So I grabbed my Pottery Barn book, selected a similar Benjamin Moore color from the back, and headed to the store. Two hours later the wall was refinished in a better and brighter blue.

3. I ditched the rug per my husband's pleading request,
and have to admit that it really did improve the room

4. I replaced the light fixture with a simple fluted lamp shade.
Truthfully I would have preferred a barrel, but couldn't find the right one...

5. And I hung my DIY thrift store art pictures in place of the mirror/sconce duo.
A vast improvement!

All told the project took me one afternoon and less than $200.00. And the furniture and art were made from reusing and recycling discarded items. Not bad for a Saturday! Now maybe I'll be done with room makeovers for awhile (it's not likely, but my husband can dream...).

Please enjoy your weekend, and if you embark on a makeover, send me the pictures! I'd love to see them! And don't forget to sign up for my newsletter to enter next week's raffle for a Buttercup Bag, and to become a Recessionista insider! click here to learn more!

Previous related posts:
Nesting Before & After
And then it Happened...
Before & After Part 2
Ta Dah!

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