Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Another room redone

So now that the first room is done, I'm working on the other side.  I bought furniture off craigslist one night:  A 60"W chest in almost perfect condition for only $100 in Natick and two blue gray upholstered chairs for $130 in Charlestown.  Thanks go to Joe, who gamely went along with me in his truck to pick up my finds.

The chest has dovetail drawers and nice hardware. I removed the hardware so I could change it from the dark finish to a bright silver one. 

The hardware after applying silver polish

On either end, I placed two lamps that had been in the basement.  I also put two decorative plates/platters on stands.  The dried hydrangeas on the chest and ottoman are from my garden.  I used the rub n buff on the hardware - it was easy and I like how it came out.

I painted two coats of the same paint used in the living room; painted the arch and the window trim with gloss white paint.   I kept the light fixture.

The chairs were a great deal at $65 each, but the seller could have disclosed that there was wear on the arms (as seen in the photo) and pen marks on the seat cushions and side of the chair, in addition to a brownish stain on the side.  I learned that rubbing alcohol can even remove paint from clothing, so I'm going to use that to remove the marks.  I also need to touch up the finish on the legs.

Update on chairs:  I bought rubbing alcohol and it completely and easily removed the ink marks and the brown stain on the side.  I was impressed.

With a fabric remnant bought at Joann's, I had just enough to make two pillow covers, using existing pillows. 

I moved the bookcase all around the room, and finally settled on it here. Almost every photo album is here, except for a few in the chest. And that's where I put most of the books; the books that I hadn't already given away to Salvation Army, that is.  The bookcase is lined with paper I printed using a design from google images of a fleur de lis, one of my favorite designs.

Detail of bookcase
More detail of bookcase
There were two mirrors already in this room, the white oval one and the large, rectangular, silver one.  The larger one is going in the dining room, and the round wall I hung on the same wall as the bookcase.

What I had previously in this room was a sofa table purchased years ago (probably 18+) from a store in Newton, called Yield House.  It has since been refinished in a variety of stains and paints, and also refitted with new knobs.  Well, it's time for this furniture to go.  I'll see if I can find a place for it in Ryan's man cave.  Underneath the table was a stack of three woven containers, two rectangular and one oval.  I gave them a coat of glossy white paint.

I have two 16 x 20 photo frames that I bought for $16 at a consignment store.   I spray painted the frames silver.  One has a one photo mat, which I spray painted white.  I used two photos of the new chandelier in the living room and hung the prints on either side of the chest. 

On either side of the window, I hung the silver candle sconces very close to the window frame, and then hung photographs I took of flowers in my garden.

After hanging the mirror, I thought how a small white table would look nice under it, and can hold a lamp.  Instead of buying one, I took the small cabinet from my bedroom, removed the door, and painted it blue-gray.  I lined the inside with the same paper used on the bookcase.


Chest: $100
Chairs: $130
Curtain: $20
Fabric for pillows: $7
Rub n buff for hardware: free with points
Silver pitcher: $8
Sewing box: $17
Prints and frames on either side of chest: $37
Prints on either side of window and on end table: $16

Total costs: $336

Monday, October 28, 2013

Living room redo

The new, finished living room

The living room was decorated in green, tan and brown.  I loved the idea of changing the color scheme to gray and white, but didn't want to spend a lot of money.  I was able to keep the costs down by keeping the sofa and two chairs rather than trading them out for gray or white pieces.  I brought in the white table from the other side of the room, only buying for furniture the end table and the coffee table, for very cheap money.

As for pillows, I saved a lot of money by removing the covers and making my own from inexpensive table linens.  Except for two of them that I purchased.  About a fifth of the budget was spent on curtains, with a quarter spent on frames and photo developing.

This is what my windows look like, with the valances from, and gray panels from HomeGoods. 

Fleur De Lis Pillow in Navy
I'm in love with this pillow and its fleur de lis pattern,
but at $61, I'm glad it's not offered in white

Love You More Pillow
Couldn't I do this with burlap fabric and a stencil?
This is something that I say to my kids.
I went to HomeGoods looking for pillows or fabric to make covers for existing pillows. I found a set of four Ralph Lauren white on white damask napkins for $10. When I got home, I found that two just fit over the 20 x 20 pillow forms that had been formerly covered in green. I sealed the edges with hot glue and voila, a new white pillow for $5.

There are also two pillows that I took out of my office/spare bedroom that are rectangular. They are a bit too big for the white linen placements I bought to cover them, so I removed some of the feathers inside to make them flatter.

While at AC Moore, I browsed the stencils, but didn't buy any.  I knew I had one at home that I used in the bathroom, so I reused that one.  I did buy two kinds of metallic silver paint. Thus the stenciled pillows:

With the extra feathers from the other two pillows, I made this pillow out of two round placemats.  It cost $7 for four of them.

I also took the same stencil and used it on the new lampshade (which ended up being free because the sales clerk apparently didn't ring it up).  I will add a border at the top and bottom when I get another stencil to do it.  The pillow was $20 and is covered with silver studs.  The photograph is mine of an anemone flower in my garden.

Another chair, another pillow and picture frame.  This photo is of a white rose of Sharon.

The chandelier I ordered from Home Depot, on sale for only $60

I like the photographs assembled over the sofa at Kristine's blog,, as seen below.  I thought I'd try the same thing, but wasn't sure what photos I would choose.  I ended up taking photos of objects in the room, then superimposing quotes over them. 

8/23/13 Update: Here are the six photographs with captions that I framed and hung over the sofa.

I've been looking for a tray to place on my coffee table, but haven't found the right one. Imagine my delight when I found this post about repurposing a picture frame as a tray.

She painted and distressed the frame, cleaned the glass, covered the original picture in fabric, secured it with duct tape, then laid brown craft paper over it to cover the mess. She then added screen door handles. As an alternative, I could also use paper instead of fabric for the design.


I liked this idea, but modified it.  While shopping at HomeGoods yesterday, I browsed the clearance aisle and found this picture frame for $15, perfectly suitable as a tray.  I removed the seashell pictures and replaced it with a really cool decorative paper I found at AC Moore for $1.99/sheet.  I don't have to refinish the frame, and I think I'll skip any handles.

Here's my version of a tray, placed on the coffee table
I like the idea of using clear glass containers to hold fresh sprigs of greenery as seen on Kristine's blog.

Dining Room
I also thought of adding artificial flowers but would need to buy the gel that resembles water.  That stuff is expensive, so I found a recipe online for making my own here.  But do I want to bother?  An alternative is clear glass balls to hold them in place; these were half off at AC Moore, so I bought a bag for $3.50.

The formerly brass end table

My yard sale frames with prints of flowers from my garden:
a knockout rose, dogwood blossom, daylily

My yard sale glass containers on the coffee table
The two frames to the right of the standing lamp formerly held leaf prints.  I carefully removed the backing, inserted a decorative paper in each, and stapled the backing on again.

The tally for the living room:

Paint and supplies at Home Depot: $25.46 / $31.56 / $65.12
Coffee table from craigslist: $30
Curtain panels (4): $33.98
Waterfall valances (4): $59.96
Photo frames for wall: (8) $71.92
Photo developing for above frames: $40
Metal and glass end table: $25.50
Small photo frames: $20
RL napkins for pillows: $9
Decorative paper and frame for tray: $17
Stencil and craft paint for lampshade: $7.40
Vases on tray and clear glass gems: $7.00
Decorative papers for frames above leather chair: $2.60
Gray weave placements for long pillow: $9
Round gray placements for pillow: $6
White linen placements for pillows: $9
Three frames and prints over metal table: $24
Pillows for chairs: $36
Chandelier (to be installed) $60

Total $550