A Room Makeover in Real Time

You all know I love a good before and after.  No matter what the subject, there is nothing like seeing a transformation take place.  I typically really like the surprise makeovers where you see a before and then are blindsided with the after.  You know the ones where it doesn’t even look like the same room, piece of furniture or person and forces you to really inspect.  However, the downside to this type of makeover is that it can sometimes seem effortless…like it was easy and happened overnight.  What about all the nitty gritty details?  What about all the oops moments, or the “Houston, we have a problem” surprises that accompany any project or change?  I think it’s sometimes nice to have the behind the scene look at the whole process.

So why are we talking about this?  Well, our master bedroom is in need of some fixing up and I thought it might be fun to take you through the makeover process in real time.  It could be two weeks <very unlikely> or it could be two years <let’s hope not>.

And as in any makeover, it always starts with the before pictures.  Not pin-worthy by any stretch of the imagination.  And just so you are aware, this room, in all of the 7 years we’ve been here, has never officially been completed.  It’s always been last on our list…poor guy at the bottom of the totem pole, which is really terrible since your bedroom is supposed to be your haven.  Ours, clearly, does not fit this description.

I do need to tell you that some items in these pictures are part of the transformation.  The duvet cover is new and kind of the inspiration for the room.  It is Lauren Ralph Lauren’s Northern Cape Bedding.  I found it at Marshall’s for less than $150.  Pretty good considering the one at Bloomingdale’s is $495 for a king.  I also moved this desk into the room when I knew I was going to give this room an overhaul.  And did you see that little leather ottoman…I found that at a flea market for $15.

It is staying.  I love the warmth of the leather and how sturdy it is (the boys actually love jumping from it showing off their super cool ninja moves and kicks).  But, the best part about this lil guy is the memories he stirs up for me.  He reminds me these little leather seats that were at my childhood local library.  There were orange ones and green ones all over the children’s section just waiting for a child with a book.  The library was always one of my favorite places to visit and I loved when my mom would take me there.  When I saw this ottoman it brought back so many memories.  I  remembered the heaviness of the front doors, the scent that hit you when you walked through them, and the feeling of pure joy as I would run back to “my section” to search for some great reads.  You can see why I had to have this ottoman and I about freaked out when I saw the price tag.  You see, it’s the little things like this that make a room for me.  To anyone else, it might just be a used ottoman, but to me it is so much more.  Not to get all sentimental about an ottoman on ya, but sometimes it’s not about what would coordinate perfectly with the room or the hottest items on the shelves…it’s about the stories behind the pieces.

So, there you have it…the start of our makeover.  We are $165 in and I’m hoping we can keep it below $400 for everything.  It’s going to be hard when I have had my eyes on this wallpaper in white for months now…it is absolutely positively out of the question, but a girl can dream, right?


DIY Orb Light Fixture

Ok, you win.

DIY Light fixture

I had planned on waiting to explain how I made the orb light fixture out of these two items

until I could reveal the whole room to you (like I said here), but after receiving a couple of emails asking how I created this fixture, I decided that I might as well share it now. I cannot have any of you putting off projects on my watch, right? 😉

Do not be intimidated by this project, it is way easier than it looks.  And double high five to the cost…you could probably scrape up enough change in your couch cushions to complete this bad boy.  I spent a total of $21 on it, but I did have the oil rubbed bronze spray paint on hand.  So, you may be looking at closer to $25…watch out.  Want to make one of your own?  Follow along…

Original Inspiration:

Yep, I saw this beast in Restoration Hardware and I fell head over heels.  Then I saw the price…$595????  Ha. Ha. hahahahhahahhaha, Restoration Hardware.  Oh, wait…that’s not a joke?  You really have people spending THAT on a light fixture? :/

So, you can imagine my thought process when I saw an old brass kitchen light at our Habitat for Humanity Store for $5 and these beauties at Wally World (aka Wal-Mart) for $8.

 It took a second for it to all click and come together, but then I was so excited I wanted to fist pump my brain.

Now, before you go all gangbusters and rush out to purchase an old fixture and 2 garden baskets, there are a few things you need to think about and look for.  I have discovered there are a wide variety of metal garden baskets.  Find a design you like and one that has a large enough diameter to fit the main part of the light fixture.

When it comes to finding a light fixture that works, look for something where you can remove the surrounding pieces and still keep the “main part” intact.  This old fixture was perfect because the glass cover was easily removed simply by unscrewing a small bolt.

I apologize for the super fantastic not at all blurry picture…wow.  The reason I say this is because I found a ton of fixtures where the top was welded on and if you buy one of those, this project may turn out to be a touch more difficult.  Find a local salvage shop or Habitat for Humanity Restore Shop and you should have plenty to choose from.  Our shop here offers quite a variety that will run you between $5-$20, depending on the size.

Then it is only a matter of taking your parts and spray painting them all to the color you want.  I went for a lovely oil rubbed bronze finish.

*Side note…chandeliers are extremely easy to spray paint hanging from a tree branch*

Once everything is sprayed and dry, you get to put it all together.  On this fixture, I screwed the “top ring piece” back on the top of the light fixture and placed it inside the two garden baskets.

I bought these little metal washers to hold the two baskets together

and also used one to attach the ring from the top of the lights to the metal part of the basket.

Then I took the chain and the ceiling plate from the old fixture and attached it to the garden basket and the ring at the top of the light.

After it was cleaned and spray painted of course.  My biggest concern throughout this project was wanting to make sure this light fixture was secure and SAFE.  Better to use more clamps than you might think you need just to be sure it holds.

At this point, give yourself a pat on the back, the fixture is ready to go up.  ***If you are not good with electrical work, call around to have an electrician come to connect it and hang it for you.  A simple job like this would cost somewhere around $50-$65.  You’ve already saved a ton of money so pay the $50 to be safe.  I, however, have Sam Sam the handy man around who does happen to know a thing or two.  So, he got to hang it for free.  😉

DIY chandelierI am planning on putting the final touches on Henry’s room this weekend and will hopefully have a room reveal post for you next week!  I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend!

What I like to do for fun…moodboard for The Roberts

Some friends of ours recently moved back to Texas (boo).  Not boo to Texas, boo to them leaving.  They bought a gorgeous home and have been busy trying to get settled in.   I had texted her to see how things were going & our conversation went like this…

Me:  R u guys settled n?  We drove by your old house…it was so sad 😦 but I know u guys have to b so happy!!!  How’s the rest of the house coming?  You will have to send pics!

Mendy: We have a long way to go….so many boxes!  I have no idea how to decorate!!! 🙂 Wish u were here to help!

First, off, yep, my grammar and overuse of the … and explanation point is just as bad in texts as it is on here.  And Mendy lied…she does know how to decorate…her home here was beautiful, but I know how moving into a blank slate can be a touch overwhelming.  On one hand, you want to get everything unpacked, but you also want the rooms to come together and the space to look like what you picture in your head.

Me:  I would be more than happy to do a moodboard 4 u!  & u have such a good eye!  Your house here was awesome.  

Me: This one will be 2!

Me: Awesome, that is 😉

Mendy:  Awe, thanks!  What’s a moodboard?

Me: It’s a collage of items that I can put together for u to kind of visualize a room.

Mendy:  Sounds awesome!

Me:  We can start with a room in ur new house!!! Just send me pics!  So fun!!! (me clapping)

Mendy:  Me clapping too!!!!!!!!!!

See Mendy and I were destined to be friends…she shares my problem with exclamation points and when we get excited we squeal/scream and clap our hands together.  Apparantly, we are like seals???

So, she sent me some pictures of her living room and I had fun pulling some items together to create her moodboard.  You wanna see it?  Fair warning: I am definitely no interior master decorator by any stretch of the imagination, but I love trying to tackle a room and always have fun pairing up items.

So here are the pics that Mendy sent me

Isn’t that fireplace ridiculous?  I told Mendy that I wanted it.  And the dark wood mantel, too.  The last picture she sent me was the TV wall.

She has the Gabrielle rug from Pottery Barn and so I pulled colors from it as a starting point.

I thought the wall that the television was on could use a little more umphf and did a TERRIBLE job at photoshopping this brighter lighter media unit into her picture.  And yes, that would be my interpretation of a gallery wall, too.  Good artist, I know.

So, if you couldn’t gather from my wonderful drawing, with the media unit in place, I thought the other wall would be a great place for a thin console table with a couple lamps and a gallery wall behind it.  Something arranged kind of like this.


I also suggested maybe getting rid of the coffee table and getting a wonderful tufted ottoman instead…one with storage would be even better since I know how many toys come with two sweet kids.  She had also mentioned that they wanted to paint the room and we both thought a grey with the most subtle hint of blue would be fabulous.  Don’t you want to see what they decide to do?  You guys know how I love a good before and after.  Well, I am happy to say that they have already started working on the room and got several things from the moodboard.  She has sent me pictures and it is looking amazing!  I will be sure to share when they finish!  Thanks for letting me play, Mendy and James!!!