I’ve decided on a new series I’m going to be running weekly for a while, and I’m calling it Project Redecorate.
We’ve lived in our house for 9 years now, just enough time to have (almost) finished the original to-do list we made when we bought the house and start over. So I’m going to use this series to show you my progress as I go room by room through the house, updating. Some of this will be sewing, some will be decorating, some will be projects. I hope you’ll enjoy this as we go.
A little background on our house: Hubby and I bought this house as a foreclosure, and it is our second house. Our first was a foreclosure as well, and so we were semi-experienced in making a foreclosure liveable and then updating and upgrading. But our first house was nothing compared to the challenges of this house.
Over the time we have lived here, we have pulled down hundreds of square feet of wallpaper, painted every wall, replaced 80% of the flooring, and tore the carpet off the double staircase and replaced that with solid wood stairs. We have retiled the master bath and installed a new shower, added and replaced most of the light fixtures (this is the one area we’re not finished with – we have 4 ceiling fans we’d still like to replace that we’ve been tolerating for 9 years), had a new roof put on and installed a sprinkler system. With the exception of the sprinkler system and the roof, Hubby and I have done the rest of this ourselves, with help from family. And the majority of the improvements weren’t done because of cosmetic preference but necessity. The carpets that came with the house were the filthiest I’ve ever seen, there were holes in walls, and wallpaper torn.
But this round, the improvements are all things Hubby and I want to do, not things we have to do. So I think this is going to be a lot more fun.
So, let’s take a look around my family room before, shall we?
This is how the room looked when I started; this picture is taken from on the stairs so you can see the layout.
This is one of the few rooms that we didn’t have to replace flooring; the wood parquet was in good shape. We did repaint the walls to light blue, and I sewed the valances. Hubby and I also made the padded bumper for the fireplace when Tater gained mobility, to prevent toddler accidents and injuries. Other than that, we just added furniture. Here are a couple more views:
So the first step to redecorating this room was to rearrange it. This step cost us a total of $63. The first thing we did was take the TV off the console and wall mount it over the fireplace. That was free because my parents happened to have a wall mount they weren’t using and they gave it to us.
This is what the room looked like after:
I love how much more spacious it looks and feels, and that you can now see more of the nice flooring in here.
As you can see, we took out the boys’ chair (I sold it) and put the console in its place. We took out the bookcase and moved that upstairs to our office, where I had run out of shelf space. We got rid of several non-functioning electronics that were in the console so we could store all the DVDs that used to be on the bookshelf inside it. And since the TV moved to the wall, I was able to keep all my framed photos that were on the bookshelf on top of the console.
There is also some new furniture in the room, and I’ll talk about these pieces. They’re all thrifted or craigslist finds. The trunk in the picture above I already had, in fact it’s in the room in the before photos, but on the other side of the couch where you can’t see it. It was a craigslist find -$25 – and when I researched it, it turns out it’s an immigrant trunk over 150 years old.
These two pieces are where I spent the $63. The table was a craigslist find for $45, and the chair was $18 at the thrift store. I thought I’d reupholster it when I bought it, but then I got it in the room and the blue went so well with the rug that I decided to leave it alone. Also, the wood is solid, and I’m one of those girls that can’t paint solid wood without a lot of arm twisting, so it’s also getting left alone.
You might also notice the new gray chair and that there’s a table back behind the couches. Those were both craigslist finds that I have redone, so I’m not going to show you more about them yet. Instead I’ll feature them in upcoming parts of this series.
Things I still need to do (that will be the subject of future posts)
- Artwork for the very very big blank wall where the bookshelf and the TV used to be
- New valances
- Floor pillows to make up for the boys’ chair that I sold (while they weren’t home – what an awful mommy I am! In my defense, they would.not.stop.fighting in, on and around the chair).
- Redoing the coffee table to go better in the room
- New accent pillows and accessories
I hope you won’t mind following along with me, and one last favor if you’ve read this far – do you have any artwork suggestions? I haven’t decided what I want to do with such a large canvas to work on. Something with character, as this room is still lacking a bit.
Next Wednesday I’ll show you the reupholstered chair before and after (you may have caught a preview if you follow on instagram; @mellysews). Hope to see you then!
Update: I’ve had a few comments asking about the hearth guard at the fireplace. I talk more about it in this post.Get access to my free pattern gallery - sign up for my newsletter!