A Few Cozy Touches

There were some things in my master bedroom plan that I had planned on doing from the beginning, but needed to wait to save up a little more cash and take the time to search for just the right thing.

master bedroom 1

Here’s the before.  I’ve been wanting to swap out our 30 year old blue recliner for awhile.  It’s super comfy, but not very pretty anymore.  I loved it so much that I even thought about custom slip covers. When these Ikea chairs showed up on Craigslist for pennies on the dollar we swooped them up.  This room might not be their forever home, but for now we like how they blend with our other pieces and how comfy they are.  It was cheaper and faster than a slip cover.master bedroom 8

 The foot blanket also adds some pop of color to warm the space up.  On the left, you can see my great-grandmother’s dresser.  It was in my closet and made that space cramped.  It’s working better out here, but is temporary. When we do our master bathroom remodel, we are planning on some closet systems that will make dressers unnecessary.  I’ll keep the dresser, because it’s beautiful and sentimental, but I have new plans for it.

master bedroom 7

I also added some pillows, a hunk of pink quartz/granite and the stump table we talked about yesterday.
master bedroom 9

My goal is to make it feel comfy and cozy without getting cluttered. Cluttered is very personal.  To some this space is already on the cusp, but it’s just the right balance for me.  I only have one more thing to add,  a big piece of art for over the bed.   I plan to paint it myself, but I’m not an artist. So I am procrastinating :).

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DIY Stump Table

DIY Stump Table

All summer, our town has seen one storm after another.  There has been some tornado action, some microbursts, and some general strong wind.  So far everyone has been safe but there are a lot of trees on the ground.  Some of them are huge!

A tree down can bring a lot of loss, but it’s also a lot of raw material for affordable furniture.  Check out these gorgeous coffee tables and side tables available made from logs and stumps.

coffee table

Source

Tree stump table hairpin legs

Source: 17 Apart

white stump tables

Source: Thrifty and Chic

painted side table with tacks

And of course, The Nester :)

Somehow all the downed tree damage skipped our yard, but I still had some stumps saved from our tree trimming several years ago.  I needed a cheap side table for our new bedroom and it was the perfect thing!

Stump Table Master Bedroom

Once the stump cured and dried the bark peeled right off with my fingers. It’s a good idea to peel off the bark, because bugs like to live under it.  You wouldn’t want them crawling out in the night and making themselves at home :).  The stump was super heavy until it dried.  Then it was easy for me to haul around on my own.

I used a fine sanding block to knock the remaining bits loose and then rubbed it all over with Annie Sloan’s clear wax.  It deepened the lovely natural color and made the wood super smooth and water resistant.

stump table 2

Stump table

The stump itself wasn’t level or tall enough for my needs so I added a set of $12 legs from Ikea.  They swivel to change height which allowed me to level it up a little more.

That white rectangle wooden piece is a fun little clock.  It’s fake wood and the veneer is bubbly in places but I still love it.  It stays off until you clap.  I love that it’s dark all night, but I can make a small noise any time to see what time it is.

And the plant is a ZZ plant.  It’s real, only wants water once a week and tolerates limited light.  It’s such a lovely rich color and has a strong will to live :).

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Rustoleum Tub and Tile Transformations Review

Tub and Tile Review

Knowing my bathroom remodel budget was made of pocket lint, I contacted Rustoleum and asked if they would donate some product in exchange for a video, a couple of  blog posts, plus some serious social media promotion.  They graciously declined and bruised my ego a bit in the process.  It’s important to note that I purchased the product myself and have no conflict of interest in this review process.

 

My final recommendation, for those of you who just want the verdict, is to use this product as a last resort only.  My project looks great, from a distance, but has enough imperfections that a new shower unit would have been a lot nicer. The process was not easy and riddled with difficult steps, any of which could make the final outcome fail.  (Translation:  Lots of anxiety and procrastination.)

Shower before and after 2

Shower before and after. The colors are truer in the after picture.

Tub and Tile Transformations is only sold online in my home town.  Both Home Depot and Lowes have switched to a similar product in another brand to stock their shelves, although Home Depot still offers Rustoleum’s online. At the time of this post Amazon and Home Depot’s prices are about the same. This is important because if you run out, and the first coats have a chance to cure before your new product arrives, you will have to start over with the sanding process before doing another coat.  Argh!  (I drove all over town  going to the locations Rustoleum’s website recommended for buying the product.  It turns out those recommendations are just for stores who carry something from that brand and are not product specific.  Call first before wasting gas.)

sink transformation

Sink Top Before and After

Girl's bathroom sink area mirror before

Sink:  The real before

At the last minute, I decided to do my sink in addition to the tub/shower.  What I didn’t know is this small addition would require an extra box.  I love the look and am glad I did it.  I just wish I had purchased enough product from the start.

I’ll update this post in 6 months after we’ve given the finish a true test and see how it holds up.  If it wears like iron, I’m considering doing our other bathroom with it–even though it was NOT a simple project. So far it has not gotten wet yet.

Facts:

Shower before and after

1.  Our fiberglass tub/shower was installed in 1971.  It is olive green and sucks the light out of the room.  It also has feathering lines of wear in the finish.  Otherwise it is in good condition and works well.

2.  We chose this method because our shower unit is 1 piece and the room was built around it.  We would need to saw the old unit to get it out and then would need to remove walls to fit another 1 piece shower/tub unit in.  There are multi-piece shower units available for around $400 (plus professional install) that could go in without removing walls.  The drawback to these are seams that need to be caulked that will eventually harbor mold.

3.  The project cost me around $140.  $75 for 3 kits, plus a filtering breathing mask, painter’s tape, sandpaper, comet, lime a-way, surgical gloves, 14 foam rollers (I’ll explain that in a bit), a huge multi-pack of foam brushes, roller trays, and caulk.  I also used 3 paint sticks which I had on hand and a window fan.  I saved hundreds over replacing the unit (especially since that’s not a DIY project for us) but our result won’t be as long lasting as a new unit would be.  We never plan to move, so this isn’t a fix it up to sell it type project for us.  It is more of a borrowing time until we have money to do it right type of project.

4. Step 1 is to remove the drains and loosen the covers around the faucets.  This one step just about stopped the whole project. If Darren hadn’t agreed to help with this it would have been a no go.  I wasn’t physically strong enough to remove 45 year old rusted plumbing pieces.

5.  Step 2 is to remove the old caulk.  In the reviews on Amazon failing to do this properly resulted in peeling epoxy several months down the road.  I spent hours with a razor blade and tweezers and still am not sure I got it all.  (Anxiety!)

6.  Next is to scrub the shower with comet and an abrasive pad.  (The green Scotchbrite, not the blue.) Rinse well, then use Lime-away, twice for good measure.  Scrub it down and rinse really really well again. Any dirt or residue cleaner will mess with your finish. (Not to stress you out at all.)

7.  Keep in mind that if you have removed your drains at this point, no water should go  down the plumbing in your shower.  If it does, it could rain through the ceiling below and create another project.  Since I had already convinced DH to remove the drains we had a bucket under the light fixture on the floor below to catch my first oops, and then I used a scrub bucket and rag to wash the rest of the times.  Rinsing was no longer a possibility for me.

8.  Then sand with fine grit sand paper.  The finest grit they recommend is not available at your average hardware store in a size to fit a palm sander, so I went up to the slightly coarser grit that they said would still work. Some reviewers also said that even though they sanded, the finish still bubbled and peeled on the floor of the shower after several months of use.  That made me nervous.  They recommended a palm sander to rough it up more than hand sanding, so I did that.  The corners, round bits and angles made palm sanding challenging.  Once it’s sanded rinse, dry thoroughly, and use a tack cloth to catch any remaining dust.

Tape off shower bathroom

9.  Now you can tape off the edges.  The tape is important even though the epoxy will leak under in spots and the tape will likely pull off wall paint since it is on the edge of drywall (even if you use the good green stuff.)  Use a drop cloth too.  Normal paint just scrapes off the floor, this won’t.

10.  Open the window, turn on the exhaust fan.  Turn on a window fan directing air outside and put on your breathing mask, the kind with filters on both sides that makes you look like an alien.  This stuff stinks, will cause headaches, and make you forget your favorite color.  Trust me.  Use the mask.

11.  Open both cans on a drop cloth or stack of newspaper.  Pour the smaller can into the larger can and stir until the whole thing is the same consistency.  For awhile the top layer will feel thinner than the stuff on the bottom.  Just keep stirring. At this point you have about 5 hours to use up that can of stuff before the whole thing hardens.    You can re-coat in an hour, if it’s dry.

12.  Wear disposable surgical gloves. (It won’t wash off your hands, though fingernail polish remover and Goof Off will take it off.)  Use the small foam brushes to get any spots the rollers won’t reach.  Use the foam roller to roll the big areas.  You should note that you have about 5 minutes once you dip your brush or roller in the epoxy before it dissolves beyond use.  If you use it too long, flakes of the roller will stay behind in your epoxy and permanently texturize the finish.  Some of them will dry sharp and make baths uncomfortable for little hiney’s.    I used about 2 rollers per coat.

tub and tile transformations bathroom counter

See the bits of roller that dried into the finish? :(

P.S. The epoxy also will dissolve your surgical gloves.  Mine held up for the coats but then shredded when I tried to take them off.

13.  Watch out for drips.  The epoxy is very thin and drips easily.  Drips will dry permanently ugly.   It self levels only to a point.  The package suggested each can would provide 1 shower/tub coat or 2 bathtub only coats.  I got 2.5 shower/tub/sink coats from a single can.  I had to put it on this thin to prevent drips.  Since it took 3 boxes to cover the green, That’s about 7 coats x 2 rollers each coat.  I used 14 foam rollers (and still ended up with some bits of roller left in the texture.)

14.  After you have your 7 coats in place, let it cure for 3 days.  Caulk and replace your drains and faucets and give it a try.

15.  The epoxy tries super hard in a glasslike enamel finish.  If you don’t have roller bits in it, it’s smooth and shiny.

After hearing the good the bad and the ugly, would you ever try a project like this?

 

 

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How to Choose the Right Area Rug

How to choose the right area rug

Let’s talk area rugs for a minute. They won’t take you anywhere you want to go, but they do another kind of magic.  They take a bunch of individual items and make them one.  When done correctly, you get the feeling that everything in the room is a family.  Area rugs are like marriage.  Never mind, that’s weird.

Anyhoo. Having wall to wall carpet doesn’t replace the need for an area rug.  An area rug’s purpose is to define and unify a space. Comfort or warmth is a fabulous bonus, but not the main role.  It is more than ok to layer rugs.

The biggest area rug mistake is getting one that’s too small.  I know it’s tempting, because these suckers can get expensive.   I have some tips for getting an affordable area rug, but for now let’s forget about money and talk function.

With all other things equal, rooms without a proper rug feel more cluttered than rooms with a rug. Here’s why: When you don’t have a rug your eye views every piece of furniture as a separate unit.  With a rug, your mind views everything on the rug as one.  You sense less stuff so the room feels cleaner.

Choosing the Correct Size

Living Room: You need a rug big enough that all of your furniture can have at least the front feet on the rug.  If you have enough space and budget, get one big enough that all the legs of the furniture can fit on the rug.

The next 3 pictures show everything the same, furniture size, location and placement.  The only difference is the rug.

no area rug

No Rug.  See how separate and disjunctive the room feels?

living room no rug with carpet

Even with wall to wall carpet, there’s no cohesiveness to the space.
area rug too small

This rug is too small. It feels cozier, but still not connected.area rug large enough

This is the proper size rug for the space.  In fact, I could pull this arrangement even closer for a cozier feel and put all the feet of the furniture on the rug.

living room area rug layered over carpet

And just for giggles, a properly sized rug layered over wall to wall carpet.

Dining Room:  Purchase a rug at least 6 feet longer and wider than your dining room table. So there will be 3 feet all the way around when your table is centered. That gives enough space for the chairs to stay on the rug even if someone is sitting in them. If you have a square or round table, you can still use a rectangle rug.  Square or round rugs are good too.

The big question on dining room rugs is whether you want to deal with a rug and food spills.  I’ve found for most foods for our seagrass rug to be easier to vacuum up than the wood floor was to sweep and mop.  I love our rug under the table, and it protects the wood floors from chair scratches. (We are having a hard time getting the felt pads to stay on.) Remember I have 6 kids from toddler to teenager, so spills happen. Tomato sauce has come right up out of the rug with a stuff brush and some laundry stain remover.  I’m having more of a challenge with some red spots that appear to be melted popsicle….

Dining room no rug

Dining room, no rug.  It’s ok, but missing some cohesiveness and warmth.  

Dining room too small rug

Dining room, too small rug.  I like the warmth of the color of the rug, but it would be better not to have a rug, than to have one that’s too small.

Dining room correct size rug

Dining room, perfectly sized rug.  There’s enough space to pull out the chairs and stay on the rug. It has a balanced feeling, a good union, and warmth.

Bedroom: Get a rug big enough to extend beyond the bed 3 feet at the foot and both sides.  Mine isn’t pushed all the way to the wall, but is far enough towards it that when I get out of bed my feet are on the rug.

Bedroom no rug

Bedroom No Rug

Bedroom rug too smallBedroom Too Small Rug

Bedroom Rug Properly Sized

Bedroom Properly Sized Rug

Bedroom Layered RugBedroom Properly Sized Rug with Layered Sheepskin

Choosing the Right Rug Material

Wool:  Pros: Wears well; super plush and thick. Cons: Food Dye is a permanent wool dye–Koolaid, Gatorade or similar will RUIN the rug; they shed like a pet; scrubbing a wool rug will felt it and permanently alter the texture–no carpet cleaners, please.

Leather: I don’t have any experience with leather rugs.  I imagine they would be soft underfoot, would wear slick eventually, and have staining issues.  They look really cool and can be pricey.

Sheepskin: I have faux Ikea sheepskin rugs.  They vacuum pretty easily and fluff up with a pet brush.  I’ve heard of people cleaning them with a run through the dryer, but this made my rug look matted. Vaccuming works best for me.  I’ve also heard of people putting both their real and faux rugs through the washer and dryer.  I’d be scared!

Cotton: Pros: Soft, bright colors.  Cons: usually a thinner rug, wears out more quickly than wool, can fade easily

Hemp, Seagrass, Jute, or Sisal: Pros: they look great in any space; they are timeless and classic; they wear well and eat dirt.  My choice to go under our kitchen table. Cons:  These aren’t usually soft underfoot (but some are softer than other’s.  Check individual product reviews.) They can shed but usually drop it directly under the rug.  I’ve heard of some problem scratching wood floors, but haven’t had it happen here.  A rug pad can help protect your floor.  I layered my scratchy seagrass rug with faux lambswool runners strategically placed where our bare feet rest most often.

Outdoor Rugs:  Pros: wear really well; can be scrubbed or hosed off; treated to resist sun fading.

Where to buy your Rug

I have purchased 7 rugs from RugsUsa.com.  They always have a sale going on and rotate which rugs are part of the sale.  Patience is a virtue.  Figure out what you want, then wait for the sale.  Overstock.com also has rugs, they will cost a bit more, but are still less expensive than most places.  Target occasionally has a really good deal, just not the selection.  Their returns are easy since you can just take it back to the store.  Ikea has a few rugs at good prices. Most of their rugs are too small for my purposes, but we purchased our dining room rug from there and love it.  I also have 6 faux sheepskin rugs and plan to get more for winter.

Criagslist is a decent place to look for rugs too.  We got lucky and grabbed our 9×13 seagrass bedroom rug from there for $100.  It was brand new.  The seller didn’t like how rough it was and didn’t want to mess with returning it.  Score!

Phew! Maybe I should have broken that up into a couple of posts.  What are your rug questions?

 

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How to Hang Curtains Correctly

How to hang curtains correctly

What I’m about to tell you will give you the power to change your room from ordinary to amazing.  Yes, your room.

Your room is not too small.  Your ceilings are not too low.  There’s not much in a space that can’t be fixed with properly hung curtains.

It’s common to hang curtains to only cover the window. Most folks start at the top of the frame, extend to the edge of the frame, and stop just shy of the floor (or, gasp, the sill!)  Doing that will make a room will feel small, short, and common. It misses out on so much potential!  Almost every curtain advertisement shows them hung this way:

1585_27138_mm

From Brylane Home, my favorite place to buy cotton blankets.

 

The secret is simple really.  Hang your drapes as high and as wide as possible.  When they are open, make them wide enough that they don’t cover any of the actual glass, but full enough that it looks like they could cover it all if you wanted.  And make sure they touch the floor. No high water drapes.  Pooling on the floor is better than too short.

master bedroom 6-2

It’s so common to hang curtains low that you can’t buy decent length curtains at Wal-mart or Target.  You can, however, order the proper length at Target.com. Ikea’s curtains are also sized  for maximum impact and are sold in pairs for the price of a single curtain anywhere else. You need curtains at least 95 inches long for this to work.  If you have high ceilings, even longer would be better.

Curtains are the simplest project to sew. so don’t let the lack of inexpensive ready made options deter you. If sewing isn’t your thing, you can use fusible hem tape to make a rod pocket and hem.  (I shop for fabric at fabric.com, Hobby Lobby, or Jo-Ann–and sometimes ebay or etsy.)

Perk #1. My ceilings are just short of 8 feet high.  But the floor to ceiling curtains make them feel tall and grand.

See how much shorter the ceiling looks without the curtains? It was just as bad when I had curtains that started at the top of the glass.

master bedroom before curtains

Perk #2. Hanging curtains wide makes your windows look much bigger and lets in more yummy light.  I never close my curtains, instead I use simple roller shades for night time privacy.  First thing in the morning, I open it them up completely for as much natural light as possible.

Perk #3. The wider your curtains are hung, the more wall you cover up.  I love this, because choosing art is the hardest part of decorating for me.  Wider curtains = less art.

I’m a big fan of layered window treatments.  Bamboo blinds warm up the space and fill in any wall gaps above a window, making the big window illusion complete. They are expensive though.  I found a great deal on Amazon for bamboo shades for my dining room. When it was time to do my bedroom, that deal was gone and my budget was made of pocket lint.  Out of desperation, I purchased 2 placemats and a table runner (less than $10 for all 3) from Ikea and thumbtacked them to the wall.  No one can tell at first glance.   I hung them just low enough that they completely hide the roller shades when they are pulled all the way up.  During the day, you’d never guess the shades were there.

Before and after bamboo shades young house love

Here’s a before and after bamboo shades from Young House Love.

I wish someone had told me this sooner: While bamboo shades are good for blocking light at the heat of the day, they offer NO after dark privacy.  You won’t be able to see out from the inside, giving a false sense of security. If your lights are on, the outside will have a clear view in.  I apologize now to our neighbors in our old neighborhood.  We didn’t know.

In case you aren’t convinced to hang your curtains high and wide, here is one more example.   In both photos, the size and shape of the windows, furniture, rug etc. are identical, the only difference is how tall and wide the curtains are.

traditionally hung curtains

Curtains hung high and wide

And just for fun, a little more cozying up:

Cozied up living room sample

Sources:

Sofa

Curtains

Rug

Side Tables

Coffee Table

Lamps

Please leave a comment. I love to hear from you!

 

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The Most Common Furniture Placement Mistake

The Most Common Furniture Placement Mistake

My natural tendency is to put furniture against the wall.  It makes sense to have as much open floor space in the middle as possible.  It will make the room feel big, right?  And if we want to turn cartwheels or have a dance party….there will be plenty of room.

living room 12301

Cartwheel anyone? So many colors, so little time :).

If your purpose of a space is for turning cartwheels, that’s not a bad plan.  Ballet studios should push the observation chairs along a wall, for example.  They want plenty of space for dancing and preferably not to kick Mama in the face.  In our living rooms, though, I doubt your main purpose for the space is cartwheels, or a running Grand Jette.   It’s probably conversation and fellowship.  Having the furniture so far apart that you have to strain to hear each other, or get up and walk across the room to pass around a photo (or a tray of brownies,) isn’t very practical.

Here’s a sample collage of a living room I made 4 years ago with the furniture placed how I would naturally do it.

Living room too far apart no curtains

And the same room, with the furniture pulled closer for a conversation area.

Living Room

Even if your room is small,  a narrow table behind your sofa with lamps on it will pull it away from the wall.  Or at least pull it out far enough that curtains could flow freely behind it.  If you hate it, you can always shove it back.  Cardboard squares or furniture sliders can make furniture moving an easy afternoon diversion. (And think of the calories we’ll burn!)

Once you get an arrangement together, sit in each of the chairs to get a perspective of what your guests would feel.  Are you part of the conversation?  Do you feel like you are outside the group?

These pieces of furniture usually look best against the wall: TV consoles or sofa tables, book cases, dressers, headboard portion of the bed, nightstands.

These pieces usually look best pulled away from the wall: chairs, sofas, end tables, coffee tables, dining tables.

If you room doesn’t feel right, you might not need new furniture, just a new arrangement.  Now that your space is hushed, there’s nothing in your way.  Go ahead and shove your stuff around :).

If you need some arrangement ideas, check out my pinterest boards: living room, bedroom.

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Hush

why you should tell your room to hushIt’s time to hush your space.  The Nester calls it “quieting the room.”  It’s essential.  You can’t treat a room properly without this step, so don’t fight it.  The room will tell us what it wants to be, but we won’t be able to hear it until we shoo all the extra voices out of the room and listen.

You’ll need to find a staging area for the extra things.  I used my living room, but a storage room not used as living space would be even better. This works best done one room at a time.  Otherwise it can get overwhelming to store everything.

Remove everything from the room that can be moved.  Curtains, art, small furniture, patterned bedspreads, pillows, books, knickknacks, rugs, shelves, and anything on the walls.  Everything that can go, must go.

This room was shouting at me:

Master bedroom before

Each individual item had it’s own toddler voice chanting:  “Look at me. Look at me.”  Then the Eeyore voice of the room itself moaned:

I’m messy.

I’m hopeless.

This is overwhelming.

I’m tired.

I don’t know where to start.

There’s not enough money to fix this.

Master bedroom quiet

As soon as I quieted the space.  The cacophony stopped.  In the hush, I heard.

You can do this.

What a nice big space.

What a great window.

This is a good place to feel peaceful.

I would be easy to paint.

The carpet should go.

Master bedroom mood board

I couldn’t think of where to start until the room was quiet.  Then in the hush, I made a plan in PowerPoint.

Which translated to this:

master bedroom 2

If you don’t know where to begin.  Or if it feels too hopeless.  Just quiet the room and live with it for awhile.  It will start to speak kindly to you, and then you’ll know.

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How Much is This Going to Cost?

how much is this going to cost

In December, 2011 we bought a house that needed a gut job.  Every room needed something and some rooms needed everything.   We had a detailed budget and cash set aside for the kitchen and master bathroom project, but the rest of the rooms I planned to nickle and dime out of our monthly budget.  Little did I know that the nickles and dimes would average $600-$1,000 a room. This included craiglist and garage sale findings, sewing or building stuff, plus doing all the work ourselves.  If we did anything the easy way, it would triple our expenses.

I had an excuse for my poor decorating abilities for years. I didn’t want to spend the money on something so “superficial.”  The truth was I didn’t know where to start or how to decide what to buy that would make the room look right. Most of what I purchased to pretty up our home ended up a waste of money since things still felt “off. “So I decided it was all vain.  Deep down my environment mattered to me and the more cluttered and unfinished our space was (at one point we had a toilet sitting in our kitchen for months) the more depressed I got.

One day it occurred to me that God spent effort to put beauty in the world.  The flowers, trees, animals, landscape are all pretty amazing, even though we’re living outside the Garden of Eden.  I can’t imagine the scope of beauty that was inside. If he took that much care to create beauty and in turn created me in His image, then it was equally right for me to spend some effort to create beauty in my little corner of the world.

If you are working on a mock up for your room in powerpoint, like yesterday’s post mentioned, you can write down the costs of the items you chose and get the start of a budget.  You’ll be able to tell how much money you need to find/earn/save or if some of the items you picked out are just too expensive.

Here’s a budget, similar to what I used in my room, Caleb’s room, and Heather’s room.

Curtains: $30-$60

Area Rug: $200-$300

2 gallons of Wall Paint: $50

Trim Paint: $25 (One gallon will do a lot of rooms.)

Floor paint: $25 or New flooring: $600

Bedding: $50 (includes throw pillows)

Furniture: This widely varies.  You may be able to repurpose things you already have, or get some good Craigslist stuff to repurpose.  I repurposed a lot, but did buy a couch and bench for my bedroom for around $500 total.

Accessories: $200 (including wall art, organizing supplies, shelving etc.)

I cash flowed Caleb’s room from our spending freeze.  I used garage sale money for our master bedroom.  I can’t remember where the money for Heather’s room came from except that I saved up for nearly a year for it to be her amazing birthday gift.

When setting your budget, you’re going to go back and forth between the amount of cash you have on hand right now, the things you need to make the space just right, and how much cash you need to come up with to make up the difference.

How about you?  Does $1,000 a room seem like a crazy high budget amount?  Have you been able to do a room for less?

 

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How to Use Power Point to Design a Room

How to use powerpoint to design a room

This is so much fun!  I made a video to show you how I try out a new design in a room before I break a sweat or spend a dime.  I can decide if items work in my space just by trying them virtually without buying anything.   If you take a photo of your room straight on, you can drop the items right over your picture so you get all the proportions right.

I use power point because we’ve owned it for years.  I have an old version, but newer ones work too. If you have photoshop and know how to use it, please don’t watch my video.  It might make you ill.  You can watch the last few seconds.  It’s fun :).

Here’s a before picture of Stacy’s room:

IMG_1382-2

In the panoramic view, it was the wrong angle to drop pictures right on top, but it gave me enough of a visual of the whole space that I could create new pics for her.

Stacy's living room 1

I couldn’t find a sofa at just the right angle, so we’re using our imagination :).  The wing chair goes on one side of the fireplace.Stacy's living room 2

Like this.  I tried to use items in the design that she could buy on a budget and that are easy to find.  I didn’t include her cabinet under the window, because I have a new plan for her computer, below.  This is the wall opposite the big window.Stacy's Living room 3

The buffet would be a piece to look for on craigslist and paint out.  Her husband hates throw pillows, but I couldn’t resist doing one picture to see what it could look like with some fun pillows.

Stacy's living room 1 with pillows

All of these photos were with her current white walls.  Just for giggles I wanted to see what it would look like with butter yellow walls:

Stacy's living room 1 yellow

Stacy's living room 2 yellow

Stacy's Living room 3 yellow

I can’t decide which I like better.  Stacy might like the white better….because it’s done.  Which do you like?

I also made a series for her without the layered rugs.

Stacy's living room 2 white without layered rug

It’s ok to save money on the budget, but I really like the layered rug.

Seriously guys, the last few seconds….That kid makes me really happy.

 You can subscribe to my youtube channel here.  (Subscribers get sneak peaks of my videos before I blog them.)

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Posted in Decorating, Frugal Living | 8 Comments

4 Questions to Define Your Space

4 questions to define your space

Before we can get very far with our space, we need to know exactly what we want it to do for us.  Without a clearly defined purpose we won’t know how to arrange the furniture, what furniture should be there, what storage options we need, or even what colors to choose.

Keep in mind it doesn’t matter what the previous owner or builder had in mind when they created the space.  Make the room fit your needs, even if that means turning a dining room into a play room, or a den into a bedroom.

Answer these 4 questions:

1.  Who will primarily use this space?  (The whole family, mostly kids, mostly adults, mostly Dad, guests?)

2.  What do you want the space to store?  (Books?  Toys? Musical Instruments?)

3. What do you want to do in this space? (Play games? Watch TV? Talk? Do homework? Eat? Escape to a quiet place? Read? Work from home? Entertain guests? Build stuff?)

4.  How do you want to feel when you are in this space? (Calm? Relaxed?  Cheerful?  Energized?)

Now that you know what you want here are some tips that will help you with tomorrow’s post.

1.  Make the main purpose of your room the main focal point–the thing your eye lands on first when you enter the room.  If the purpose is sleeping, make the bed the first thing that catches your eye.  If it’s to enjoy conversation around the fire, then let everything point to that.

2. Think about the types of furniture pieces you’ll need to use your space the way you want to.  Want to sit around and chat with guests?  Are there spaces to put coasters and drinks?  Want a relaxing place to read?  Are there bookcases or other storage for books?

3.  If you have a multitasking space, define the different areas with the arrangement of furniture and placement of throw rugs.

4.  Cheerful energizing colors: yellow, orange, red, bright green.  Calm relaxing colors: blue, soft green, gray, white.

5. The more organized and decluttered a space is the more relaxing it feels.

6.  White, gray, and blues can feel cold.  Yellows, browns, golds, and wood tones feel warm.  Add gold or tan accents to a primarily gray and white room and it warms the atmosphere.

6.  If your room lacks natural light, you can double the amount coming in by placing large mirrors on the opposite wall from the windows.

 

 

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