A great use for all of the vintage stamps left over from our wedding invitations!
While the final paint on the crown molding in our laundry room remodel is drying, I’ve started to tackle other bits of decorating downstairs. The upstairs is and will remain a forgotten abyss until I’m pleased with the downstairs - it’s how my crazy mind works, but I can’t start a new project until the first one is complete.
The shell of the dining room includes this pretty red wallpaper that we decided to keep (despite my yearnings for a dark blue dining room) and the traditional-style antique dining set we purchased just before moving. The previous owners left their (cheap) white lace curtains which I hate but they match.
I started ransacking boxes and other rooms for ways to spruce it up on the cheap. I came up with:
- A gallery wall of black and white photos in gold frames - us, siblings and parents - and a Thangka painting from Nepal. We’re trying to be completely thoughtful of what we put on the walls and where to avoid wall clutter, so that’s it for the walls for now.
- New red and gold striped curtains that were left behind in the family room. They were too heavy for the one window in that room, so I moved them downstairs and they immediately dressed up our dining area.
- A table runner. I had it in my head for weeks that I wanted a white linen hemstitched table runner and was about to order this one from Pottery Barn (monogrammed, of course). But then I went digging in my boxes and came up with this pretty linen piece that I picked up in Ethiopia. Mark thinks it’s too short but the internets tell me a shorter runner is perfectly acceptable! Thoughts?
- A vase that sits empty now but will be filled with hydrangeas before my guests arrive this weekend.
Resources for our short term revamp:
- Curtains: $0
- Table runner: $0
- Gold frames: $0
- Black and white photos: $10 online printing at Rite-Aid (highly superior to Walgreens!)
- Thangka: $0
- Thangka frame: $15 from Garden Ridge
The room isn’t done by any means, but I’m happy that it’s slightly less bare. Still on our list are:
A rug like this.
A better centerpiece. TBD.
Perhaps a funky wine rack?
Tarnishing the brassy chandelier. We have plans to soak this baby in ammonia to bring out its natural tarnish and if that doesn’t work, I’ve got my trusty spray paint to bronze it up.
Choosing a paint color: As stressful as the GREs
Maybe it’s because I’m inexperienced in choosing paint colors but I broke out into cold sweats in Sherwin Williams trying to decide on the perfect shade of light blue (but not baby blue or turquoise blue or grey blue). The magic light that you hold the paint chip under to demonstrate various lighting didn’t help either - it kept turning my subtle light blue into scary baby blue nursery. Cue Psycho-style WEE WEE WEE WEE!
Mountain Air was my final laundry room answer.
I wanted something definitely blue but light enough that the small space would still feel open. I also picked up a bright white glossy paint for the trim, a quality paintbrush, biodegradable paint trays, drywall spackle and a roller and $120 later I was on my way.
Since this was a fairly simple remodel, the only other major item we needed was a cabinet. Home Depot had simple, contractor-grade kitchen cabinets that were small enough that we’d need two. At $97 a pop though, we would have already busted our budget. The laundry room was not worth $300+ to us, so we headed off to the Habitat for Humanity Restore.
A brand-new, already white, contractor-grade kitchen cabinet set that just needed a Fantastik wipe-down was staring us in the face with its $60 price tag. Minutes later, it was on its way to its new home.
As the materials sat in the garage over the weekend, we strategized how to tackle our first DIY home improvement project and came up with a plan. To be continued…