Kitschdesigns

DIY– A “Big Boy” Bedroom–Getting Started

April 16, 2012 09:02 by ehouston

If you are just popping in for the first time around here I will let you in on a little secret, we are expecting baby number two in July and I am just about killing myself to transition my 2.5 year old out of the nursery before that time comes.  I had already planned to update our guest bathroom during the first quarter of this year, along with our kitchen.  Unfortunately the looming due date made for a tough reno and pushed back any work on the kitchen until probably some time next year.  Wah-wuh…  In the meantime I am still working at full throttle, well as full as my big belly and lack of decent energy will allow, to get the “big boy” room together and the nursery girlied up a bit!

This post is really to let you know where we began in the process and of course to drum up any sympathy possible for my tired, aching bones.  ;o)  Being older and pregnant really kicks your butt!  So, without further ado here is the room we started with…

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This lavender and cream boudoir boasts a lavish (and I’m sure early ‘90’s Waverly) floral border worked into a faux “tray” style ceiling detail.  Meaning the lavender was also painted along the edge of the ceiling and another portion of the floral border was laid along the edge of that painted line and around the ceiling.  Ooooh, lovely!  Actually, in all fairness I’m sure this was a nice look at the time and I am also sure the original owners spent some cash to have this treatment done to create this effect.  Let’s just say, it’s really not for us…especially the little boy who is about to move into the space.

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Not only did this room serve as extra sleeping space for our guests, but the wall opposite the king sized bed housed my sewing and craft nook. 

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You can also see the edge of the door to the little walk-in closet, known as the fabric stockyard, in the shot above.  I will fully admit this room was decorated with whatever I had on hand that I felt could make it work for the time being. In decorating the space I felt more than a little trapped by the color scheme and floral details.

Heck, even the curtain rods had gingko leaves on the ends, which are nice, but still not the look I was going for in the space.

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The headboard consisted of a large piece of foam, originally purchased to create cushions for another nixed project, covered in a vintage dotted coverlet.  The large patterned barkcloth pillows, bed skirt and curtains were all vintage finds that seem to always get pulled out whenever I had a room that needs something to pull it together on zero budget.  I used extra pillows covered in vintage hand-embroidered pillow cases and another vintage coverlet to finish off an admittedly very out of character feminine look.  The side table, another vintage find, was topped with miscellaneous craft/sewing room décor from previous houses, a clock radio and some family photos.

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On the other side I stored my dress form, covered in vintage clothes.

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Over time, some of my creations ended up being pinned up on the walls, not only to keep them from being damaged while awaiting a buyer from my Etsy Shop, but also for my enjoyment until they left for a new home.  This room would be perfectly straightened up, as evidenced by these photos, for all of about 20 minutes before a new idea would hit and I would have piles of fabric and supplies chaotically strewn across every inch of useable bed, desk and floor space.  I enjoyed using this room, as did several guests, but it was time for a change that the Little Guy was anxiously awaiting.

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Over the course of the last few months I had tested the border to see how “stuck” it really was and just like the guest bathroom wallpaper, it came down easily and within minutes.  The Mister had talked me into moving one of the twin beds that had made up the “king” sized bed for this room, into the playroom for more comfy seating and to attempt to get me off the “I want a sectional” nagging bandwagon.  I will admit it’s better than the numb buns you get from sitting on the futon, but it only delayed the sectional talk for about a day.  Sorry dear! 

In the meantime, I had made up the other twin into a day bed we could enjoy until the real work started in the “big boy” room.  As you can see above, more toys had also been moved from the playroom into this space to help keep the Little Guy occupied on the occasions when I had to do some sewing for business.  Nothing like a mini tool bench to keep a kid happy for, oh, ten minutes.  Am I right?

As of today, the room has been cleared of everything, accept this bed and the floor has been covered in protective plastic.  The band of lavender along the ceiling got a first coat of primer and tomorrow I hope to tackle priming the most dreaded piece of this room to paint – oil-based painted trim!!!!!  UGH in SEVEN LANGUAGES!!!!  I am being lazy and praying that a good oil-based primer will solve my problems, but this could be the breaking point for the timeline of this mini-makeover.  I will keep you all posted on the success of that combo as I go along.

As for the plan of attack, here goes:

-Take the lavender to light gray, with a white ceiling and white trim. 

-Add horizontal stripes in a gray just a couple of shades darker than the other walls to the main bed wall. 

-Add already purchased simple bedding in gray and newly created bed skirt in a tweedy fabric. 

-Spruce up the windows with some thrifted, but new, curtains that I plan to customize with a patterned fabric border. 

-I hope to customize the Little Guy’s IKEA desk and chair set to be placed on one wall.

-Add a magnetic chalk board above the desk area.

-Add an already purchased large, family-sized beanbag chair.

-Clean up and paint an already purchased thrifted shelving unit.

-Find a small dresser for the space- clean up and paint as necessary.

-Add artwork and pillows in fun colors (primarily orange, the Little Guy’s fav!) against all the gray.

-Working on a possible A, B, C’s letter wall.

-Add brightly colored paper lantern lighting over the bed, if possible.

-Find something to use as a nightstand.

-Change out current light fixture in the center of the room for anything that isn’t brass!

-DIY a larger rug for the desk area from some thrifted rugs.

I’m sure I will think of more things to do as I go along.  For some reason that’s how it seems to go with any project I do for my kid.  I just want to do more, add more, get everything I think is cute or that he might like.  It’s a sickness really and I’m sure it doesn’t get any better as you add to the flock.

Stick around and I will add photos as things progress.  Please wish me luck in getting all this done, too, before we end up with one more family member to love!

Kitsch Krafts


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DIY : The Guest Bath Reveal

April 13, 2012 07:51 by ehouston

Finally!  I am ready to show off my handy work in our guest bathroom.  This one definitely felt like it took longer than it really did.  Unfortunately any time you work with stain you have to add in a lot of extra days just for drying time.  Anywhoo, the walls are no longer wrapped in striped paper, the cream door, trim and cabinet color have been obliterated and the hardware is donning a new coat of “chrome”.  Oh yeah, I removed the shower door, added a rod and curtain, and painted the lights too!  Whew! 

The space has gone from this:

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And this:

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And now to this:

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So we now have a pretty generic box, but it does feel a lot better in this bath to us now.  It will take some time to add more personality, as in some cool art for several walls, but I like to take my time with that sort of thing.  The water damaged cabinetry has a new lease on life and the faux marble vanity top looks less reddish brown than it did with the previous color combination.  This bath ties in better now too with the guest bedroom it is attached to.  I left a sliver of the light blue wall color showing in the first before and after shots above so you could see the odd original transition from the bedroom to the bath.  Now, with modern colors the rooms don’t look like they are from such vastly different time periods.  I think (and hope!) our guests will feel more comfortable using this lighter and brighter bath.

Below is a recap of my initial concerns, wants, needs, dreams of what needed to happen in that space.  It was so fulfilling to check so many things off the list.  I added pictures of the updates along the way.  Enjoy!

From original post on February 28th

Here are some of my Concerns:

-No Natural Light

-Sconces and ceiling fan light give off nothing more than a candle flame

When removing the lights for painting I discovered that what I thought was frosted glass turned out to be dust encrusted clear fluted glass!  Insert communal eeeeewwwww!  A thorough cleaning and we now have a good bit more light coming through.  Although it’s not the best fix for the long run, it works for now.

-Extra large, overpowering mirror

-Gold mixed with chrome and white porcelain

In an attempt to make a positive change on a small budget I spray painted all the gold knobs and even traded out the porcelain cabinet hardware for some of the old brass from the kitchen.  A coat of chrome spray paint later and they look like a million bucks!  I’m still on the fence about the actual door and closet knobs, though.  I’m not in love with the finish and I’m also unsure it will hold up to regular use.

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(The gold hinges will be replaced soon.  I decided not to attempt to spray paint anything else in this space.)

-Cream and white fixtures (vanity top, toilet, tub and tile surround are all different)

-No budget for new tile

-No budget for new vanitycabinet

Doesn’t matter now.  Gel stain made it look completely different.  Thank you, Minwax, Red Elm!

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Here are some of my Ideas:

-Paint the vanity cabinet a fun bright color (light, beachy green maybe?)

We nixed this idea in favor of something more neutral.  Not only is this a space for guests with varying tastes, but it’s one less space to have to worry about come sales time.

Or

-Gel stain the vanity to make it look like dark wood

As Dave on Storage Wars would say, “YUUUUUPPPP!”  The dark color helps hide the years of water damage and chipping areas, making the cabinet look completely new.  Yeah!

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See all the chipping paint and swollen wood above?  Not the best presentation for our guests, wouldn’t ya’ say?

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-Remove the wallpaper and paint the walls a light color (pale taupe to help neutralize the vanity top?)

If we had just removed the wallpaper and done nothing else in this space it would have been a much happier place than it was prior to the changes.  Although my Home Depot, “Oops” color ended up being a bit darker than I envisioned for this room, it was actually exactly what was needed.  Between the new wall color and the darker cabinet, the vanity looks much more beige with brown streaks than cream with red streaks, as it did before.

-Frame the large mirror (it does help to reflect what little light is in there)

Framing the mirror is still on the list for the future.

-Replace or paint the sconces and switch out the shades for something more stylish

In the future we may opt to replace them completely, especially since what we have gives off so little light.  For now, a couple of coats of chrome spray paint and the really good shade scrubbing has given them an almost free new life.

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Maybe I’m just too cheap, but the simple changes we made makes these sort of charming to me now.  Where before they seemed brash and old fashioned.???

-Paint all woodwork, and doors bright white

Done!

-Remove glass shelf behind toilet and replace with artwork or a more substantial shelf unit

I removed the shelf, but decided to paint it, put it back and add some different artwork to the wall above.

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I have yet to find any art for any part of the bath, so I just put back some of my ceramic pieces on the shelf for now.

-Add art work or large mirror to the end wall of the room

Still on the search for something I like.

-Change cabinet hardware, door knobs and hinges

I removed the old porcelain knobs and replaced them with leftover brass knobs from the kitchen.   Since the style was identical and I did not have the heart to paint the porcelain knobs, I opted to spray the gold ones chrome, along with the hinges, so everything looks new now.

If I had a bigger budget, or one day…..

-Would love to chip out the row of pink tiles in the tub surround and replace with something more modern in a neutral color combo

-Would love to switch out the cream colored powder room toilet with the white one in here

-Would love to remove the sliding tub door and replace with an extra high bar and long custom curtain

Done!  This ended up being so much easier than I thought.  Although, adding a extra high bar did not look as nice as I thought it would.  I decided to keep a regular height rod instead, which in the end meant I could avoid the higher cost of making (or buying) a custom sized curtain and liner.

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I found the shower curtain at World Market and at $29.99 I believe it was the most expensive purchase for the whole mini-remodel.  I also added the towel bar after removing the shower doors, which included nice long handles for draping wet towels.  Now we have this new chrome version, plus an additional towel bar set in the tile at the back of the shower surround.  The new bar is part of a set that I scored during one of my thrifting adventures last year.  I thought I would use it in the hall bath upstairs, but found a more immediate need in this room.  The set includes a more modern style toilet paper holder, which was relocated to the end of the vanity cabinet and out of view when looking into the space, a hand towel ring and a door hook.  All this chrome for about $3.50 at 50% off Wednesday at the Salvation Army.  Yeah budget!

-Would love to remove the large mirror and replace with smaller, individual oval mirrors

-Would love to get all new lighting

-Would love to remove vanity completely and replace with a higher cabinet (this one hits below my mid-thigh) and a Carrera marble top.  Oooooohhhh….

So, this is where we have arrived over the last month with this room mini-remodel.  I say mini because nothing structural changed aside from removing the shower doors, which was shockingly easy to accomplish.  Even though we have simply neutralized the space and did not do anything extraordinary in here, we are quite thrilled with how this room looks now compared to the circus tent of early ‘90’s Waverly wallpaper that it was before.  I think our guests will be much happier bathing in this space as well.

Here is a breakdown of our costs for the mini-remodel:

-Wall paint – Home Depot “Oops” color                             $7.00

-Cabinet Color – Minwax Gel Stain- Red Elm   Already owned $0.00

-Trim Paint – Valspar Semi-Gloss –White  Already owned       $0.00

-Ceiling Paint – Glidden Purple Tint          Already owned       $0.00

-Dry Wall Compound for repairs              Already owned        $0.00

-Primer for walls                                    Already owned        $0.00

-Chrome Spray Paint – Rustoleum                                        $5.49

-Rustoleum Auto Body Primer                                              $5.49

-Rustoleum Clear Protective Coat                                         $5.49

-Chrome Accessories- Sal. Army 50% off purchase                $3.50

-Tension Shower Rod- World Market                                     $10.99

-Shower Curtain Hooks-Chrome Ball – World Market              $10.99

-Shower Curtain- World Market                                            $29.99

-Towels and mats – on sale at Target                                   $30.00

That’s a grand total of:                                                       $97.95 

Considering I have two kid’s rooms to complete on no budget in the next month, I am pretty psyched about how low priced this mini-makeover ended up.  It’s amazing what you can accomplish by hitting up sales, keeping a lookout for those oddball, but useful things at the Salvation Army and, of course lots of elbow grease.

Did you guys make any big or little changes to your bathrooms over the last month?  I love to see what other people come up with in their own spaces!

Kitsch Krafts


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In Case You Are Wondering Why I Have Been MIA….

June 7, 2010 02:44 by ehouston

This is what has been occupying my time almost nonstop since the beginning of May:

 

Yep, the wallpaper steamer didn’t work to my benefit.  Actually, I take that back.  It worked so well that it took down the wallpaper, the paint behind it and the top layer of the drywall within about 15 seconds.  I stopped after destroying one section of wall (you can see part of it in the far left of the second photo above.  Despite the really bad damage taking down the wallpaper caused I have been able to patch these spots with drywall compound, sand them down and cover everything with a couple of coats of oil-based, odorless Kilz primer.  It’s already looking like a new place and I am chomping at the bit to get the final colors up on the walls.  I think one more coat of primer is warranted to be sure that lovely border stays hidden forever and then I will be on to round two of painting.  Seems like this one week wallpaper removal and painting project has taken on a life of its own and wants to grow into a month long endeavor.  I have been slightly depressed about the length of time this has taken, but I have learned some lessons for future redecorating projects for other wallpapered rooms in my home.  I think I will skip the removal and go straight for the heavy duty primer.  I have always been told painting over wallpaper can be disastrous, but in this case I think I would have saved about two weeks time and I still would have had a nice looking paint job.  Oh well, you live, you learn, right?

Now, for my next big decisions…paint color and curtains.  I had been planning some light shades of blue gray to play off the darker shades of blue gray I was going to paint in the adjoining formal living room.  However, the dining room is almost twice as big as the living room and it gets a LOT more light.  Plus, the furniture in that room is all blue (I don’t know what I was thinking!).  So, I have decided to flip my plans and use the darker colors in the larger space.  I want the rooms throughout our home to glide seamlessly into each other with pops of color here and there, but I don’t want just a neutral white or beige background.  Although I like that look, I really want to have some color on the walls.  Over the years I have found that I lean toward shades of blue, green and gray with all different shades of stained wood thrown in the mix.  So, I am sticking with this color pallet throughout the house.  I also love a hit of bright red once in a while and that will definitely show up here and there as well.  Right now, though I need to get two colors picked out for the dining room because I hope to have them on the walls before the end of the week.  Here are the shades I am considering right now…(at least until the next trip to Lowe’s or Home Depot!):

Set #1- Woodlawn Silver Brook & La Fonda Villa Fountain (The middle colors)

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These are from Lowe’s Valspar line and they are also both National Historic Trust colors.  They are definitely more blue/turquoise than gray.

Set #2 – Antique Silver & French Grey

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These are from Home Depot’s Glidden line and have a little less turquoise in them.  They also both have more of a gray look to them when holding them up in the room.  Go figure!?!

What do you guys think?  Of course the lighter color would be above the chair rail and the darker color below.  Oh yeah, and I am planning to paint the chair rail along with the bottom color so it sort of fades away.  I love the moldings in our home, but I’m not wild about this chair rail.  The rest of the trim and moldings in the room will be high gloss white.

I would love to hear your opinion, and I know some of you definitely have one!  So, let it rip…

Kitsch Krafts


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DIY and The Pink Bathroom!

September 3, 2008 10:46 by ehouston

I just received a message from a FLICKR Group dedicated to saving pink bathrooms with a request to add some of my pictures to their pool.  I am honored to be a part of this retro home revival group and plan to check back often so I can take a peek into other people's homes.  My voyeuristic interest in to where other people live is a sickness that started back in high school when I attended my first estate sale.  It continues to this day, by an unseen force that draws me to spend a Sunday afternoon visiting open houses when I have no intention of moving.  I love getting a look at how other people decorate their spaces and the fun of coming upon a time capsule of life from bygone eras.  The chance to see how these homes were originally decorated is so interesting in contrast to how homes are often portrayed in movies and on television.  It's weird, I know, but somehow very thrilling when you discover something in pristine condition.  It's why I am also obsessed with shows like Leave It To Beaver and Mad Men.  I cannot get enough of the rooms in the homes and buildings on these shows.  I always end up annoying other TV watchers around me with quips about the neat couch or cool lamp in the background.

I recently attended an estate sale just down the street from my home and I wandered around looking in sheer amazement at the amount of wallpaper they had used.  Their home is a split-level too, as are many of the homes in our 1950's-1960's neighborhood, and I really liked the layout of all the wallpaper coated rooms.  One odd area that caught my eye, though, was the staircase to the upper portion of the home.  It sat right by the front door and twisted at a strange angle toward the bedrooms.  It seemed awkward when a straight set would have made perfect sense, but I believe the point was to give a more grand affect when viewed from the front entry.  The funny thing about split-level homes is that "grand" was never a part of the equation for the interiors and it always cracks me up when the owners try to go that route in their decorating.  ...But, I digress....what really caught my eye about the staircase was the flashy wallpaper that lined the stairs and then the upper hallway.  It had a busy, almost life-sized bamboo print in shades of metallic browns.  It was so out there that it had come back again and I have even seen similar patterns in new design mags lately.  The best part about this was that the master bedroom had another version of bamboo wallpaper, top to bottom, all four walls and so did the BATHROOM!  In fact, the over-zealous decorator had even created a shoji-screen style window covering to add to the Asian appeal, and they had continued the wallpaper right across the screens.  It was so awe-inspiringly gross! 

The ingenious decor continued with real bamboo molding.  It had been cut in half, wrapped around the top edge of the tiled walls that are typical for that era, and they had been stained a dark brown to match the dark stained vanity cabinets.  You could tell the remodel had happened in the 1970's or early 80's because of the colors and how over-the-top they had gone with the theme.  Even with the dizzying pattern overkill, these areas of the home were still sort of cool and made me want to try to salvage some of what the owners had been trying to create.  But, alas, the home has since sold and I am sure the new owners will rip out all remnants of this home's past coolness rather than working with the good bones and keeping some of the quirky decor.  Maybe I should slip some of my design mags under their door with the cool wallpaper pages marked for them?  

I really should not give anyone a hard time about ripping out and replacing anything in their older home.  There are many aspects of ranch and split-level homes of the 1950's and 1960's that I love, but sometimes that love does not stay warm in your heart once you have lived with something kitsch for a while.  Take for instance the room that got me the invite to the "save the pink bathrooms" group.  Below is a before shot of my lovely pink bathroom, complete with the old owner's ruffled curtains and seashell wallpaper.

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We lived with that window and the matching shower curtain (see it reflected in the mirror?) for almost three years before the final breakdown.  There were other rooms in our home that definitely needed more work and were much harder on the eyes, so we gave them what I call "the mini makeover" treatment first.  Basically, a thorough cleaning, new paint, switched out hardware and pulled up carpet to reveal hardwood floors.  The easy stuff that makes an impact and helps you keep your sanity while living in a cosmetic fixer-upper.

After much thought about what to do with this space, everything from a simple spruce up, to taking the seashell theme to new kitschy heights, to just ripping all of it out and starting over.  We ended up deciding that it did not make any sense to rip out perfectly good tile and fixtures and a simple spruce up was all that we needed.  I spent a week pulling down the wallpaper, resurfacing the marred walls, priming and painting in a subtle shade of gray, to pick up on the contrasting band of gray tile along the floor.  We added a new, but vintage inspired light fixture because the old one did not cast enough light and we changed out the only broken element, the sink faucet.  New towels, shower curtain, refurbished wooden shutters and a "frame" set around the mirror and we were in business for a fraction of the price that most people pay for a modern makeover.  No, our bath does not have luxurious real stone tile, or a multi-spout shower head, but it does have a nice sized space, a more subdued palette and it still matches up with the rest of the home.  Plus, after all these years of doing my makeup in this room I have realized that pink really is my color!

;0)

E

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