Kitschdesigns

DIY–Big Boy Room–The Reveal

October 3, 2012 05:51 by ehouston

Back in April I wrote about my latest undertaking, the “Big Boy” bedroom that we were creating to help my son give up the nursery to his new little sister. We were also giving up our spare bedroom, which had come in handy for extra guests and served as my crafting and sewing space. More on where I work later, right now I want to share where we are with the space now that the Little Guy has blissfully taken to his new room. First let’s recap where we started with some lovely photos….or, we can just use the usual CSI style crummy ones that I manage to take.

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(This was the space to the left as you walked through the door.)

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(And, this was the right side of the room, taken from along the side of the bed.)

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(A close-up of a couple design challenges in the space.)

The first thing we had to overcome in this room was the heavy floral border and matching “tray” ceiling effect the previous owners had placed up above with more wallpaper and lavender paint. I actually had a pretty easy time of removing the borders and the lavender went down with one coat of primer. Yeah! The next challenge was that all the trim and both doors had been painted with oil-based cream paint making the finish rock hard and super shiny. Just to be sure primer and paint would stick, I wiped the surfaces down with a deglosser and then used a coat of oil-based primer to help seal off the shellac-like paint job. That seems to have done the trick because after applying two coats of the glossy latex, bright white top coat, the finish has remained nice and smooth. I had a fear that after all my hard work the layers would start to peel or run- so far, so good!

Going into this project I knew only a couple of things: I wanted the base of the room to be gray so I would not have to change it again in a couple of years and I hoped to come up with a fun wall design that could stand the test of time as well. Also the Little Guy loves the color orange and insisted on using it whenever asked about his decorating ideas. Mom-inclusion Fail! I really should have known better than to ask him because this meant finding the fine line between nice room with cute accents and bright construction barrels along the side of a gravel strewn highway.

Once all the trim was painted out I used leftover wall color from our dining room to knock out what had been lavender overload. As I wrote above I wanted the walls to be gray, but came across a nearly full gallon of bluish-gray paint in the garage and figured I would just use it instead. The whole time I was painting the color on the walls I kept thinking, “where is this paint from?”. It wasn’t until I completely finished that I realized it was the color I mixed on my own and had matched to Valspar in Eggshell at Lowe’s for above the chair rail. It was also at this point that the paint was drying enough for me to see that it was definitely more blue than I had intended for this room. No worries, free paint is free paint and obviously we like the color. Due to the dark shade I did end up having to buy another gallon in order to add a second coat and get nice coverage all around. I then purchased a can of bright white Valspar paint in Eggshell finish and mixed it with the darker shade already used on the plain walls to create a lighter gray for the horizontal stripes. My original plan called for adding horizontal stripes to the main wall where we thought the bed should go.

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Later, I decided to add the same horizontal stripes to the opposite wall too. I figured that way if we changed up the furniture arrangement it would not look as weird if the bed landed on another wall. In the end we have two plain and two striped walls and we are all pretty happy with the look.

The second item to tackle on the bedroom “To-do” list was to figure out how to house his clothes, toys and books, seating for family reading and possibly a nightstand. A headboard and/or full bed were not necessary because we planned to push it against the wall and possibly into the corner. Plus, the twin we were using already had a basic frame and I was able to create a simple bed skirt from a new, but thrifted curtain panel to help hide the wheels and under bed storage. After a few short weeks of Sal. Army stalking I came across this shelving unit that appeared to be just the right width and height for the space between the windows.

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Many weeks later, just as I was about to give up on finding a deal, I made one last trip to the Sal. Army and scored this dresser and nightstand set to complete the storage item checklist.

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Both are pretty sturdy and I expect that they will serve their purpose well against the destructive forces of an almost 3 year-old little boy.

With the storage issues under control we were then able to focus our energy on the decorating and bringing the seating into the space. After many an online search had failed to reveal a decently priced upholstered and overstuffed rocker, we decided a better bet for our growing family would be an extra large bean bag chair to plop next to the bookcase. I did manage to find a 4-footer online from Comfort Research at a cost of $118.00, making this the most expensive item in the whole room. Honestly, we probably would have paid double for this kind of comfort, though. It’s super fun to drop into when cuddling up at the end of the day for story time.

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Although for a while I had a problem with my big belly preventing me from easily getting back out of the thing without help when the story had ended. ;o)

The last neutral decorative aspect of the room was the curtains. Again, I wanted to stick with gray to make things easy in the future, however I did not want them to be totally boring. At the same time I found the brand new curtain panel used for the bed skirt at the Goodwill, I also found a second pair of curtains in a light gray heavy cotton. Since I prefer stationary panels with blinds these were perfect for cutting in half, and trimming out to make a set for each of the single windows.

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I chose a border fabric that reminded me of a blown out tweed pattern, with a retro sort of vibe. Plus, in a way it matched up with the tweed-like fabric of the other curtain panel used for the bed skirt. Matchy without being too matchy-matchy, know what I mean?

Since we wanted this room to grow with my son all traces of the color he loves, orange, are found in easy to change accents. I painted a thrifted frame orange to hold a cute alligator print by Funnel Cloud Studio that we picked out at the Richmond Craft Mafia’s Spring Bada-Bing craft show a couple of months ago.

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Since then we discovered several other inexpensive accents in orange by Room Essentials from Target; storage bins, picture frames and a clock.

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To add some fun shapes, color and extra lighting we hung a bunch of paper lanterns from Hobby Lobby and Party City and plan to cover the existing overhead light with a clear plastic IKEA knockoff from Target.  More on that soon (I hope!).

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I even got crafty and made him an alphabet print with the “I”, “O” and “U” in orange to spell out “I heart u”.

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Of course we kept his vintage globes and topography map (over the head of the bed) and added a light up globe for his nightstand.  These all worked nicely since they have lots of muted oranges to add to the overall design scheme.

At this time, the room is as complete as I can make it without starting another big project.  I do have some half finished artwork for the wall above his bed and some pillows for the bean bag chair sitting in sewing limbo.  The only items we planned to put in here, but could not find space for are his tiny table and chairs. They are still in a state of disarray and sitting in the dormer window of the playroom. We thought they might work well in the walk-in closet, but I think he prefers to use his desk while I am working away at mine. So, for now this set will stay put and get a face lift as soon as possible.

Whew! This has been a long one and I don’t even feel like I covered all aspects of what went on in this space. In fear of killing everyone with boredom I will move on and do a quick “Before and After” post later of several elements. Please tell me what rooms you guys have been working on over the last couple of months. I’m always looking for inspiration.

Kitsch Krafts

PS- Here is a cost breakdown:

Dresser – Thrifted from Sal. Army                                $59.99

Nightstand- Thrifted from Sal. Army                             $14.99

Beanbag Chair- From Comfort Research                        $118.00

Bookshelf- Thrifted from Sal. Army                               $59.99

Bed- Already owned                                                    Free

Paint (Walls and Furniture)–

               Some already owned/Some Purchased           $60.00

Bedding- Sheets Walmart & Target                               $30.00/two twin sets

Bedding- Down comforter-Target                                  $29.99

Curtains- Thrifted/Joann’s Cotton for Trim                     $29.97 with coupons

Bedskirt- Thrifted/Already owned fabric                         $5.99

Frames- 4” X 6” – RE Target                                         $5.99 for 4

Clock- RE Target                                                          $6.99

Shelf Storage Bins – RE Target                                      $15.98 – ($7.99/each)

Orange Paper Lanterns- Hobby Lobby                             $7.99/for 3

White Paper Lanterns- Party City                                    $9.99/for 5

Initial Frames – Hobby Lobby                                         $23.99/for 3 with coupon

White Frame w/Matt- Target                                          $16.99

Light Kit for Paper Lantern – Target                                $19.99

TOTAL:                                                                          $516.83


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DIY–The Nursery–A Vintage Modern Girl’s Nursery

October 1, 2012 07:01 by ehouston

As many of you know we have a 3 year-old little boy and just welcomed a sweet baby girl.  So now you know where I have been lately.  Our Little Guy has made the transition to a “Big Boy” room and at the same time he reluctantly gave up his nursery to his new little sis.  What that meant for me was a chance to girlie-up the décor of the nursery before her arrival.  For those of you that don’t remember, the room had been painted and decorated in blue, white and brown.  These colors were actually what I had used in my office at our old Nashville, TN home, so I could see them being used for a girl, but decided I wanted some softer touches and a new look. 

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(The Little Guy’s space before softer shades took over.)

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(The wall colors played well with his vintage globes and teddy bears.)

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(As you can see most of the furniture is very simple and modern in design.)

Plus, after nearly three years of looking at all those circles I was ready to stare at something different for a while.

This project began like most of mine, lots of ideas and no budget.  Literally I was tasked with making something from nothing.  I decided the easiest way to neutralize the blue would be to tape off the center blue band along the walls and paint it out, which would also eliminate the circles and dots, but spare me the need to redo the entire room.  In our paint stash I had a can of Oops paint from Home Depot that appeared to be a really pale misty blue-green, which although it may sound masculine, had a softness to it that seemed feminine and perfect to me. 

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(The furniture arrangement stayed the same- it’s the best layout for the space.)

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Unfortunately after taking the time to add the first coat it became abundantly clear that the color was more sage green in the room’s lighting and against the dark brown of the lower band.  I was disappointed to say the least.  Not only because the color looked so drastically different on the walls, but that this was the second or third time I had made this mistake recently and I no longer had the time to start playing the “find the perfect color” game.  Originally I had intended to paint or stamp a pattern along the middle band, so in my mind I figured that might tone down the color, but no luck.  So, in the end I sucked it up and realized I could not waste any more time worrying about the color and I just needed to move forward and learn to love it.

It was a only a couple of days later, while rummaging through my fabric stash that I realized I had some pretty cute fabrics tucked away that could play well with the shade that ended up on the walls.  So, I set to making curtains, covering pillows and creating some unique artwork.  You can find more details about how I created the fabric pieces over at my sewing and craft site, Chic Tweaks

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It was fun digging through my supplies to find vintage pieces to bring out and finally use and enjoy.

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(Vintage fabric filled embroidery hoop art.)IMG_3110(Vintage Flower Pin Art.)

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(Vintage Reproduction Fabric Quilt and Pillow Covers.)

Although, I am not a fan of making nurseries super gender specific I did have some favorite fabrics in a nice shade of pink that I thought I could make work with the otherwise neutral space.  Even though the furniture is all quite modern I feel like the reproduction fabric prints (from the 1920’s- 1940’s) fit in just fine without being too over the top and cutesy.

Just like in my son’s nursery, I personalized a wall mounted plaque with hooks by adding the new baby’s initials.

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(Initial wall plaque from my son’s nursery.)

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(The new version for our little girl, made with a patchwork of vintage fabrics.)

As you can see from the shots above, we kept the placement of the shelf above the dresser/changing table, along with all the teddy bears.  The bears were gifts from relatives to me and my brother when we were young.  Now they have been sitting watch over my little ones.  This time around I brought out a couple of the more girlie bears that didn’t seem right for my son’s nursery, but that I think our little girl will enjoy as she gets older.  My aunt also sent us my mother’s Madame Alexander doll, which she had been keeping for all these years (at the very end of the teddy bear shelf above).

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The doll has been tucked in with the loyal teddies and I think goes well with a couple other vintage pieces in the space; namely the tan bear above which wears the dress my mom wore home from the hospital and the big brown bear who is wearing my mom’s Brownie Uniform from when she was just a girl.  It’s fun to see all these sweet vintage mementos coming out from the attic to be enjoyed all over again.  The little white rocker was a gift to my son from his Great Grandma and has since been confiscated back to his room.  Jealous?  Well, maybe just a bit.  ;o)  The sweet corduroy lion was my son’s gift to his baby sister.  He likes to make sure she has it where ever she goes.  So, I guess it’s not all hate around here.

I will admit to having trouble bringing all my ideas together in this space. I finally decided to add everything I had in mind and just go from there. That is how the space ended up with a mix of vintage and modern, both in furniture and fabrics.  Taking this attitude helped me find a better home for my sweet mounted butterfly picture from the ‘60’s, along with some metal flower hooks I have lugging around for years.

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And, for a couple more fun elements I hung a framed alphabet picture that ties in with the flowery garden theme and I strung up several paper lanterns left over from my son’s “big boy” room to act as a mobile above the crib.  The lanterns were meant to be used for a shower (baby or bridal) and came with a bunch of paper butterflies to tape into place.  I used all 24 of the butterflies to add interest to just three of the circles and I think they work pretty well for a mobile*.  

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(Garden Themed Alphabet Picture.)IMG_3111

When I originally set out to write this post we were still playing the waiting game and I was sure she would be late.  The pink frames are still awaiting shots of baby and grandparents and the hand-me-down toys and books are on high alert for their second chance at life outside the toy box.  However, we have already worked our way through several boxes of the stocked up diapers, the dresser that was stuffed to the brim with pink, ruffles and lace has already undergone a weeding out of the too-small newborn items.  After nearly two months of use I have to say that the look is growing on me just as fast as the closet is filling up with pretty little dresses all in a row.

Now, if I could just get some sleep…..

Kitsch Krafts

*For those of you wondering, no, the paper lanterns are not meant to be used as a mobile over a baby’s crib.  In order to avoid a possible choking hazard if the butterflies were to somehow fall off, I hung them at the bottom end of the crib.  This way, if something should come down it will land below my daughter’s feet, and she still has a great view as they twirl around.

PS – Here is the cost breakdown for you DIY nerds out there.

Many items were reused from the original nursery and/or my vintage stash. Here is the list of those items.

All furniture – bed, dresser, rocker, shelving, bookshelf, side table/stool and hamper

Bedding – quilt, bed skirt and bumper (not pictured) These items are pale blue on one side and white on the other.  I choose to feature the white side for both the quilt and bumper, when it was in place.  The bed skirt is neutral in brown and white.

Accessories – Lamp, Weather and Temperature Center Clock, Books and Toys, Teddy Bears, Wall Plaque with Hooks, Curtain Rod and Finials

Purchases, Creations and Additions:

Two Fitted Sheets- From Target                       $15.00/two with special purchase

     One is pink and green polka-dots and the other is a geometric pattern in pink.

Pink Frames – From Target                             $8.99/three

Paper Lantern Mobiles – From Party City          Free/leftover from Son’s room makeover

Flower Pin Art – Supplies from Hobby Lobby & Joann’s          $7.33 for the fabric and two pins

     The vintage pins were from my stash, along with the mini canvas boards and ribbon.

Embroidery Hoop Art – From Joann’s               $16.00 for the hoops

      All fabric was from my vintage stash.

ABC Art – Frame w/Matt from Target               $16.99

      Art was printed at home on cardstock I already owned.

Curtains, Pillow Covers and Quilt – From my stash             Free- Already owned all the fabric

Metal Flower Hooks – From my vintage stash                    Free

Initial Art on Wall Plaque – Fabric from my stash               Free

Wall Color – Oops Paint from Home Depot         $7.00/ gallon

Grand Total:                                                   $72.30

Not bad for a quick reworking of the original space and I think there is a lot of change in there for such a small amount of spending.  Tell me what you think.  I’d love to hear from you guys.


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DIY–Guest Bathroom–Artwork

June 29, 2012 00:05 by ehouston

Finally!  We got some artwork to complete our guest bath mini-remodel.  A couple of days after posting the big Reveal I attended the Richmond Craft Mafia spring craft event, called Spring Bada Bing!  As you can imagine there were lots of great things to choose from and I was a bit overwhelmed.  But, by the time we were getting ready to leave and coming back around to hit up some of the first tables we had seen I again found myself attracted to this print by ZouZou’z Basement.

Blue Peacock Limited Edition Print

Blue Peacock

It’s hard to tell in the picture above, but it’s actually a mixed media collage piece with paint and fabric.  I really liked the colors and the close-up and angle in which she captured the bird.  A little different than the usual focus artists have on just the tail.  I decided it would look nice in the guest bath, but unfortunately I had already spent my cash on other items at the event.  Flash forward about a month and my newly ordered print was sitting in my mailbox awaiting a frame.  After about a week of searching for something inexpensive and including a matt I realized the odd shape (12” X 18”) was going to require a more customized approach.  That’s when I wandered into Hobby Lobby to find a simple black open-back frame at 50% off.  Score!  So, for a total of $80.09 I had a matted, framed, and signed limited edition print of a pretty cool original piece.  Not too bad, I would say!

The second picture I have added to the space was a discovery the same day I posted the reveal.  Later that morning my son and I were out and about when we passed the ever enticing “estate sale” sign.  Of course, we made a beeline for the event, more to see the giant McMansion on the inside than anything else.  It turned out this place was full of neat artwork, however much of it was out of our price range.  On the way out, though, I discovered this little painting (or honestly it could be marker- it’s difficult to tell) with some bright flowers and birds.  I figured it would be a nice addition of even more bright color and at $12.00 I could not resist.

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So, here we are with these two new pieces added to the otherwise pretty neutral space. 

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I was hoping to find something for above the hand towel ring too, but no luck with that area so far.  But, the main walls that needed some lifting up are in business so I am calling this room done for now. 

How is your spring/summer decorating going?

Kitsch Krafts


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Yard Work

May 3, 2012 00:25 by ehouston

This year we are attempting to tackle the outside of the house and the yard.  We have made small strides toward getting the yard we really want, and putting off some things we really need.  Like, a paint job.  That one is really breaking the bank right now and has been put on hold until we can figure out how to get some needed repairs completed properly before slapping a on a new coat.  I never imagined it would be so difficult to find decent maintenance workers, but just getting a call back from an ad, a number in the phone book or even a referral has proven to be a full time job.  After a month of hanging around, waiting for people to come over and give us an estimate I am pretty much over it.  We have had bids ranging from a couple grand to new car prices.  Now you can probably understand why we have taken a step back.  This type of work seems to be priced all over the place and we have yet to find the best way to know if you are going to get quality craftsmanship.  Having used some referrals for smaller projects in the past we have learned this first hand.  You can see great work at your pal’s house, but that doesn’t mean you will get it at yours.

So, to bring this back on track, one of the items on our Yard To-Do list was to figure out a plan of attack for our shrubs and bushes out front.  We are quite aware that several are really much too large and they will soon be a hindrance for anyone attempting to correct any of the siding or window trim issues, let alone painting the house.  Rather than calling in the big guns and getting yet another estimate to have them trimmed and/or removed The Mister and I decided to trim them up ourselves.  A daunting task, even for seasoned lawn care workers.  We have very little yard work equipment, but the one thing we do have is an extension hedge trimmer and various pruning tools.  Figuring we were well armed, we decided to go for it a couple of sunny weekends ago.

These first two shots show how overgrown the bushes had become.  Not only are they far to tall and wide, but they were also sporting spikey tops.

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The Mister spent some time on the ladder tackling the two larger bushes on either side of the front stoop.

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And, while they look much better than they did, we had to laugh at how naked this one ended up after it’s initial “haircut”.

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We actually plan to trim these way down, but realized that our little handsaw will not work for this part of the project.  So, off to Home depot we go to add a small chainsaw to the arsenal.  Hopefully this next weekend we can do a little more damage, but in a good way.

Now, for the rain to let up so the deck guys can get back out here and finish the staining process.  It took long enough to find some guys we thought we could trust to do the work, so now we are VERY ready to have the work completed.  Shoot, I have patio furniture to arrange, large ceramic pots to plant and lots of other ideas about how I want to spruce up the area. 

Patience is a virtue…they say.

Kitsch Krafts


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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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DIY : Guest Bath Room - In Progress : Lighten Up, Why Don’t You?

March 13, 2012 07:12 by ehouston

That’s exactly what I have been attempting in the downstairs guest bathroom.  Then, after giving the walls one coat of the Oops paint that I found at Home Depot I was beginning to understand why the color was considered a mistake in the first place.  UGH!  There is nothing more frustrating to me than getting a paint color on the wall only to discover it is not what I really envisioned in the first place.  As you have read here before, I have been known to try several full coats before settling on a color.  Even with up-teen swatches painted all over the walls I am still really good at picking the wrong color.  I guess I need to jump on that Colortopia bandwagon that all the other bloggers are talking about.  One day…one day…when I’m not up to my eyelids in painting, that is.  ;o)

So, the color is up and my first worry, that it was to similar to the orangey trim color, is a thing of the past. 

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At first I was getting an overwhelming orange poo-ish sort of vibe, but as the color dried and darkened it definitely took on more of a chocolate milk look.  It’s difficult to see a true color in any of these shots due to the bad lighting in the room.  Plus, I had The Mister take down the lights above the vanity so I could paint more easily and that has created all the brightness and comfort of a cave in there.  It’s amazing that I haven’t managed to get paint every where but on the walls during this paint job.

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Next to the vanity, the color is definitely not to orange based- YEAH!  On the other hand, the color is much darker than I thought it would be. 

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Don’t ask me why I thought it would appear lighter.  I am starting to think I might need to have my eyes checked.

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In the middle of the first wall I almost stopped and went to the store to find a new shade.  But I decided to finish, give it time to dry and let The Mister see it before making any major decisions about changing the look…again.  Hey, it’s still a far cry from this…

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…so I guess I should be happy with the changes so far.

On another note, we convened about the vanity color and it was decided to use gel stain and go dark.  My only concern now is that between and really dark vanity and the darker wall color we will end up right back where we started; a room without a view in a basement.  Since my pregnant body is not withstanding much physical activity this time around I am praying the color choices go over well with the hubs and I can wrap this project up over the next week.  Let’s face it, we can always paint the walls again another time if we never warm up to the color and it’s much better than the posh circus tent we had before.

Okay, on to nap time.  ahhhh…

Kitsch Krafts


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