Not So Extreme Home Makeovers

There are a few projects around our house that are mere facelifts, but what a difference a little nip/ tuck can make!  Sometimes a coat of paint and a little spit shine can do wonders.  (Sometimes it doesn’t to diddly.)

I already mentioned our new and (in my opinion) improved Adirondack chairs here and the fabulous coffee table cap.  But as a result of our suburban lunar landing, we needed to re-jigger some of our decor.  And yes, re-jigger is a technical designer term; google it.

Some of these upgrades were quick and dirty so I figured I’d just lop ’em into one post.

1. Train lamp.  After seeing this post from one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love, this puppy caught my eye at a local thrift store.  Oliver, as you know, is bat crap crazy for all things with wheels and a motor, so a train lamp is right up his alley.  And thanks to the insight from YHL, I took this lamp from kitsch to cool (er) with a quick coat of spray paint.


It took a new light socket, but you can grab one of those at Home Depot for $2.


2. Our new bathroom bench.  I bought this at a flea market in downtown NYC a few months after I moved to the city.  So 10+ years ago.  It’s worn a few different dresses, but has always had the same set of gams.  Until it arrived in the suburbs.


I didn’t necessarily match this to anything, but I  loved the spray paint I bought for the lamp above, and I also happened to have a scrap of fabric that matched.  Bibbity bobbity boo.


Close up of pretty fabric!

3. Plant Stand. I love these ceramic plant stands for their versatile ability to act as table, chair or… plant stand.  Typically they run around $150 or more.  I found one in a dainty green and white pattern at our local consignment store for $40.

Before (barely visible on the left):

I know this picture sucks, but you at least get a little glimpse of the floral pattern pre-spray treatment.

With a coat of silver spray paint, it moves from granny to great.


4. Kids’ bookshelf.  Paint, paint, paint… the answer to any design conundrums.


How cute is Eleanor there?! Time flies…


5. Ceramic ginger jar.  I’m always on the lookout for these guys. I saw one at TJ Maxx recently that was a great shape but not a great color.  Before:

This was originally a nude/ beige color.

A coat of Rustoleum’s Primer/ Paint in Glossy White later.


6. Bifold doors.  When we bought the house there were dark shutters EVERYwhere.  The seller insisted on taking the set from the family room (good riddance), but left this beauty on the front hall closet.

Turns out, they’re a standard size and easy to replace at Home Depot with something from this century.  So much better.  And excuse the chaos in the background… this pic was taken way back when our floors were being installed so the place was a mess.

7. 2nd floor landing.  We inherited a lot of bare white walls in this house.  No complaining as I’d rather that over dated wallpaper trim or popcorn ceilings. (You can see another set of wooden shutters through the doorway; the chick must have found a ‘buy 5 get the next 4 free sale’ somewhere.)  Landing area before:

A few rolls of discount wall paper later. (We’ve also replaced the awful 70’s style banister you see above with nice balusters… I just didn’t think to include it in this pic… later.)


8. Our front entryway.  Before all naked and sad and neglected:

After all pretty and loved and accessorized.

Here are a couple of things that I didn’t think to take “before” pictures of, so this will be a little less exciting, but again… doesn’t take much to make things look new and improved

9. Coffee table. This coffee table was sturdy and far from contemporary until our local collision center (my mother-in-law reminded me of this resource!) gave it a good spray down of bright red.  It’s a little short for this space, but looks way cooler “after.”

10. Kitchen chairs.  I found the first set of 4 at a consignment store and then bought the second set on Craigslist.  All 8 were dark brown wood with plain beige seat covers.  A couple of rounds with white spray paint, colorful fabric and a new set is born.

I never feel like any one room is “done” but it always gets me so excited about our house when I look back at old pictures and see how neglected and sad it was when we first bought it.  One day, I’ll post a room by room ‘before and after’ to really show off what a difference a little love and TLC can do to a home!




3 thoughts on “Not So Extreme Home Makeovers

  1. Hi,
    I am inspired by the green blue color combination. I have a green family room and am looking to add color – change the rug out and perhaps the drapes. Now I am thinking aqua accents after looking at your room. You did an amazing job! Where is the rug from? Cheers,

    • Thanks, Sangita. Blue and green are my favorites… I probably could stand to move away from these colors a bit! The rug is very old and given to us from my parents. But there are these Greek key patterns popping up more and more these days… have a look on Google. Good luck!

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