Room: Daughter’s blue and chocolate modern bedroom

About 8 months ago, Daughter started talking about re-decorating her room again. Now age 12, her previous room incarnations hadn’t really pulled it all together and used colors, as well as furnishings, that she was not that keen on. Turns out she has the heart of a modern girl, not one into pink, flowers and frills!

Room: 11′ 3″ x 11′ 8″ (without room entry)

First we started by having her pick out the bed linens. These would be the INSPIRATION PIECE to plan the room off of. This duvet cover was bought from Bed, Bath and Beyond, and the duvet was bought on deep discount at J.C. Penny home store. Probably about $200 in all when you consider pillows and sheets too.

Wall Paint: The walls colors were originally a soft pastel pink. They got re-painted with semi-gloss interior with Valspars’ Betsy Ross House Blue (5002-8A) and American Traditions’ Chef White (7002-15), about 1 gallon of each. Chef White is also the color of the trim throughout the house so it made it easier to just paint trim as well as the wall.

I used semi-gloss paint as this girl is tough on her walls and I want to be able to clean them easily. Semi-gloss is more commonly used in high traffic areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.

She wanted a feature wall (the blue wall the bed is against) something I usually don’t do but it turned out super cool so I may need to re-think that!

NOTE: it took a FULL WEEK for the paint smell (open windows and fan going) to really be gone. We did the painting when daughter was out of town with grandparents and are really glad we did.

Furniture:

Bed – the original four poster had been bought years ago and suffered a lot of damage. Two of the posts had been swung on by the daughter and splintered off. We chopped off the remaining posts and spray painted the frame Valspar Java Brown just to fade it away. Mattress was still good.

Headboard – (above photo) Came out a bit more expensive then I wanted… Daughter has great taste but also champagne taste! She picked the most expensive, upholstery fabric in the store (Interior Fabrics), thankfully it was on sale, 40 percent off, for a total of $50 and I have to admit looks fantastic! Upholstery fabric is much wider fabric that that which is sold on bolts so this also saves money on “wide” projects.

Foam was another $50 and with wood for the frame, came out to be about $125.

Side Table – this yellow, Cosco kitchen cart ($40 on CL) is metal and in great condition. I again, lucked out because we snatched it up (literally) from the junk store while another person was looking at it! Me bad…

The side table was a great find and it switched the accent color from pink (not my daughter’s favorite) to yellow which I think makes the room a bit more cutting edge.

Dresser – The chest of drawers ($40 on CL) were originally stained brown but had been sanded before I bought them. It actually took me some time to find a chest of drawers that had a modern feel to them. This one has clean lines, no additional molding, bowed drawer fronts and flared sides. The only drawback was that the drawers cannot be removed so painting was more time consuming then I had planned.

I painted the frame of the chest Valspar Swiss Chocolate 3010-10 semi-gloss, and the drawers were spray painted with Valspar’s Mediterranean Blue. The unit also needed a new back (it had been splintered). The hardware (picked by daughter) was the most expensive part of this, coming in at $60 for a total of  about $120.

Glass Computer Desk – from CL at $50.  I really lucked out finding this piece for this price!

Anything the eye “sees through” can help make a room seem bigger. Also I love the modern feel to it.

Desk Chair – bought from a 1950’s Retro store for $40. We will be recovering it in the very near future. This price was a bit high for me but I knew the daughter was going to want a comfy lounge chair vs. a streamlined modern office desk chair (my preference) and I was right!

Bookshelves – were made by hubby years ago and will be repainted next week in the colors of brown, white and blue. I’ll post an updated pic when done.

Windows: The heavy 6′ long, 2″ white, faux wood blind was hard to move up and down being that it spanned 6′. They also got horribly dusty and were hard to clean.

I switched these out for white cellular blinds that have no cord and go up and down with a touch. 35″ in length, from Bed Bath and Beyond $35 each.

This window faces west and gets a lot of late afternoon sun so two, brown thermal window panels with a block grid of icey-blue lines of color were bought from Target ($25 each).

The wooden curtain rod pole was one sale from Lowes at $18. It was black, so I spraypainted it Valspar Java Brown to match the room.

Altogether the window treatments were expensive – about a total of $160-$180. However, I’ve already found that her room is staying cooler throughout the day if the blinds are down and the curtains pulled.

Accesories:

Lamps – Lighting for this room was always a problem. She had too few lights and not the right lamps for tasks such as reading, desk work and night light. This was another bigger then expected investment but the result was so cool and functional I don’t regret it.

This brown, desk lamp was from Pier One ($50). The original Pier One shade I didn’t like so we switched it to another lamp and bought a replacement shade from Target ($20).

The round, brown ball lamp with shade (see photo of dresser) was bought on sale from Lowes ($17). The clear, stacking ball lamp (see photo of yellow table) with separate shade was bought from Target, $38 total.

Storage boxes – Another purchase from Target at $10 per box. Daughter loves sorting and containers for her collection.

Desk Accessories – in yellow, bought from Target from the kitchen (plastic glasses) and bath areas (storage container with lid).

Magnet and Cork Boards – 4 from Target $20 each.

Brown Rug – Craigslist $5

Brown Chair– Craigslist $5

Brown Armchair Bed Pillow – Bed Bath and Beyond $20. This was purchased because she loves to read in bed and this should save wear and tear on the headboard.

Still to be done: new carpet and adding more yellow accessories.

Room Views:

Desk Wall (North)

Bookshelf and window wall (West)

Bed wall and closet door (South)

Dresser wall (East)

Personally, when I watch HGTV’s Decorating Cents, it blows my mind that they can do a room for $500… I simply don’t believe it! Whoever, bought paint for $12 a gallon and then had enough to do an entire room with it!? Even a small room like this will take at least 1.5 gallons of paint.

This room ended up being far more costly then I had planned, however, it has such good bones now it should last her well into her teen years with minor changes.

Project: Updating a Ceiling Fan

I’m going for a bit of retro-1940’s look in my son’s room with earth tone colors of green, beige, and tans accented with silver metal. One of the items I found recently was a modern/contemporary styled ceiling fan on Craigslist for $40.

fanblades01

The fan blades were originally a light, shades of white, pickled oak with shiny top glaze  that wasn’t going to suit where it was going. It was also a dated color, probably more to the 1980’s then now.

 

fanblades02

First, I did a very light sanding to break the surface. The primer used was from a spray can; the first time I’ve used a spray primer and really I wasn’t very impressed. I’ll stick to paint with a roller or foam brush.

There were some nicks on the blades so if these are too severe you can use a filler to make the surface even before re-painting.

bladesfan03

The base coat used some of the paint (Pecan) already in the room.

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The top glaze was Burnt Umber, which was applied with a drag technique.

fan blade with dragged glaze topcoat

I let it dry 24 hours to reduce any paint smell and then re-attached to the main fan motor.

I liked the body of the fan so didn’t change the silver. However, if you wanted to do this you need to be aware that spray paint can get inside the workings and gum it up. Any spraying you do, the working area of the motor and electronics need to be firmly protected and sealed.

connersfan

Before you throw away those ceiling fans because of their dated look, see what you can do by changing the blades or the light kit. You might be surprised into saving some money!

Tip: Installing cabinet hardware with a jig

I got a great deal on some cabinet knobs via Craigslist;  they were really nice knobs and I got 18 for $25. The seller told she bought them through ebay and didn’t use them all, so I will have to check ebay out! Thanks Christine for the tip!

back of jigWe installed the knobs on the kitchen cabinets by making a jig. Our jig was made from some scrap lumber and it serves as a guide for cutting the holes which makes the job go faster and easier.

Since we knew the edge of the cabinet w0uld hold the jig in place, the jig was designed so the L would butt into the cabinet. Hubby first cut two pieces of scrap lumber and attached them in an L shape, using his square to check alignment.

Next he attached a flat scrap to the L-shape. He measured the distance from each side of the door corner and transposed that onto the flat side of the jig.

front of jig with drill

Then he drilled a hole that would become the guide for future drilling into the cabinet doors. You can see from the back of the jig (above) that the first hole wasn’t right (always check before using), so he re-measured and made another.

The jig is then placed against the corner of the cabinet door where the drill is used to start the hole. Hubby used a drill bit that would fit the screws snugly; you need to be careful with that because if it isn’t a snug fit, over time, the screw will loosen in the hole, making your pull or handle wobbly.

drilling for hole in cabinet

Also, don’t put the drill on full force; start with slow to medium speed.

Once you get the hole started, enough to mark to the hole (about an eighth of an inch), remove the jig and drill the rest of the hole.

cabinet screw

The screw for the cabinet knob is screwed in from the back.

screwing on cabinet knob
Once it’s screwed flush,
then the knob is applied from the front of the cabinet.

installed cabinet pulls

The installed cabinet pulls.

Project: round table for breakfast nook

This photo inspired me to change our too big, rectangular breakfast table to a round one, hoping to relieve the traffic flow in the small area.

bistrotable

I knew the next breakfast table had to be exceptionally strong and stable as my 15 year old son leans and rocks away from the table in his chair. Everyone has complained that it’s like eating at sea! It also had to be affordable as I would be needing new chairs.

Luckily, this item (below) came up on Craigslist. When I bought it for $60 I told them they could keep the chairs as I had other plans.

70sbreakfasttable

tablewitholdchairsI wish I had the original picture as this table came with four chairs that were your typical 1970’s / 80’s variety – extremely solid, thick chairs with low backs that really dated the entire table. The original chairs were similar to these in this photo of another table – I’m sure you’ve seen something like them!

Looks can be deceiving so you have to keep focused on the bones of a piece. Some things I immediately liked about it:

Image wise it fitted my inspiration photo pretty well.

Pedestal – I really liked the curves of the pedestal. A central pedastal, as opposed to legs, allowed a lot of leg room.

The diameter of the tabletop fitted the space nicely and it comfortably sat four.

Extremely solid and stable. The surface is at least two inches thick.

Price – $60. I mean can you beat that?

Color – I could clean it up, re-stain in a similar color which would limit the amount I would need to sand. Honestly, I am always looking for projects that are easy to sand and prep; if they are close to the original color I want to redo it in that means a lot less prep time. If they have one coat that would be easy to take off that is even better.

Remember, one problem with a stained piece is that you will seldom get it to the exact color that a stain chip offers; you have to factor in the original color that is seldom completely sanded from a piece.

Because I wanted a bit of definition from the original stain, I used the Mouse Sander to bring down the tabletop to almost, but not quite, bare wood.

I started with Cabots’ Black Walnut, mixed with some Valspar Antiquing Glaze (Asphaltum). After two coats of stain it was topped with Valspar Clear Mixing Glaze tinted with Valspar Antiquing Glaze (Asphaltum).

For protection, I went with three coats of matte Wipe-On Poly from Mini-Wax with two coats of glossy Wipe-On Poly for an extremely durable finish.

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breakfasttablepedestalThe bottom section was lightly sanded. This turned out to be a bigger job then I anticipated because the curves made it a slow, by hand, job. Beauty had it’s price!

After sanding, the pedestal was painted a chocolate brown and topped with Valspar Clear Glaze tinted with Asphaltum. The advantage of a glaze is that it has a slow drying time, giving you more time to work it.

The tables’ original chairs had backs the same height as the table. With thes new chairs, the higher backs give more visual interest. They contemporary design also nicely updates the table.

Although, normally, I love chairs with arms this breakfast nook didn’t have the space. Instead these armless chairs snugs into the table, providing more walk around room.  The chairs’ black finish provides a contrast to the brown, brings out some of the black glaze, and isn’t matchey-matchey.

breakfasttableafter

Price: Table ($60), four chairs ($160), stain, sanding papers, glaze, tint etc… were divided between several projects so I’m guesstimating it was about $40 or less. This project was easily less then $300 for the table and four chairs.
And glad to report that husband is also very happy with the result.