Living Space Makeover- Part 2 (after photos!)

When we moved into this house two years ago (my goodness, time flies!), the walls were a dingy, rental white with chipped grey trim.  I have never been a fan of white.  I rarely utilize white.  I adore color!

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After

I have kept a notebook of magazine clippings of loved décor for the past fifteen years or so.  As I flipped through the worn pages I discovered something; every single room had white/cream walls.  All of them.

“I’m surprised you are painting the walls white,” Shyanne responded on text after I sent her the first wall completed.

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I am still working on organizing this corner, but it will be a sweet little space for writing and dreaming.  I moved the desk so that I could put up a folding table to hold more plants under the window.

As soon as we moved in two years ago, I painted the walls warm yellow with a library brown trim and they were lovely.  This house is nearly one hundred years old, adobe, build in a proper style where the windows and eves are set just right so that in the summer the sun is above the house and in the winter, the sun floods through the windows.  I can touch the ceilings.  This house wasn’t built by tall people, y’all.  The result is that it feels almost cave-like sometimes and remarkably cozy.  With all my bright colors and plants though, it felt cluttered.

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Before

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So, what the heck, right?  I went and chose a crisp with a touch of cream, white paint and set to work New Year’s Eve.  It is amazing how dirty walls get over the years and the white paint was like a cleansing.  All of the colors of my southwestern things just pop against the new gallery walls and the space feels bright and wintery.  Cool and enlivening.  New and fresh.

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Finances and a very large puppy mean that we aren’t getting new furniture very soon but these pieces, dingy and a bit torn as they may be, become transformed with a few bright blankets.

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“What do I want to devote space to?”  A very good question for the new year.  For me, it is my work.  With all my beautiful items at the ready, I don’t have to be digging through closets and bags to find what I need for ceremony!

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Next to it I placed a table with my curiosities.  My bird nests and feathers.

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Before (found my husband!)
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After

With the house nice and bright and filled with southwestern color and all my bright paintings displayed, I feel light and calm, happy and inspired.  So white was the right color for me all along!

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With a bit of paint, some blankets to use as throws, and a rearrangement of furniture, you can have a whole new living space designed for what you want to make space for.

 

Happy New Year everyone!

 

Redecorating the Farmhouse, part 2-transformation

20180724_110203I am an advocate of using what we have.  I have a beat up couch and a beat up futon and some beat up chairs and a giant puppy who likes to sleep on them.  I have hand me down furniture that can easily move from room to room to create a different look.

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The newly white bookshelf matches its mate now.  I set it at an angle in the corner to create a smooth appearance to my mini office space complete with vintage secretary.  This L-shaped living and dining room in my hundred year old house lends itself to separate areas for reading, or conversation, or entertaining.

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Tomorrow I will show you what fabulous finds you can get at antique stores, garage sales, craigslist, or thrift stores that still work in this day and age and make life so peaceful and satisfying in their gentle whirrings and lack of electric usage, but there are some things I get new.  Unfortunately from Walmart, but there it is.  It would be ridiculous to use vintage quilts on our furniture. They are best left to beds.  These quilts were twenty dollars and they are surprisingly well made and hold up as farmer’s markets table cloths and chair covers.

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Even though the twinkly lights don’t look that great during the day time, come dusk they transform our house into an enchanted fairy land.  They are our sole light along with kerosene lamps and candles in this space.

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The Hoosier was hiding in the kitchen.  The Farmhouse sign was hiding in the kitchen as well.  They looks so lovely as the first things you see when you walk in our front door.

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The Hoosier has been outfitted as a bar.  The cupboard holds glasses.  The flour case holds bottles.  The drawer holds openers and tea candles.

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The side table and mirror have been outfitted as a wine stand.  The magazine rack holds food magazines.

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The black table lends itself to drama and simple items, like birds nests and natural items found outdoors.  Such perfect decoration and it can change with the seasons.

I moved a table that was in the living room into the kitchen and put a double rack on top to hold all of my cookbooks.  A simple solution to dissuade the puppy from eating my cookbooks and it is beautiful in its highlight of the lamp, books, and coffee grinder.

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Growing where planted and gratitude are important and the frugal homesteader can do a lot with paint and a little creativity.  There is no place like home!  See you tomorrow for part 3!

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Redecorating the Farmhouse, part 1- Painting the Furniture

20180723_141059_Burst01I had good intentions when I painted it the first time!  Instead of a lovely, muted pumpkin orange, the ten dollar table from a yard sale looked more like it was showing its football pride.  (I love Broncos as much as the next Coloradan but not in the kitchen!)  The orange paint started peeling off right away because yours truly didn’t sand the top.

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The lovely young woman staying with me donned an apron and helped me redecorate and restore.  She may as well be one of my children.  We sanded off the old paint, which didn’t take much, and roughed up the surface.

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I wanted a chalkboard top.  We looked and looked for chalkboard paint in the aisle and could only find spray paint.  Then we saw “chalk style” paint.  I thought it was a strange way to say chalkboard paint but we took it home all the same and applied it to the table.  It was watery.  And then I remembered what chalk paint is!  It is like white wash.  It adds a vintage look to furniture.

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I painted the legs.  The table has been transformed from football to farmhouse!

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Now, one quart of Country White paint- which is just a touch cream- makes all the difference in the world to cast offs.  Take this brown bookshelf.  I have never loved the brown.  I always meant to paint it.

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It is amazing how much different it looks and how comforting and country it now looks.

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A brown side table and vintage mirror got the same treatment.

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I will show y’all tomorrow how these pieces, along with a little chaos and hard work, transformed my house into a beautiful farmhouse!

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It gets worse before it gets better, y’all!

 

Farmgirl Living Room-Before and Almost After

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My goodness, it is entirely possible that I am the worst painter ever.  I do spend more time cussing and cleaning up than I do painting, but in the end you can always place furniture over bad areas and clean up the floor!

Whoever thought heavy black curtains against dingy white walls and steel grey trim was lovely has never read Country Living.  Place that against original wood floors and adobe walls and you have a bit of a decorating nightmare.  This place needed paint.  Before I go much further, I must beseech you to just pay the extra four bucks for the paint with primer built in.  Walmart’s Glidden is every bit as good as the ones at the big home supply places.  I know better but I was wooed by savings and ended up working twice as hard.

Lemon yellow paint and brown trim make the space a little cozier.  The color combination makes it look like an old Tudor.  The braided rug and new sofa cover bring in the ideas from our idea boards.

My plants from our north facing shop are happy, happy here facing south.  Using unusual pieces like the treadle sewing machine as a side table and plant holder brings old fashioned whimsy to the space.

My work space holds the loom I am going to learn how to use, plus my old Viking sewing machine, bins of inspiration and yarn, my writing station, and always a cat.  I love the look of no curtains.  I write two blogs, it’s not like I am a really private person.  Twinkly lights change the whole look of a room.

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Now, I don’t particularly like having a television as old as, well my young cousin stated as he brought it in, “This TV is older than I am!” to which my friend replied, “Sweetie, I have shoes older than you.” in the living room but I need a place to do yoga.  It cannot be hidden in the basement or I will never do said yoga.  So there it is waving at me to come over for a little Downward Dog and a good read.

I am afraid my smart(ish) phone doesn’t do it justice, but the yellow makes it so warm and lovely in here.  A few sweet pieces, my granddaughter’s handprints, my Farmgirl mug (cracked but holds pens), and paintings done by our family (I snagged the sunflower painting from the shop.  “Are you going to buy that?” Emily asked), and the lovely rays of sunlight streaming in open windows pleases me.  Note the signs around the couches.  My daughters’ creations for me, “Home is Where Mama is” from Shyanne and “Life is Better on the Farm” from Emily.

Now, we still have a few issues here.  The clock repair fellow comes tomorrow.  And the furniture is mix matched, usually not an issue, but I want to it to match some.  So, do we buy all new furniture?  Goodness, no.  I have only purchased two of the pieces in this entire living room.  Everything else is second hand.  More paint maybe?

Adding Spring to the Farmhouse

The trees are set in a frozen still life.  A myriad of icy white, snowy trees set against the landscape as if from a painting.  Fog rolls softy over the hills muting the land and soft flakes of snow dance dizzily to the ground.  Yet I know spring is arriving.  She peeks her head out then retreats from the cold.  But signs of her are gradually appearing.  The black birds have arrived.  The finches speak loudly as they work on their apartments, preparing their nurseries.  Babies are being born in the fields.  The egg basket is filling back up.  She is tip toeing back, welcome Spring, welcome.

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My farmhouse is darker right now because of the sun rising higher in the sky.  Soon, the plants will have to be moved to the porch to sunbathe.  The living room in all its warm winter colors now depresses me as I cannot get outside quite yet into the warm sun, but cannot stay in the confines of this dark house.  It is time to add spring to the farmhouse.

There are easy ways to add seasonal change to a house for spring.  Last fall we added soft, textured blankets, and candles everywhere.  Soon, it will be lighter longer and we won’t need so many candles, nor will we need the heavy woven Indian blankets.

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I just bought two chairs after Christmas off of Craigslist.  A quite nice western design which matches our southwestern décor.  Southwestern décor around here needs to be saved for when the mustards, deep reds, and browns shine…fall and winter.  Right now I crave large rose prints.  Laura Ashley style, small floral prints, spring colors.  It would be ridiculous for me to get back on Craigslist and find more furniture with these design parameters.

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Surefit.com provided the means to reupholster the chairs seasonally.  Two lovely floral prints arrived by mail.  They can be washed, stored, and displayed all as I see fit.  Quilts and vintage pillows of desired pattern cover the sofas.  New inexpensive cushions are added to the rocking chair making it green with a homemade pillow of small red flowers instead of the gold and red plaid it was.  Two old throw pillows hidden inside a large sham from our sheet set instantly transform the other rocker.  A tablecloth of lovely print covers the tile coffee table.  Flowers can be added to any room to instantly add garden life to spaces.  Unnecessary knick knacks and decorating pieces that match the southwestern décor take a vacation to either the thrift store or the garage.  Everything is spiffed up, cleaned up, and new photos added to the wall.

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Now the house is ready for spring.  It’s time to start seedlings.

Grandma’s Sewing Room-Part 2(the makeover)

Alright folks, this makeover isn’t going to win any awards or find its way into the pages of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.  However, it is a realistic approach that we can all take.  Using what we have.  Admitting that the $20,000 craft room addition may not happen since the goats eat so much.  Not to mention the kids.  But, I had a perfectly usable space.  Though not pretty, unpaintable, and dark, it could certainly stand in for a sewing room.  It came completely equipped with shelving and space.  Good enough!

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Before
Before

I purchased three rugs to cover the cold floor.  I also bought a space heater that looks like a charming fireplace to warm the room since it is ten degrees cooler downstairs.  Shyanne’s room is the other side of the basement (like thirty feet away).  As soon as she moved home last week, she promptly stole the fireplace and put it on her side.  Who can blame her?

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I unpacked box after box of material and organized them by prominent color.  I placed soap making supplies, the iron, half finished projects of Grandma’s on the top shelf.

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I organized the yarn side by side so that we can see what colors we have before going out to buy more.  Cubbies of rick rack, ribbon, and lace allow me to see what I can use for projects.

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My paintings have a place to stand.  I haven’t completed a single painting this year in all the hubbub of starting a farm so I do hope to spend some time down here painting this winter.  I have so many ideas!

The sewing machine is ready to run.  Ample table space.  Lamps.  Inspiration.  Project ideas.  Christmas presents to be made.

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Now that I am a Grandma, it is nice to have a full sewing room.  I have memories to craft.