Last summer, Eden and I worked like horses to transform her bedroom from a little girl’s room into what she deemed to be more age appropriate. We sanded and primed over the old mural and painted most of the room white. We then added a bit of drama with a chalkboard wall and painted her nook red. Although the room was mostly completed last summer, Eden was living in the room during most of the final stages. As you can appreciate, it was difficult to ever find the room “photo ready” while being home to a 13 1/2 year old. Eden left for a one week school field trip last weekend and so it was my mission to give her room a very thorough cleaning, put away all of her clean laundry (in a much more efficient way with the vertical fold system) and finally take those post project photos. Although I didn’t do any purging (not my stuff to purge), I think she will be surprised and thrilled to come home to a very clean and organized room. As an extra surprise, I also added a bit of chalkboard art above the entry to the nook. Most of the other chalkboard work has been done by Eden and her friends.
Eden was very helpful throughout the process, but also very particular about what she wanted. I think the finished room looks great, but perhaps could still use a bit more art work.
This bedroom makeover was another huge project as covering the original mural took lots of work. The layers of paint created ridges that had to be sanded before we could even think of putting on a fresh coat of paint. In addition to painting the walls, there were many other small projects that led up to this transformation:
…and no doubt other little projects I can no longer recall. The total makeover was quite reasonable with paint being the most expensive item. I know we needed several gallons to complete the project. The bedding, storage boxes and a few throw cushions were purchased at Ikea. All of the pieces of furniture were items we already owned. Some were painted to fit with her new colour scheme and others were moved from other areas of the house. Eden really wanted the old book shelf from the landing and she made it look surprisingly good when she accessorized it. I thought the framed WiFi password art was a great idea for when her friends visit.
Black and white bedding
DIY custom made roman blinds
Cityscape mural in black and white
Ombre painting technique on antique vanity
The white door is the entry to her walk-in closet.
I don’t think she realizes how lucky she is to have a huge walk-in closet.
Framed wifi password
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I suppose calling this a pantry make-over might be a bit of a stretch, but living in an older home means that storage is always at a premium. We have two staircases leading to our basement ~ one from the kitchen and one from the back door. I know ~ weird. The stairwell off the kitchen had slowly become a dumping ground for items that might be found in the pantry of a newer home. We did have some insufficient wire shelving on the wall, but it held very little and thus it seemed that items would slowly collect on the floor along the wall as well as on a large shelf in the basement. There was no rhyme nor reason to how things were stored and therefore, we often missed buying things we needed and over bought things we didn’t need. It was one of those things that constantly drove me about our house.
On the first Saturday of spring break, I was taking laundry down to the basement when the solution suddenly came to me. For months (maybe years) I had been trying to figure out how to solve this ongoing storage problem. I had measured and searched the web and just couldn’t come up with what I thought was a viable solution. It’s funny how ideas come to you at the strangest times. Such was the case with this. It was literally something I had tossed around for sometime, but just couldn’t seem to figure out how to make it work. The stupid part was there really wasn’t anything to figure out. The answer was right in front of me, I just had to shift my thinking.
The best part was that I had everything I needed to make it happen immediately and so that’s exactly what I did. I came up from putting the load of clothes in and set to work on transforming the dog’s breakfast at the top of the stairs.
You may remember the sliding spice storage racks I made to fit between my wall and fridge. I used old book shelves that were being discarded because they weren’t stable enough to be safe. They worked perfectly in the space and made for great storage.
An old book display rack was where this project all began.
Here is a “before” shot of the book display rack.
Here is the spice rack with holes filled and ready for sanding.
Here is a shot of both shelves.
I love the way the two pieces line-up so nicely and fill the gap between the wall and fridge.
I had two more sections that I had considered for can storage, but the depth of the shelves was too shallow and wouldn’t work. Over the last few years, I measure and tested cans again and again hoping I could somehow use the shelves as a pantry, but I just couldn’t figure out a solution….until this day! It finally dawned on me that the peg board backs on the shelves simply slid inside a groove about a quarter of an inch inside the top and bottom shelves. All I had to do was remove the back and let the wall of the stairwell become the new back! This quarter of an inch was all I needed to fit the cans and other small pantry items. I set to work and it was literally as easy as removing the screws from the tops and sliding the backing out. I planned on sitting the shelves on the floor and then securing them with an L bracket or something for safety, but when Tim learned of my plan, he offered to mount them up off the floor. I can not believe how well they work and it was such an easy fix in the end. The stairwell is now free of clutter and works perfectly for our needs. Our basement isn’t finished and so we don’t have to worry about company going up and down the stairs. If and when we ever do finish the basement, we plan to make the back stairs the main entrance to the basement anyway. So happy!
BEFORE: Disfuntional kitchen storage at the top of the stairs.
BEFORE: A nasty space that simply did not work.
The pegboard back simply slid out of the grooves once the top was removed.
WIth the back removed.
Mounted and ready to fill. They work so great because they were originally made with a small lip along the front edge to keep books from sliding out. The same is true for the cans and boxes I’ve now had stored on them.
AFTER: Upcycled book racks make awesome new kitchen storage area.
A shot from the entrance to the room. The wooden bowl on top of the armoire is actually an old salad bowl that is cracked, but too beautiful to part with. Now it holds my socks!
Another angle from the entrance.
This shows the door that will eventually lead into the main floor laundry room. A barn door is still in the planning stages. You might notice the picture with the pear sitting on its side. Still have to pick-up a photo of the kids to replace the current picture in the frame.
Upcycled dining room chandelier and bench storage with newly upholstered seat. I also love the new mirror I picked up at Jysk for around $50.
My embellishment organizer was originally navy blue and purchased from Canadian Tire. It’s intended to store nails and screws, but works perfectly for scrapbooking.
Tim just nailed 4 scrap pieces of beadboard together to make me this garbage. It doesn’t actually have a bottom, but the bag fits over it perfectly, so it’s not really necessary.
I love the print on this chair and with the arms removed it is so much more functional.
The same friend that passed on the white bench also gave me this awesome old projector case. She found it curb side on “free day”. It makes a great little storage case and a fabulous shelf for a few of my favourite books.
This wardrobe was a treasure we rescued years ago from a friend that was going to trash it. We removed the warped wood inserts and replaced them with chicken wire and painted it out white. Still one of my favourite pieces of furniture. Now home to almost my entire wardrobe!
My newly organized clothes.
It is a bit hard to see the colour, but it goes beautifully with the new wall colour.
The room is done… at least for now! I am so excited about this space. I think it might be my favourite room in the house. It is so “clean” and bright, and the best part …. it’s all mine! I love how the afternoon sun saturates the entire room with natural light. It is roomy, clutter free and oh so pretty!
Although this was nothing more than a spare room make-over, it ended up being quite a big project. Before I could even start, we had to dismantle the old piano that I had hoped to one day upcycle. (I discovered that the amount of work involved was not worth the blood, sweat and tears it would take to transform it.) From there, we proceeded to empty the room and prep the walls for paint. We primed and painted the walls and gave the trim a fresh coat of paint. The most time consuming aspects of the project actually involved the major purge of my clothes and scrapbooking supplies. This accounted for at least 25 hours of sorting and organizing. It was a huge undertaking, but felt amazing when I finally accomplished my goal.
It seemed there were oodles of mini projects required in order to achieve the desired finished look. In addition to painting the walls and trim, we spray painted my embellishment organizer, cut, stained and mounted the shelves, changed the door swing, reupholster the office chair, and painted and upholstered the bench top. The final touches included hanging the pictures and a new mirror and building and painting a bead board garbage container. We intend to install a barn door that will be used to close off the new main floor laundry (once we’ve moved it up from the basement). With future plans to add a sliding door, we also deemed it necessary to remove the old light switch (for the old scrapbooking room/new laundry room) from outside the room to inside the room. If we hadn’t done this, the switch would end up being covered by the sliding door. After an endless list of little projects, I think the room looks great!
To truly appreciate the transformation, I thought you might need a reminder of how the old room looked in its prior life as “family dumping ground”.
Yes, this is pretty much how it looked. You can see my pile of mending on top of the sewing machine that is sitting on one of those tiny little kids play tables. The next picture actually shows the little black stool I would sit on to sew ~ are you kidding me? I didn’t realize how ridiculous this was until just now.
Don’t kid yourself, the room never looked this tidy. This is post piano destruction and removal!!
So ugly with the original brown walls.
Here are a few shots of how my old scrapbooking room looked. Everything was miss matched, the space was cramped and it was always a mess because the storage was inadequate.
Scrap paper storage system.
Navy blue screw/nail cabinet used to store my knick knacks.
It always amazes me how paint can totally transform an object/space. One of the things I hated about this room was the ugly gold light switch plate. Before painting the room, we removed all of the plug and switch plates, but it wasn’t until I went to replace them that I realized how beautiful that very same plate would be with a simple coat of spray paint. It’s now one of my favourite details in the newly painted room.
I love the print on this chair and with the arms removed it is so much more functional.
The chair tucks in nicely under the desk with the arms removed.
Slowly but surely, we got everything moved from the old scrapbooking room over to the newly painted spare room. I had a hard time figuring out how I wanted the shelves put up and my indecisiveness definitely held up the process. I insisted on cutting, staining, urethaning and mounting one shelf at a time and this was a bit frustrating for Tim as he was helping me out with the shelves. I needed to see it all together to be able to assess what needed to go where, as I was determined to create a work space with minimal clutter. While Tim was working on the shelves, I decided to give the old office chair a facelift that was more in line with the new look of the room.
For the most part, the room is quite a subdued colour palette. All of the walls are painted tidewater (LOVE! LOVE! Love it!) and the trim was given a fresh coat of white paint. The armoire and bench are both white, and the antique desk is stained.
The old office chair was functional, but a drab grey colour that really didn’t work in the new space. I really wanted to update it with a printed fabric that would bring a hint of colour to the space. I was so excited when I found this material! I’m usually quite conservative and shy away from multi-coloured prints, but this splash of colour seemed fun and goes beautifully with the overall look of the room. It was pretty easy to re-cover (although the finished product isn’t as professional looking as some projects I’ve done). It really just involved the removal of some screws and staples, and then replacing the existing fabric with a staple gun. My favourite upgrade was actually not even planned, but once I began changing the upholstery, I discovered that the arms were not an integral part of the chair design and could be easily removed. This wasn’t so much about the look of the chair, but rather the function. The arms not only prevented the chair from being pushed all the way under the desk, but also meant I couldn’t slide the chair in as far as I would have liked when working. I can’t believe I never thought of removing the arms before. The chair now slides nicely under the desk drawer and is a more subtle piece in the room. So pleased with this project!