I’ve watched my fair share of HGTV shows and I can honestly say that ceiling fans are generally not in their bag of design tricks. I probably wouldn’t opt for a ceiling fan in my master bedroom either, but the reality is that we live in a 1921 home with no central air. We get by with a few portable air conditioners, but I literally could not survive without the added air movement created by our ceiling fan. Bottom line…it was a non-negotiable. So the only other option was to figure out a way to make it look like it belongs in our farmhouse style design. There are actually some decent options available in new fans, but our fan worked fine and there really was no reason to replace it other than the dated style.
As mentioned in my last post, this isn’t actually my fan, but a picture that I found online that closely resembles what ours looked like pre-upcycling. By the time I thought of taking a picture, mine already looked like this.
Tim dismantled the entire fan and then taped off the parts that needed to be protected from the spray paint. You can see the blue painter’s tape over the light sockets. This upcycle projects was relatively easy to do. I spray painted all of the silver pieces a matte black. I did need to do a few coats to ensure even coverage, but it was quick to paint and the dry time was short as well. I gave the blades a coat of regular white house paint and let them dry. I then used a dry brush technique to distress the blades using a combination of grey and dark brown paint. (Dry brushing is a technique that uses very little paint on a dry brush.) When dry brushing, it is important to add the paint very sparingly, work it in with the dry brush and then repeat until you get the desired look. I didn’t have brown paint on hand, so I just picked up a small bottle of all purpose crafter’s paint and it worked fine. To distress the blades even further, I used a light sandpaper to blend the colours and sand back some of the paint I had applied. Seems a bit counterproductive, but it’s how you achieve the look.
Tim reassembled the fan and replaced the old glass shades with these cool light bulb cages we found on Amazon. We added amber coloured light bulbs that I bought on clearance at Michael’s for $3 (regular $12). I honestly can’t believe how awesome it turned out!
Stay tuned for Part 4 and find out how we solved the issue of “no bedside tables”.
Initially when we were considering lighting in the alcove, I was set on pot lights. These would eliminate the need for the lamp that rested on the headboard (sometimes…when it wasn’t falling over). The issue with the room layout was that the closets banking both sides of the bed made it impossible for a nightstand of any kind. Years ago, I made bedside pocket storage for both sides of the bed to help solve this issue, but it still wasn’t ideal, as you really can’t fit a lamp in a pocket!!
It was actually Tim’s idea to mount sconces instead of pot lights. Originally, I was like “no” I really want pot lights, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. Of course, the issue with me is that I don’t just want normal store bought sconces….I wanted something original that would fit with the overall design I had in mind. Lucky for me, this wasn’t a hard sale. I found a few DIY sconces on Pinterest that I liked and Tim set to work. Although he didn’t follow this plan to a tee, this is the style he modelled ours after. We had seen some really awesome fixtures with pulleys and decided to incorporate that into the design as well.
Custom Farmhouse Style Light Sconces:
Tim constructed the sconces out of…you guessed it…scrap wood we already had. I decided on a dark stain to contrast the very white walls. We also just happened to have two old clothesline pulleys in the basement. We had removed the previous owners clothesline (from the basement rafters) when we moved in, but luckily Tim kept them. We ordered the wire and light kit from Amazon. The light sockets came in a set of four for $22.99. The cord was a bit pricey at $25.99, but there was enough for both sconces, a new fixture in the kitchen and still extra for another project. This was a relatively simple project for Tim to build, but the wiring made it a bigger project. I am honestly so lucky…my man can do anything!!
I found some amber vintage style light bulbs on clearance at Michaels. The original price was $12 each, but they were clearing them for $3, so needless to say I bought several. We tossed around several ideas and even sampled a few different “shades” for the sconces, but in the end we settled on upcycled lamp shade frames. I picked up this set of shades for $3 at the thrift store, removed all the beads and then rigged up some wire across the top to hold the “shade” in place. I must admit removing the beads was a brutal job. There must have been a million of those little suckers and all were individually beaded onto fine wire. Not only did it take me a couple of hours to remove the beads and wires, but my fingers were filthy and super sore from the tedious work and wire pokes😣. The final step was to spray paint the completed shade a matte black.
I love the way they turned out! Tim did such an amazing job with the building, staining and installation of the sconces. The amber light isn’t as bright, but is still fine for reading. I love that he put them on a dimmer switch, so that we can adjust the light depending on our needs.
Keep an eye out for my next Master Bedroom Makeover post where I’ll share how we transformed our old ceiling fan, so it would work with our new farmhouse bedroom design.
When we first moved into our home in 2008, my husband worked a night shift. Although I wanted our bedroom to look nice, I never saw it as a sanctuary. Our primary concern when painting was to create a space that allowed him to sleep during the day. At that time, a blue & brown colour combination was a thing. We opted to paint 3 walls chocolate brown and one a powder blue colour. The curtains we chose were room darkening to assist with his daytime sleep schedule. Neither of us ever spent time in our room. It was basically a sleep room. In fact, it often seemed like making the bed was a dumb idea. I would get up for work just as Tim was getting home and settling into bed and vice versa at the end of the day. And so, for 12 years, our room was a a dark dungeon-like room. Although it may not appear dark, you must keep in mind that the curtains were rarely opened because of Tim’s work schedule. I scoured my archives for before photos and this is all I could come up with. These shots show the powder blue wall, but only a glimpse of the chocolate brown walls. When Tim finally got a day shift in May of 2019, a bedroom makeover seemed appropriate.
I spent several months pondering what I wanted the new space to look like. I knew that I wanted our room to be super bright with an aura of “lightness”. In addition to wanting to paint and transform the space, we had both been complaining about restless sleeps for months. We thought that the solution might be a new king sized bed. We currently have a queen, but in all honesty, it seems cramped, especially with our dog, Hershey, in bed with us every night! I am a hot sleeper and between the “heat” and the dog, I felt like I spent most of the night thrashing around and Tim felt like he spent most of the night responding to the after shocks of my thrashing. Neither of us were sleeping well! 🤪
I finally came up with a plan. Although we weren’t really ready to purchase a King size bed yet, we knew that we would need a custom platform bed to accommodate the space in our room. The head of the bed would need to fit in the alcove between the two existing closets and although a king mattress would fit, it would be tight and Tim would need to build the bed to make it work. We decided to go ahead with the room design and build the platform and then we could just place our queen on the new platform until we decided to purchase a king mattress. And so the transformation began to unfold….
Step 1: Feature Wall Installation
For many years now, I longed to transform our little alcove at the head of the bed. I envisioned a feature wall and custom lighting. One of the cool things about our 1921 unfinished basement is that at some point many decades ago, some walls were put up and they were built using….wait for it…wait for it….shiplap!! Yay! I always knew that at some point we would either reclaim and use the wood elsewhere in the house or incorporate it into our someday finished basement design. It just so happened that we removed a wall a few years ago and of course, kept all of the old shiplap. Tim measured it all out and began to construct the “puzzle” of shiplap pieces. Here is the picture of the shiplap wall pre-painting. (I actually like the randomness of the pieces and finishes, but it wasn’t the look I was going for in this space.) This also gives you a peak at the new navy wall paint.
Step 2: Priming and Painting
Of course, we knew this would not be a quick and easy paint job because we were covering the 3 existing chocolate brown walls with white! The light blue wall was going to be a combination of white and navy blue. We ended up priming everything….including the ceiling which we had painted light blue as well…Why? I don’t know. That was sure a pain to prime and paint. So, with one coat of primer and 3 coats of paint….the room began to take on a whole new look!
Stay tuned for more master bedroom projects and photos!
If you have been following my blog for any amount of time you will know that almost everything in my house is recycled, upcycled, salvaged or some kind of a DIY project. Our electronics, sofa/chair and mattresses would be the primary exceptions. I can stretch a dollar like there is no tomorrow and can transform a space on a very limited budget. However, this process definitely takes time, patience, perseverance and often, hard work, but the results always seem to be worth it.
On rare occasions, I will make one “splurge” in a space. Keep in mind a splurge for me is still not very extravagant, but rather implies I broke down and bought something brand new and didn’t get a great sale price 😥
The new cushions for our 10 year old wicker patio furniture would be my front porch splurge. We have needed to replace the very old and worn out original seat covers for more than a few summers now, but despite looking, I never followed through. As mentioned in my first Front Porch post, I felt very limited because of the colour of my house. I tried to find cushions that would match, but to no avail. It’s just a weird colour. Out of pure desperation, I made a decision that I had to commit to something as the old ones were literally falling apart. It was actually when I decided to stop trying to “match” the colour that I finally had a break through. If we were to paint the exterior of our house, I would love to paint it navy with white trim. There are a few houses in our neighbourhood with navy stucco and white trim and they are beautiful. As I thought about this, it suddenly dawned on me that just maybe navy blue would work with my current house colour. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any cushions locally, so I resorted to ordering from Wayfair. Although we do quite a bit of online shopping, I hated the idea of ordering expensive cushions online. I would have much preferred to buy them locally, try them out and then return them if I didn’t like the look. Going with an accent colour seemed a bit risky because of the colour of our house, but we took the plunge and ordered despite our reservations. After pondering the new cushions for a few days, we both decided we loved the look!
The other strange part of this front porch makeover was that we have these old cedar deck chairs that were purchased when we owned our cottage about 18 years ago. The canvas seats are still in perfect condition and wash well in the washing machine as needed. The issue was that the canvas was green. Again, I felt completely at a loss with this green? We love the chairs, but I could not get my head around how to work with the house colour, the green canvas and new cushions. My neighbour is great with colour and she said to look at the green as a neutral colour and an extension of my garden and plants. I had never considered this before, but sure enough the new cushions, green canvas and house colour all miraculously came together! In fact, I don’t even hate my house colour as much now that I learned to work with it and not fight it.
So, with our existing wicker furniture and new cushions, our old cedar chairs with the green canvas seats and our freshly painted swing and white shelf, the foundation for our space was set.
It’s All in the Details:
- We decided to keep one of the end tables that I had previously upcycled several years ago, but needed to take some time to think about how to accessorize it a bit. We had this old camping lantern that we used when I was a kid, stored in the basement. We have never actually used it, but it still works fine. It brings back fond memories and I could never let it go for sentimental reasons. It now has the perfect home on our front porch. Beside it, I placed this cute little decorative watering from the dollar store. I added a sprig of dollar store greenery and “Voila!” the table was set.
- The DIY Welcome Sign really helped to make the porch appear more inviting. The sign on its own wasn’t enough, so I added in the DIY Pillar Candle Holders I had made from salvaged couch legs. I picked up the galvanized pitcher at Michael’s for half price (maybe 60% off ) and slipped a 500ml empty plastic coke bottle into it so that I could add water and fresh greenery. The final item in this little display is another dollar store find….a second miniature watering can with a sprig of artificial greenery.
- Although I am yet to start or complete my mailbox makeover, the Upcycled Vanity and flowers really helped to dress up this corner by our door. I love how the distressed shutter helps to soften the backdrop for the pink flowers which might not be a perfect colour match for the house and yet, they seem to work.
- The freshly painted shelf certainly helps to anchor the space below the porch wall. It was a tricky space to work with because we needed to honour the space needed for the swing. We needed something narrow that wouldn’t interfere with the swing when in motion. This little shelf fit perfectly. I added a set of 3 dollar store plants, a stack of garage sale vintage books and an old drawer from our vintage sewing machine makeover. I may still add some little legs to it and actually put something in it, but for now it is just there!
- I’m sort of into birdhouses this summer. Not sure how or why that started, but it did. I picked up both of these birdhouses at the dollar store. I set one on the shelf and the other beside the milk jug I bought with the galvanized pitcher from Michael’s.
- Of course, we needed some new throw cushions. I would have to say I am still working on this. I had picked up 6 napkins and 2 placemats from a garage sale for $1 (for the whole set). I simply paired them up and sewed them all together leaving one side open. On the open side I added a velcro strip to close it. I actually can’t believe this deal. In the end, I got 4 throw pillows for $1. I had the velcro and navy thread on hand. I upcycled the old patio furniture cushions as well as a few I had in storage by adding more batting to them to fluff them up and give them new life. I had scrap white fabric on hand that I used to sew the new basic covers for the cushion inserts with the extra batting. I love the velvet edge that these cushions have. What a great deal and they look great. I am still sorting out how I am going to use the four cushions as I have another space where navy cushions will work as well. The green cushion and insert were picked up at a garage sale for 50 cents each.
- We have these beautiful arches on our porch and for several years placed hanging plants there during the summer. The issue was that the porch doesn’t get much sunlight and some areas more than others. In addition, I found that I wasn’t great at tending to the plants and they quickly became more of an eye sore than focal point. This year, we opted to purchase some inexpensive Ikea lanterns to hang in lieu of the live plants. I love the look and the candle light is beautiful when sitting out on a summer evening.
Front Porch Makeover Before and After Shots:
You can see a striped seat cushion on the single chair by the swing. The old seat cushions were reversible with solid brown on one side and a striped pattern on the other. The porch was certainly “okay”, but I had never taken any time to actually decorate the space.
Some paint, a few purchases and a bucket load of DIY projects later…here is the front porch. I still have a couple little decor project on my “to do” list, but here it is so far! The porch extends the whole width of our house which is 27 feet. The sitting area and entrance are about 8 1/2 feet deep and the swing end is about 6 1/2 feet wide. So this is a pretty large space and easily accommodates the two separate spaces. (If you click an image it will take you to slide show mode.)
Feeling so grateful to have our porch looking more presentable and inviting!