Desperate spaces are everywhere people! It sort of makes me cringe. One of my hobbies is looking through real estate listings and imagining what I could do with the different spaces, honestly it amazes me how poorly decorated some of these houses are, even for showings! Now that might sound mean but I SWEAR it's not meant to be mean! I LOVE sharing my gift with people that have super low budgets and surprising them with how big of an impact we can make in a space. Today I am going to teach you some things about color, layout, scale, and rhythm that can make all the difference in a space. Do you have a desperate space in your home? Im sure most of us do! INCLUDING ME! We are all only human after all. ;)
Let me introduce you to my friend Alanna, our moms have known each other since they were 16 and Alanna and I have been friends since we were in the womb, seriously though, we have gone years without seeing each other but she's just one of those people that no matter what happens we are loyal to each other and always stay friends, its in our blood.
Alanna is BEAUTIFUL, her room not so much though.
Alanna is on the left, and on the right is her roommate Lauren who is also my best friend from high school, I introduced them and now they hang out without me constantly, BOO YOU SUCK.
Alanna was having some friends up from Chicago and was embarrassed to show them her room, so she asked me to help her find a new rug because they thought it would help. She should have known better than to ask me for design help, clearly I was going to do the entire thing. Who does she think I am?
I was at her house a few weeks earlier, before she had even asked me for help and just happened to randomly snap some pics of her room, clearly I can't turn this part of my brain off. The girls were in complete bonding mode when I was taking these photos. Also all of these were taken on my phone so the quality is not the greatest, I apologize.
When you first walk into the room this is what you saw. The door is on an angle and is off of the living room.
This is the left side of the room if you are walking in the door. This should be a serious lesson in scale people. THE LAMPS ARE WAY TOO TALL, and they are made especially too tall by the way too tall end tables - seriously it couldn't get more weird than this. Alanna don't punch me as you read this, I love you.
The door is directly to the left of that laundry basket, on an angle.
This is what the right side of the room looks like, I am basically standing in the doorway. Lots of space here, this is sort of tucked away from the rest of the room.
Do you see what I was working with here people, major color clutter clash is what I call it.
NOW I am sure you want to know what I did for UNDER 300 DOLLARS, and how you can do a transformation like this too!
STEP 1: DECLUTTER - get rid of anything and everything you don't use or need, get to the point where you are uncomfortable for a minute, it is sooooo freeing having less stuff! Trust me you will plenty of things in your space even after you de-clutter.
Here we decluttered the dresser and its surrounding area that had laundry baskets filled with junk and added dollar store vases and a box of tissues, totaling in at about 4 dollars. I missed a few spots while spray painting the mirror, oops.
STEP 2: Choose your color palette. Underneath those sheets on the futon was a pretty olive/sage green color so we decided to go with that. Then, I chose gray to complement the green, and pops of white to lighten things up. I was keeping in mind the color of the oak the entire time, because her dresser and bed were that orange/oak color. My favorite way to choose colors to go with warm oak is by going with colors that are much more on the cool side to bring down the temperature of the oak. It will make the oak "pop" but it will look beautiful because there will be a lot of contrast between the warm and cool tones.
*Tip* When working with Oak trim in someones house I almost always choose blues, greens, or neutrals with blue/green undertones. Darker colors like grays with slight purple undertones work nice as well. Would you guys like to see an individual post on this topic?
Here you can see some of the items I found while out shopping, plus free printables I found on Pinterest. I stuck with the grays, greens, pops of white, and and little hints of brown as well, to tie in the furniture.
STEP 3: Figure out what you can keep and reuse depending on your color palette. For example Here I kept the dresser, the bed, the futon, and the brown wood 3 drawer table.
STEPH 4: Figure out the best layout for your room.
Now when you walk into the room this is what you see. This works so much better for them because their living room is relatively small. When they have friends over now they can keep the door open and use both of the rooms at the same time, without having people sit all over her bed.
The coffee table does double duty as clothes storage, I got it for free, chopped the legs off and gave it a coat of spray paint and new hardware. The Lamp is still too tall but It was sitting in my basement in storage so I gave it to her, it isn't perfect but on a limited budget it's way better than before!
The Rug was 20 Dollars at Goodwill and the decor is all from the dollar store, we already had the tray.
Sticking the Bed over in the nook created more privacy for her bed area when guests are over plus looks more symmetrical.
STEPH 5: Pull it all together! The new nightstands are $10.00 crates from Michaels, The lamps are a much better scale, they were $8.00 each from Goodwill. They are PERFECT for the space, I love the white drum shades and they are a modern shape which fits well with the bed. The art on the wall are free printables in $5.00 Wal-Mart frames backed with cheap green fabric also from Wal-Mart.
The Bedding was $60.00 from Meijer and the pillows were old spares from my house. Always shop your own house, call family, friends and neighbors to see if they have items they aren't using! Plus garage sales, yard sale sites, and craigslist are great too!
Here is a close up of the nightstand, lamp and decor. The small vase was $1.00 at Goodwill and the "A" was .94 cents at Meijer on clearance.
The custom window treatments were the hardest part of the entire room. They took me about 6 hours to make but only cost about $30.00 total. Alanna works until really late at night as a dining room manager at Grove Restaurant so she often sleeps in until 11 or 12, light blocking was very important so I chose the dark color. Grove was also just voted the number one restaurant in Michigan! WaHOOo!
I cut rectangles a little bigger than the size of the glass, backed them with an old gray sheet to make sure they would block out all of the sun. I sewed in a dowel rod pocket at the bottom to weight them, and that rod folds under to sit into command hooks that I put on the glass, and then I used velcro strips to attach the entire thing to the trim. In the photo the rods are placed into the hooks because the treatments are "open" if you want them open even further then you take a binder clip to fold them under one more time and it will look like a roman shade.
Should I make a separate post on this method? I did NOT find this on Pinterest, I came up with it on my own, nothing on Pinterest looked as easy as this! COMMENT with your thoughts!
STEP 6: Step back and enjoy your new space!
lets remind ourselves of the BEFORE:
WOW! Seriously under $300.00 for this amazing transformation?? I love life!