Thursday, June 28, 2012

$100 a Room?

I'm nearly back from my self imposed hiatus.  I will be done with my masters degree at the end of the month (If I get everything done on time) and I feel like I'm starting to come out of my learning-and-crazy-busy induced fog.  As I began slowly returning to reality, I noticed something that is very alarming.  Over the past two years, my house has gone to shambles.  It is embarrassingly icky.  But, there is one minor problem: we plan to remodel, but the start date is a little up in the air.  So I can either stick with the ickyness until the remodeling starts (this could be one week or one year -- there is no way to tell) or I can spruce it up a bit.  I hate to spend a bunch of money on sprucing up something that may get wrecked in the remodeling process, so I've given myself a bit of a challenge.

I am going to redecorate with a very strict budget of $100 per room.  Crazy, right?  I have SO much stuff.  There really isn't a need to buy any more crap -- I simply do not need it.  Instead, I'm going to re-purpose what I already own.  Fun, right?  I hope so.

I'm starting with my living room.  It is the largest room in the house and probably the one that I spend the most time in.  It's also, arguably, the ugliest.  See:


Yes, that is a Christmas tree.  Yes, it is June.  Yes, it is still decorated with Christmas ornaments.  If you didn't know, I've been really busy.

The room didn't look bad a year or two ago.  I had a funky orange couch and matching funky orange curtains.  Then I moved the couch and the curtains to my Greenbush house, scavenged a bunch of stuff off the walls, and moved the family room furniture upstairs into the living room.  The orange faux finish has lost it's charm.

See the unfinished fire place?  That was installed the week before Mady was born (she'd 3 years old now).  I had hoped to get it tiled around the bottom and clad in wood.  That's never going to happen.


The pony wall was put in shortly after the fireplace.  I'd planned to stain it the same color as the wood-clad fireplace.

There are only three bulbs working in the twin chandeliers.  Mark likes to leave the lights on when he watches TV so that he can read at the same time.  He also likes to fall asleep on the couch and leave the lights on over night.  The built in shelves are full of pictures and there is only one of them that has been updated in the last two years.  The list could go on and on -- this room needs help!


I started by having the kids help me remove the wallpaper from the base of the fireplace.  If I'm going to do this room for less than $100, I need to take advantage of free labor.

I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with the fireplace, but what ever it is, I needed to get the wallpaper off.  It's got this lovely brick-look paneling  that is not removable.  There is a chance that I'll be putting new paper right up again.  I'll have to see what I can get figured out.


I found two partial gallons of paint that might be useful.  One is off-white and one is tan.  My general plan is to just freshen up the faux finish, since repainting the whole room would take up most of my budget.  I'm hoping that I will be able to use the little bits of off-white and tan for that.

Tomorrow, I'm going to pick up a gallon of paint.  I used my trusty Valspar color selector thingy and found one that will be a nice fit with the carpet and couch.  It's kind of a mushroom color.  I held it up the orange wall, and I think it will work nicely with it.

I'm also going to search for ideas on what to do with the fireplace.  The old one was covered with stone-look wallpaper.  I know it's kind of cheesy, but it actually looked pretty good.  I remember I used two rolls, so that would mean a minimum of $45 out of my budget.  That's a big chunk, so I'd like to look for other ideas first.  It would have been nice if they would have re-done the base so that I didn't have to deal with that   paneling, but I guess I'm stuck with it.

So, I am pretty excited about this project.  It's going to be very challenging to stay within budget, but I know with my thrifty skills, my cheep-skate mindset, and my existing cache of home improvement stuff, I can do it.  I just hope I find some good deals!!

1 comment:

  1. I understand the Christmas tree completely! Those of us who don't depend on air conditioning frequently lean on mood, decor, and other environmentally friendly measures.

    As you finish your thesis, please let me know if you need a professional proof reader...

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