>> Sunday, August 19, 2007
Bradley went camping this weekend, so I decided to surprise him with a mini "Changing Rooms" in our front room. The bathroom needs the most work, but I can't do a lot of the work myself, so that will have to wait. Aside from the bathroom, the front room was the least appealing.
First of all the walls were covered with the drab caramel colour and I think it made the room look darker and smaller than it needed to be. As you will see we had a lot to ask from our front room since the house is a little bungalow with only 1 bedroom and the front room is the largest room in the house. Please also note the eyesore of a box on the wall which covers the electrical panel and is made from fake wood laminate. Ick! Here's a before picture:
We'd unpacked most of our things so that we wouldn't have stacks of boxes everywhere, so at the start of the weekend this is what the room looked like:
The first thing I did was paint the walls in the same creamy colour as the hallway. It was an instant transformation! I still have another coat to do, but it's good enough for the "reveal". The bookcases will have to be sorted and possibly rearranged or replaced with taller ones, but for now, here's the "later" of the dining area:
I also re-covered the chairs with a 1950s vintage barkcloth fabric. It's a little whimsical but I think it works with the style of the furniture (the table also has a removable leaf not shown). The dining set was a craigslist find for $100 - the original chair covers were bright orange, then recovered (not very well) with four different colours and the fabric was dirty. So that was a big improvement. Here's a detail of the chairs, and the wicker ottomen/boxes that we're using as a coffee table, they also hold all our dvds.This front room is also the living room, so here's a view of the living room area with our couch. As you can see the electrical box is now painted out to match the walls and it's much less noticeable. There's still some blue painter's tape showing because the trim isn't painted yet. Hey it was only one weekend! I wish I'd had Linda Barker or Anna Ryder Richardson helping me out. And ideally Laurence Llewelyn Bowen would be the host as he was in the later episodes of Changing Rooms, he is so funny and witty.
And last but not least, this overworked room is also my studio. Of course I work on the dining room table as well. Another craigslist find was an art deco style secretary desk in a similar style to the one I already had. They only wanted $50 for it (which as you can imagine had me in a tizzy begging Bradley to rent a van and help me go get it immediately before they changed their minds). The desk was originally in a sorry state though. It was painted orange (in a very patchy way) and the lattice mullions were on the outside of the doors and warped and broken. Also the veneer was peeled away from one of the drawers (also in a very patchy way) and so there was a lot of work to do. But now the two desks look pretty similar. My old one still holds all my art supplies, and the new one has sewing and crafts things.
So that's the big reveal - you're getting a sneak peek because even Bradley hasn't seen it yet. He's getting home in around three hours so I can't wait to show him! I hinted that I had done some work in the house but wasn't specific. Ideally he will cover his mouth and get teary, then say "oh my god" several times. Then he'll start pointing out all the great new features and make comments such as: "is this really our house??" and "I can't believe it, it looks so different!" and "look at our new chair covers!" etc. Well we'll see.