In some of my spare time lately, I’ve been slowly working on bringing the front room of our house together. Since we’re crunched for cash right now, I’ve had to be creative and it’s been challenging but fun. I love this room, and I’m happy to see it coming together. It’s not even close to being finished, but you can finally see what it could look like, and I want to share it with you in the middle of its transformation.
I wish I still had the pictures of the full room when we moved in, hideous window treatments & all, but here’s something to remind you that it was BRIGHT RED.
Here is the bookshelf wall now:
I chose a calm, neutral color for the walls (Glidden’s water chestnut) which I plan to carry through most of the house. We also had to paint the trim crisp white (it was cream-ish) and the bookshelves too. I’m still in the process of organizing the books and setting up the shelves – they’re still cluttered and messy right now.
For the space in between the shelves, I found this desk at my parents’ house that they weren’t using.
It needed to be painted, and I am obviously not finished. In fact, it just has a coat of primer on it right now, and I put the whole project on hold when I realized I had no idea how to reach into the depths of those little holes. What do you think: spray paint? Long-handled foam brushes? Anyway, once the desk is fully painted I’m excited to set it up as a little writing station. I also need something for the wall, and this chair is one that I’ve had since I was a kid. I’d love to redo it and use it here.
Here is the beautiful piano that was my grandmother’s. I wish I knew how to play it, but I can only punch out a few chords. The corner behind the piano needs something, but I’m not sure what yet. One difficulty of this room is that there is no light in it. There is a switch, but it doesn’t control anything. I’m wondering if I can figure out how to hook it up to a lamp.
The curtains are from IKEA. I had a hard time at first figuring out what to do about the windows since there are two right next to each other with curved arches, but now I realize that I just need to get a prettier curtain rod and it’ll be fine. But should I look for a white one, or a deep brown to go with the piano?
Here’s a close-up of the babushka dolls I’m displaying on the piano. I brought them back with me when I visited Russia, and I love them.
Don’t you just love those window sills? Yeah, my dog has basically eaten them away, and I have no idea how to fix it other than hiring someone. Also, here you can see that the curtains are way too long, but instead of hemming them I kind of pooled them at the bottom. I actually like the look, and I’m thinking of leaving them this way.
This is the last corner and the one I’ve been working on the most. Remember that I am working on a minuscule budget here. I’ve been dreaming of turning this into a reading corner, but that required a place to sit. I couldn’t afford to buy a new chair, so I turned to Craigslist. I found one there that I liked, but after looking on Google satellite and seeing that we’d have to pick it up in a very scary part of town, we backed out. Then when I was at my parents’ house picking up the desk my mom pointed out this chair that she had.
At first I thought that I’d like to reupholster it, but that costs as much as buying a new one, and now that it’s in place I’m kind of digging it. I think it works, and it’s comfortable, too. The greatest thing about this chair is its sentimental value. When my mom was 29 she sat on her mother’s lap in this chair and they reconciled after years of differences. When I took it she told me that every time I sit in it I should know that she is hugging me. (I’m tearing up just thinking about it!)
The art collage is a work in progress, as you can see by the fact that two frames are empty and there is a lot of wall space still to fill. I bought all these frames at a resale shop for about $5 total and spray painted them white. Two of them are filled with pages from magazines, one is a postcard, one is a printed picture of me on the beach in Hawaii, and the last is the one I got most creative with.
I’ve had an Australian pen pal for almost 15 years. I went back through some of the letters from when we were kids, peeled off the stamps, and arranged them on white scrapbook paper. I love it because it’s simple, the stamps are interesting and colorful, and best of all it has a personal story.
Well, that’s basically the whole room as it stands today! Obviously I still have a lot to do before it’s “finished”, but I think it’s coming along nicely. I didn’t think it would be possible for me to have a nice looking room without spending hardly any money, but all it takes is a little creativity.
Now please, please, please, give me your opinions, ideas, and advice! I know there’s still a lot to do, and I could use some encouragement and inspiration. Decorating is not my strong suit, but I’m learning!