As I look around the house and see what needs to be done, I see a lot that can be professionally updated...like the living room sofa with lumpy cushions, leather chairs that my kids have carved their names in, (ouch!) my nightstands that we inherited from a grandmother who had very good taste in antiques (unfortunately they need some love, they are extremely warn in spots). But there are some simple things you can do yourself that can make a huge difference. I am sure each and every one of you are thinking of a few items that need a makeover, or at least a microdermabrasion.
I'll start with a lamp in my kitchen that I HATE!!! It's the standard pendant light you get in a new home. Alabaster, with a brass chain. Not my favorite, doesn't go with my decor.
I'd like to replace it, but we are renting and I'm torn between waiting for something really special that costs a fortune, or buying a cheaper alternative and probably having to live with it forever......what if I spent little to nothing and "doctor" it up.
|This is the original lamp. Pretty ain't it?|
|This would be a dream kitchen for me with multiple bubble lamps. Love it!|
|This is the Nelson Bubble lamp|
|This is the Cost Plus paper lantern.|
My next idea came from the latest trend in lighting. The drum pendant is really hot right now, and textural pendants are even hotter.
I have been seeing inspiration from other designers as well.
I thought I could easily achieve this look by purchasing a large enough basket to slip over the glass.....done. Well, I have found that finding a basket that has a big enough diameter around, but short enough in height to look like a drum is harder to come by. I had found a few, thinking I could manipulate the basket once I cut out the bottom, but it also wasn't so easy. Even these weren't big enough. The ones I did find that could work cost as much as an actual lamp.
|I bought this basket for 7 bucks on clearance. It actually is a laundry basket, but turned upside down, it could make a nice looking drum pendant.|
|I successfully cut the bottom of the basket out, but couldn't fit it over the glass shade. When I measured it at the store, it was 1/2 inch shy of the diameter it needed to clear, but I thought once I cut out the bottom it would be easy to manipulate. NOT!|
|My brother is super handy, and a total sweetheart for doing stuff like this for me!|
|Love the light fixture, just wish I could repaint!!!|
Although I wasn't able to achieve the look by being a crafting genius, (I'm still disappointed in that fact, but I've never boasted about being handy), I was able find a cost effective alternative, that I can see using even in a secondary area in a different house. One word of advice, never sacrifice look with cheap and ugly. It's only a success when you save some money and it looks like a billion dollars!!! (Have you seen Meg Ryan's lips lately!!!)
The next piece that I've been wanting to refresh is a table in my daughter Sydney's room. Think back to my first blog entry, princess room, lots of floral and pink. Well, she's had the table passed on to her from her brother, and it's seen some better days.
|This picture actually makes the table look good, I should have taken a close u of all the scratches, chips, and rings.|
I ordered an extra pillowcase in the floral from her bedding and cut out two insets for the bottoms of the trays. Spray mounting the fabric to the bottom helps it flatten out nicely and also ensures that the fabric doesn't move. I had 11x14 picture glass cut to fit (Michaels did it for me for free) and placed them over the fabric. I think I spent about $20.00 on materials. That was it, but it brought the room together, and rejuvenated a piece of furniture that need a little facial.
Tiff's Tip: Even in a children's bedroom, a plant or fresh flowers can make a room feel more sophisticated. My daughter is not yet four, but has learned to appreciate fresh flowers once in a while. It also helps children take care of a living thing, and learn to be careful and kind to our homes.
The last thing on my list for now are the two night tables I mentioned earlier. They were inherited from my husband's grandmother and have a beautiful simple design. Unfortunately they are heavily worn and are in need of a new finish. Especially at the top.
My grand scheme was to strip them completely and really give them a major "face lift" but I was weary of doing it myself and ruining it. Aside from that, there are mixed feelings in the "antique world" about refinishing pieces that could be more valuable with all of it's worn spots. Before I go ahead and refinish the tables, I am going to consult with an antique dealer and find out what they are worth.
So.....I decided to give my tables a little....."enzyme treatment". After a little further research, I purchased a restoration oil, which strips the wax, not the finish, and cleans off all the dust and dirt that your piece may have accumulated.
I then added new hardware I had found from Anthropologie, which I felt modernized the tables without losing their classic style.
|Arthurian oval knob, Anthropologie, $7.95 each|
|This shows the profile|
The tables are much shinier now. And I am embracing the imperfections.Think of these scratches as laugh lines. Sometimes a nice set of crows feet just reveals that you've had a lot to smile about.